The Way of Art and Healing

Meditation Garden by L. Gruger
Meditation Garden by L. Gruger

I have always felt art has the power to heal. At one point in my life I thought I wanted to be an art therapist. Art Therapy is a form of therapy that uses art as the tool for helping people heal. The wikipedia definition says, “Using their skills in evaluation and psychotherapy, art therapists choose materials and interventions appropriate to their clients’ needs and design sessions to achieve therapeutic goals and objectives.” I talk more about this in my One Artist’s Journey, Part 3 blog post coming up on February 4th. I didn’t become an art therapist but I still believe in the powerful connection between art and healing.

I believe art can have a healing impact on the artist, the viewer and really the whole planet, as art is in every culture all around the world! There are stories that attest to art having the power to heal the body, as well as the mind and spirit. I just read a story about art and heart health. They talked about the connection of participating in creative activities such as the making of art, using music therapy and relaxation techniques to help lower a cardiac patients stress and anxiety which can reduce the liklihood of a cardiac event.

I think we are all creative and desire wellness. Christina Grant, Ph.D, a holistic healer located on the Monterey Peninsula says ” The two desires, participating in creation and maintaining wellness, walk hand in hand.

L.GrugerHansonArt1

You too, can tap into your inner creative being, and lift your spirits, release energy, maintain your wellness but it first takes a longing to reveal your creativity in a physical form, whether making marks on paper, writing, with clay, food, color, photos, metal, jewelry making, paint on canvas, wood sculpture, fabric, scraps or paper mache. It’s almost endless, the types of materials one can use to make something. And then it takes an action, a movement toward making something! I have some other blog posts under the tag “Go Make Something” that you can read and maybe be inspired from. Creative visualization is an expressive means of creativity as well! Imagine yourself doing art, being well, achieving your goals, living your dream. This is all creativity!

I like what Shifra Stein says on her Living Artfully website about being in the presence of serene and calming art. How being in it’s presence can connect you to a spiritual level of being and that can help one relax and be less stressed. I like it when I hear people talk about my art in that way. That they are calmed or energized or feel happy when they look at my paintings.

Today I found an interesting blog titled the Healing Power of ART . It is so nice to find a community of like minded souls. I love that about the web.

Manhattan Arts has an art competition that promotes art and healing called Celebrate the Healing Power of Art 2010. “Celebrate The Healing Power of Art” is an international project that celebrates Art’s tremendous healing benefits. Renée Phillips, Director of Manhattan Arts International, presents an online exhibition of positive art that uplifts the spirit, plus profiles and writings to inspire and promote Art and Healing causes. I will submit some work to this project and see what happens.

Maybe you will be inspired to go make something! Let me know if you do.

Birds and Gardens by L. Gruger
More Birds and Gardens by L. Gruger

2 thoughts on “The Way of Art and Healing

  • January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm
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    K. I’m so sorry to hear of your fine dog having to be put down. That is so hard. We love our animals so much! Another friend of mine also lost her dog recently to cancer.

    The first time I lost a pet was when I was 17. My dog I had gotten for my 13th birthday, the one I had longed for and hoped for, and finally got as a surprise from my parents, was hit by a car. She died. It shakes you and does tear you up!

    It is good what you’ve made….and your kind-ness, a bunny that brings comfort for a young boy and for yourself also. I will go to your blog and see.

    I didn’t know that tears release toxins from stress. No wonder we feel better after a good cry.

    hugs,
    Lindy

    Reply
  • January 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm
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    Do you think this might be along the same lines as the way they’ve found that people who do not express their emotional reactions to things eventually erode both their psychological and physical health? And did you know that tears that are shed in sadness, frustration, grief – they are all full of toxins. We cry as a way of washing out the poisons our body manufactures when it is in stress. So expressing what is inside through slashes of color, or perfect round shapes, or mirroring beauty – would those things not have a profound effect on our inner chemistry, and thus on our immune systems and the entire net of our beings?

    And Lindy – I DID make something. I had a very sad night last night because we found out that our beloved 12 year old collie had cancer – that he was wasting away under all that fur. And we had to put him down today. It’s a long story – but it’s winter, and he lost control of his bladder two weeks ago, and he’s been living in the front hall, cut off from his family – and sleeping 23 hours a day.

    Anyway, it’s been a gut wrenching thing. But a young friend of mine, Rachel’s son – they lost a bunny two nights ago, and it tore the family up. So I felted a tiny bunny (which I put on the blog just now) so I could take it to him for comfort. In that way, I balanced my own emotional turmoil, and I offered him real comfort. Thus, you can see it’s not an act of niceness, but of kind – ness. That boy and I are of a kind anyway – but in our grief, such a little thing gave relief to both.

    Reply

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