30 Sep, 2020
Art and health: are these two things related? What does art have to do with health? A study by the Regional Office for Europe — associated to the World Health Organization - WHO — concluded that getting involved with art can bring benefits for health.
This research made a complete and comprehensive analysis of evidence from more than 900 global publications and, therefore, it was able to conclude how good art is for people's health.
The treatment of health through art has even a name: art therapy. And what is art therapy? It is a therapeutic process in the treatment of patients with the most different clinical conditions. Throughout the reading, you will understand better with examples.
In this text, we will address the relationship between health and art in individuals in our society and mention 5 artistic activities that can improve your health.
Art and health: understand this historical relationship
Art is — and has always been — part of human life. It impacts directly on society and is practically inherent to the species. Historians around the world seek to explain the emergence of art as an expression tool. The task is almost impossible, taking by the fact that it has always been present in the lives of individuals.
It is possible to say that art is closely related to the history of human beings, as well as to their evolution as a species. The most remote records of artistic expressions are the famous rock paintings, made on the walls of the caves where men made small records. It turns out that over the years these artistic expressions have evolved a lot, resulting in art as we know today.
Brazilian psychiatrist Nise Silveira is the proof that art and health have everything to do with one another. Her history as a psychiatrist became a movie: Nise - The heart of madness. It is worth mentioning the movie, because the story is based on real facts. The plot tells how Nise subverted the treatment given to the so-called madmen of the National Psychiatric Center, in 1950.
Drª. Nise was not satisfied with the psychiatric treatment of the time. That is because these treatments violated the human condition of patients and used electric shocks. With that, when she was transferred to the occupational therapy sector, Nise started a real revolution in the way of visualizing and treating mentally ill patients. Based on Jung's analytical psychology, Nise inserted art therapy into the therapeutic process so that patients could express their emotions and unconscious experiences. Her work gave a new perspective to mental illness.
This story is undoubtedly a case that shows not only how art serves as a treatment, but was also fundamental to subvert an entire outdated form of treatment based on pain. Feel free to find out more about this case as well as watch the movie.
How many times have you found yourself relaxing with the simple act of listening to good music? This is another good example. Probably countless times. That is because listening to music is considered an excellent way to deal with emotions and even to control them.
According to Molly Warren, master of Music Therapy at Colorado State University, music can be a real ally during difficult times like stages of recovery from trauma and grief. In addition, Warren claims music has the power to calm and regulate emotions.
No. You did not read wrong: there is a treatment called music therapy. A practice that is present in the clinical context of treatment, rehabilitation and even disease prevention. Who would imagine that art could take care of health through music, right?
5 artistic activities that will do good for your health
Now you know how important art is for your health, we will list here 5 artistic activities that will do good for your health.Check it out!
Our first activity on the list is music. For starters, music is an art that activates the pleasure center that exists in our brain. This activation releases dopamine, a substance that is responsible for our sense of well-being. To sum up: music calms, relaxes and in addition, stimulates our memory.
You can try to learn to play an instrument that you like, such as guitar, piano, keyboard, eletric guitar, bass, drums and so on. You can invest in singing by participating in a choir or try to sing more, even as an amateur. Among the benefits is the body stimulation, which can vary according to the instrument chosen for learning.
This is an excellent activity for well-being, as it moves the body and works the mind in a playful way. Theater enhances creativity, improves the power of public speaking and consequently improves body health.
Theater helps create body awareness and makes you less shy, impacting in your interpersonal relationship. In addition, theater is an enhancer of self-esteem and self-knowledge. Not to mention its power to trigger memory and focus. So, if you have the opportunity, do theater!
The person does not act mechanically when using the hands to shape a clay. That makes this activity help work flexibility and release tensions. This is because ceramics demand enormous concentration.
That way, even if only for a moment, the person forgets his problems and focuses on creating a ceramic piece. The answer to that is the release of stress, an improvement of the motor domain, expression in practice, a playful interaction and so on.
Writing requires attention, perception and memory. Whether to write about ourselves, create poems, short stories, chronicles, or whatever literary genre in question, writing is excellent for literally putting all of our creativity on paper.
The continuous act of writing makes you improve your writing skills, expands your vocabulary, improves your power of synthesis and makes your reasoning faster to elaborate a text, regardless of the genre.
Painting is an art closely related to our health. That is because it helps to improve our concentration, while making us less stressed. In addition, painting stimulates communication, creativity, improves our perception of the world and relieves tension.
Drª. Nise (we talked about her in the previous paragraphs) used the painting technique to treat her patients. There is no doubt that it plays a very important role in the maintenance and well-being of your mind.
You can see how important art is for your health, right? Whether to prevent diseases or to treat them, art in its most different aspects is an excellent tool. Now that you know all of this, do an exercise: try to analyze how close you are to art. Doesn’t it worth taking a day to paint a picture or else write a poem for someone who likes it a lot? Whatever the activity is, you sure don’t lack tips on what to do for your health with art. Enjoy!