Art has always been an avenue for self expression and emotional release since the dawn of time. Artists, for many generations, have used art, music, painting, dance and sculpture to express emotions that no words can ever say. Nowadays, art therapy is widely used as a form of healing both the mind and soul as well as the body.
Art can be one of the best forms of healing for many out there. Personally I find art as a good avenue to find peace in my ever anxious heart. It allows me to find quietness in my chaotic everyday life. Art has also helped me express myself more. I use coloring books and write stories and poems. I also love dancing.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a healing method that uses art such as music, painting, sculpture, pottery, dance and even writing to promote intrinsic healing for the mind, body and soul. Art therapy can be used for many forms of psychological, psychical and mental issues that need an outlet of release. The goal of art therapy is for you to be able to release stress and fears that you are not able to speak off into a medium. It can also help rehabilitate motor skills.
Art therapy can be used by anyone and everyone. It can be the sole healing method or a supplementary form of healing combined with medications and other forms of therapy. Art therapy is a truly beneficial and non evasive way to restore peace in your spirit as well as help you feel more alive.
Different Forms of Art Therapy
Art therapy can come in different forms. Almost anything that humans consider artistic can be used to heal. Since ancient times, art has been used by man as a means to express his thoughts and emotions. Even before man had a language, he was already drawing on walls of caves and dancing in the fields.
You don’t really need to be really good at art in order for you to benefit from art therapy. Everyone has a specific art form that can benefit them. Allowing you mind to be free and being one with an art form can help you feel relieved and relaxed.
Music Therapy is one of the most effective healing arts. It can either be by playing a musical instrument, singing or just listening to music. Music has been scientifically proven to calm the mind and body. This can be good for those who have anxiety issue, trauma, paranoia, sleep disorders and many more. A musical therapist can guide you through experiencing the healing powers of music.
Through music therapy, one can feel a slower heart rate, even blood pressure and a meditative state. This can promote lowering the blood pressure, controlling emotions and even managing psychological distress.
Painting, Coloring and Visual Arts Therapy
Engaging in creating a beautiful peace of art can be a good form of release for those who are unable to speak about their issues. It is also a very calming way to allow the expression of bottled up emotions. Through painting, coloring or drawing, a person focuses more on the creation process rather than his anxious thoughts and feelings. This visual form of art therapy can also be combined with music to create a more holistic for of healing.
On the other hand, using one’s hands in visual arts can also be a rehabilitative form of healing. Those who have experienced physical trauma who are unable to move their hands for a while can benefit from this. Elderly people can also engage in this to promote motor skills in the forelimbs and hands. Children can benefit from this a lot in order to increase focus and attention. Children with special needs can specially benefit from this since at times, they are unable to say what they feel.
Dance is healing art that can benefit both mind and body. Dance can either be fast or slow depending on the need. Since dance engages the whole body, happy hormones such as endorphins are released while dancing. Dance allows the mind to simply let go and gives the body the chance to move freely. Dance is a low impact physical activity that helps lubricate the joints and move the muscles.
Dancing knows no age or gender. Anyone can engage in dancing to get it’s benefits. Dancing in groups can help people overcome shyness and develop friendships. Dancing can also help manage illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and the like. Dance contributes to the mind as well by creating a space for freedom and expression. Dance is a very enjoyable form of art that can heal you.
Martial Arts come in different forms. Many people equate with with aggressive movements but in the core of martial arts is the meditative state. Learning to move your body in sync with your mind is the basis of martial arts.
Ancient forms of martial arts such as Tai Chi can be slow paced and be practiced even by the elderly. It focuses on breathing and balancing the body. Karate and tae kwon do focuses on moving the body and is good for developing confidence in children as well as discipline. There are many different forms of martial arts. All of them uses centering the mind to be one with the body.
Sculpture and Pottery
Sculpture and pottery are very good forms for healing arts. From nothing, you are able to create something. This creation process is truly fulfilling. It also allows your hands to move and be one with the medium. The medium, be it clay, wood, or marble becomes an extension of your hands and spirit. You are able to create something not just seen but also tactile.
Through creating sculpture piece or a clay pot or plate or vase by pottery, you are able to patiently focus your mind. This is a good way to relieve anxiety and stress.
Which Art Therapy is Best for You?
Since there are many forms of art therapy, you may choose one or more that is best suited to your liking. A licensed therapist can help and guide you to find the best form for you. Normally, as children we are drawn towards a certain form of art. This art can help release our stress, create relaxation and improve mental clarity and focus.
When choosing an art form to engage in, you must consider you own thoughts and feelings as well. You must think about your physical condition. Time is also an important value that has to be considered.
Benefits of Art Therapy
Art therapy can truly be beneficial for everyone. You don’t need to be suffering from any physical, mental, psychological or spiritual affliction to engage in it. Basically art therapy is like letting your inner child shine. Before you became a stressed out adult, you were once a creative child who made things and believed in magick. You can once again conquer that magick and put it back into your life by art therapy.
Engaging in art can allow you to connect with your breath and learn new things about your psyche. It does not matter how old or young you are. You must learn to let go and appreciate life and beauty again. If you have ever suffered from mental or physical trauma, expressing your emotions can allow you to remove fear and doubt.
Art is Powerful
Art is one of the most powerful human creation ever made. It can speak a language without need for any words. If you allow it to touch you, you can learn that beauty and truth resides in your heart. Learn to harness the power of art and allow your spirit to be free.