Monday, January 31, 2011

Color & Art Therapy

Did you know that Art is therapeutic?
This comes with no surprise to museum goers, who have an emotional experience when viewing art.

Art Therapists are at the forefront, aware of the importance of art, color and design on people’s health and well being.

With rising health care costs combined with overworked medical staff, there is greater demand to fill the void between medical professionals and patients. Art Therapists are filling the void.

As a mental health profession, Art Therapy can be found in many clinical settings with diverse populations. Its popularity is growing in non-clinical settings, such as art studios and workshops that focus on creative development. Art Therapists work with patients of all ages who are living with cancer, burns, pain, post-surgery, HIV, asthma, emotional trauma and substance abuse. They use a variety of innovative, hands-on activities that involve art materials such as paints, markers and chalk, in order to assess and treat patients.

They help patients gain insight, cope better with stress, work through traumatic experiences, increase cognitive abilities, build better relationships and to enjoy their life’s pleasures through the creative experience.

Technology & Ancient Mysticism Has Merged
Art, color and design carry the potential for very powerful expressions of energy, whether positive or negative. Thanks to equipment, such as Kirlian photography, we can actually capture and evaluate what ancient sages have always believed; the positive flow of energy around us brings a feeling of well-being while stagnant energy causes us to feel physically and emotionally low.

For example, if the artist was going through an emotionally challenging point of his life, the energy of his work would reflect it, as Pablo Picasso did in his Blue Period. Most likely, the viewer would feel somber. In comparison to Picasso’s Rose Period, where he featured comedic characters and circus people dressed cheery orange and pink hues. The energy of his work would feel optimistic.

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”
Pablo Picasso

The Museum of Modern Art is helping Alzheimer’s patients by having art therapy tours. With more than four million Americans suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and no cure in sight, care givers are increasingly exploring art as a way of managing the disease. As a result of Art Therapy, patient’s memories, cognitive thinking and emotional disorders improve and many doctors have lowered their dosage for prescriptions.

Geometric patterns, such as mandalas, have been used in temples across India and the Far East as a physical form that expresses the vibration of meditation. The physical body can actually sense the movement of energy around these forms and experience the benefit without meditating themselves.

Donna Johansen, a health care interior designer of 20 years, trained energy healer and artist, incorporates Evidence-Based design philosophies into her work. She creates healing paintings for health care facilities and spas. Johansen incorporates the vibration of sacred geometric patterns, such as mandalas and healing Sanskrit symbols, to bring positive healing energy into the environment through the artwork.

She has created a beautiful collection of individual scarves with vibrational designs for the US Military and to help improve the current US health care crisis. Examples of Donna Johansen’s work, right side. 

With the aging population, we have more patients and fewer resources than ever before. Alternative energy modalities are gaining acceptance in hospitals, but require trained volunteers. I saw this scarf as an inexpensive way to bring the healing energy experience to people in a more accessible ways. Patients and the medical staff love her work. They are experiencing amazing positive effects, such as a reduction of stress, depression and anxiety. Just think! All those health benefits without a pill or shot.

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  1. Great post, Denise! Loved all of it but this is my favorite line:

    "Just think! All those health benefits without a pill or shot."

  2. on linkedin I just connected with a man in the health industry - he uses 'color breathing' as a form of help. I understood this connection with color because I'm a color consultant. I'm continually brushing-out and/or looking at color, and, breathing in the color while looking is amazingly beneficial.

  3. Great blog post and really helpful...... and your blog are very interesting and inspiring.



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