Why Experiencing Art Is Actually A Medical Recommendation For Your Health
Art… A Necessity To Health?
It is rather fascinating when we think about art, music, design, entertainment; what would the world be to us without these things? Perhaps a bit bland to say the least, but let me rephrase this prompt to you. What is your health without art, music, design and entertainment? Did you ever think about how creating, experiencing and immersing yourself into arts actually enhances your health and thus is a necessity to your well-being?
The Healing Process
On the surface this idea may seem a little far-fetched for some people, because so much of art could be viewed as “non-essential” for our survival. I find myself always challenging this belief because in my clinic alone, I have found art to be an essential part of the healing process and something I recommend to my clients often.
Conscious & Subconscious
In the past I have referenced how art is something that taps into our ability to understand our conscious and subconscious mind and this is a reason it is essential to our health. If you would like to understand this concept further you can check out the article I wrote, “Do We Need Art?.”
So why Art for our health? This would be more related to science wouldn’t it? Well, rather than separating the two categories, we can combine our understanding of them into one. Perhaps you could read my article about “Shinrin Yoku” and the science behind grounding and forest bathing.
We can utilize art to counteract any emotional imbalance related to health conditions. It is evident most diseases result of emotional imbalances. These emotional imbalances then manifest physically or open the window to us getting sick. We know in science how stress suppresses our immune system function, and unhealthy emotions would be the step that is further back thus causing the emotional stress. Not very complicated to understand right?
The Medical Recommendation
So when we think about art, why would we take this as far as a medical recommendation for health? In the past we talked about this a bit but let me share why I recommend art as a form of holistic treatment to my clients. With the basis of understanding that emotional imbalance results in physical and mental stress thus suppressing our immunity and normal functions of homeostasis, we can get to the root of the issue through arts. When we can create, experience and immerse ourselves into a form of art that draws us, it becomes an outlet of deeper awareness, understanding and self-preservation.
The Wood Element Example
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the correlating element that carries anger and frustration is the wood element. The wood element correlates to the liver and gallbladder meridians and organs in our own body. The job of the liver in TCM is to allow the free flow of qi throughout the body. Another way I can translate this is we know that the liver acts as a filter for our system. When the filter is running smoothly our health is good, when the filter gets gummed up and backed up, we run into issues with efficiency and efficacy.
TCM & The Liver & Gallbladder
On an emotional level when we carry deep rooted frustration and anger, these emotions are the process that begin to slow the function of these meridians and organs. As a result this is when correlating symptoms begin to develop. I have referenced before but as a refresher- symptoms like this show up as a large range but to a practitioner like myself they all fit the pattern. Shoulder pain, upper back and neck pain, hypochondriac pain, IT band pain, sciatica going down the side of the leg, headaches at the top of the head, behind the eyes or at the temples, IBS, menstrual cramps, PMS symptoms, having a hard time seeing at night etc, these are just a few of many differentiating factors of ways a TCM practitioner can identify where the health blockages are before they would be picked up on a lab test. This results from pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis and the system of highly specified questions learned in training. These factors are just a few I see often relating back to the liver or wood element.
Physical & Emotional Stagnation
So with all that mentioned, the whole point of this example is to see why Art would help, in this case, the wood element, the liver and/or the gallbladder. When we feel frustrated, angry or even stagnant in life, we literally need to move that stagnancy. We do this physically through exercise and art is how we can do it mentally/emotionally. Art is what literally moves our liver qi thus aiding the filtration process on a subtle level. By utilizing art within our daily lives it changes our perception to situations, it can relieve our burdens by feeling understood, force us to dive deeper into our own beliefs and help us formulate ways we can move through the barriers in front of us that hold us back. By tapping into the artistic mind, we are utilizing a part of our brain that is not always as valued in modern society but is essential to our wellbeing. A movie can make you laugh just as much as it can give you the cathartic release you’ve been needing. A painting in a museum can help you understand the rooted anxiety and depression the artist was facing and how they used art to better understand it. A song can change your day around because the frequency and message within it helped remind you of what you value most in your own life.
These are all forms of how art rids us of our blockages, helps us reflect deeper into our own lives and as a result, remove the internal emotional blockages and misunderstandings that ultimately could be taking a toll on our physical and mental health.
This is exactly the basis of why I create the art I create to be medicinal, why I do medicinal design consultations, why I run my clinic and why I wrote the book, “How To Design For A Healthy Mind & Body” so that I could provide ways to help people dive deeper into themselves and ultimately elevate their own health & wellbeing.
Have a look at the book and the clinic below!