Art therapy is a practice that allows patients to express inner thoughts and feelings without speaking. Art therapy uses different forms of art, including drawing, painting, clay, and sculpture. Art therapy is thought to lift one’s mood, boost self-awareness, and improve self-esteem. It also allows for the use of the eyes and hands, and improves eye-hand coordination while stimulating the nerves that affect communication between the hands and the brain.
People use art therapy for abuse recovery, anorexia, anxiety, autism, body image problems, breast cancer, bulimia, improving recovery from domestic, child, or sexual abuse, trauma, learning problems, depression, kidney disease, weakness in the elderly, AIDS/HIV, mental disorders characterized by emotional problems, marriage therapy, obesity, preventing preterm labor, sex therapy, stroke, substance abuse, anxiety before surgery, improving recovery after surgery, and tuberculosis.
Art therapy has also been used to improve quality of life, depression, stress, Alzheimer’s disease, inability to control bowel movements (encopresis), mental well-being, leukemia, speech sound disorders, schizophrenia, sickle cell disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for Art Therapy are as follows:
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of art therapy for these uses.
Art therapy uses self-expression to provide physical and mental benefits. It is based on the principle that creative self-expression is healing and life-enhancing. Therapists might gain additional insight about their patients by using art therapy rather than only speaking.
People who support art therapy claim that children respond very well to art therapy. Drawing, painting and constructing with an art therapist might help children communicate difficult issues, calm emotions, and reduce stress.
Creating and discussing art with an art therapist can increase self-awareness and help to cope with symptoms, stress, and trauma, and improve mental abilities while enjoying the pleasures of art and creativity.
Self-expression is considered an important part of psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and their families. Art therapy is believed to help people organize their inner reactions to events in their lives. This helps them to understand and express their feelings more clearly.
Research shows that emotional expression has positive benefits for the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. The mental and physical benefits of art therapy might improve quality of life and various illnesses.
It isn’t known if art therapy is safe. However, there’s no reason to suspect safety issues when used correctly.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of art therapy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, there’s no reason to suspect safety concerns when used correctly.
It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines.
Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
There are no known interactions with foods.
Art Stimulation, Creative Arts Intervention, Creative Expression.
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