Benefit: Aesthetic experience, recreation, health
Arts are a way to contemplate on our existence, the existence of the world around us and our relationship with it. They offer us mediums to process information, alter thinking patterns and respond to new circumstances. Arts also generate aesthetic experiences, recreation and positive health impacts.
Dances, chants, pictures and stories have been used as healing rituals throughout human history. Engagement with arts by experience or own creativeness has been studied to have many positive health impacts. Patients who have, for example, a picture of a landscape on their wall require less pain medication and shorter hospital stay.
Arts have been studied also as a therapy method. Creative activities were assessed to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, myocardial oxygen demand, serum cortisol level, pain, psychological and physiological symptoms and hospital stays. Arts restore emotional balance, increase the feeling of control over pain, calm neural activity in the brain and restore effective functioning in the immune system.
Stuckey, H. L. & Nobel J. 2010. The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. American Journal of Public Health 100(2): 254–263.
- Updated (29.12.2014)