Art therapy is a relatively new field in medicine. Art has long been known to have healing effects. This therapy may be helpful in many ways for people living with cancer. Art therapy is mental health care. Its purpose is to make patients feel an improved sense of well-being.
Art therapy is used to help people with cancer explore their own feelings, reduce anxiety and improve their self-esteem.
Art therapy does not require those practising it to be artists of any kind. Anyone can aprtici[ate in this therapy. It includes freestyle drawing, colouring, doodling, painting or anything else that might fall into the broad and vague art category.
What is art therapy?
Art therapy can be defined simply as the use of art to promote healing. Art, in this sense, addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that accompany a cancer diagnosis. Art can be used in an experiential way—such as viewing paintings at a museum or in a book, or in a creative mode—in painting, drawing, sculpting, beading, or a host of other creative activities.
The intense emotions people experience with cancer are often difficult to portray in words. Yet expressing feelings allows your loved ones to know what you are experiencing—at least to some degree—so they can provide the comfort you need to cope at this time. It may also allow you to express emotions you don’t even know. It’s said by some scientists that emotions are felt first in images and only later in words. For this reason, art can be a way to tap into what you are feeling inside before you can describe it in words.
How Does Art Heal?
It’s not known precisely how art can help with healing. Amidst the tension of cancer treatments, it can provide an opportunity for quiet and relaxation—a time to do what you wish to do alone. Many people find that taking the time to paint helps change their attitude. If you feel discouraged, you might feel more motivated to continue with treatment. If you are feeling anxious, you might experience calmness and peace.
Scientists who have studied art therapy have found that painting changes brain wave patterns. It may also alter hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. Painting has been shown to change the perception of pain, which can change your outlook on the world.
Benefits of Play and Art Therapy During Cancer
Reduce the mental illness:
Cancer treatment is a tedious thing and mentally exhausts a person. They go through a challenging phase while taking treatment such as chemotherapy or other therapies. In such times, a person becomes excessively depressed. Art and Play therapy has recently become one of the most powerful ways to treat and manage cancer-related problems. However, art and play are pretty new concepts but have a positive outcome and are used to reduce the mental illness caused by cancer.
For art therapy, a person does not need to be an expert in any art form, such as a painter. It is about painting anything that makes a person happy and centres more on freestyle drawings. One of the most common things that people with cancer go through is the loss of self-confidence. They lose their self-esteem at any age. Therefore, it becomes essential that something should be done to help people of all ages. Art and Play therapy is one such treatment method that gives people of all ages an opportunity to do something productive that makes them happy. Anyone can draw a child or an adult; therefore, this is quite an effective way of finding peace.
Accessible way of treatment:
Also, since drawing does not require many resources or supplies except paper, lens, or pencil, anyone can afford this therapy. Since most people have access to these essential supplies, art therapy is quite an easily accessible way of treatment.
Distracts people from monotonous routine:
Art therapy distracts people from their monotonous routine. A cancer patient’s daily activity consists of regular visits to the hospital and therapy centres. Therefore, they must be given a break from this daily schedule. Art therapy gives them this distraction and thus relaxes them from this schedule. This shows them a better life after treatment and gives them mental support.
Good exercise for brain:
Engaging in some art form or creative activity gives an exercise to the brain. This makes a person happy and mentally strong and improves their brain functions. Slowly, involvement in these activities helps people cope with their depression, anxiety, and mental issues.
Creates an environment for communication
These art therapies mainly happen in sessions where many people with different stories meet, interact, and engage in other art forms. This creates an environment where like-minded people interact, communicate, and share their experiences and dreams of the future.
Provides opportunity to express:
Art and Play therapy give a person an opportunity to express things that they might not be able to communicate in words. This is precisely where art and play therapy plays their role. It helps them to express those feelings through the different art forms. This impacts the reader’s mind, thus enabling the patients to express themselves differently.
Gives time to caregiver:
One of the best things that Art and Play therapy do is provide Cancer caregivers some time for themselves. Cancer is mentally exhaustive for an individual, and the mental pressure equals the caregiver. So, involvement in any form of art also gives them some private time and helps to bring some relief to their monotonous life.
Reduces pain caused by treatment:
It is a known fact that art reduces the amount of pain caused by treatment. Cancer patients take regular therapies and treatments and painkillers to reduce the side effects of treatment. But, when one indulges in Art and Play therapy, he slowly stops taking painkillers because he doesn’t feel that pain anymore.
Cancer is a chronic disease. It requires proper medication and treatment. Art and Play therapy help give a cancer patient a better life. It reduces mental stress and allows them to dream of a better future.