In an article entitled ‘The Power of Art’, Lynda Caruso writes about the healing power of art.
“In 1860, Florence Nightingale wrote about the effect of ‘beautiful objects’ on sickness and recovery. ‘Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour and light, we do know they have an actual physical effect.’”
“Then in the 1940s the curious new field of art therapy came into its own…”
“In 2006, Mayo Clinic launched a pilot programme among men and women battling such serious diseases as leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma, many of whom were in hospital isolation. ‘The idea was to bring something to the bedside that could help improve their quality of life and reduce stress,’ says Dr Brent Bauer. That something was art. ‘Without even trying to be therapeutic, in many cases it was…Bauer says the trial revealed a ‘trend towards improvement in pain’ and ‘significant improvements’ in mood and anxiety reduction. ‘When we reduce stress, we improve sleep and we improve the immune system.’”
“The simple act of enjoying a work of art can be just what the doctor ordered.”
Source: Lynda Caruso, ‘The Power of Art’, Open Skies, April 2008, 55-57.
Image: “The idea was to bring something to the bedside that could help improve their quality of life and reduce stress.”