IMPACT - Science of Art

Does art heal?  This is a question that lot of people in the art and science world are trying to address. We have compiled a list of articles and research papers that shed some light on the benefits of healing through art.

Treating Cancer with Art: 5 Alternative Therapies That Heal Cancer Symptoms

Studies have found a link between painting and the changes in brain wave patterns that can alter hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain.

The employment of creative and expressive therapy, among cancer patients during treatment and remission, has demonstrated numerous health benefits that allow an individual to effectively communicate their physical and emotional problems through alternative techniques of healing. Medical Daily: Treating Cancer With Art: 5 Alternative Therapies That Heal Cancer Symptoms Lizette Borreli May 13, 2013

UK Survey Reveals Art Therapy May Be Helpful to Cancer Patients

According to some researchers, art therapy has the potential to provide some improvements in depression, tiredness, distress, and general health. In some studies, art therapy has helped individuals with the emotional and physical effects of having a fatal condition, such as cancer. According to an American study, art therapy has helped cancer patients achieve an improvement with certain symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, and tiredness.Newswire: UK Survey Reveals Art Therapy May Be Helpful to Cancer Patients Belinda Hills August 7, 2017

‘It’s time to recognize the contribution arts can make to health and well-being'

"The arts are a way of forming, shaping and holding in front of your eyes something you feel internally" Phil George, chair of Arts Council Wales.

"It’s about storytelling. It helps people develop a narrative of their lives and relate to their own experience in a new way. I'm convinced from the evidence that investment in the arts for health would pay off".

"While you're mindfully doing the art, it frees up your personality that had maybe been buried. It takes you away from whatever is bothering you, just for a couple of hours." The Guardian: Healthcare Network Nicola Slawson Oct 11, 2017

Benefits of Being Creative and Making Art

Creating art is healing not only for the mind and spirit, but also the body, since all are interconnected. It works on multiple levels to not only relax, but also to restore and rejuvenate, bringing joy and increasing your energy and enthusiasm for life. As Shawn McNiff writes in Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul (Buy from Amazon), " ...healing through art is one of the oldest cultural practices in every region of the world," and "Art adapts to every conceivable problem and lends its transformative, insightful, and experience-heightening powers to people in need."Thoughtco: Relieve Stress and Anxiety By Creating Art Lisa Marder March 18, 2017

The Power of the Creative Arts in Health and Healing

Studies show that engaging in any creative process is healing. Whether you make a simple drawing or collage, look at art or talk about it, creativity and the arts can help you:

  • Express thoughts and emotions that can be hard to put into words
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Relax and feel calmer and happier
  • Connect with yourself on a deep level, no matter what you are going through
  • Find meaning in life experiences
  • Cope with grief and loss
  • Form new connections with others
  • Shift your focus away from pain or stressful thoughts to activities that are soothing, enjoyable and fun
  • Create something unique that gives you a sense of pleasure and accomplishment

Us News: The Power of the Creative Arts in Health and Healing Ronit Fallek, Sept 29, 2015

Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being

On the U.S. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) website, according to the extensive research publication “The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature” by Heather L. Stuckey, DEd and Jeremy Nobel, MD, “Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.” They also stated, “Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts.” HPAA: Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being Renee Phillips,

Creativity as a Wellness Practice

Most of these studies concur that participation and/or engagement in the arts have a variety of outcomes including a decrease in depressive symptoms, an increase in positive emotions, reduction in stress responses, and, in some cases, even improvements in immune system functioning; visual art therapy, for example, is trending toward many of these health gains and more.

Psychology Today: Creativity as a Wellness Practice Cathy Malchiodi PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT Dec 31 2015.

Economic Benefits - Research Links

The 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable convened around the idea that the arts have the capacity to drive the healing process, building healthier individuals and stronger communities.

Finally, what is it we can leave here with? The country is so wounded, bleeding, and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed—it’s not going to be healed from the top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art. Art is the healing force.” Americans for the Arts 2013 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS Arts and Healing: Body, Mind and Community -Robert Redford, 2012 National Arts Policy Roundtable closing remarks

State of the Field Report: Arts in Healthcare / 2009

Throughout recorded history, we see evidence that pictures, stories, dances, music, and drama have been central to healing rituals. Today’s renewed focus on humanistic care is leading to resurgence in the knowledge and practice of incorporating the arts into healthcare services. Americans for the Arts 2009 Field Report ARTS IN HEALTHCARE contributing authors- Judy Rollins, Jill Sonke, Randy Cohen, Anita Boles, Jiahan Li

'It's time to recognise the contribution arts can make to health and wellbeing'

The report, published in July, which followed a two–year inquiry, found that the arts can help keep us well, aid recovery and support longer lives, better lived. The arts also help meet challenges in health and social care associated with ageing, loneliness, long-term conditions and mental health. Crucially they can also help save the care sector money. The Guardian: Healthcare Network Nicola Slawson