Health Issues 3 Alisha Meyer

"Art is a wound turned into light."

Georges Braque

How does the creative process improve health? Does it improve health? How is the brain affected by the creative process? I believe in the whole body approach to healing and healing is achieved by everyday rituals to becoming a better person. It includes the mind, body and spirit. When one part is ill, the others can quickly become affected, but if all parts are functioning at top rate, then we are considered healthy. What is healthy? Being healthy is feeling great all around. It is having the energy to do what we love. It is having relationships with ourselves, others and the world around us. It is feeling happy and content. Tapping into our creative sources help us heal the whole body. There are many resources that touch on this ideology such as "in Art does heal: scientists say appreciating creative works can fight off disease" founded by researchers from California University in Berkeley. They say studies show great nature and art boost the immune system.

"Psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner, of California University in Berkeley, said: "That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests the things we do to experience these emotions - a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art - has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy."

Cytokines are chemicals necessary for herding cells to the body's battlegrounds to fight infection, disease and trauma but too many are linked with disorders like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and even Alzheimer's.

Dr Jennifer Stellar, of Toronto University who was at California University in Berkeley when she carried out the study, said: "Our findings demonstrate positive emotions are associated with the markers of good health." This article can be found at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11403404/Art-does-heal-scientists-say-appreciating-creative-works-can-fight-off-disease.html.

Other insights of how the power of creativity is healing is illuminated in the following diagrams and references.

I know through my own creative process that I feel better. Emotionally, I feel clearer. Physically, I have more energy. Spiritually, I feel more in tune with myself and the natural world. I love looking into the research behind the healing powers of expressing oneself and knowing that there is backing to what I already know. There is an argument that can be backed with facts. It is written in our own bodies and science can back that.

"Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing."

Julia Cameron

"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity."

Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

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