By Parkview Healing Artist, Cindie Rosswurm
Healing Arts is the art of healing through the arts, specifically movement, music, the literary word and visual art.
Creativity releases a healing energy that is relaxing and energizing. It helps patients to cope with their hospital treatment in an expressive way. Arts, in one form or another, give patients something to focus on, occupying their minds with thoughts other than what they are going through with their illnesses.
Similar to Parkview, more and more healthcare organizations are including the arts in patient care. Research shows that Healing Arts are changing patients’ hospital experiences by lowering blood pressure, improving immune function, reducing pain, anxiety, and other symptoms and also improving people’s attitudes and outlooks.
Along with the patients, everyone needs healing. The Healing Arts also helps caregivers, families, and hospital employees providing a brief respite through visual, movement or literary art forms to a patient, patient’s family or hospital staff member. The arts also help anyone with relaxation, create a positive mood shift, reduce stress, reduce loneliness and give anyone a new perspective.
Parkview Regional Medical Center, Parkview Randalia have Healing Artists and Parkview Behavior Health has scheduled sessions with Healing Artists.
I myself am a Visual Healing Artist. Being a Healing Artist is obviously meant to give and help others. Helping others this way also comes back to help me a hundredfold.
As a visual artist, I offer art supplies for patients to create with when he or she feels up to it or I will help them create something at that moment in time. Sometimes a patient is interested but has little energy or isn’t physically up to the task so I simply create something such as a small painting or card or drawing or possibly a pipe cleaner creation of maybe a pet or a bird or flower and leave it with the patient. I have seen some of the smallest gestures of creative moments and art pieces move patients, families or staff to smiles or attitude shifts to happiness I would never have dreamed that was possible. A lot of times it takes so little. Being able to use God given talents to help a patient who was really struggling with pain, suffering, depression, anxiety, fear, worry or something equally awful see a glimmer of light at the other end of the tunnel is both amazing and very humbling. There are no words to describe the feeling.
One of many meaningful interactions for me with patients was with an elderly gentleman who told me a story of himself long ago immediately after serving in WW II. After coming back to the States he bought a 1941 Standard Chevy and drove across the country (from Ohio) to California to ask his girlfriend to marry him. He drove all that way and she said no to his proposal! He did meet his future wife in California and later married her. He loved her so much and they had two beautiful sons (his words) together.
As he was telling me the story, I did a watercolor sketch of the car. The gentleman was so moved by the picture of his old car which brought back memories of his late wife, he started crying. It was a happy remembering cry.
I heard from nurses later he had shown everyone the picture of the car as long as he was still in the hospital.
Something as simple as a piece of art brought a healing moment to this man.