Mary Poppins would be thrilled to see this medicine go down and be the first one cheering the marriage of the HealthSciences and the Arts. Through the advent of technology and functional MRI's enough now is known about the effect of using right brain activities to relax and help facilitate healing of the bodies, organs and tissues through our focused imagined intentions. Intentional Art Therapy uses the power of art to harness the wisdom of the right brain through spontaneity and absorption into the creative process without analyzation. Small steps towards healing are the intentions, once realized become the ah ha moments and our allies for building on the next small step toward the actualization of the intention. It is easy, it is fun, and it is effective. How can anything fun and easy and that causes laughter at a time when the body is compromised be good for you? You do not have to be able to draw, just an expression of color and form will do. You do not have to be sick to benefit because this is a way for you to reach your soul/spirit through non-verbal communication. If you are ill, it is a way to take small but solid steps back to a healthy balance. Well perhaps it really is just what the doctor should order. Anyone who has ever suffered through long term illnesses with seeming no end in sight, have a unique perspective that needs attention. Stanford Medical Center has a program that has been in operation assisting patients for 10 years, ( the inspiration from a nurse going through cancer treatments) very successful and getting stronger. ( By the way, so are their patients ). www.artforhealth.com I believe in using art and intention together because, even though I was up against some formidable odds, it has been so successful for me. I believe that if consciousness is the bridge between the local and non local mind then art seems to be one of the vehicles one can use to traverse that bridge. Here is some of the thoughts by scientists, physicians and physicists that I believe supports the argument for the use of Intentional art for health and wellbeing.
"A number of other scientists confirmed Grad's (Bernard Grad, associate professor of biology at McGill University in Montreal) findings; Russian research discovered that the hydrogen-oxygen bonds in water molecules undergo distortions in the crystalline microstructure during healing. These kinds of changes can occur simply through the act of intention. In one study, experienced meditaters sent an intention to affect the molecular structure of water samples they were holding throughout the meditation. When the water was later examined by infrared spectrophotometry, many of its essential qualities, particularly its absorbance-the amount of light absorbed by the water at a particular wavelength-had been significantly altered. When someone holds a focused thought, she/he may be altering the very molecular structure of his intention." Lynne McTaggart;, The Intention Experiment chapter: The Human Antenna
"We seem to be in deep philosophical waters here, but in fact every layer of touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste influences our ordinary lives." If that is the case, may I ask you ...why can not we experience the divine, if you will, in the single act of creation. Creation of our intent, Intent in our creation. And then just let it go. Falling into the law of detachment. Allowing the co-creation of the moment to be entangled with the divine essence of who we really are."
Quantum Healing: Exploring The Frontiers Of Mind/Body Medicine By Deepak Chopra MD
Absorption, being caught up in, wholly involved and so on, are used commonly to describe the state of the artist or scientist when creating or even a child at play. By whatever name one calls it, genuine creativity is characterized by the intensity of awareness, a heightened consciousness. Artists, as well as you and I in moments of intensive encounter, experience quite clear neurological changes. These include quickening heart beat: higher blood pressure: increased intensity and constriction of vision, with eyelids narrowed so that we see more vividly the scene we are painting: we become oblivious to the things around us ( as well as the passage of time). We experience a lessening of appetite-persons engaged in a creative act lose interest in eating at the moment, and may work right through mealtime without noticing it. Now all of these correspond to an inhibiting of the function of the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system ( which has to do with ease, comfort, nourishment) and an activation of the sympathetic nervous division, and,lo and behold, we have the same picture Walter B. Cannon described as the "flight-fight mechanism, the energizing of the organism for fighting and fleeing. This neurological correlate of what we find, in broad terms, in anxiety and fear.
But what the artist or creative scientist feels is not anxiety or fear: it is JOY. I use the word in contrast to happiness or pleasure. The artist, at the moment of creating does not experience gratification or satisfaction ( though this may be the case later, after she has a high ball or a pipe in the evening.) Rather, it is JOY, JOY defined as the emotion that goes with heightened consciousness, the mood that accompanies the experience of actualizing one's own potentialities. " The Courage to Create by Rollo May
References for reading;
The Field, Buddha's Brain, The Quantum Doctor, Quantum Healing, The Intention Experiment. The Courage to Create, Cosmology of Consciousness: Quantum Physics and the Neuro Science of Mind, and Norman Cousins Anatomy of an Illness, The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things The Bond, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire.
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"Consciousness - the most mysterious entity of the universe - has long been considered a bit player in the drama of existence. The playbill is changing, however, because recent scientific evidence has assigned consciousness a leading role. Our THOUGHTS and our INTENTIONS help shape the world out there; choice and responsibility are back."
Larry Dossey, MD., author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
ART4WELLNESS promotes the use of mind/body medicine, specifically art with intention for aiding the human body to cope during difficult times of stress. Wether it is chronic illness, chemotherapy, and or any stressful situations that may arise in life
Intentional Art Therapy is a specific technique used under supervision and guidance of an art facilitator to help patients relax and " be guided to get away from the stress". By averting the focus from the disease/procedure to the focus on the intent, "the mind naturally moves away from the feeling of suffering " through this "state of the art" proactive awareness there occurs a paradigm shift. Once the intention is realized the person is empowered and the bodies stress triggers are disempowered. An amazing feeling for anyone. It is the intensity of the creative encounter over and over again that produces the change in the individual. It is medicine, that is FUN by allowing JOY to help create great days. In Order to be Healthy, we must be balanced by nurturing all sides of us especially our creative side; after all it is one half of our brain ….is it not?