A song can be a powerful feel-good tool. It can help you temporarily forget the stresses of life and enjoy a few moments of inner peace. Distraction is a powerful tool in combatting chronic pain. In fact, research suggests that virtual reality might be more effective in combatting pain than pain medications.
Similarly, many people have a favorite work of art that takes their breath away or causes them to get lost in thought. This concept of distraction is the general idea behind music and art therapy. Programs are currently being implemented at hospitals throughout the United States to offer music and art therapy to patients, particularly children. The programs focus on providing patients with tools and inspiration to manage pain naturally.
Managing pain through music therapy
Music can evoke a wide range of emotions. By choosing the right style of music, this therapy can be potentially life-changing. The healing art of music helps patients to recover through a variety of techniques. This ranges from playing music to sedated or incapacitated children, to encouraging others to play simple musical instruments.
As such, not only can music evoke a happy emotion, but it can also help a patient forget about their pain. Patients may even learn to incorporate music into their lives long after the pain is gone. Music therapy can be used to inspire hospice, special needs or ICU patients, including the families that suffer along with them.
Art therapy improves lives
Similarly, art has proven to be a strong form of expression, emotion and therapy. Sadly, patients that have difficulty coping with their pain allow their illness to determine how they spend their spare time, thereby reducing their quality of life. As such, doctors have begun prescribing art as a form of pain treatment.
Even pain sufferers who have never been artistic might benefit from art therapy. Art therapy is all about the process. It is not just about the end result, but more about focus, dedication, expression and emotion. Many patients with chronic pain have difficulty communicating what they are feeling, so describing their pain or feelings through art can be a good outlet.
Some patients have found significant relief in art therapy. In doing so they have noticed measured improvements in their daily lives through painting, sculpting or drawing. The intense emotions associated with illness typically inspire beautiful works of art.
These inspired pieces explore how pain affects their lives, how they feel emotionally and how they have learned to cope. Even if someone cannot find their ideal art outlet, viewing pain inspired pieces of art and discussing them with others may help them find relief.
Mainstream art and music therapy
It is amazing how music and art therapy can teach pain sufferers all over the country different techniques for tackling pain. Most of all, while using these alternative techniques, they are gaining so much more. As a result, art therapy has even proven to relieve psychological pain like anxiety and depression. Patients everywhere are living better lives by exposing their senses to new ideas, thoughts, art and culture.
If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic pain, explore the music and art therapy options in your area.