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How Art Can Help You Create Calm - The Use Of Art Therapy In Pain Management

Did you know that there's one thing you did as a kid that can help you keep your pain at bay? You knew this thing all along, but you just didn't realize its importance until today. That thing is actually art! No, we're not talking about explicit art designs but rather the simplest forms of art, which can include simple drawings, basic DIY projects, or even doodling.

This art was taking away your pain without you even noticing, but today, we'll tell you about the best ways to use your art as your therapy. Here's everything you need to know about art therapy and how this can be your secret aid in your battle against chronic pains.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy first found its use around the 20th century by a psychiatrist, Margaret Naumberg. Margaret had a firm belief that one can express themselves and heal with the help of art. This is a discipline that arose as a combination of art and psychotherapy and uses creativity to improve the well-being of patients.

Now, we know that even simple doodling helps relieve stress but you cannot perform art therapy on your own. You need to work with a licensed therapist who will show you how to explore your emotions and how to use art to ease those emotions.

Types Of Pain And Their Emotional Impact On You

There are different types of pain, including physical pain, emotional pain, social pain, psychological pain, and existential pain (psychological distress related to life, death, existence etc). Here's how different types of pains are affecting you:

  • Acute Pain: This is short-term pain that serves as a warning sign and can prompt protective behaviors.

  • Chronic Pain: This is persistent pain that can affect your daily life activities, causing irritability and depression.

  • Neuropathic Pain: This causes damage to the nervous system and is challenging to treat, leading to sleep disturbances.

  • Psychogenic Pain: This is the pain influenced by psychological factors that can affect your mood, behavior, and overall well-being.

What Is The Science Behind Pain Therapy?

Art therapy is not the fantasy of a tortured artist, but in fact a science-backed phenomenon. It works by engaging both sides of your brain, helping activate the reward system of the brain. As a result, your brain starts releasing dopamine  which is a neurotransmitter playing its role in pleasure and motivation.

Dopamine also plays its role as a natural analgesic, helping you with inefficient pain management. So, art therapy basically helps a person in managing pain without having to talk about it.

Here's How Creativity Plays A Role In Your Healing

Art is creativity, and creativity provides you with a pathway to explore your emotions, express your feelings, and transform your emotional and psychological experiences. Here's how creativity in the form of art will help you in pain management:

  • Stress Reduction: Engaging in creative activities will promote mindfulness, helping you shift your mind away from pain and stress.

  • Self-Discovery And Insight: Art therapy is one great way to explore your inner self, know who you truly are, and understand your emotions better.

  • Physical Healing: Not only will art help you gain more mental clarity, engaging in activities like drawing, painting etc will help you build your motor skills as well as your hand-eye coordination.

  • Social Connection: Connecting with people based on your mutual love for art. What a great bond that will be!

  • Overall Well-being: You would agree with us on this that art is a form of pure joy! The satisfaction you'll get from these activities will be priceless, and you'll see how instantly your mood lifts up.

What Techniques In Art Therapy Help In Pain Management?

Following are the techniques being utilized in art therapy to help you heal from within:

  • Painting: Patients are encouraged to draw or paint their feelings, experiences of pain, or even abstract concepts.

  • Coloring: Patients are given coloring books or free-handed designs to fill in with different colors.

  • Doodling and Scribbling: Patients are given a blank page to scribble their minds out in free form.

  • Drawing: This involves creating images with pencils, pens, or other drawing tools to depict pain or other imaginative scenes.

  • Finger Painting: Participants will use their fingers to apply paint on a surface and the sensory experience can be soothing for the participants.

  • Collage: Patients are directed to create collages using cutouts from magazines, photographs, and other materials.

  • Photography: This involves using a camera to capture photographs of whatever you love. This could be nature, your loved ones, your space, or anything at all.

  • Clay Molding: The physical act of molding clay into sculptures can be a cathartic experience for many patients. Who doesn't love a cute clay mug?

When Pain Becomes Unbearable, Do This

Art therapy is an effective technique indeed, but like every other technique, it has some limitations. While art therapy can divert your mind from pain, helping you in easy management, you cannot rely upon art therapy to nip the pain in the bud. If your pain becomes unbearable, consult your doctor instead of just dealing with it.

On the contrary, you can also use SINSINPAS Pain Relief Patches to get instant pain relief from chronic pains like that of arthritis, back pain, etc. These patches are super versatile, with both Hot and Cold treatment options, available in different sizes to cater to your requirements.

Take Home Message

If you're able to manage your depression only, you'll be able to manage your pain a lot better because, in the end, it's all in your mind. Studies have revealed that participants experienced a 73% decrease in depression and anxiety after getting art therapy.

If you're down in the dumps due to your pain, art therapy can help you win yourself back. Don't let the pain get to you; turn your pain into art, and let your pain run wild on the paper, not in your body!

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