Art Therapy Washes the Blues Away

I have a sad story to share today not related to Gettysburg, but very close to the heart:

The sudden news about my Nana’s brain tumor came like a shocking surprise for my whole family. Ever since then, Nana had been suffering from a terrible depression when the doctor confirmed that her tumor cells are growing rapidly. Her sadness only grew worse after she was told that, she only has a couple of months to live. I can’t help but feel sorry whenever I see her but I also try my best to hide my sadness. Deep down I know that I can’t afford to show any signs of weakness, because she is counting on me as her solid support system.

Coping with her illness is the worst and the most challenging part for the rest of our family especially when you see her suffering from the agonizing pain. Thankfully, the amazing caregiver that we hired from Spokane was very helpful, and understanding.

I can’t stand to see her in pain so I had to think of some ways to make her feel better by some creative distractions. Some of my friends recommended to try drawing and painting because, it has been proven to help persons with critical illnesses. I was skeptical at first until I came across a couple of scientific studies to supports the claims of art as one of the most incredible ways of managing any kinds of illnesses.

So how does art really help in healing a sick person?
According to some researchers at Berkeley University in California, art helps in boosting the immune system of sick persons. Furthermore, there’s another scientific research that shows how art heals by altering a person’s physiology, moods and attitude. The more a person engages in art, the more his body’s physiology can change from a stressful one to a deeply relaxed state of emotion. Art changes a person’s brain wave pattern, and in turn, affects his autonomic nervous system, as well as the hormones and the brain’s neurotransmitters. It’s like a domino effect because after your brain gets stimulated, every cell and part of your body responds by changing the immune system and blood flow to your organs.

This is a great discovery and just perfect for Nana, who has has always been fond of painting using water colors back when she was still in a good shape. So the next day, I bought her a big canvass, and a complete set of drawing materials, paints and brushes to keep her busy. She wasn’t in a good mood at first because of the pain again. But the moment she started taking a few strokes on her canvass, her enthusiasm sets in. As days go by, she became mostly preoccupied with her paintings. Somehow, I saw her outlook and disposition changed especially when she feels proud and accomplished in showing us her masterpieces.

I can’t say for now that art had cured my Nana’s brain tumor, but I can attest to the fact that it has been a great help in easing the pain whenever the pain killers wear off. Now I had art and the best Spokane Caregiver to thank, especially during the hardest times in my Nana’s battle.