Can art therapy treat cancer?

Art therapy is also known as “Creative Art therapy” or “Expressive Art therapy”. The principle of Art therapy is the use of creative activities to help people in the management of emotional and physical problems.  Art therapy may include drama, movement or photo therapy. Numerous researches are on the way for the use of Art therapy for cancer treatment.

It is a type of alternative cancer treatment.

It has been found that Art therapy is useful, to some extent, in relieving the pain related to cancer. In one study, it has been found that 1-hour art therapy session was helpful in relieving the  symptoms of cancer. The symptoms were reduced to such an extent that patients desire to continue the therapy.

According to Art therapists, with the help of Art therapy, patients can express their inner feelings, in one way or the other, and in this manner they may get relieve of their pain. As for example, a cancer patient is encouraged to draw an image of himself or herself with cancer and in this way reveal their inner thoughts.

According to researchers, artist’s experience, related to cancer, changes and this experience provide therapeutics benefits i.e. helps in opening the door to healing. With the help of Art through the use of one’s body has very positive effects on one’s self and thinking.

References and Further Reading:

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/MindBodyandSpirit/art-therapy accessed July 11, 2011.

Nainis, N. et. al. (2006). Relieving Symptoms in Cancer: Innovative Use of Art Therapy. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 31(2), 162-169.

Sabo, B. M. et. al. “I’m still who I was” creating meaning through engagement in art: The experiences of two breast cancer survivors. European Jouranl of Oncology Nursing.

Singh, B. et. al. (2011). The therapeutic effects of art making in patients with cancer. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 38(3), 160-163.

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