Art Therapy: The First Experiment In The World
Author: Elena Agnese Sorrentino
Do you remember the movie Patch Adams, in which Robin Williams interpreted the clown-doctor who managed to get a few smiles out of little patients?
Ever since, the spotlight was directed onto clown-therapy and the power of smile as an alternative medicine. These theories, odd in those days, have been supported by scientific evidence over time. Research has demonstrated, indeed, that laughing increases the release of chemical endogenous substances like endorphins, those wellness substances that make us feel lively and energetic. The release of stress hormones decreases, stimulating the immune system.
Clown-therapy opened the doors to experimentation with music-therapy, i.e. the use of music in many clinical and therapeutic settings as non-pharmacological support, simple to use, and with no side effects.
As Doctor Adams said: “We have to heal the person, other than the disease.” This seems to be a bedrock of Canadian doctors, who are collaborating with the Museum of Fine Arts in Montréal, and they are studying clinically how much and in what ways art influences health and wellness. In 2016, only two years ago, these doctors founded the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy, dedicated to art-therapy.
From 1 November 2018, doctors at the Médecins francophones du Canada (MFdC) can prescribe 50 free entries to exhibitions, museums, and galleries, as if they were drugs or therapies, to their patients. In Canada, doctors are demonstrating to the world how art and beauty therapy have beneficial effects to cure, ease, or even forestall disorders, from diabetes to chronical diseases to depression.
“In the XXI century, culture will be what physical exercise was for health in the 20th century”, Nathalie Bondil, general director of the Museum of Fine Art in Montréal, affirms.
Hélène Boyer, vice president of the medical association of Montréal, asserts: “There is always more scientific evidence on art as therapy. Art, indeed, increases our level of serotonin, the hormone of happiness. We secrete hormones when we visit a museum, and these hormones are responsible for our wellness.”
In the USA, the National Endowment for the Arts has worked for more than a decade with medical operators to foster the integration of culture in the healing process.
In the light of this news, Italians should be the healthiest and the most long-lived people, given the quality and quantity of artworks in their country.
Then exploit Wallector's virtual art gallery, a selection of artworks not only pleasant and precious, but also engaging and capable of reawakening your hormones of happiness!