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“Facilitating the art-making process provides an opportunity for patients to create something, increasing self-esteem and returning control back to the patient,” Lorain added, which is critical in the clinical setting where patients can feel powerless and unproductive.
Like meditation, coloring promotes relaxation by focusing the brain on the present moment.
Sandy Gantt receives infusions of chemotherapy to treat her leukemia for hours on end, day after day. But she’s found one thing that transports her from that reality to a less stressful place.
“When we are stressed or worried, we activate the left side of our brain, which is responsible for analytical and cognitive processes,” she added. “But when we color, we switch gears and access the right side of the brain, the creative, artistic region, which quiets the left part, allows creativity to take over and blocks out worries.”
“Coloring is a nice, soothing distraction from treatment,” she said, shading an intricate mandala design. “I get lost in it, and it gets me away from my worries.”
Articles from The BMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group
The ability to easily express emotions that are buried or deep-rooted The ability to easily cope with the grief that comes with such a devastating diagnosis A way to cope with the fear of the diagnosis and treatment An effective means to deal with the depression that comes with the diagnosis A productive way to completely eliminate anxiety The perfect means to achieve a high level of self-confidence and a sense of freedom from the bonds of cancer
Leukemia patient Sandy Gantt colors to take her mind off chemotherapy.
Sandy’s participating in the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s new staff-driven initiative to help patients manage stress during cancer treatment. In addition to movies and cards offered to help pass time, patients can now pick up coloring supplies and pages from adult coloring books. The books feature a rich assortment of pre-drawn patterns, from abstract and geometric drawings to unique nature scenes and holiday-themed designs, and provide hours of mindful, calm and creative expression.
Actively Engage in Coloring Therapy and Other Forms of Creative Art Therapy Today Receiving a cancer diagnosis is devastating. Living with the symptoms of the condition is even more challenging. While there are treatments available for cancer patients, these often include experiencing unfavorable side effects such as nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, and fatigue.
While it is true that coloring therapy and other types of creative arts therapy will not cure cancer, these therapies offer numerous benefits to your overall health, including:
Patients are offered coloring supplies and pages from adult coloring books to help ease stress during treatment.
And like many activities that require creativity, coloring can boost self-esteem and generate positive feelings.
“But when we color, we switch gears and access the right side of the brain, the creative, artistic region, which quiets the left part, allows creativity to take over and blocks out worries.”— Kathleen Lorain, UC Davis art therapist
Coloring Therapy and Other Types of Creative Arts Found to be Beneficial to Cancer Patients In recent years, a large influx of information has started to emerge on the benefits associated with coloring therapy and other types of therapies involving the creative arts. These therapies are based solely on the idea that engaging in creative acts may prove to be healing to those that suffer from various types of medical conditions, such as cancer.
Each month, the Adult Infusion Center also organizes a coloring contest for patients and families. Winning pages are selected by patients and staff and displayed in the unit.
Conclusive evidence showed that the cancer patients had lower pain levels, fewer bouts with depression, significantly less anxiety, and a more positive attitude after engaging in coloring therapy and other forms of creative arts. Additionally, those that engaged in the therapies also found that their quality of life improved.
Sold by the millions, the coloring books are the latest anti-stress trend and, according to experts, help people in many settings, providing relief for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, helping inmates manage aggressive behavior, and alleviate signs of stress and depression in college students.
Cancer patients have been engaging in numerous creative arts. These include coloring, musical activities, and writing. A study was done by researchers that belong to the National Institutes of Health.
If you have cancer and want to start creative arts therapy in order to optimize your mental and physical well-being, you can start today! Visit the following to obtain a wide variety of resources – such as coloring pages – that you may color and share: https://www.bestcoloringpagesforkids.com/
Cancer-Specific Benefits When you received your cancer diagnosis, it was quite likely that you suffered from many emotional and psychological-based effects as a result of the news. When you started your treatment for cancer, those effects likely worsened. Cancer is a devastating illness that results in a high level of detriment to a sufferer’s thoughts, emotions, and life – in general.
“When patients color, they engage in the ‘here and now’ and practice mindfulness, which can be a very meditative and relaxing process,” Lorain said. “Because they’re occupied with thoughts such as ‘what color do I use?’ and ‘how should I color this part?,’ their right brain can relax and give them a break from difficult thoughts about procedures, their diagnosis, pain and the like. Art is a nonverbal way of processing all of these difficult feelings.”
Based on information derived from the coloring therapy and creative arts therapists that utilize these therapies, coloring and other types of creative arts may aid in expressing deep-rooted emotions, reduce the detrimental effects of negative stress, eliminate fear, and drastically reduce anxiety. If you are suffering from cancer, these creative arts therapies may help you.
It analyzed over 12 studies done on cancer patients using the creative arts. The studies consisted of a total of 1,576 patients that had cancer. The quality of life and the psychological-based effects of their diagnosis and treatment were analyzed before the introduction of creative arts to their lives and after.
“Coloring therapy” helps ease patients’ stress Coloring provides a quiet respite at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
Coloring reduces stress by activating the brain’s right hemisphere, explains Kathleen Lorain, an art therapist who facilitates creative projects at the UC Davis Medical Center to help pediatric patients, their siblings and parents cope with stress.