If you’ve ever sat down to paint a picture or work on a clay pot, you know how calming and therapeutic it can be. Art therapy has been shown to help people of all ages – especially the elderly. Expressing themselves creatively helps improve not only their mental and emotional health, but also their physical health.
You might not think that painting or sculpting would have that much of an effect on your physical health, but it does. Art therapy can have a substantial impact on a person’s coordination. It helps to increase the flow of blood to the fingers, wrists and hands, and could play a role in easing chronic pain associated with arthritis and other joint conditions.
Art therapy encourages creative thinking, which, in turn, could have a positive impact on cognitive function. Whenever we learn something new, that puts our brain to work and keeps our mind sharp. The same holds true when learning an art form.
In addition to the physical and mental benefits of art therapy, there is also evidence it can have positive effects on emotional health. It helps reduce depression, stress and anxiety. Elderly people who participate in this therapy have an easier time dealing with problems such as loneliness and isolation.
In addition, since this therapy takes place in a social setting, it encourages people to communicate and socialize with others.