Art for Healing

Posted by Harriet Hodgson @harriethodgson1, Oct 26, 2018

Kudos to the Montreal Museum of Fine Art for allowing physicians to write prescriptions for free admission to the museum. And kudos to Mayo Clinic for its art program. From the beginning, Mayo Clinic believed that art can uplift patients and foster healing. Whether it’s Rochester, Jacksonville or Scottsdale, Mayo Clinic displays a wide range of artwork for patients. The Rochester site published a brochure for a self-guided tour of artwork. I live in Rochester and every time I’m at Mayo, I take the time to look at the artwork.

Thanks for this thoughtful post Ginger.

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@rachelanne

I appreciate and couldn't agree more! Your post was honest, forthright, and absolutely from your heart! Art really is beautiful, and makes me think about what could have happened if I didn't come out of my Coma after suffering a major Stroke on 5/4/01! I love Art and it really helps me express my true feelings, especially when I feel isolated or upset! I always feel anxious or fearful, that I won't ever, be taken seriously by the medical community; therefore not wishing to see physicians! I would prefer going online, because then I don't run the risk of losing providers like I did in 2014! I was kicked out of 7 practices at once, had my information put online, without my knowledge or permission and was blocked from receiving ANY HEALTHCARE from 11/8/14-6/30/15!!! L was therefore, without medications for my Epilepsy, asthma, anxiety, depression, etcetera! This is my reason for not wishing to trust Physicians, no matter who they are, period!

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@rachelanne It sounds like you have been through an ordeal. I know it's hard to trust, but you need to put yourself first. Going online is fine for education, but you might not accurately interpret your condition, and you could put yourself at risk by not seeking medical attention. Anger can make you overlook things that are important. I've missed clues too that affected my health because I interpreted something wrong. Since I had sinus issues and allergies, I didn't notice the spread of an infection in my jaw bone from a tooth with an old root canal. I came very close to loosing the tooth and I certainly have emotions connected to this because I fell on my face and broke my teeth as a kid. That caused a cascade of problems and fears over the years, and I could have handled that better. I just didn't know how.

Two years ago, I was in trouble with bone spurs and a ruptured disc pressing on my spinal cord, but the problem was different. I was very anxious and I knew I needed help, but no surgeon wanted to help me. That is when I came to Mayo. I found the environment there very compassionate, and the surgeon who saw me really cared. He understood what 5 other surgeons missed. I had to confront my fears and advocate for myself even when I was afraid, but when I found the right surgeon with his compassion and down to earth sense of humor, I knew I was in a safe place and I could trust my life to this man.

Everything is a choice and how you think about something is also a choice. You have to consider if the energy investment is worthy of your time. I am glad you find calm and healing in art. I think that makes a big difference and ads a lot to the environment at Mayo. I have asthma too and if I am upset, I trigger some issues. I've learned how to reduce my blood pressure with slow deep breathing in time to calm music that I listen to. It's a nice escape. Another strategy is to have a "safe place" in your mind and go there when you need to. It can be a real place that you have a picture of or something that you imagine, but in this place you will be calm and cared for. Find a piece of art that speaks to you , and that can be your place. I've had to move on from doctors who made mistakes and difficult circumstances. It's hard, but just take one step at a time. You may want to go back to the first page in this discussion and read a bit about a gift I made for my surgeon. I was inspired and I think you would like it. I got a second chance, and I am going to celebrate that every way that I can. It sounds like you have also had a second chance. I don't know your situation. Keep looking for doctors you can trust. You might need them some day.

Rachel, I also wanted to add….thank you… my badge just turned Silver on this post I wrote to you as my 100th post here on Connect. Thanks for joining the conversation. I guess you're the lucky one today!

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@gingerw

It is my belief that the colors or sounds or sights that we react to in a visceral way go directly towards that right side of the brain, that is the spiritual, ethereal and deeply healing side of us. Unlike the left side, that is the logical side. When I was learning to quilt my teacher couldn't grasp my innate sense of color and design since here I was trained and educated in left brain activity, reacting in a very artistic right brained way. All my life the two have intertwined themselves. I paint with words to hopefully allow those who can't see as clearly with their artistic eye the beauty around them. Colors with all the nuances of tones and shades, combined with shapes can allow me and escape for hours!
Ginger

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@gingerw Lovely words.. well said. I understand completely since you've engaged my right brain… oops the left brain side just interrupted to correct my spelling… and so it goes.. back on track now and thinking about escaping. Remember how Mary Poppins and Burt jumping into a chalk painting and it became real. It's like that.

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Your drawing is amazing. I feel like the squirrel is going to jump off the page.

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@parus

As I read through the words of others I realize that chopping veggies can also be an art. I have known many creative ones over the years that want their talent out there and on display. I do not want mine hanging in a gallery as each one is a part of me and I feel exposed and on display. One of the shy ones. ☹️

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@parus I was a shy one too. That might be hard to believe since I'm here talking about art, but I learned to love the real appreciation that I got from people, and watching them enjoy my paintings makes me feel good that I gave them some joy. The people who like it stop and look for a bit, the others look politely and walk on by. There are also those who want to tell me how their grandmother can do this too, and that's OK if they want to think that, as I know it's not likely to be the truth. I don't need to please everyone and art is so personal. I know lots of artists and all of our work is different, equally good, but it reflects the individual who created it and their response to what moved them to create it. Yes, it does feel like being exposed, but let that be our secret. When you stop to think about it and you realize that only you knew how to create it, and that they wouldn't be able to do that just like you did, and that they are not making the connection to the exposure because they haven't tried to do this, then you're giving them something that they didn't know about, and teaching them what you think is important. When you start marketing your talent in hopes of sales, you need to learn to be entertaining and to connect with people on a personal level. I used to be nervous about public speaking, and one day at an art show that I was in, someone put a mic in front of me and asked me to say something about my work. I was totally unprepared and couldn't think of much to say, but I realized what an opportunity that was, and that I needed to be prepared to talk about my experiences and my work at any time. I have no fear of public speaking now, and have given a talk at a museum along with a solo show of my work, and I have been interviewed on a live TV talk show about my work that was in an auction. I was able to set up that opportunity through a connection and get air time to promote a charity fundraiser for a volunteer fire department with my art work, and talk about the experiences I had on a covered wagon trip that was the source of the painting that I had in the show. I guess this would be an example of how being an artist changed my life and gave me confidence in other areas. Art is problem solving, and those skills relate to ways to creatively solve other problems. It's OK if you do it just for yourself and don't share it with the world, as it's a benefit either way.

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@jenniferhunter

@parus I was a shy one too. That might be hard to believe since I'm here talking about art, but I learned to love the real appreciation that I got from people, and watching them enjoy my paintings makes me feel good that I gave them some joy. The people who like it stop and look for a bit, the others look politely and walk on by. There are also those who want to tell me how their grandmother can do this too, and that's OK if they want to think that, as I know it's not likely to be the truth. I don't need to please everyone and art is so personal. I know lots of artists and all of our work is different, equally good, but it reflects the individual who created it and their response to what moved them to create it. Yes, it does feel like being exposed, but let that be our secret. When you stop to think about it and you realize that only you knew how to create it, and that they wouldn't be able to do that just like you did, and that they are not making the connection to the exposure because they haven't tried to do this, then you're giving them something that they didn't know about, and teaching them what you think is important. When you start marketing your talent in hopes of sales, you need to learn to be entertaining and to connect with people on a personal level. I used to be nervous about public speaking, and one day at an art show that I was in, someone put a mic in front of me and asked me to say something about my work. I was totally unprepared and couldn't think of much to say, but I realized what an opportunity that was, and that I needed to be prepared to talk about my experiences and my work at any time. I have no fear of public speaking now, and have given a talk at a museum along with a solo show of my work, and I have been interviewed on a live TV talk show about my work that was in an auction. I was able to set up that opportunity through a connection and get air time to promote a charity fundraiser for a volunteer fire department with my art work, and talk about the experiences I had on a covered wagon trip that was the source of the painting that I had in the show. I guess this would be an example of how being an artist changed my life and gave me confidence in other areas. Art is problem solving, and those skills relate to ways to creatively solve other problems. It's OK if you do it just for yourself and don't share it with the world, as it's a benefit either way.

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@jenniferhunter I will be happy to leave the stage entirely yours. Thank you for your input.

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Today Harriet is our featured Connect member. Click the link below to read and add your comment to @hopeful33250's interview with Harriet.

– Making Time for Herself Helps Her Help Others: Meet @harriethodgson1 https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/newsfeed/making-time-for-herself-helps-her-help-others-meet-harriethodgson1/

Check out all the Member Spotlights here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/newsfeed/

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

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I just found this story about a bedside arts program at Mayo. Now that really is Art for Healing. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/champions/newsfeed-detail/?link_id=971155 I think that would be fun to do that with patients.

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There is also a traveling art program. A friend of mine volunteered in this program for years. She wheeled a cart of pictures around the hospital. If the patient didn't like the art in their room, they could choose a more meaningful picture from the cart.

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Thanks for the like John.

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Thanks for the like Ginger.

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I found this today about how understanding and appreciating art can make medical students become better doctors in how they relate to patients and by fine tuning their observation skills. I love this. It helps them learn empathy and helps prevent physician burnout by finding other view points. As an artist who has an understanding of biological science, it would be really interesting to be able to teach an art class for doctors. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-art-help-med-students-better-doctors

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@jenniferhunter

I found this today about how understanding and appreciating art can make medical students become better doctors in how they relate to patients and by fine tuning their observation skills. I love this. It helps them learn empathy and helps prevent physician burnout by finding other view points. As an artist who has an understanding of biological science, it would be really interesting to be able to teach an art class for doctors. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-art-help-med-students-better-doctors

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Thanks for sharing the link Jennifer! I copied and posted to my Facebook feed..have a couple of young doctors who I hope see the post.

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@jenniferhunter

I found this today about how understanding and appreciating art can make medical students become better doctors in how they relate to patients and by fine tuning their observation skills. I love this. It helps them learn empathy and helps prevent physician burnout by finding other view points. As an artist who has an understanding of biological science, it would be really interesting to be able to teach an art class for doctors. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-art-help-med-students-better-doctors

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Thanks for this enlightening post.

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@johnbishop

Thanks for sharing the link Jennifer! I copied and posted to my Facebook feed..have a couple of young doctors who I hope see the post.

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@johnbishop That's great! I would really love to teach about art to a group of doctors. I kind of feel like a person who can bridge that gap. I almost applied to medical school, but I changed my mind and worked in biological research for awhile instead. I later left the lab and went to art school. I read a lot about medical issues and after asking questions at my mom's appointments, I've had doctors ask me if I work in health care. I was wearing a Mayo shirt at the time and that caught their attention too. I guess I've been using my artist "observation skills" for a long time everywhere which helps me figure out health issues. After seeing your comment, I added this link to my facebook page too.

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