Designing For Your Health

by Caroline Cohoon | October 11, 2007

In health care, art has proven an important factor. Pulse, a medical magazine from the United Kingdom, wrote in June of 2006, "Artwork in surgeries can reduce stress, improve interaction between doctors and patients and even help recruit and retain staff." They noted that 91% of General Practitioners say the nature of the work environment could improve interaction with patients, 75% said it can improve recruitment and retention of staff. The factors that matter in a work environment were light, plants, photography and art.

In Art Business News, December 2005, "Art for health's sake" discussed that abstract or landscape images can transport a person to a different location. This therefore can help distract a patient from pain or anxiety; it can also create an ice-breaker or new topic of conversation.

The Society for the Arts in Healthcare focuses on making health care environments more attractive and artistically therapeutic, as well as providing guidance for artists and musicians who want to use their art to benefit patients. "In the past few years, hospital leaders, physicians and patients have discovered that art and music in the hospital environment can help patients deal with their illness more effectively and possibly return to full functioning earlier. Healing art can be as simple as viewing pictures on the wall to help soothe the stress of waiting for a procedure, or it can be active involvement by patients… (to) express their feelings through painting or sculpture…" said Amanda Spielman, director of Stanford Hospital's art program.

There is an ancient Hawaiian healing tradition known as Ho'oponopono, which is a prayer to make right relationships as well as psychological and physical pain. Artist Aimee Rousseau uses this prayer as she paints to infuse her work and focus her technique to create "visual, symbolic images [that] reach into our unconscious…" Aimee's popular paintings have sold worldwide to bring comfort and healing to those in need.

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese medical practice, meaning "energy" and "work." It is a self-healing art that combines movement and meditation, with visualizations employed to enhance the mind-body connection. Specific colors are said to heal specific mental and physical ailments, for example:

  • White and silver heal grief and sadness as well as the lungs and large intestine.
  • Yellow or gold heal stress and worry, plus stomach and spleen.
  • Red brings joy and excitement and heals the heart and small intestine.
  • Black or deep purple can heal fear and depression, also the kidney and bladder.
  • Green heals anger and frustration and the liver and gallbladder.

Whether literal or purely mental, it would appear that art can have a major impact on a person's health and well being. By integrating art into health care environments, or in your everyday living spaces you can help improve

Art For Health’s Sake in Art Business News

Healing Painting by Aimee Rousseau

Photography, fine art printing and decorating news and advice

Tips-n-Tricks #263

Don't trust what the photo looks like on the LCD screen. A DSLR camera will often be able to show you a photo's histogram. This is a fantastic tool to know if you got your exposure correct. It isn't too hard to figure out and is really the one thing you can trust to make sure you got the photo right.


Turn your walls in to unique works of art