All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.
Wellspring Calgary Expressive Arts programs build communities of hope and support, diminish feelings of isolation and create feelings of well-being and self-worth. Members are invited to sample a multitude of art genres. Expressive Arts programs are led by individuals recognized as experts in their fields and who understand and work with creativity and personal expression with a wellness focus.
“A beautiful, relaxing, and deeply enriching experience with lasting after-effects that will assist me in the days ahead. It opened up many possibilities and helped me immensely.”
“The facilitator tailors the meditation to each individual person’s needs so everyone gets whatever they need the most!”
“The program helped me relax and visualize inner healing and calmness.”
Benefits and Impact
Creative expression has long been considered a useful tool in health and wellness and its tangible benefits have been measured and documented in research. On the surface, exploring new art forms can be fun, inspiring and deeply gratifying. At deeper levels, creative arts can provide an effective outlet for self-expression and can lead to meaningful reflection, heightened self-awareness and cathartic transitions. Other measurable outcomes include reduced illness symptoms (i.e. pain, anxiety, fear, restlessness) as the focus shifts from what has been to what is possible.
What to Expect at a Session
Expect to lose yourself in a creative project and find yourself in a new ‘happy place’ – calm, focused, and at ease with your surroundings. These classes are not about producing beautiful pieces of art, they are about venturing down a new road in the company of others who are in similar places of change and transformation. Whether you are a beginner, a dabbler or an experienced artist… no particular skills or talents are required. The focus is on fun, self-exploration and personal empowerment.
What the Research Says
Positive outcomes were found for the use of art to promote healing in all genres. Music reduced anxiety and pain and promoted relaxation. Visual art activities improved self-worth, enhanced identity and self-expression, and helped individuals focus on positive life experiences. Movement-based creative expression, such as dance, relieved stress and anxiety and promoted balance, acceptance, and self-awareness. Expressive writing studies demonstrated positive influences on the number of physician visits, immune system function, stress hormone levels, blood pressure, and social aspects of individuals. In summary, “Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing.” (Stuckey HL, Nobel J. 2010. The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature. The American Journal of Public Health. 100(2): 254 – 264.) AT was commonly found to be effective in reducing participants’ levels of distress, depression, and fatigue. Frequently reported benefits of AT were helping the patient assign meaning to their experiences, and helping them maintain their true sense of self, rather than adopting the identity of a cancer patient. (Wood M, Molassiotis A, Payne S. 2011. What research evidence is there for the use of art therapy in the management of symptoms in adults with cancer? A systematic review. PsychoOncology. 20(2): 135-145.)
FOR FURTHER RESEARCH LINK, CLICK HERE: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16488349 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC2804629/