Our Stories

Different Outlets of Expression

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Read the excerpt below from our story on The Health Sessions

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When it comes to healing through expression, what suits the patient is best. There are, however, some forms that are more common and shown to have beneficial results.

1. Music Engagement
Music been found to be one of the most prevalent and most researched forms of healing through expression. Music therapy has been shown to decrease anxiety, restore emotional balance, and reduce pain through auditory stimulation as well.

2. Visual Arts
The visual arts often serve as a substitute when spoken, or written words struggle to suffice. Drawing, painting, and other forms all provide refuge from the intense emotions surrounding illness. Studies have shown that those who participate in an art intervention have seen improved clinical results.

3. Movement-Based Creative Expression
Understood that it may not be practical for all, there is still evidence for the positive effects on the mind and body that movement can provide. Stress and anxiety can be relieved, and improvements of physical symptoms, cognitive and psychological assessments, and self-awareness are all found as well. Dance and theatre participation, as well as Tai-Chi or other Creative Movements, have become popular means. Adaptation can allow even those with restrictions in their ability to move to participate with this wonderful art form.

4. Expressive Writing
“Studies have shown that, relative to control group participants, individuals who have written about their own traumatic experiences exhibit statistically significant improvements in various measures of physical health, reductions in visits to physicians, and better immune system functioning,” find Heather L. Stuckey, DEd, and Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH in their analysis of artistic expression. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and fatigue while enhancing wellbeing. Essay writing, poetry, and journaling are common recourses with demonstrated value.

Living a life of meaning and purpose in the face of chronic illness or disability is the goal of all participants. Using different ways of expression is a method in the healing process that has a profound impact on holistic healing, rather than a narrow approach. That is why Our Heart Speaks was founded in 2015. To provide an outlet for people coping with a new disability or chronic illness to express themselves through a variety of artistic media, and share it with others who might benefit. Through their heartfelt inspirational stories, we are offered an honest personal perspective of a “new normal.”