By Amanda,8, at the Children's Hospital at Philadelphia
By Emily,8, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
By Olivia,14, at the Children's Hospital at Philadelphia

Why Art?

Western society has long treated patients with conventional medicine, but using complementary and alternative treatments in hospitals is gaining popularity.

One of those such treatments is the use of the arts. Many hospitals have begun including art programs to benefit their patients' health and improve their stay. The art also benefits the hospitals by making them less sterile and somber and more welcoming.

Art in no way substitutes valuable conventional medicine. Instead, art acts as a complementary medicine. While conventional medicine focuses on treating the body's diseases, it does not treat the patient's emotions and mind. This is where art can help.

Art helps patients distract themselves from ailments, express their feelings, and for some, recover and heal faster.

Hospitals have reflected their initiative to include alternative medicine in their hospitals by also expanding their mission statements. Some hospitals' statements now include the treatment of not just the body, but also the spirit and mind.

The inclusion of art reflects hospitals' goals of treating the patient as a whole.

Not all hospitals have art programs though. But those that do are becoming the poineers in a fledgling area of research.

Articles in medical journals such as JAMA have researched the correlation between using art and how that effects persons' blood pressure, health status and length of hospital stay.

The hospitals that have begun recognizing the possible relationship between the art of creativity and the art of healing, have established programs especially for children, although adults can also benefit from creating art.


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