7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Laura Miller, a former oncology nurse who lives in Toledo, Ohio, discovered the healing power of the arts firsthand. A year and a half after donating one of her kidneys to her brother, Miller was diagnosed with cancer in her other kidney. After the initial shock of her diagnosis, she turned to an art form that she had been practicing since childhood: painting.

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lowering blood pressure. It also fulfills a patients’ instinctive need to express their feelings about what is going on in their bodies.

Studies have shown that painting and drawing can relieve pain in Arts programs may also improve the hospital’s working environment: Studies have shown that nurses report less stress when patients are involved in art projects. “I think medicine is starting to clue in on this,” Miller says.

healing gardens.

holistic medicine.

Also a professional dancer, Sonke runs a UF program called Sonke is careful to distinguish between art therapists and artists working in hospitals. “Art therapists are mental health professionals who use the arts to assess and address patients’ therapeutic goals," she says. "Professional artists are not clinicians; they partner with caregivers to help meet clinical goals.”

Timing is Key

“During the first four months, nothing – not even art – can get you through. It’s just pure grit, prayer and family,” she says. “I just started slowly trying to find a way to feel better.”

Some patients may naturally want to paint or write about their illness; others will escape it.

As a As for her sister, Miller calls her a “scrapbooker.” But it’s too soon for her to be creative, Miller adds. At this point, “just getting through each hour is a challenge.”

Miller’s sister is a patient at the The clinic's 27 locations throughout the world house some 5,000 pieces of art, with ambitions, according to its CEO, of becoming like the Museum of Modern Art. Tours of the collection is just one of the programs at the Arts and Medicine Institute, which was established in 2008 and includes bedside art and music therapy for patients as well.

“The arts create this communication channel,” she continues. “The hospital becomes home to some people. What do we actually do to address the emotional needs of people living in that hospital? How do we change their state of mind and perception of the hospital?”

stroke patients how to speak, while art therapists and creative writers work closely with pediatric patients. The hospital also hosts about 400 live musical performances per year.

Fattorini has worked at getting arts into hospitals throughout the world and is now in part based in Abu Dhabi, where a branch of the Cleveland Clinic is set to open next year – with its own arts in medicine program. “I want to Arabize this concept so it can serve the community,” Fattorini says.



“What we know is that art is not a commodity; it’s really a necessity,” she continues. “It’s really about infusing some beauty and spiritual values in the arts to people whose spirits needs to be uplifted. If good emotions and energy are transmitted through good art, it doesn’t matter where (patients) are, or who they are. It does help.” 


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