Creative Arts Therapies Aid Cancer Recovery

Artistic Expression Through Dance

The beauty of utilizing therapies based on the creative arts in alternative cancer treatment is that they require no talent, just the willingness to express oneself. Creative therapies focus not on the quality of the completed artistic endeavor, but on the expression of emotion and the psychological release it brings. In participating in therapies that promote artistic self-expression, cancer patients are able to develop a heightened sense of self-awareness and insight, control stress and anger, resolve personal conflicts and improve their sense of well-being and quality of life. The positive effect of creative therapies on healing can be pronounced.

The creativity of artistic expression has been linked to the release of certain stress-relieving and pleasure-producing neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain. As reported in Medical Daily, creative arts therapies embrace all forms of art:

  • Art therapy. The ability to give visual representation to their emotions through art can improve both the psychological and physical health of cancer patients.
  • Dance therapy. Engaging in expressive and uplifting exercise through dance promotes greater mind-body awareness and stress relief.
  • Drama therapy. Cancer patients were able to relieve stress, emotional anxiety and anger effectively through dramatic interpretation resulting in improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.
  • Music therapy. Creating or listening to music can decrease depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia. During radiation treatment, music is often used to help alleviate nausea and vomiting.
  • Writing therapy. Cancer patients often find the ability to express their fears and feelings cathartic. Keeping records of symptoms, reactions and interactions with their cancer treatment team can also give cancer patients a sense of empowerment and control over their disease.