“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” - Picasso.
Art is a way of safely letting out bottled up, shelved and buried emotions using your chosen medium and allowing them to sit somewhere else rather than in your heart and soul.
Blue Ocean Therapy
“Water’s tremendous benefits stretch from the sea to the swimming pool, from a barrier reef to a glass of water – even a fishbowl, photograph or painting. So no matter where you live on the big blue marble, it’s time to get your brain on water” - Wallace J. Nichols, PhD, research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and founder-codirector of Ocean Revolution.
There is no lack of proof with regards to the positive and calming effects horses have with humans. Nowhere is this more evident than the when horses are called upon to help our veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Because horses are prey animals, they are acutely aware of their surroundings at all times. This includes loud noises and quick or jerky movements. Additionally, horse are intuitive, so they can pick up on the emotions being felt and displayed by the rider. When interacting with horses, one has no choice but to maintain a genuine, soft spirit, to which the horse will respond in kind. The horse may be a magnificent beast, but at their core they are gentle and interacting with them is magical.
Allowing people to “reconnect with themselves and the earth”, is how John Emmons of Paukaa, Hawaii describes how his Ho’ola Farms help veterans and others find a journey home from PTSD. There is much healing that takes place as one digs and nourishes in the dirt, plants seeds or saplings, and then tenderly cares for, waters and monitors their progress as they sprout and grow. Spending time caring for something outside yourself brings great satisfaction and peace.
I think it is safe to say that everyone knows the healing effects dogs have on humans as over 1/3 of all households in the United States enjoying the friendship of one or more dogs. As well, nearly everyone has a story to tell of the bond they share with their dog, many of which are considered part of the family, not just ‘dogs’. Because of this loyalty dogs display, people who suffer with PTSD are able to find unconditional and unquestioning love and acceptance, which goes a long way in their healing journey.
Healing with Laughter
A good belly laugh fills your cells with healthy endorphins. It is impossible to be sad or unhappy or stressed when your heart is full of laughter.
Yoga & Meditation Therapy
“Yoga can help with anxiety in a number of ways. It offers specific techniques that can reduce symptoms, both short- and long-term. Because of its focus on attention to inward states, yoga can help get beneath the surface of anxiety to identify triggers, such as unresolved conflicts or habitual thought patterns,” says Timothy McCall, MD, author of Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing. Many individuals practice yoga to reduce daily stress and anxiety. Yoga classes typically end with a final relaxation period that involves mindfulness meditation. For those with anxiety disorders, yoga and meditation can be integrated with conventional therapies for synergistic benefits. “Yoga engages the relaxation response, so needed by those with anxiety, an experience that includes racing thoughts and shallow breathing,” says Mary NurrieStearns, LCSW, E-RYT 500, a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and coauthor of Yoga for Anxiety: Meditations and Practices for Calming the Body and Mind and Yoga for Emotional Trauma: Meditations and Practices for Healing Pain and Suffering.
- Socialworktoday.com, May/June 2013 Issue
In other words, it does a body good.
Each and every one of us has had the pleasure of experiencing the therapeutic touch of music, whether it be tapping your toes along to your favorite song, swaying to music with your eyes closed or feeling the vibe of a bass throughout your body. Like a smile, music is universally healing. We cannot be whole without it.
Needles and Thread Therapy
Working on a sewing project can be quite satisfying In addition to being intrinsically therapeutic, sewing can lower your blood pressure, be an anti-depressant, a source of meditation and give one untold pride upon your project completion. According to Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, author of Flow; the secret of happiness, when you are engaged in the process of creating something new, you don’t have enough attention left over to monitor how your body feels or deal with problems. You can’t feel if you are hungry or tired. Your body disappears from your consciousness and your existence is temporarily suspended. Once you create a new reality, that is a moment of ecstasy, and you enter a new reality. Such is the case when sewing.