Each one is a patient at one time or other. The pent up emotions and mounting tension always seek an outlet. Unfortunately, many do not know that art offers great solace to the disturbed mind, said Dr Iva Fattorini, who was here to launch Arts and Music therapy, an initiative of the Kochi Muziris Biennale Foundation, in the General Hospital on Saturday.
She says being an artist is not a tough job, for, all are artists in their own way. “You become an artist when you find a way of triggering the energy around you. Art therapy is not limited to music alone. Poetry, dance, creative writing and other creative work, by invoking the positive energy around us, take care of not only our body but also the soul,” she said.
Dr Latha Mani said, “Many artists were born in the Nazi regime, and saw only the darker sides of Germany. It is like your life is shattered one fine morning and you want to rewind.”
While Dr Iva is the chairman of Global Arts and Medicine Institute, Cleveland clinic in Abu Dhabi, Dr Latha is an Abu Dhabi-based paediatrician and both have been associating themselves with arts therapy.
Dr Iva said that the art therapy is going places in the US where she was earlier based. It has made a giant leap by successfully treating multiple sclerosis patients who became speech-impaired. Stroke disrupts the parts of the nervous system and affects the ability to communicate. Hence the message of speech cannot reach the brain directly. But music therapy has the ability to rewire and the message takes a detour to reach the brain. “It is not easy for a speech-impaired patient to say a simple sentence such as ‘Give me a glass of water’. But surprisingly, a stroke patient can say it after the sentence is repeated rhythmically, as the words become coherent after many attempts,” she said.
In a survey on patients who underwent art therapy, 90 per cent of them were brimming with positive attitude, she said
When asked how they are going to handle Keralites who are rigid by nature, they said, “Time has a way of unwinding itself.”
“This issue prevails everywhere. Arts therapy is not a session but a journey and when it is done regularly, it becomes a culture. We are not imposing it on anybody. But if somebody wants a moment of respite, the opportunities are always there.