As an art major, I was surrounded by many opportunities to dip my hands into various mediums of art to express myself. However, at that time, I didn’t know just how truly valuable an arts-filled environment was for my emotional, cognitive, and physical health. I simply knew that I enjoyed it and excelled in it. The arts were a “place” where I could put my creative mind to work in a way that allowed my whole body to experience a state of “flow.”
It wasn’t until now, over twenty years later, and after reading Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross’ book, Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us, that I realized I was in the right place at that time in my life.
I had been bedridden with an autoimmune disease at age 19, and it knocked me out of college for a year. I started to get back to some of those art courses during my recovery, and I’m pretty darn sure that my immersion in art was a large contributing factor that allowed me to bounce back to health. Art classes provided me with multisensory stimulation and outlets for expression that created neuroplasticity in my brain. That neuroplasticity allowed me to heal in ways that no medication ever could match. Thanks to brain research in the realm of the arts, we can explain the whys and hows of this phenomenon.
The arts are not just for those who have an interest, talent, or skill, but for everyone.
Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us is an engaging read, full of health recovery stories and accompanied by a collection of the latest neuroscience research. Magsamen and Ross provide potent proof that the visual, literary, and performing arts are a crucial p...
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