This was a fabulous Discussion facilitated by: Katie Stephens PT, NCS and led by STEPS-own, Christy Eskridge (see attached image of her painting).
There are huge physical, pyschological, and emotional benefits of returning to leisure activities following injury. Art has been shown to be a very therapeutic activity for patient’s post traumatic injury. Whether you were an artist before or had never picked up a brush, the process of expression through art can not only relieve stress but it can also help with incorporation of the involved extremity. At this meeting, Christy Eskridge shared about her personal experience with Art Therapy and how painting has provided a new and positive outlet for her since her injury.
A few pointers that she gave us were:
Start with little expectations - your art may look different than before OR you may have to use a different hand or even extremity to paint/draw.
Try doing mindful meditation or incorporating calming music into your art therapy to allow you to inhibit excess tone.
Consider trying new media that is more forgiving - for example, buy a canvas and use oils. With oil paint it is easy to cover up mistakes. You can also leave and oil painting and come back to it later if you get frustrated.
Have fun! Art is what you make it to be!
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