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Stress Management Technique: Crafting and Art Therapy

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Casey Gilger

on 26 February 2011

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Transcript of Stress Management Technique: Crafting and Art Therapy

CRAFTING it's a part of ART THERAPY Art Therapy is defined as using the creative process to help people of all ages improve their emotional well-being. --The American Art Therapy Association Rob Reiner, PhD. has done studies on art therapy, specifically, crafting. “The act of performing a craft is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession and anxiety,” he says. “Crafts make you concentrate and focus on the here and now and distract you from everyday pressures and problems. They’re stress-busters in the same way that meditation, deep breathing, visual imagery and watching fish are.” --www.caringtoday.com There have been multiple studies conducted over the last decade on how art therapy helps manage ADD/ADHD, substance abuse, bereavement, post traumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, sexual abuse disorders, traumatic brain injuries, and stress. Harvard University’s world-renowned mind and body expert, Herbert Benson, MD, says that repetitive and rhythmic crafts like knitting or cross-stitching may even evoke what he calls the relaxation response. The Relaxation Response is defined as a feeling of bodily and mental calm achieved through repetition that has been scientifically proven to enhance health and reduce the risk of heart disease, anxiety and depression. www.caringtoday.com To tap into the relaxation response today, we will each spend some time creating a craft of our own. It doesn't have to be anything super-creative or fancy. The whole point of this is to get out of your own head.... Forget about some of the things that are stressing you out today.... Focus on this essentially mindless task and let your body and mind relax. Remember, it's all about the process, not the product. References "All we need is permission from ourselves to spend time creating and the courage to push beyond our comfort zone so our projects truly express what’s inside and help us to unblock, purge, and transform our feelings." -Nancy Monson, author of Craft to Heal: Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting, and Other Pastimes "CRAFT TO HEAL | Caring Today." Caring Today | Practical Advice for the Family Caregiver | Caring Today. 2011. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://www.caringtoday.com/reduce-stress/craft-to-heal>.
Monson, Nancy. Introduction. Craft to Heal Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting, and Other Pastimes. Tucson, AZ: Hats Off, 2005. Print.
St. John, Patricia, Diana Burmudez-Rodriguez, Katie Collie, Donna Kaiser, Sarah Deaver, and Penelope Orr. "Art Therapy Outcomes & Single Subject Studies." American Journal of Art Therapy (2005). American Art Therapy Association. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://www.americanarttherapyassociation.org/upload/OutcomeSingSubjectStudies2007.pdf>.
"Using Art Therapy for Stress Relief." Managingstress.org. 27 Aug. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. <http://www.managing-stress.org/managing-stress/using-art-therapy-for-stress-relief/>.
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