Art heals.


Art heals. I love art and derive pleasure from it. Research has confirmed that the more you like a painting, the more active your blood flow is in the dopamine structures of your brain. Since ancient times, it has been believed that an enriched environment, one that elicits positive emotions, accelerates recovery. Nature, with its greenery outside the window, for example, is one such environment. 

Early hospitals were places of healing and were splendidly decorated with art objects. However, the advent of hygiene led to the belief that pristine, sterile surfaces were ideal. Such visual environments have a negative impact on mental health. Therefore, researchers are now seeking ways to strengthen mental health through art, both in hospitals and at home, as it's a safe and effective way to positively influence one's mood.



Art reduces pain in burn units, alleviates discomfort during procedures such as bronchoscopy, and offers a wide range of positive effects. Traditional Chinese medicine used auxiliary means in the form of paintings and calligraphy. In many countries today, for emotional problems and burnout, doctors can prescribe free visits to museums and art galleries.

I'd like to share my latest acquisition that decorates my workspace. It's an 18th-century painting in the "Angels with Watermelons" style, from the colonial school of Cusco in Peru, and it has a fascinating history. The painting depicts the archangel Raphael, the patron of medicine, a messenger of healing. 

The painting is signed "Rafael El Medicinadi." According to the Bible, Raphael removed Abraham's pain and taught a man how to heal his father's blindness using parts of a fish (depicted in the corner of the painting). The painting also carries a second layer of meaning: the depiction of the archangel. It's unique because it combines the cult of armed Inca gods, who were represented as Christian angels. The archangel is dressed in European attire but wears a feathered hat typical of the Incas.

I enjoy the overall impression of the painting, built on contrasts. On one hand, it's a genderless angel with wings, feathers, and lace. On the other hand, it's the archangel's formidable, crushing halberd. Notice how gracefully he holds it, right at the balance point. With his other hand, Raphael points to the path of healing, as a messenger guiding the way. Decorate your home with art; it's beneficial for your health. Do you have any paintings you particularly like?


 How to use art in Rewellme? 

1. You can create a card from your favorite pieces of art. On the front side of the card there is a general photo of the work. On the second side there is a bright detail calling for action. 

For example, my example with an angel - the first side of a card is a general photo, and the second - his hand indicating to me “go bring goodness and health, this is your mission as a doctor” is a call to action. Every day to make myself and the world a little healthier, that is my duty.

 2. You can also save your art therapy works: your drawings, poems, sculptures, etc. Take two photos - the raw materials before you start creating and the finished work of art. And write down what you were going to express and how you transformed your feelings, how they changed before and after the creative act.

Zeki S (1999) Art and the brain, J of Consc Stud 6:76-96

Arts on prescription in Scandinavia: A review of current practice and future possibilities Perspectives in Public Health 137(5)

Visual art in hospitals: case studies and review of the evidence J R Soc Med. 2010 Dec 1; 103(12): 490–499.

Evidence-based art in the hospital Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift volume 172, pages234–241 (2022)