How to Heal Your Body: Art Therapy

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Welcome to my Health Saturday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog post. This space I have opened to discuss my lifelong battle with the genetic connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), type-3: hypermobility (HEDS). I started this health blog in May 2021 and described my lifelong difficulties with frequent falling, breaking bones, bruising easily, temperature control issues, subluxing/dislocating, and mental health issues associated with HEDS. There is no known cure for EDS, only ways to manage it, and depending on the type, it is most likely not going to be life-threatening. 

“Heal Your Body” by Louise Hay

Managing My Disability

Throughout the years, I have managed my HEDS with diet and exercise as I mentioned in last month’s blog. I also manage my mental health through strategies that I post on my Self-care Sunday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog posts. With the help of a combination of specialists such as my doctors, author’s self-help books (I review on my Reading Tuesday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog posts), and energy healers/lightworkers (booking special guest practitioners to discuss their art of healing), I am going to explore with you several tips on how to heal your own body on my Health Saturday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog posts.

“The Energy Codes” by Dr. Sue Morter

Ways to Heal Your Body 

The first week in June, I posted a list of 20 different naturopathic practices that I am going to explore with you on how you can interact with other specialists who can help you heal your body. The second week, I discussed how to heal your body and defend it against Covid-19 based on my experiences with Louise Hay’s book, “Heal Your Body.” Last week, I went over a book on bioenergetics that helped me to ascend on my health journey, “The Energy Codes,” by Dr. Sue Morter. This final Health Saturday in June I will be discussing how I have used art as one of my personal therapies. 

“Artsy” by Jaime Brainerd, July 18, 2016

What is Art Therapy?

“Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.” (ArtTherapyBlog, 2021). There are professional art therapists who have psychology degrees and special certifications who you can hire to get you started. While I am not a trained art therapist, I have been using art therapy on myself since I was very young. Through my creative expression, I have found numerous ways to get in tune with my emotions such as:

  • Applying makeup
  • Creative writing
  • Creating sculptures
  • Dancing
  • Designing fashion
  • Drawing
  • Making up songs
  • Painting
  • Singing
  • Photography
  • Poetry
  • Weaving nature wreaths
“Senses that are Nonsense” photo and poem by Jaime Brainerd June 2021

Learning About Art Therapy

Much of my life, I was learning different ways to express my emotions through art. I would pass this type of creative therapy on to my students during my 20 years as an educator. Now, I am learning new things each day that add to my positive health journey, and passing them on to a much larger audience. I hope that this type of information can inspire others to learn about ways they can positively make an impact on their health journeys through a variety of creative practices. 

My chakra stone set with crystal bracelet

Colors, Music, Outdoors and Healing

Last week, I touched a little bit on colors, music, and energy flow based on Dr. Sue Morter’s bioenergetic healing practices discussed in her (2019) book, “The Energy Codes.” Dr. Morter (2019) explains the chakras are aligned with different locations of the body, colors, musical notes, and 7 elements associated with energy flow. When a certain part of the body isn’t working, our energy is blocked, we can use her book to find the part of the area body associated with the pain and use music, colors, outdoor elements, yoga, and breathwork to help get back into positive energy flow (Morter, 2019). When I am having an issue with some pain, I flip to the book to find ways I can unblock my energy. I will wear special colors/crystals, play music, and choose creative energy flow outlets based on her book’s suggestions (ex: being outside, lighting candles, painting with bright colors, and being near water while creating). Here is an excerpt from last week’s blog post covering healing practices involved with bioenergetics out of Dr. Morter’s (2019) book, “The Energy Codes.” 

“Circle of Life” by Jaime Brainerd May 23, 2015

Healing Practices Involved With Bioenergetics

  • Aligning chakras = location on the body + musical notes + colors + energy flow (see more details in the book):
    • 1 – Root Chakra
      • Located at the base of the spine
      • Note C
      • Red
      • Earth
    • 2 – Sacral Chakra
      • Located just below the navel
      • Note D
      • Orange
      • Water
    • 3 – Solar Plexus Chakra
      • Located at base of sternum
      • Note E
      • Yellow
      • Fire
    • 4 – Heart Chakra
      • Located in the center of the chest
      • Note F
      • Green/Pink
      • Air
    • 5 – Throat Chakra
      • Located at the base of the neck
      • Note G
      • Blue
      • Sound
    • 6 – Third Eye Chakra
      • Located just above and between the eyebrows
      • Note A
      • Indigo
      • Consciousness
    • 7 – Crown Chakra
      • Located at the top of the head
      • Note B
      • Violet/White
      • Light
“Saving the Scappoose Grave Trees” by Jaime Brainerd July 28, 2019

How to Heal Yourself with Art Therapy

Whether you see a professional art therapist, pick up “The Energy Codes” book, or just try a couple suggestions in this blog post, you can start your journey to positive healing through your own process of art therapy. Find your creative outlets by trying different forms of art to release your built up emotions. I found a MeetUp group in Portland, OR, called, “Painting to Save the Trees,” where we go to different neighborhoods around the area that have some trees that are in danger of being cut down. We will intentionally gather around the tree, paint it in our own way, and write letters to our local government to help preserve them. This way, we are healing ourselves through art therapy, community service, and helping to save our endangered trees. Some people find painting soothing, others rely on writing songs, and some may sing their heart out. Whatever your creative expression may be, try art therapy as a way to help you heal your body. 

Sending lots of love and healing energy,

Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and I am not giving any medical advice. My doctorate is in educational leadership and technology. I am a health enthusiast who feels that sharing health-related information I learn about myself might help others heal themselves as my mentors, teachers, practitioners, and favorite authors have taught me. If you have serious health conditions, please consult your primary care physician immediately. 

References:

ArtTherapyBlog. (2021). What is art therapy? Retrieved from http://www.arttherapyblog.com/what-is-art-therapy/#arttherapist

Mortar, S. (2019). The energy codes: The seven-step system to awaken your spirit, heal your body, and live your best life. Atria Paperback. New York, NY.

By Dr.Brainerd_B.R.E.A.T.H.S.

Hello, I am Dr. Jaime Brainerd Ed.D., a lifelong learner, beauty consultant, author, financial advisor, artist, traveler, health enthusiast, and self care advocate. Please follow my website for my B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blogs.

1 comment

  1. I never thought of it this way but when I’m stressed or hurting, I find sewing to be very relaxing and calms me. Very interested blog.

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