11 Mar

By Rick McVicar   

  While art and music therapy can benefit almost everyone, an art therapist is not always available. Businesses have taken notice.    

  For instance, at-home art and music therapy products are now available for dementia patients on the Alzheimer’s Store website, www.alzstore.com.  

   Music boxes loaded with MP3 big band sounds, hymns and Christmas carols are being sold that are easy to use. A musical Teddy bear and digital photo frame are also offered. Prices range between $60 and $150 for the sound products, while flash drives and CDs are available for less than that.  

   The website notes that for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, music “reduces stress, anxiety and alleviates pain… It can improve immune functions, help recall memories and encourages exercise.”   

  The website offers art therapy products as well, such as a collection of colorful balls that can be attached and grouped in a wide variety of ways. In addition, they can be “scrunched, turned or twisted,” the website states. 

   Robotic dolls and pets are also offered, along with books for coloring or painting.  

  Interest in do-it-yourself art therapy has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lourdes Avila Uribe, writing for HuffPost, Feb. 14, 2022.   

   Uribe’s article quotes art therapist Ingrid Mellor as saying, “Many artists and creative people are attracted to art therapy, but you do not have to identify yourself as an artist to benefit.”  

  Mellor notes that art therapists are mental health professionals who study and train in psychology as well as art techniques. They are specialized to help clients use art to process complex emotions.   

  At the same time, art has been used for centuries as a means for healing, far predating the profession of art therapy.   

  Mellor suggests starting home art therapy as a way to relax and practice mindfulness. Time should be set aside each day for the art practice. Any art form will do, whether it is sewing, drawing or painting.  

  The HuffPost article is titled, “Everything You Need to Try Art Therapy, According to a Therapist.”  

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