Art is a valuable complementary therapy for those who are living with MS. The benefits from participating in art therapy are many, and the best part is that you do not have to be an artist! Participating in an art activity or project can bring forth often unforeseen creativity. Art can help alleviate symptoms of anger, stress, and depression. In turn, the individual with MS may find new energy that helps reduce their fatigue, which is a common problem for the MS community. Art is also a way for those with MS to connect with the world around them, helping to reduce feelings of isolation. Most important, art therapy classes provide a mechanism to meet and interact with others.
Art is varied and flows from within or from the world around us. One person may pick up a pencil and begin to sketch a drawing of something that is in their environment; another may sketch a picture that relays their feelings. Oil paints, watercolors, colored pencils, charcoal, and acrylic paints are commonly used in the art therapy program at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Individuals can explore which mediums they enjoy working with most. In addition to paints, collages and sculptures are also fun and creative ways to explore the art world. Research has shown that activities such as art or music therapy have a definitive effect on a person’s well-being.
The MS Healthy Living Program at the Magee Riverfront Outpatient Center incorporates art and horticultural therapy as well as exercise, dance movement programs, and education activities on a weekly basis.
If you or someone you know is living with MS, we welcome you to come and join us for this exciting program. If you wish to register, sit in on a session, or if you have any questions, please contact Colleen McAllister, CTRS at 215-218-3900.
Generous grant funding support for the MS Healthy Living Program has been provided by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter.