The benefit of art therapy has been proven scientifically. American researchers have shown that regardless of age or experience, creative activity can reduce stress levels significantly lower.
But does coloring, drawing, modeling with clay or collage reduce the symptoms of anxiety? Researchers at Drexel University, US city of Philadelphia, trying to figure out whether the various types of arts activities can lower levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone in the body.
For the purposes of the study, 39 adults aged between 18 and 59 took part in art activities for 45 minutes. Their cortisol levels were measured before and after the session via a saliva sample. The participants are given markers and paper, clay and collage materials. An art therapist is present, but deliberately let sessions run as freely as possible, so that the “artists” can do what they want.
The researchers found that 75 percent of participants decreased their cortisol levels. Written testimony showed that most patients during the test is very relaxed, with some of them decreased level of anxiety in the first five minutes. Others say that they are less obsessed about things that need to be done, and are able to put things in their own perspective.
However, about 25 percent of participants have increased cortisol levels. The researchers say this is reasonable because it can be caused by alert circumstances and increase the level of involvement that is caused by the current work of art.
“Some amount of cortisol function is very important. For example, the level of our cortisol varies throughout the day, the highest level in the morning because that gives us a boost of energy to start the day,” explains Dr Kaimal, who co-authored the study, reported on the Malay Mail Online .