The arts are a vessel for creative energies and patterns that provide order, create transforming rituals and give expression to aspects of being that go beyond reason and logic. They are the substance from which humanity creates a common interpretation of the world (Schnetz, 2005). Technology has advanced the arts considerably with the evolution of electronic devices. The focus of this research is directed on the implementation of digital art as a tool for natural healing purposes with concentration on making positive change expressed in three key categories: (a) music, (b) art therapy, and (c) film. Creators of digital art works with conscious awareness have the potential to develop a product that initiates a genuine experience of emotional healing – a transformational occurrence when something touches our heart, makes us feel empathy, and brings about strong feelings that awaken a higher understanding which contributes to our personal growth and evolution. Along with traditional forms of health care, digital art integrated with the healing arts can reach a wide audience on a global level to encourage support, boost intellectual stimulation, and promote well-being.
Digital Art Application and Examples
Thirty years ago, movie studios and record companies were considered the entertainment moguls. Today, anyone with a digital device like a smart phone can produce a short film and post it on a social network like YouTube bypassing these traditional media heavy weights. Digital technology is available to a wide range of ethically competent leaders that employ this platform to address significant issues. Digital Art refers to any art made with the help of a computer (Digital Art, 2012). The new technology creates a channel for organizations to incorporate merchandise designed by contemporary digital artists. The electronic producers in turn, transmit a variety of healing tools which include, but are not limited to: (a) products for guided meditation, (b) fitness training, (c) relaxation music, (d) inspirational films, and (e) motivational literary works.
Digital art in a restorative context, also referred to as holistic digital art, encourages support and well-being. Scientific evidence substantiates the benefits of alternative methods of healing as effective, often assisting traditional practices which include the use of prescription medications usually accompanied by undesirable side effects. According to the American Journal of Public Health, there is solid evidence that the relationship between engaging in creative arts as effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes (Stuckey & Nobel, 2010). In addition, their findings conclude that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer of the creative efforts of others or as an initiator of one’s own creative efforts, can enhance one’s moods, emotions and other psychological states as well as have a salient impact on important physiological parameters (Stuckey & Nobel, para. 7). The expanding market in the healing arts presents new opportunities for creators to work their holistic digital art magic in the health care practices. As a result, a large group of patients in accordance with their health practitioners engage in new techniques for integrated healing.
Scientific research indicates that creative art plays an important role in personal recovery and restoration. Televised health and well-being shows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors illustrate two prominent organizations that provide outlets for the delivery of information in alternative healing for individuals examining this wide range of therapeutic techniques.
Considerable innovative methodologies are available for the creation of transformational experiences employing digital art techniques for beneficial purposes outside the field of health care as well. For instance, digital art pioneers can produce a film short with minimal effort to broadcast an important warning for individuals with computers who may be vulnerable to online criminal activity. In an effort to communicate an urgent internet fraud alert for example, a producer can edit a few digital images, add a musical background and post a simple audiovisual dispatch on any platform that supports video playback to warn unsuspecting users. This model eradicates the need of exorbitant production crews and also eliminates the necessity of translation thereby breaching international and intercultural communication barriers. Language is no longer an obstacle with this method. Today’s thought provoking digital producer can transfer messages to reach a broad audience integrating graphics as a viable language of communication to relay important and practical information, in this case to warn others of internet dangers they may encounter.
Holistic Digital Art in Music
Music therapy is another popular method for holistic healing purposes. Many of us experience similar patterns with anger and stress that if unresolved may yield unfavorable results. To manage these episodes some health practitioners recommend a pattern interrupt. They encourage patients to engage in a new task to divert focus. Turning to music is one such solution that can be instrumental for a quick change to a person’s state of mind. Health care providers recommend individuals consciously unplug from negative energy to shift their emotional state by focusing on something that encourages an enthusiastic response. For example, sounds from a lyrical melody or the relaxing cadence of rhythmic vibrations can contribute to lowering levels of anxiety and deter interest from stress related issues. The individual begins to experience relaxation as the new experience is absorbed eventually releasing their initial discord. Although their challenge may still be unresolved, the musical interlude affected a positive change to their state of well-being.
Most agree that music is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Listening to enjoyable music particularly with significant meaning can make a person feel joyous and calm. It can restore balance and return the individual to a refreshed sense of clarity, feeling better equipped to resolve difficult issues. Furthermore, medical research purports that music can calm neural activity in the brain which leads to reductions in anxiety. There is also evidence to support it restores effective function of the immune system (Stuckey & Nobel, 2010). This information is encouraging for dependents on traditional medication seeking alternative channels for fitness. A solution as simple as listening to music can have positive effects for people with ailing health conditions.
Music has the power to tap into our soul with a universal language that has the capability to touch us directly in a unique way (Kaiser, 1998). It has the influence to motivate a quick paced jog on a treadmill, bring a tear to your eye, and calm a speeding mind. Health practitioners often recommend listening to music as a relaxation aid. Studies show playing music that pulses with fewer beats per minute than the average resting heart rate is the key to achieving a relaxed healing state (Lipman, 2012). Holistic digital artists acquiesce to this expanding field and provide music to accommodate these special need requirements. A quick search on the internet or nearby audio retailer will reveal products labeled Healing Music. There are also sections for relaxation, meditation, stress relief, or pain reduction.
The advent of supportive software permits contemporary musicians and composers the luxury of writing songs and producing musical scores from the comfort of a home studio setting. In this model when a new piece is completed, the orchestration is immediately uploaded for instant feedback or can be sold through any number of online audio retail outlets available. This method also eliminates the need to incur high production costs affiliated with traditional musicians, record companies, managers, entertainment attorneys and so on. Contemporary digital artists conjure a product from the depths of their unlimited imagination then transfer the creation directly through aid of an electronic device for immediate consumer distribution.
Holistic Digital Art Therapy
As skilled health practitioners continue to expand their healing resources the discovery and discipline of art therapy has become another holistic avenue that continues to rise in popularity:
With a new brain science, a new aesthetic philosophy and a new psychology of awareness emerging, it is no longer absurd to teach the patient to remedy a mental sickness by picturing the disorder, pinning it down and making it concretely visible and intimately knowable. Art therapy, its achievements so painfully gained, so far from being in the margins, will very likely find itself standing in the fore of what is bound to come: a reassessment of the role of medicine following on a reassessment of the relation of mind and matter. (Douglas, 2001, p.11)
Case studies reveal remarkable results particularly in individuals diagnosed with challenging disorders such as Autism. Therapists undertaking this form of healing engage the patient to work through their issues with the use of simple art techniques like drawing, painting, and sculpting. They are encouraged to pick up a brush and express gestures of color and shape whose origins are deep within one’s being (Darroch-Lozowski, 2005). Health practitioners witness huge breakthroughs in patients who draw what they feel or what first comes to mind. Techniques like art journaling for example offer a method of healing that can be implemented as a way of prayer and a tool for spiritual direction (Hieb, 2005). Counselors can encourage digital art production as an alternate healing technique offering their patients yet another nonthreatening brand of therapeutic stimulation.
Holisitic Digital Art in Film
Similarly, teaching tools like motivational video and film works express a unique means of curative art. Certain films for example when viewed can bring on an emotional healing and promote personal growth (Desy, n.d.). Psychotherapist and grief counselor Birgit Wolvz postulates that a movie can have transformational power to help us reflect on our own life experiences and challenges. Cinema therapy can be a powerful catalyst for healing and growth. An individual open to how movies affect us can experience transformation watching certain films with conscious awareness. This kind of experience allows us to use the effect of imagery, plot, and music on our psyche for insight, motivation, emotional release or relief and natural change. It is an innovative method based on traditional therapeutic principles that supports personal and spiritual growth (Wolz, n.d.). This model of therapy is an ideal platform for modern day digital film producers that use storytelling as a technique for transformation.
With many options available, artists provide healers many modes of therapy that include: (a) inspirational literary works in eBook format, (b) online meditation support groups, and (c) self-empowerment webinars. These innovations in health care offer holistic digital artists a wide range of outlets to provide their talent and creative services for individuals seeking guidance and direction to bring significant change in their lives. A victim of abuse, for example, living in isolation with fear and shame, can benefit from an educational tool of a healing nature. It can have great impact as an instrument in transforming a person’s health and well-being. In this way, holistic digital art can present a significant topic by entertaining and arousing interest in an enjoyable fashion reaching out in a non-threatening fashion.
In addition, the use of digital art as a healing tool can help empower someone with low self-esteem trapped in an abusive relationship. Documenting triumphant accounts from other survivors through digital technology in entertaining ways can be significant to a person ready to make a conscious shift from hopeless victim to self-assured victor. It can serve to educate and help build confidence in anyone ready to bring an end to a toxic situation.
Holistic Digital Art in Organizations
Organizations have emerged worldwide that serve as healing centers specifically designed to offer patients the opportunity to participate in alternative therapies integrating the healing arts. Guests are instructed in self-healing techniques as well as education on prevention. One such center is spearheaded by celebrated physician and world renowned author Deepak Chopra. Chopra together with co-founder David Simon established the center to assist in the healing process by teaching individuals to make changes in their environment that supports a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise and yoga; guidance on selecting, preparing, and eating a healthier diet; and the integration of meditation as part of a daily practice for health maintenance and prevention. The Chopra Center for Well-being in Carlsbad California orchestrates education and training techniques that restore healing and balance which is essential in the transformation of patient lives.
The location and cost to participate in their programs can be a factor that prevents some participants from attending, especially with today’s economy. As an alternative, the center offers literature, a variety of guided audio meditations, and other products from their programs for purchase through the internet. They also provide free online webinars and meditation events that introduce their healing concepts to those unable to visit to the Chopra Center for medicinal therapy.
The popularity of holistic centers has inspired other likeminded leaders to provide opportunities for organizations to offer a wide range of alternative methods that incorporate the healing arts. Television magnate Oprah Winfrey for example, plays a monumental role as a frontrunner in the discovery of healing techniques. Her production crews through various sources continue to introduce new vehicles that highlight motivational pioneers with breakthroughs in self-help and well-being. In addition, because of televised webinars and social media outlets, the internet has become a powerful instrument in their organization for connecting leaders in real time with their supporters. Her network utilizes electronic communication software applications like Skype, Facebook and Twitter that transmit directly to viewers. This presents further opportunities for holistic digital artists to provide services that assist in the healing process.
Subsequently, today’s health practitioners with the use of digital art technology and the internet, have many options to instantly transmit a positive message from an individual or an organization that include: (a) an electronic newsletter; (b) a motivational tweet on Twitter; (c) information in the format of a blog or an eBook; (d) post a short message on social media outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn; or (e) transmit information on a platform that supports digital graphics only like Pinterest and Instagram. Messages are communicated direct to clients and staff members instantly and effectively allowing for immediate feedback as well. With so many different channels to communicate information, creators who conjure art for the sake of healing have many opportunities to distribute their holistic digital production work.
Organizational Leadership Training Course Recommendations and Conclusion
Highly ambitious creators may choose to participate in management training courses to enhance career opportunities. These programs offer exceptional education in leadership skills for individuals interested in learning how to facilitate creative expression responsibly to effect significant change in their institutions and environment. A good leadership program has the potential to improve conscious awareness, offers effective coaching in ethical communication techniques, and extends guidance on methods to inspire enthusiasm, motivating an individual eager to adapt practices reflective of a successful charismatic leader. Rapport Leadership International, located in southern Nevada is a training establishment I highly recommend from personal experience.
The Rapport Corporation offers superior leadership training courses for both professional and personal development. Level-One participants, consist of a diverse group from a variety of business organizations that converge for a three day intensive in a boot camp setting to acquire leadership and survival skills. Participants are transported to a facility in a remote forest located in central Nevada to receive focused training in discipline techniques; participate in lessons of survival; explore systems that demand trust among team mates; and discover different methods to achieve states of open mindedness in an effort to improve leadership skills and communicate effectively in group and individual settings.
The courses are challenging and life altering for all who diligently achieve the program’s completion. Graduates return with advance levels of comprehension and experience in managerial proficiencies. In addition, they reemerge feeling excited about their lives and are charged, driven with new energy and enthusiasm. They are motivated to apply the training experience in every aspect of their lives, both professionally and personally. Many attendees return forever changed, equipped with a fresh perspective, new goals and an eagerness to employ their newly developed skills. Those who experienced rejuvenation begin operating as a more disciplined and charismatic leader displaying magnetic behavior that stimulates excitement which subsequently enliven and enhance their family life as well.
A leader that enthusiastically makes choices to reflect consistency and punctuality that is also hungry to express deeper levels of commitment, make exceptionally popular organizational heads. They understand how to inspire and motivate people. Their actions display an extremely caring individual genuinely concerned about their organization, its personnel and the environment. Their policies and decisions are based on compassion with conscious awareness and the intent to yield positive results. These highly ethical trailblazers initiate opportunities to create positive paradigm shifts in the world and in the field of wellness. Without a doubt, that in addition to traditional forms of healing, contemporary organizational leaders can integrate holistic digital art to reach a global audience in an effort to support good health and general well-being.
Darroch-Lozowski, V. (2005). [Foreward]. The healing flow: Artistic expression in therapy (p. 11). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Desy, P. L. (n.d.). A therapeutic afternoon at the movies. Retrieved from Holistic Healing: http://healing.about.com/u/ua/movietherapy/movies.htm.
Digital Art. (2012). What is digital art? Retrieved October 22, 2012, from Digital Art For All: http://www.digitalartforall.com/15/what-is-digital-art/.
Douglas, M. (2001). [Forward]. Healing arts: The history of art therapy (p. 11). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Hieb, M. (2005). Inner journeying through art. London and Philadelphia, : Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Kaiser, S. (1998, November). What is healing music? Retrieved from Shirley Kaiser, Pianist, Composer: http://shirleykaiser.com/articles/healingmusic/.
Lipman, F. (2012, August 16). Medicinal music: Healing with harmonics. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from Dr. Frank Lipman: http://www.drfranklipman.com/medicinal-music-healing-with-harmonics/.
Schnetz, M. (2005). The healing flow: Artistic expression in therapy: Creative arts and the process of healing: An image/word approach inquiry. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Stuckey, H. & Nobel, J. (2010, Februrary). The connection between art, healing, and public health: A review of current literature. American journal of public health, 100(2): 254-263. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497.
Wolz, B. (n.d.). Cinema Therapy. Retrieved from Cinematherapy.com: http://www.cinematherapy.com/