Art as Medicine
When voices rise together in song, dancers tango across the floor, or a painter takes to a canvas, they may be engaging in a hobby, a passion, or a career. Most likely, they aren’t thinking about their brain circuitry or the cascading biochemical responses being sparked by their artistic pursuits. But we now have imaging technology and wearable sensors that can capture that information in real time, giving us the science to explain what we understand intuitively—the arts can make us healthier and happier. By blending those rigorous findings with more research, well-funded arts practices, cross-disciplinary education, and prudent policy, we can add new tools to the healthcare arsenal.