All Animal Articles> 
Aesop's Fables
   Animal Dreams
   Animal Emblems
   Animal Signs
   Animal Symbols
   Animal Totems
   Celtic Bird Meanings
   Chinese Animals
   Dragon Meaning
   Fantasy Animals
   Feng Shui Animals
   Mythical Animals
   Mythical Birds
   Mythical Beasts
   Mythical Creatures
   Phoenix Symbolism
   Unicorn Meaning

   All Nature Articles>
Apple Symbolism
   Aspen Trees
Bonsai Trees
   Earth Symbol
   Fire Symbol
   Landscape Symbols
   Shamrock Meaning
   Sun Symbol
   Tree Symbolism

   All Color Articles>
   Blue Color Meaning
   Color Crystals
   Color Emotions
   Color Gemstone
   Color Healing
   Color Health
   Color Lights
   Colors Meanings
   Color Medicine
   Color Properties
   Color Psychology
   Color Science
   Color Symbolism
   Color Theory
   Crystal Therapy
   Flower Colors
   Healing Gems
   Psychology of Color
   Purple Power
   Rose Colors
   Red Symbolism
   Shades of Color

   All Chinese Symbols>
   Bamboo Symbolism
   Chinese Astrology

   Feng Shui Gems
   Feng Shui Luck

   Find Your Element

Five Elements
   Wealth Symbols

   All Sacred Symbols>
   Bible Color Meanings
   Buddhist Symbols
   Celtic Symbols
   Centaur Legends
   Christian Art
   Mary Gardens
   Heraldry Symbols
   Hindu Symbols
   Phoenix Dragon
   Mythical Monsters
   Shamrock Symbolism
   Sphinx Mythology
   Symbols of Islam
   Symbols of Persia
   Tibetan Symbols
   Tribal Symbols
   Unicorn Symbolism

Living Arts Originals features a wide variety of articles on all types of symbols and their meanings. The types of symbols that Living Arts Originals focuses on include flowers, animals, colors, nature, color, sacred, and many more.

The Healing Power of Symbolic Art

Last Updated September 14, 2010

History of Art in Healthcare Settings
The Benefits of Positive Art
Innovative Hospital Decor
Floral Paintings for Offices and Homes

History of Art in Healthcare Settings

healing artThe role of art in healthcare settings goes back at least as far as the ancient Egyptians. Apparently aware of the fact that images of nature induce healing, they painted murals of nature, usually with blue ceilings to represent the sky and green floors to represent the earth, in their healing temples. Likewise, the Greeks included beautiful paintings as well as statues of healthy athletes in their healing temples—perhaps to inspire the ailing? In the Americas, the Navajo Indians used art in the form of sand paintings to aid in healing the sick.

In more recent centuries, hospital art has been of four types: religious, honorary, medical and charitable. Religious art has often depicted the glory of heaven and the trials of earth. This type of art has questionable value for someone whose assumed goal is to remain on earth. Honorary art depicts donors to the hospital, and has little or no meaning for patients. Medical art originally depicted actual medical procedures including surgery and autopsies. For a patient, these images were likely to have been distressing, frightening and even horrifying.

Although the emphasis in the medical field has shifted to patient-centered care, remnants of some of these types of art remain in almost every hospital and doctor’s office. Posters donated from pharmaceutical companies often hang on the walls of examination and treatment rooms. These may depict various stages of ear infections or lung diseases and give information about the medications or antibiotics that can be prescribed. Alternately, posters depicting medical procedures such as the anatomy of knee replacement can still be found in many medical offices. Other common images include anatomical charts of the muscular or skeletal systems. Fortunately, art depicting medical conditions and anatomy are rarely found in patient rooms today.

The Benefits of Positive Art

art historyThe benefit of positive art, usually scenes of nature, has been studied in depth by Roger Ulrich, Ph.D. Studies conducted by him and others indicate that “healing art” images affect the autonomic nervous system, hormonal balance, brain neurotransmitters, the immune system and the blood flow to all organs in the body. Neurophysiologists have further determined that art connects us to the worlds of imagery, emotion, visions and feelings. This connection can be critical in the healing process.

Other researchers have determined that colors have different effects on emotions and can therefore be therapeutic. Warm colors (red, yellow, orange) can help improve a depressed mood and stimulate metabolism. Cool colors (green, purple, blue) promote calmness and relaxation. A blue, calm ocean scene may be helpful for someone who needs rest and healing. A bright meadow full of yellow flowers could be stimulating for someone who is depressed or someone whose immune system is low.
Other medical facilities and healthcare practitioners have tried a variety of innovative approaches to using art for healing. A dentist’s office commissioned an artist to create a mural of the underside of a pond on the ceiling in their treatment room. This lighthearted mural included the bottom half of a duck complete with feet sticking out into the room. The mural served to distract and amuse patients during dental procedures.

Learn more about the effect of environments on patients through the article link below. This article was written by Barbara Schmock, RN, MSN and utilized research from this website and from other recommended sources:

Effect of Sacred Space Environment on Surgical Patient outcomes: A Pilot Study (PDF)

Innovative Hospital Decor

At the University of Maryland, an “Enchanted Forest” was created for the children’s ward. Trunks from enormous trees were used as the theme for a place for children to play, doctors to relax and families to unwind. For patients who must lie on their backs for extensive medical tests, some hospitals have installed painted or stained glass covers on their overhead lights. The colors chosen are generally cool and relaxing and the images are gentle, curvilinear patterns similar to ripples on a pond or clouds in the sky. These projects demonstrate the wonderful role that art and creativity can play in the lives of patients—just when they may need uplifting and inspirational influences the most.

The Healing Power of Flowers

Can using flowers in the decor in a room help relieve stress? A 1996 study conducted by Virginia Lohr and others showed that rooms and offices decorated with plants and flowers helped reduce stress as measured by decreased blood pressure and pulse rates. Researchers have further determined that there is a direct link between flowers and life satisfaction.

flower bouquetA study done at Rutgers demonstrated that flowers decrease anxiety, depression and agitation. Flowers also lead to a higher sense of enjoyment and increased contact with family and friends. Flowers make a home more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.

Additional research by Diane Relf of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute has shown that people communicate better in the presence of flowers or plants and they tend to eat more slowly. Others studies focused specifically on seniors and tracked improvements in memory in the presence of flowers.

Floral Paintings for Offices and Homes

floral artBy decorating your home or office with flower paintings rather than fresh flowers, you introduce flowers into your decor that will never fade. Having flowers as a permanent element into your home can be a positive influence for both inhabitants and visitors. With all of the prints and posters available today, choose a flower painting to decorate any area of your home or business is relatively easy.

Floral paintings can be used in almost every area of a home or business. Small flower paintings are perfect for bathrooms, hallways, entryways or bedrooms. Large flower paintings add cheer and color to dining rooms, living rooms and family rooms.

For businesses or offices, flower paintings are traditional for waiting areas and reception areas. Flowers have universal appeal and work well in just about any decor to lower stress and uplift everyone's mood!


More Symbolic Products

sacred symbols books
Our bookstore includes books, DVDs and music.
tibetan jewelry
Our jewelry selections include lots of meaningful gifts!
feng shui decor
Includes statues, chimes, fountains, coins, and charms.
Flower Gifts
Flower bouquets, gift baskets, memory trees, fairie gifts and angel gifts.
flower photos
The photos on this page are offered through Dreamstime stock photos.
celtic artwork
Symbolic artwork will brighten up any home or office with meaningful visuals.


wildflower symbol
flower art history
Flower Color Symbols
irish song
Color Music Symbols
saint patrick
Healing Art
herbal medicine
symbolic art

Search Living Arts Originals

   All Flower Articles>
Find Your Flower
   Flower Meaning
   Flower Name Meaning
   Bluebell Meaning

   Calla Lily Meaning
   Camellia Meaning
   Christmas Flower
   Cyclamen Meaning
   Daisy Meaning
   Day Lily Meaning
   Edible Flowers
   Foxglove Meaning
   Impatiens Meaning
   Iris Meaning
   Lupine Meaning
   Marigold Meaning
   Morning Glories
   Orchid Meaning
   Poppies Meaning
   Roses Meaning
   Sunflowers Meaning
   Sweet Pea Meaning
   Tulip Meanings
   Wisteria Meaning

   Arizona Symbols
   Australia Symbols
   Brazil Symbols
   California Symbols
   Canada Symbols
   Egyptian Symbols
   Florida Symbols
   France Symbols
   Germany Symbols
   Illinois Symbols
   Italy Symbols
   Japan Symbols
   New York Symbols
   Pennsylvania Symbols
   Spain Symbols
   State Symbols
   Texas Symbols
   United Kingdom Symbols
   United States Symbols

   Baby Names Meanings
   Meaning of Ecotourism
   Meaning of Global Warming
   Meaning of Globalization
   Meaning of Human Rights
   Meaning of Procurement
   Meaning of Spirituality
   Meaningful Gifts
   Numerology Meanings
   The Meaning Of Love
   What Does LOL Mean

  All Popular Symbols>
   Car Symbols
   Christmas Symbols
   Family Crests
   Love Symbols
   Masonic Symbols
   Pirate Symbols
   Star Symbols
   Symbolic Gifts

   All Related Articles>
   Flower Healing
   Color and Music
   Color Healing
   Healing Art
   Herbal Medicine
   History of Flower Art
   Wildflower Lore
   St. Patrick's Monks
   Irish Blarney
   Name of Ireland
   An Irish Song

   Article Summaries

Symbolic Jewelry
  Feng Shui Decor
   Symbolic Gifts
   Symbolic Prints

canvas abstracts
Twin Galaxies



Statistics Top Articles Our Affiliates Writing Services Search
Symbols of Persia

© 2008-2011      Terms of Use
Home | Flowers | Animals | Geography | Colors | Nature | Sacred

All content on this web site is protected by international copyright laws for intellectual property
and may not be reproduced, used, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted
in any form or by any means without prior permission.

The publisher has taken reasonable precaution in preparing this information;
however, the publisher does not assume any responsibility for any errors or omissions.