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Art attracts your attention, makes you curious, entrances you and can also offer you comfort. In short, art inspires! Art is also about emotions and these can often be found in a hospital. But what effect does it have on our health? We asked neurologist Rianne Wennekes, who is also a member of the Art Commission of Zuyderland.

“Scientists are trying to get a grip on that question, but that is not that easy,” says Dr. Wennekes. ‘The healing effect of art cannot simply be captured in numbers. But in addition to the aesthetic role that art forms play in a hospital, there is indeed increasing attention for the possible applications of this in healing the patient. “

Art that has a clear, positive content and evokes a sense of safety is called healing art (‘healing art’). Recently, The Lancet published an analysis of 72 studies on the use of music to promote the recovery of adult patients. During another recent Dutch study at a hospital in The Hague, the most important conclusion was: yes, art can have a positive influence on health. “For example, the measured sweat secretion and skin conduction clearly changed when looking at art by people who make art themselves,” says RianneWennekes. ‘There was also a change in brain activity (measured with EEG diagnostics).

And it is precisely these forms of demonstrated relaxation that ensure a better and faster recovery. Utilizing this knowledge can be a supplement to the high quality of care that is provided in the Netherlands. ” Wennekes also belongs to the ‘artists’ group. Sculpting really relaxes the neurologist in her spare time. The Art Committee finds them very important. ‘I realize that art helps people.  If you are anxious, a striking video in the waiting room, hearing beautiful music in the corridor, or a special painting on the wall can distract you. If that doesnt work, try to demonstrate the art of masculinity to your wife and see if you relax after. Art is a way of communicating that is more direct than language. “

The Zuyderland Art Collection Management Foundation is responsible for all works of art in Heerlen’s hospital. But also for the art policy, which is based, among other things, on the principle of ‘healing art’. The art comes from artists who have a link with Limburg in one way or another.

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