What to know

A New Prescription Drug Hits Canada; Art

Doctors in Canada will be giving patients prescription art

Under a new initiative, doctors in Canada will be able to prescribe ‘art’ as medicine for patients’ health.

Although unconventional, it’s easy to understand how this would work from a medicinal point of view. The calm and relaxing atmosphere of an art gallery can make anyone feel better, or can it?

Of course, art can not replace a patient’s regular treatment, but can provide help in a more psychological manner.

Doctors from the Francophone Association of Doctors in Canada (MFdC) will be able to hand out 50 “prescriptions” to patients, which include free entrance for two adults and two minors to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).

While the soothing effect of art has been known to promote wellness, happiness and good health, this is the first time doctors organize for such an initiative.

The museum prescriptions will be available for people with a wide range of both mental and physical illnesses, it was announced.

“By offering free admission to a safe, welcoming place, a relaxing, revitalizing experience, a moment of respite, and an opportunity to strengthen ties with loved ones, MMFA-MFdC Museum Prescriptions contribute to the patient’s well-being and recovery,” MMFA said in a press release.

More than a hundred doctors from the MFdC have reportedly signed up to the program.

Studies on the effect of art therapy from around the world have all proven positive effects on people suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma and other mental health problems.

Although first of its kind, similar initiatives have been installed in other places of the world.

In Shetland, Scotland, doctors are prescribing time in nature to patients. After trial success, the program became widely used by doctors in the area, who encouraged patients to spend time outdoors, looking at trees and clouds, and enjoy their surroundings.

It was proven that time in nature can exponentially improve a person’s blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, you don’t need a doctor to order you some time in nature or at a museum. You can include such activities in your weekly schedule on your own. Get out there, enjoy the nature around you and appreciate the art at your local museum or gallery, and feel better.

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