Dr. Iva Fattorini
The Arts bring the Spiritual back into Medicine
That is the message 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest Spotlight: Health audiences heard last month from physician Iva Fattorini, a proponent of treating disease as well as the whole person by inviting the arts into healthcare settings. Passionate about her work, Dr. Fattorini called on health professionals and public health organizations to rethink the traditional approach to the patient’s environment, especially in in-patient hospitals. Dr. Fattorini contends that healing is not just a physical or even psychological phenomenon; it is also a spiritual process that involves everything that impacts the heart and soul.
The idea of a holistic approach is not new. For many years, research has proven that there are many factors that contribute to the outcomes of illness and injury. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines holistic health as: “viewing man in his totality within a wide ecological spectrum, and … emphasizing the view that ill health or disease is brought about by an imbalance, or disequilibrium, of man in his total ecological system and not only by the causative agent and pathogenic evolution.”
Born in Croatia and trained as a dermatologist, Dr. Fattorini is opening minds to her ideas. As Chair of the Global Arts and Medicine Institute – Department at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Fattorini has scheduled live performances and participatory sessions of pianists, artists, poets, musicians, sculptors for in-patient families as a way to facilitate the healing process. What she finds is that when patients experience beauty, there are measurable improvements in their conditions. Not only do their illnesses improve, they are more optimistic about their recovery, are inspired to express themselves in creative ways, are distracted from unpleasant procedures and pain, and view their hospital stay as a positive life experience.
Dr. Fattorini’s passion for changing the healthcare paradigm is contagious. At her presentation in Aspen, dozens of inspired audience members shared their own enthusiasm for using the arts therapeutically, many with anecdotes of others in healthcare who are connecting art and artists with traditional medicine around the globe. Dr. Fattorini’s newest endeavor is called Artocene, an organization will bring to a global scale her work at the Cleveland Clinic as a paradigm that can be shared with other healthcare organizations.
As the world contends with the challenge of providing effective healthcare, it seems the best answers can often be found in taking care of one another in ways that are anything but pharmaceutical. It turns out that experiencing beauty may be one of the best medicines we have!
INSPIRITRY ACTION: How might you use the power of the arts for your own health and the health of those you love?!
Read more about Iva Fattorini, a great example of InSpiritry at work at Deepak Chopra’s blog about Dr. Fattorini on the Huffington Post web site and at Artocene.
When We Open Our Hearts and Minds, We Can InSpire Health!