Healing Arts at Renown: Helping Body, Mind and Spirit

Fianna's Healing Garden

During a patient’s most difficult moments, art can be a source of inspiration, strength and even healing. Kate Kalthoff, Renown patient experience specialist, tells us more about Renown’s Healing Arts Program. 

From time with furry, four-legged friends to listening to live music at your bedside, Renown’s Healing Arts Program promotes healing the body, mind and spirit. We asked Kate Kalthoff, patient experience specialist with Renown Health, to explain more about Renown’s Healing Arts Program and benefits. 

What are the healing arts and why are they important to well-being?

Healing arts are creative practices that promote healing, wellness, coping and personal change. Many studies show that they can help patients with their physical, mental and emotional recovery on many levels, particularly by relieving anxiety and decreasing pain. By reducing stress and loneliness and providing opportunities for self-expression, healing arts promote a comforting environment focused on healing the entire person.

What programs are offered at Renown?

At Renown, we offer several services as part of our Healing Arts Program. These include:

  • Music: Our bedside musician program began in 2007 with our resident musicians playing at various Renown Health locations. Music therapy is the clinical use of music to facilitate outcomes such as reducing anxiety, alleviating pain, increasing motor control, releasing emotion, identifying coping skills and improving mood.
  • Pet Therapy: The healing power of a visit from a furry friend is demonstrated through our Pet Therapy Program, which began in 1997.
  • Performances: The soothing music from monthly concerts at Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center is a draw for patients, physicians, nurses and visitors as well.
  • Art: Since 2008, Renown has installed 1,500 original works of art and 1,500 fine art posters to enhance our healing environments. Patients are also able to create a piece of art that will go home with them when they are discharged. In some cases, patients have been able to renew a long forgotten skill or discover new skills.
  • Healing Gardens: Providing strength and peace for all who visit, Renown Regional Medical Center features two Healing Gardens.

How can you use healing arts in your home to promote healing for yourself or a loved one?

If you or a loved one is recovering from or living with an illness or an injury, you can incorporate many of the theories of the healing arts into your home.

Creating a healing garden: Plan a comfortable seating area for you to relax and enjoy the environment you created. Think about what symbolic elements or objects you may want to include, such as water in a fountain, garden artwork or other focal points. In addition to your favorite plants, consider adding some medicinal plants or herbs to your garden like echinacea, lavender or chamomile.

Adapting a space for your favorite activities: Do you love to read? Create a comfy, nicely lit reading corner. Do you meditate? A water fountain might help you relax and focus. Do you like to build or fix things? Perhaps your healing space is a workbench where you can carry out these activities.

Consider art — creating it or just being surrounded by it: Art can be a source of inspiration, comfort and strength. The power of art goes beyond just painting a picture or spending some time unwinding in a creative way. It can be a way for those undergoing personal struggles to display their thoughts and emotions onto canvas.

Here are some examples of the healing spaces we’ve created:

Healing Environments at Renown Health