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Art Therapy

 Elisabeth returned to art when she was being treated for her Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in an Ayurvedic hospital in southern India. She was undergoing Panchakarma (a detoxification process) and decided to channel her discomfort by creating something. It ended up being a piece that traced her healing journey from limping to regaining her mobility. "Restoration to Flight" is on this site under the menu heading, 'Art' / 'Ayurvedic Healing Series'.  Elisabeth  wrote a piece to accompany it. She regards the mixed media collage and the written piece as a diptych. This marked her return to art after twenty-five years. Processing pain through creation deeply moved Elisabeth and served as a cathartic moment that reintroduced her to a part of herself that had been inaccessible for some time. She believes that after three years of Ayurvedic treatment, she had healed enough on the level of body and mind, that she had the energetic reserves to  start attending to healing her spirit. Healing on the level of spirit took form through her art. Elisabeth has been influenced by the Expressive Arts Therapy movement & the work of Cathy Malchiodi in particular. As she wanted to share her story of how Ayurveda and art therapy had helped her, Elisabeth presented at the annual American College of Rheumatology (ACR) conference in 2020. The talk was part of the 'Patient Perspectives' portion of the conference & was well-received by the medical community and others with RA.

Presentation to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2020

"An Integrative Approach to Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Healing the Body, Mind & Spirit".

Accepted for 'ACR Convergence 2020', ACR's all-virtual annual meeting (November 5-9, 2020), this abstract was presented in the "Patient Perspectives" portion of the plenary session at 12 noon EST / 10:30 IST on Sunday, November 8th, 2020.  


View the video recording of the presentation & question/answer period on YouTube




I am deeply grateful to The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), for sponsoring me. In particular, I would like to thank Ms. Adena Batterman, Senior Manager, Inflammatory Arthritis Support and Education Programs & Ms. Joan Westreich, Social Work Coordinator, Early RA Support and Education Program.  Sincere thanks to their HSS Inflammatory Arthritis Support and Education Program colleagues, Dr. Theodore R. Fields, Ms. Roberta Horton & Linda Leff.


Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. KG Raveendran, Dr. Daniel E. Furst, Dr. Ramkumar Kutty, Dr. U. Indulal, Dr. Somit Kumar & Dr. Vasant Lad. Deepest gratitude to the recently-departed P.R. Krishnakumar for his support, love, mentorship & inspiration to share Ayurveda with those outside India.

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