The Forgotten Therapy

Many years ago I used to sell china.  You know, dishes for your table.  (What, have a problem with that?)  The dishes came in many different beautiful patterns, from classic and traditional to the more modern styles.

Every once in a while someone would look at the dishes, and say something that might seem obvious,"Well, I don’t really need dishes…"

Really?  You mean to say that you don’t eat off the table with your hands?  😉

But this comment got me thinking about some things.  First of all, what do we really need?  Well, not much.  One set of clothing wouldn’t hurt.  A shelter.  Basic food – maybe some rice and water.

But then again, the experts tell us that we really need a lot more than that.  What about love?  Appreciation?  A feeling that we’re contributing?

Thinking about the china I used to sell, and also looking around at this time of year, I got thinking about a therapy that’s really very powerful, but rarely talked about.

Beauty therapy.

Now wait a minute.  Usually when you see that term, you’re thinking about spas and salons and facial masks and maybe plastic surgery.  That’s not what I’m talking about.

Wildflowers in Mexico

I mean noticing the beauty around us, contributing to the beauty around us, and enjoying the beauty around us.

Now you’re thinking I’m just getting sentimental.  But think about it.  We have music therapy, aromatherapy, art therapy.  And surely it’s more than just chemicals in the brain.  Beauty really does have a profound impact on how we cope with pain.

Appreciating beauty leads to thankfulness.  Creating beauty leads to a feeling that, in spite of whatever disability we may have, we still have something to give.

Some people know this intuitively.  That’s why you see so much on the websites of migraineurs and headache sufferers about little things that bring a smile.

Beauty therapy may mean having someone clean your house.  It may mean buying flowers for yourself, or someone else, on the way home from work.  It might be that crayon drawing that your daughter drew for you.

Beauty therapy may mean buying that album you’ve been wanting, and listening to it over and over.  It may mean that, even though you’re in bed and unable to get up or even read, you have new, silk sheets.

This might mean giving a card to someone else who is sick, or encouraging a friend at school.

It might mean doing your hair, even though you know you won’t be leaving the house.  It might mean putting a new centrepiece on the table, when your family will see it but you’ll be stuck in the bedroom.  Or you might be the only one who sees it.

What about a walk in the woods?  Visiting a pet shop?  Looking up at the clouds?  What, don’t think you’re accomplishing much?  Remember, this is your therapy.

Will this cure your headaches?  Will you no longer suffer from migraine disease?  No, those things involve biological issues that require medical attention.  But beauty therapy will very likely bring about an improvement.  You will be better able to cope.  And you may be less susceptible to the things that cause attacks.

I’m not suggesting you overspend or overeat (which cause more problems in the long run!), but I am suggesting that the next time you think to yourself,"I don’t need that", give yourself this reminder – isn’t beauty a need too?  Maybe there’s an easy way you can add just a little beauty to your day or someone else’s.

Don’t apologize to yourself or anyone for noticing, giving and enjoying beauty.  Just say it’s part of your prescription.  You’ll be surprised at the results.

Lac Monrie, Quebec, Canada

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  • beth Dec 31, 2008

    This rings so true….As we connect with the beauty around us, we find peace. What better way to relax and be in harmony with the world around us.

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