Sceptical? Pick up a paintbrush at The Third Eye's creative therapy session
Kelly Crane picks up a paintbrush and visits The Third Eye to try her hand at a creative therapy session.
For many Dubai residents, the idea of using art to heal the mind and soul might be met with a reasonable amount of scepticism.
If you don’t feel well, you get on with it. If you suffer from depression, you go to the doctor. Meditating to panpipe tunes isn’t the most mainstream way to manage the various difficulties life can throw up. But branching out and trying an art healing session at Dubai’s The Third Eye centre on Sheikh Zayed Road could leave you with a much more open mind.
Abeer Ayash is a holistic artist, a Master Thetahealer, certified by the Vianna Stibal ThetaHealing Institute, it all sounds very fancy but in real life means she is able to stare deeper into your soul than you might be comfortable with.
Art healing, she explains, uses our inner expression and colour to solve issues we may face every day, as well as highlight any personality traits that may be counter-productive.
‘As humans, we are vibrating beings of energy and light and colour is a primal communicator, expresser and influencer in our existence,’ adds Ayash, who moved to Dubai from Lebanon. ‘Colour not only affects our mind, body and soul but also can change and heal it. From the root to the top of the body, a rainbow is manifested, and having an awareness of these colours allows for self-communication and growth as well as transformation.’
The beginning of the three-hour session starts with a meditation to ‘summon your inner child’. That child allows you to be free with your art, which in turn, flags up insecurities and confidence issues that have been learned in your youth.
When my own inner child is invited to take part, I’m asked to lie – in any position I fancy – across two giant pieces of paper while another classmate traces my outline. After this, I get up, and am told to fill in the outline with paints from the selection of colours on the table.
‘Pick a colour you’re drawn to and go for it,’ says Ayash. ‘With your hands.’ On hearing this, I yell: ‘My hands?’ I suddenly become fearful, and think about my need for control and obsession with cleanliness.
‘Art is a universal language that withstands time and space and is a living instant, healing agent,’ assures Ayash. ‘The painting reflects the essence of the person and gives off healing vibrations every time the person looks at or meditates on it.’
Ayash is on a path of soul-searching, knowing that the journey is internal and the universe lies within. Meanwhile, I find myself embracing my inner artist/child – using green paint in the middle, then pink down my spine to my heels and finishing off with nice dark lines to retrace the outline to drown out the mess.
In minutes, Ayash has me pegged, has relived most of my past and almost reduced me to tears – in a good way. Not to mention my OCD tendencies, which stare back from the paper below.
A writing and reflection session follows the painting, and a look even deeper into what makes you tick.
And I have to report that the whole process is truly fascinating. Ayash meanwhile sums it all up perfectly: ‘The mind is connected to the body and expression through the body gives messages. When emotion is transferred onto paper there is a spontaneity that doesn’t normally happen in a contained atmosphere.’
While it’s not so easy to vouch for the healing potential of Ayash’s session, it certainly offers a thought-provoking look into a past you may have long forgotten. Dhs300 per person for three hours. Next group session October 5, 10am-1pm. The Third Eye, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.thirdeyeonline.com (055 809 8595).
Three to try: alternative therapies
Bowen therapy Developed by Tom Bowen in Australia, this is a form of holistic healing. A practitioner gently rolls specific areas of a patient’s body, and then gently touches these areas using the thumb and forefinger to alleviate asthma, hayfever, bronchial complaints and much more. It’s not a massage! www.thehealingzone.net
Reiki Founded by Dr Usui in the late 1800s, Reiki is a form of spiritual healing that works with the main seven chakras. www.whitelighttherapydubai.com
Ozone therapy For the past 80 years, ozone – also known as ‘active oxygen’ – has been used to detoxify the liver, improve the metabolism of cells and energy production and improve blood flow, among other things. www.dubaihtc.com