Friday, November 06, 2015

Doodling & Drawing Reduces Blood Pressure

Pink Cells
© rebecca collins
This last week I had an infusion on Tuesday. I am currently receiving 2 maintenance drugs every 3 weeks. It is a about a 3 hour afternoon and at this point I am no longer asking my pals to join me on chemo day. I pretty much have this thing down, but I do spend a lot of time in waiting rooms alone.  I have gotten into a habit of sketching and doodling in my sketchbook. This week I had a pretty long wait and I really got into my drawing and coloring, the time flew by. When you go in to the infusion room the first thing they do is take your vitals. My blood pressure is usually pretty good, the bottom number is often in the low 70's and sometimes it can be as high as 80. On Tuesday after 30 minutes of meditative drawing the bottom number was only 58, that is crazy low for me. At first it alarmed me, and then I realized it had to have been due to the relaxing activity of drawing.
© rebecca collins
I tried to find some studies on-line that would confirm my suspicion and have not found much. I did see an article that indicated that "looking at art" will reduce your blood pressure, and all artwork is not equal in this aspect. They found that looking at figurative art of landscapes, and familiar objects or faces will reduce your blood pressure while abstract art can actually provoke anxiety and increase your heart rate and blood pressure. You can read more at the Alternative Daily.

An article from the UK states that a study has shown that "painting, drawing and sculpting in old age lowers the risk of developing the first signs of dementia by 73 per cent."  You can read more at

I also found a great article in the Dallas Morning News about adult coloring books, stating that they could reduce muscle tension, heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and cortisol, the stress-related hormone, in the bloodstream.

 As I gear up and go into my busy holiday season here at Art Paw I think I will try to doodle each morning while I drink my cup of hot green tea, and then again at night before bedtime. I want to have a crazy wonderful holiday season like I always do here but I am going to also be doing a lot to maintain my health and balance.

Proofing This Week At Art Paw:
© rebecca collins /

"Cecil & Otto"
© rebecca collins /

© rebecca collins /