Selling Creativity: The Artist’s dilemma
Those who are in the arts know that the creative struggle is only one element of the work. The other part is always there, waiting in the wings: Trying to sell one’s art can be daunting. The urge to create, and then share that creation with the world is a large reason people make art. When that goal proves elusive, depression, disillusionment and anger can arise.
There are also artists who face a different, and not so uncommon dilemma: self-sabotage. They create joyfully, and only feel out of sorts when they can sell their work. Self-sabotage can be difficult to evaluate, painful to confront, and frustrating to fight. The consequences of either form of emotional upset that I’ve referred to can, when left to fester, resonate on the physical plane in ways both unexpected and undesired.
A painter might experience numbness in the dominant hand or arm; a singer gets persistent bronchial episodes on the eve of important showcases or recordings. An actor, feeling suddenly sapped of energy and unable to perform, turns to drugs or other harmful stimulants—anything to keep going. The impulse to self-sabotage can show up in other, more subtle ways. Many a writer who never experienced writer’s block has become caught in its grip as a major deadline looms.
How Can Acupuncture Help
An aspect of acupuncture that many people are just now discovering is its ability to harmonize the emotions. Acupuncture treats anxiety, depression and panic attacks by regulating the flow of blood, relaxing muscle and fascia (connective tissue) and releasing endorphin, the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemical. Over the last fifteen years, I’ve noticed that many creative people are highly receptive to subtle changes in the body’s energy.
A dancer came to me because her menstrual cycle had stopped. As I questioned her it came out that she had been purging, and refused to see a doctor for her bulimia. With little prodding she mentioned that she had felt listless and without energy, and was depressed. I worked on strengthening her blood and resolving her digestive issues. Over the next three cycles her periods returned, scanty at first, and then more fully. As her depression lifted, her energy returned and the eating issues stabilized. Since then she has relapsed once with the Bulimia, but she now has that more under control. Her health has turned around one hundred and eighty degrees.
Acupuncture may not solve the artist’s creative problems. However, it can help resolve worry, irrational fear, anxiety and insomnia. Thus, the artist can return to the prime task at hand: that of doing the work they love and that was meant to fulfill them.
In an upcoming blog I will discuss how I have been combining hypnosis with acupuncture in therapeutic settings. It’s a treatment strategy that, in my view, is quite strong. By addressing the body through the mind— and the mind through the body–it is a paradigm whose time has come. In fact, in the right setting, this combination is proving to be an even more powerful healing tool than the sum of its individual parts.