Wellness, specifically creative art therapy, is the cornerstone of Womankind’s Later in Life Program for older survivors of gender-based violence. Our approach is deeply rooted in the cultural values of our clients. In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that the circulation of vital energies within one’s body is connected to physical changes and emotions. Therefore, when an individual experiences stress or trauma, the energy flow is disrupted. Instead of saying “I feel stressed,” clients may express heaviness or pain in their shoulders, back and/or neck area. Instead of expressing depression or hopelessness, a client may say they feel unbalanced or unwell. Therefore, as opposed to more Western perspectives that emphasize talk therapy, it may be more therapeutic for Asian clients if we give attention to their somatic symptoms. That’s why Womankind offers services like qi gong, tai chi, 3 point acu-beading, and trauma-sensitive yoga (and reiki and acupuncture in the past). These Eastern therapies help facilitate the energies within the body. All of these tie into the belief of using pressure points to release the stress and trauma that our bodies hold.
In celebration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Friday, June 15th, we are proud to share the impact of wellness and healing on our clients in the Later in Life Program.