Dr. Uday Jani is now offering his patients weekly expressive arts sessions at his Milton office, Shore View Medical. He is partnering with Eileen Wilkinson, who earned her bachelor's degree in communication arts and public relations at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"As a integrative medicine practitioner, I firmly believe that expressing your emotion through arts has great healing potential. Drawing, painting, writing ... all help a patient to relax and heal simply, without needing any special training. All generations can de-stress while producing a finished project. This is a perfect complement to my multimodality practice,” said Jani.
“We are so blessed to have integrative health options in Sussex County. Dr. Jani has designed his practice to treat each patient as a whole. We cannot separate ourselves into compartments; many of us need enriching recalibration to align our mind, body and spirit,” said Wilkinson.
Throughout her career, Wilkinson has implemented many wellness campaigns and has seen the value of expressive arts when working with those hurting after a loss or struggling with transitions. “At an international festival I coordinated in Scotland, we saw beautiful outcomes with a mirror arts project benefiting domestic abuse survivors. In Fairfax, I co-taught a Transformative Therapeutic Arts class for learning-disabled adults. I’ve completed coursework in bookbinding, pottery, stained glass/fusing, felting/fiber arts, altered books, basket weaving, floral arranging and papermaking. This along with peer grief support training has provided a great outlet and helped me process life’s challenges,” said Wilkinson, who has held positions in health communication for various organizations over the past 25 years.
The fifth born in a family of six, Wilkinson is proud of the upbringing she received from her mom, age 90, who still resides in the home she was raised in, as well as her recently deceased dad. Also one of six, he helped care for his single siblings, three of whom served in World War II. She attributes the successful aging of her parents to their strong couplehood, faith, volunteerism and shared cups of daily tea. Arts exposure began early.
“My dad was a great journaler and left us detailed accounts of landmarks in his and our lives. My mom quilted and crocheted gifts which we all treasure,” said Wilkinson. As the mother of two musical daughters - one a junior at Loyola in Baltimore, Md., and another who finished school and is working in D.C. - daughter-in-law to two other delightful elders, neighbor and friend to scattered boomers, Wilkinson considers herself a student of navigating the joys and challenges of changing needs.
This summer she will provide weekly sessions at Jani’s office in Milton. “We will be collaging, journaling and exploring other creative arts in a group setting or one-on-one. I’ve seen the healing benefits of this firsthand at Mayo Clinic, in nursing centers, with senior friends and grieving families. They are very centering,” she said.
“These sessions will be about a half hour and are free to patients. We are pleased to explore the arts and its benefits in-house; this is indeed an extension of the mind/body/spirit model that we practice at Shore View, ” said Jani. For more information or to schedule a session. Call 302 684-0990 and ask for WELLarts. To learn more about integrative health go to www.udayjanimd.com.