Henna - A Helpful Solution to Self-Harm
By: Krysteen ~
Mehndi Madness is interested in how the art of henna is being used to promote healthy expression for those dealing with self-harm issues. One in five people suffer from a form of self-harm and this issue usually goes unnoticed by family and friends because it is easy to cover or hide with clothing. Cutting, a form of self-harm, is defined as intentional self-inflicted destruction of body tissue, meaning that they are not trying to commit suicide but want to feel pain to help them feel alive. However, even though the person isn’t actually trying to die, life threatening problems can arrive.
A solution to self-harm was raised by a therapist treating a young girl, the therapist suggested she draws on her skin instead of cutting. After using the new coping skill the young girl took to social media to share about how it had worked for her.
For more on this particular story read this article: http://powerfulmind.co/therapist-suggested-drawing-on-her-body/
This has started a new trend in coping with self-harm, many have found drawing patterns on their skin instead of harming was the same if not more rewarding in coping with their feelings and mental state. Zentangle is a form of drawing that has been a key contributor in stopping self-harm. Zentangle is non-representational and is unplanned, which allows the drawer to “focus on each stroke and not worry about the result. There is no up or down to Zentangle art and makes it something mindless the person can do without building more stress to their situation.
Drawing instead of cutting is a great solution, but instead of using pens or markers that only last for day, Henna can last up to a couple weeks. Henna also uses natural products instead of inks and harmful chemicals that are in pens and markers. Along with it being better to the body and skin, Henna is a very creative ancient art form that one can immerse themselves in and find a passion for. Having a passion and hobby that one likes doing can really help with improving one’s mental state. Together, Zentangle and henna have been used by many artists. Mehndi Madness is hopeful those needing support will reach out to their therapists, councilors, and doctors to try this new combination.
Here's a great article with definition of how Zentangle is used.
Sample of henna/jagua tattoo in Zentangle style.