Already in ancient times, sand was used to treat many diseases. The first mentions of this method were in Rome, Ancient Greece and Egypt. Sand was used to treat both musculoskeletal problems and internal organ diseases.
Sand, in contact with the skin, gently massages the skin surface, irritating its sensitive nerve fibers, leading to organs and tissues.
Healing properties of sand are associated with its mechanical and thermal effects. Sand is able to retain heat for a long time and transmit it to the human body gradually due to its low thermal conductivity.
In addition, sand particles, massaging the skin, increase blood circulation, lymph circulation. As a result, metabolic processes are activated, slags are removed, sweating makes the work of the kidneys easier.
Healing and spiritual practices that use sand, there are not one thousand years. To this day, Tibetan monks, for example, create magical circles – mandalas – from the colored sand, helping them to achieve spiritual harmony and enlightenment. They believe that sand has very strong meditative properties, and created from the sand of the mandala is considered a gift to the higher beings who have already reached enlightenment.
This method, in fact, is unique, each person can temporarily turn into a wizard and create their own, though small, worlds.
Experts claim that this way playing with sand opens a person’s subconscious. Sand paintings are very similar to our dreams, which psychologists can read and decipher.
Of course, at home with a child, we will not be able to decipher all the child’s experiences and anxieties at home, but some moments can still be observed.
Pay attention to the main character in his magical world, how he lives there, who he is afraid of. Whether he has enemies or friends. In all the actions of the child you can find clues. It is very difficult for a child to tell us about his or her problems, but he or she will be able to do so with the help of sand paintings
Children’s sand play can help the child cope with their children’s complexes and mental problems. One such option is sand therapy. How, in addition to the development of the child, sand therapy can also help cope with problems.
Sandplay therapy is a play therapy that is fun, creative and at the same time healing. On the sand you can create fantastic pictures, landscapes, endlessly change and rearrange them according to your desire.
Thus, in the process of working with sand, a child with a psychological problem gradually turns from a “victim” or a passive observer into a creator, a builder of his life.
With children of 3-3,5 years old it is already possible to be engaged in sand therapy. For children of 6-7 years old it is typical to play on the sand exciting problems and their independent solution, they can be engaged in recreating a fairy tale or favorite plot on the sand, psychocorrection.
From the age of 11-12 years old, deep psychotherapy with the reconstruction of sandy worlds is possible
In addition, this method can be used with children from three years of age
(and as a step in working with teenagers), with the next range of problems:
- Different forms of behavioural disorders
- Difficulties in relations with adults (parents, caretakers, teachers) and peers
- psychosomatic illnesses
- heightened anxiety, fears
- Difficulties associated with changes in the family (divorce, early childhood, etc.) and social situations (kindergarten, school)
Adults should be treated with sand therapy in the following situations:
- Age, value and meaning crises
- family problems
- loss of loved ones
- psychosomatic illnesses
- heightened anxiety, fears
- social and interpersonal conflicts.
Sand paintings are like our dreams. In both cases they are a reflection of our unconscious. However, dreams are not tangible. And when we create sandy compositions, we get an opportunity to “see” our inner conflicts and experiences.
The hidden complexes and problems pulled out from the depths of subconsciousness, with a more conscious and critical examination of them, no longer seem so terrible and insoluble. Just as the terrible monsters in a dark room disappear instantly, so all you have to do is turn on the lights.
The process of building trays in the presence of a professional, who will provide the necessary conditions, can also be healing. Sometimes you may want to discuss something else, to better understand the message of the picture in the tray, to talk about related or reactive events in your life.
It is supposed that this process can continue during as many meetings as you or your child need within the framework agreed with the psychologist, and it is not necessary that each of them will be devoted to the creation of a picture in the tray.
For many, the construction of paintings on the sand reminds them of dreams in reality. In a tray with sand experiences, anxieties, hopes and internal conflicts take on a visible form. Moreover, the images of the sandpit are concrete and tangible, and not illusory and invisible, they can be considered by the creator of the composition and the psychologist.
Thus, it becomes possible to turn to the unknown in us or in our child, which often determines the actions and experiences. To see this means to take the first step towards change.
Sometimes it is enough for the rejected or forgotten parts of us to appear before the light of consciousness to change – so in the fairy tales of the monsters, lured out of the underworld, in the light of day they lose their power and power over the hero of adventure.