Imagine being asked by a doctor to go and visit a museum after consulting with him.

That is exactly what some doctors in Canada are about to start doing.

AFP reports that a group of the Canadian doctors are to begin prescribing trips to an art gallery to help patients suffering a range of ailments become a picture of health.

A partnership between the Francophone Association of Doctors in Canada (MFdC) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) will allow patients suffering from a number of physical and mental health issues, along with their loved ones, to take in the benefits of art on health with free visits.

The pilot project is unprecedented globally, according to its organizer.

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The project will see participating physicians prescribe up to 50 visits to the MMFA during treatment, each pass valid for up to two adults and two minors.

So far, 100 doctors have enrolled to take part over the course of a year, Nicole Parent, head of the MFdC, told AFP Thursday.

The numbers offer proof that doctors have "a sensitivity and openness to alternative approaches if you want" Parent said, citing scientifically proven benefits of art on health.

The benefits are similar to those patients can get from physical activity, prompting the secretion of a similar level of feel-good hormones, and can help with everything from chronic pain to depression, stress and anxiety.

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