Heal Yourself By Dancing…
Dance has been an important part of self-expression, ceremonial and religious events and health in most cultures throughout history.
Dance therapy is the therapeutic use of movement to improve the mental and physical well-being of a person. It focuses on the connection between the mind and body to promote health and healing. Dance therapy can be considered an expressive therapy.
Dance therapy is offered as a health promotion service for healthy people and as a complementary method of reducing the stress of caregivers and people with cancer and other chronic illnesses. Physically, dance therapy can provide exercise, improve mobility and muscle coordination, and reduce muscle tension. Emotionally, dance therapy is reported to improve self-awareness, self-confidence, and interpersonal interaction, and is an outlet for communicating feelings. Some promoters claim that dance therapy may strengthen the immune system through muscular action and physiological processes and can even help prevent disease.
Dance therapy is based on the belief that the mind and body work together. Through dance, it is thought that people can identify and express their innermost emotions, bringing those feelings to the surface. Some people claim this can create a sense of renewal, unity, and completeness.
Dance therapy is used in a variety of settings with people who have social, emotional, cognitive, or physical concerns. It is often used as a part of the recovery process for people with chronic illness. Dance therapists work with both individuals and groups, including entire families.
Dance Movement therapy gives the participants more than just a toned body. It can restore the equilibrium between mind, body and spirit. Dance has been shown to lift mood more than exercise by itself. Some of the physical motions used in dance therapy can provide the same health benefits produced by other types of exercise.
Physical activity is known to increase special neurotransmitter substances in the brain, called endorphins, which create a feeling of well-being. Total body movement also enhances the functions of other body systems, such as the circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, and muscular systems. Regular aerobic exercise helps with glucose metabolism, cardiovascular fitness, and weight control. Dance or movement therapy, when done regularly can confer the same benefits as other types of exercise. Moderate to vigorous exercise for thirty to forty-five minutes on most days of the week can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
There is no criticism in dance therapy classes – no right or wrong way. This unconditional acceptance is important to the participants. At the same time the therapist is consciously working towards helping the person to find within themselves catharsis, solutions and resolution to problems through dance. The dancers find the answers without words from within themselves. Dance therapy can have immediate and unexpected results. On occasion deeply buried blockages are resolved. Dance is a right-brained activity and the left brain with its critical commentary is quietened down. This allows our subconscious and intuitive levels to function.
Dance Therapy has to do with encouraging people to take a more holistic view of themselves and the planet on which we live.