Dance or movement therapy

4 mins read

Movements of the body and dance, both together help in expressing how you feel. Movements have great power that can open up the neuropath gates from and to the brain which is very helpful for the growth in all stages of human life. The actual connection and communication between the body and brain is the basics of Dance and Movement Therapy (DMT). This form of alternative medicine is known to be one of the best therapies which can work better than the verbal therapies to access issues and emotions of an individual.

What is it? Where did it originate?
Dance and movement therapy is normally used by alternative medicine practitioners as a way to know about the insight, self-expression and to bring changes in one’s behavior. This procedure is good for anyone who wants to works towards the overall well being.

Dance and movement therapy is suitable for people any gender and any age group. Therapeutically, use of dance and movement therapy was reported thousands of years back but dance as a therapy was started in the year 1950. Dance was initially considered as, just a mechanism for expression for many centuries but now it is a therapy used to solve many health and psychological issues as well.

How is it beneficial?
Dance and movement therapy is found to be very beneficial for many reasons:

  • Enhances your attention and focus on everything you do
  • Develops fine and gross motor skills
  • Improves communication skills
  • Enhances the ability to maintain healthy relationships
  • Increases problem-solving ability and creativity
  • Enhances emotional stability and expression
  • Increases body awareness and positive self-esteem
  • Creates a very healthy relationship between your mind and body

Are there any studies/research on its efficacy?
There were few studies conducted on dance therapy by American cancer society which states that the Dance or movement is effective is preventing certain mental conditions and also helps in recovering from some illness and surgeries. This can be used as an exercise that will help in improving the quality of life both emotionally and physically.

Another research conducted on the psychological outcomes of the cancer patients by The Cochrane Collaboration states that there were not many results found due to the application of this therapy on the cancer patients.

There are very limited studies which prevent from drawing the conclusions about the Dance and movement therapy.

How is it done?
Dance and movement therapy involves four steps:

  1. Preparation Stage: This is the warm up stage where a person is prepared for the therapy, and all safety measures are established.
  2. Incubation: Second stage is called incubation where your body and mind are completely relaxed. You will be coming out of your conscious stage and entering the subconscious.
  3. Illumination: During this stage you will become apparent. You will be able to feel both the negative and positive sides of your mind and body.
  4. Evaluation: The final stage is an evaluation stage where you are briefed about the dance and movement therapy and its significance. And the therapy is brought to an end.

There are different dance styles used for Dance movement therapy like ball room dance, foxtrat, line dancing, aerobic dancing and many others. You can choose the one that interests you or the therapist may suggest you one.

How can you get started with this?
You can reach any DMT certified center for dance and movement therapy. You should always consult trained professionals to get the best results out of the therapy.

Any precautions, contraindications, or interactions
No adverse effects have been reported about dance and movement therapy.

Citations:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_therapy
  2. http://www.adta.org/about_dmt
  3. Shanahan J, Morris ME, Ni Bhriain O, Saunders J, Clifford AM. Dance for people with Parkinson’s disease: what is the evidence telling us? Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Sep 12. pii: S0003-993(14)01030-2. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.08.017. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 25223491
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