benefits of dance therapy
There is even National Dance Day, which was started in 2010 to “encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain health and fight obesity.” Dancing provides physical, psychological, and social benefits galore, so put on your dancing shoes and follow along. Gray began her work as a human rights activist and currently works with clients who have suffered severe human rights abuses, include torture, human trafficking, and sexual abuse. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, From Tragedy to Tread Instructor for Peloton, From Teacher to Beloved Peloton Instructor. 2 Just as words and conversation are tools to walk patients through talk therapy, movements are the main assessment and mode of intervention used in dance movement therapy. “With dance movement therapy, we consciously participate in an engaged relationship with our clients and create new neural pathways that are related to pleasure, more positive sensations and feelings in the body,” Gray says. It has been shown to be effective in improving self-esteem, attentiveness, body image, and communication skills. For these clients, getting back in touch with their bodies — and emotions — is paramount to healing. For those dealing with PTSD or other forms of trauma, dance therapy can be a restorative experience. Dance/movement therapists use body movement, as the core component of dance, to provide the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for therapy. It gives them the liberty to be expressive of their emotions, using movements. If you think dance movement therapy is right for you, it’s important to find the right dance movement therapist. Dance therapy is said to help people with autism. They were used to singing and dancing beneath the sun in sync to spirited drumming while surrounded by friends. Whether performed alone or in a room full of people, dance is a beautiful, creative action that cultures embrace worldwide. For thousands of years and in multiple cultures, dance has been used as a communal, ritualistic, healing force, from the Lakota Sun Dance (Wiwanke Wachipi) to the Sufi whirling dervishes (Sema) to the Vimbuza healing dance of the Tumbuka people in Northern Malawi. What about those with shy demeanors, who need a little more help coming out of their shells? As regards the benefits of dance therapy for autism, early intervention of using dancing therapy can help kids with autism. Depending on your goals, a dance class could be a fun way to improve your health. “We use dance as a psychotherapeutic tool to help people express their emotions in a way that integrates what they think and what they feel,” Koch says. The field of psychology codified the healing power of dance through an Expressive Therapy modality known as Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT). Beneficial for both physical and mental health, dance therapy can be used for stress reduction, disease prevention, and mood management. It also offers other perks such as: Helps with Communication. Twitter: @TracyAChabala, Get Shondaland directly in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TODAY, 5 Women Changing the Way We Think About Wellness, 5 Salads You Can Throw Together On the Fly, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Today, dance therapy is a holistic approach to healing based on the idea of using one’s body to express emotions. Every item on this page was chosen by a Shondaland editor. There’s no set format in a session. She holds an MFA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. When a group of psychologists from the U.K. visited Rwandan villagers to help heal genocidal trauma through talk therapy, the psychologists were soon after asked to leave. As we can see, the benefits of dance include improved cognition (through increasing neurogenesis and neural pathways via many mediators including BDNF), memory, mood, stress relief, self-confidence, social and psychological well-being. In fact, creative therapies have been shown to shift an individual’s focus and regulate and control overwhelming emotions and thoughts—especially for those struggling with a chemical dependency. This has changed and I would like to highlight here a few recent studies supporting the benefits of dance and DMT on emotional regulation, cognitive function and neural plasticity. It can improve your heart rate, help in body coordination, boost your immunity, and so on. Through movement, the client can get in touch with, explore, and express her emotions. The physical benefits of dance therapy as exercise are well documented. This can help individuals improve socialization and communication as well as build body awareness which can directly affect motor deficits. Dance Therapy Helps Community Wellness. People who develop eating disorders are often doing so to numb distressing feelings. “You want to help the client feel their life source, you want to help them, deal with suppressed issues, so that they can then go into the social world and move and act in a more healthy way.”. The health benefits of dancing for seniors range from improving your physical health to creating strong social connections that increase your sense of well-being. Dance can be both an outlet for creativity and a method of accessing a peaceful state of mind. Patients enrolled in the dance group had a mean age of 66.4 and mean Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson’s Disease … Because Dance Movement Psychotherapy focuses on non-verbal communication, it can have a broader spectrum than some other therapies, able to help people from young children to the elderly as well as being useful for those who struggle to speak or don’t enjoy talking. Dance allows them the opportunity to express their emotional states and experiences with stressful situations without words. “Get a good video to follow along with, anything that you can use to mobilize your body.”. In addition, … Dancing brings us back to a more primitive, and consequently, more liberated state of mind. “You have to work very carefully on peeling away the layers because some people aren’t ready to go right to the fear and right to the anger and right to the sadness and right to the guilt,” says Koch. The therapist and client might play tug-of-war with ropes to help the client express repressed anger and frustration, or the client might lay flat on the floor in a peaceful, meditative state. These are considered “top-down” psychotherapies, meaning they engage the thinking mind first, before the emotions and body. This type of therapy is especially appealing to younger children and provides a number of benefits. Many people have turned to dancing as a way to exercise. A body-based therapeutic approach such as DMT is considered “bottom-up” therapy. These Online Dance Classes Will Make You Smile, A Spotlight on Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy, How April Watson’s ‘Dance Dreams’ Came True, Here's Your Trailer For 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker'. Dance - health benefits. Dance therapy or therapeutic dance can also reduce stress, fears, anxieties, as well as lessen feelings of isolation, chronic pain, and depression. Experts have shown that physical activity increases special neurotransmitter substances in the brain (endorphins). Someone with depression will feel unmotivated, but dance can help distract those thoughts for a bit. Dance movement therapy was even found to be useful for those dealing with substance dependence. Defined, dance/movement therapy (DMT) in the United States is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support the intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body. The benefits of dance encompass all areas of health, including physical, mental, and emotional. Despite all this, DMT is not the go-to treatment for mental health issues in the U.S. — the two most popular therapies are psychodynamic therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), both talk therapies. Dance therapy can help people with autism in various ways. And total body movement such as dance enhances the functions of other body systems, too. As both a creative art and a form of body psychotherapy, dancing can also be used as a method for treating anxiety providing evidence to the old saying: you can dance your cares away. The healing starts in the body, soothing the nervous system and calming the fear response, which is all located in the lower part of the brain as opposed to the top of the brain, where higher modes of thinking occur. From there, the client engages emotions and finally the mind. Dance movement therapy is practiced all around the world, with therapy associationsanywhere from Australia to Japan. It was developed by American dancer and choreographer Marian Chace way back in 1942. Research has found that ballroom dancing improves mental acuity throughout a dancer’s life – and that there are also substantial benefits to those who start ballroom dance as adults. It’s not a treatment for trauma or clinical depression, but it certainly can boost your mood. Dance and Autism. Dance as anxiety treatment is known as dance movement therapy, defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.” 1. There are two different forms of dance therapy for fibromyalgia. So we're really going back to the essence of what basic communication is all about. The benefits are listed below. Dance isn’t just a social activity. If one has anger issues, dance therapy can help them get their energy out. Not only does it give you a way to express yourself and have fun, but it … It can provide the means with which to test reality, to become more grounded, to reach otherwise lost positive body memories, and most of all,reclaim one’s own body.3 The same is true for children of trauma. People of all ages, sizes, and shapes use dance for a wide range of mental, emotional, and physical benefits.One study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in 2016 examined the effects of dancing on older adults with an average age of around 70 years old. It is actively used by the medical community as a form of therapy. Communication problems. According to multiple studies, dance movement therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety in individuals, including those who suffer from depression and anxiety in social scenarios. Dance therapy has been known to encourage communication, engagement, and offer an outlet for self-expression. Dance/movement therapy, according to the American Dance Therapy Association, is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical, social, and spiritual integration of the individual. It causes our thoughts to simplify, to focus on our bodies and our movements instead of the more complicated stressors of life. As a modality of the creative arts therapies, DMT looks at the correlation between movement and emotion. All three therapists emphasize the importance of meeting the client where she is at, especially when severe trauma is involved. The truth is, regular dancing, DMT, and also TCM dance therapy are all beneficial for your health. running to alcohol to cope), dance therapy helps people become more aware of their bodies and emotions. “The exposure to the events that cause the trauma creates the physiological and biological, and therefore emotional and psychological, reactivity,” says Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and Continuum Movement Teacher Amber Elizabeth Gray, who is currently the Director of Restorative Resources Training and Consulting and a clinical adviser with The Center for Victims of Torture. Ca n't be ignored and a great form of therapy isn ’ necessarily. 'Re moving it gives them the opportunity to express emotions does n't lie, ” where therapist. 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