Dance therapy which is also known as Dance Movement Therapy or Therapeutic Dance has transcendent and healing power of whole body and mind integration. Dance is naturally therapeutic due to its physical, emotional, and spiritual components. It satisfies the need for the externalization of this feeling that bubbles up inside an individual and they have no other way to express it but through movement. The movement has meaning because it is connected to emotions. It is simply pure expression. Therapeutic dance is generally more self directed and moves through different experiences, sometimes without concentration on one's specific feeling or state. One movement turns into another movement and the momentum of that emotional release leads through the dance. It seems to have more of an inward focus.
Dance Therapy To Treat Anxiety, Depression And Chronic Pain
Dance therapy or Dance Movement Therapy or Therapeutic Dance is generally used to treat anxiety, depression, feelings of isolation, chronic pain. It also enhances body's circulatory and respiratory functions. It is also used in patients with brain injuries, AIDS, arthritis, cancer, etc. it is also useful for people who are learning disabled, mentally handicapped, elderly population who live in nursing homes.
How Does Dance Therapy Work?
Dance Therapy or Dance Movement Therapy works with an understanding of the mind-body connection to facilitate a change on an emotional and psychological level through expressive movement of the client. The dance movement therapist sees the body as a source of information. Movement expresses the inner world of the client and is a road to the "unconscious" and it allows for self-knowledge and psychotherapeutical change. Dance movement therapist work with symbolic movements that is picked up by the therapist and developed. The therapist facilitates further exploration of issues that arise and guides the session according to the needs of the patient. The dance movement therapy session seems more goal directed. It is about facilitating change and working towards an expansion of the movement repertoire to give the client more varied choices for coping with the environment. It takes into consideration many aspects of the human being including developmental issues, relationship to others in the environment and symbolism in movement that is personal to the individual and that is observed through movement qualities understood from a dance therapy perspective. Dance movement therapy also works with in-therapeutic relationship that is established thorough feedbacks to the client that promotes increasing self-awareness. Dance movement therapy or therapeutic dance work within the mind-body connection and induce movement to express thoughts and emotions of the individual. Therapists maintain that a change in movement initiates a change in psyche and vice versa. Therapeutic dance can use it to facilitate more self exploration, find new ways of moving, to express the feelings that are going on inside. Also, it is a way to bring awareness to the individual of what their movement might be expressing or might be releasing for them. The dance therapy expresses the emotion of here-and-now. Dance therapy expresses something that cannot be said any other way.
Dance Therapy Benefits
Dance therapy has a wide range of benefits. It has been shown to be effective in improving self-esteem, attentiveness, body image, and communication skills. It can also reduce stress, fears, anxieties, as well as lessen feelings of isolation, chronic pain, and depression. In addition, it enhances the functioning of the body's circulatory and respiratory systems.
Dance therapy also benefits young and adult psychiatric patients, individuals with learning disability, the visually impaired, hearing impaired, mentally challenged people, and the elderly.
Advocates of dance therapy claim that it has been used successfully in people dealing with brain injury, arthritis, cancer, and a number of other serious health problems.