The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. “You have to just peel away a little bit at a time.”. Through movement, the client can get in touch with, explore, and express her emotions. Depending on your goals, a dance class could be a fun way to improve your health. Dance therapy has been known to encourage communication, engagement, and offer an outlet for self-expression. It gives them the liberty to be expressive of their emotions, using movements. Certain styles of dance can have a tremendous impact on your overall flexibility, strength, endurance level, and emotional well-being. Multiple studies have pointed to dance movement therapy’s healing power. According to a literature review done by researchers out of the University of Hawaii in 2017, dance has some specific health benefits, including: … The field of psychology codified the healing power of dance through an Expressive Therapy modality known as Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT). Patients enrolled in the dance group had a mean age of 66.4 and mean Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson’s Disease … “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. 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. MENTAL HEALTH. However, the goal of dance therapy isn’t just to distract people from their bills. Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is defined as the “psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body.” DMT looks at the correlation between movement and emotion, as a form of expressive therapy. Multiple studies have pointed to dance movement therapy’s healing power. Improved attention and concentration. Whether performed alone or in a room full of people, dance is a beautiful, creative action that cultures embrace worldwide. Just like running a mile can distract you from the pressures of your to-do list, dance uses expressive movement and breathing to deflate hyper-aroused thoughts. Dance therapy or therapeutic dance has a wide range of benefits. Dance movement therapy was even found to be useful for those dealing with substance dependence. It can improve your heart rate, help in body coordination, boost your immunity, and so on. The primary step is individual […] Troskie leads DMT group sessions for people struggling with eating disorders at Mindfully Embodied. It also offers other perks such as: Helps with Communication. Dance therapy can help people with autism in various ways. And if you do want to explore DMT for deeper healing, visit The American Dance Therapy Association website and do a search to find one who practices in your area. “The first communication we have in our lives is one in which we're moving. Koch is the former coordinator of the Hunter College Dance/Movement Therapy Master’s Program in New York, and former Chair of the American Dance Therapy Association Sub-Committee for Approval of Alternate Route Courses. Today, dance therapy is a holistic approach to healing based on the idea of using one’s body to express emotions. Many people have turned to dancing as a way to exercise. 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 therapists often allow clients to improvise movement-wise, to move the way their body is telling them to move, in an experimental way, thereby exploring their emotions. It is actively used by the medical community as a form of therapy. It is a form of exercise just that it is a subtle one. The official journal of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). This type of therapy is especially appealing to younger children and provides a number of benefits. How Do You Take a Digital Detox in a Pandemic? Or the therapists might do something called “mirroring,” where the therapist copies the movements of the client. what is dance/movement therapy? 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. Dancing - preventing injury. 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. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is another example of bottom-up therapy. They were used to singing and dancing beneath the sun in sync to spirited drumming while surrounded by friends. Dance allows them the opportunity to express their emotional states and experiences with stressful situations without words. All three therapists emphasize the importance of meeting the client where she is at, especially when severe trauma is involved. 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. This can help individuals improve socialization and communication as well as build body awareness which can directly affect motor deficits. “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. Every item on this page was chosen by a Shondaland editor. As a modality of the creative arts therapies, DMT looks at the correlation between movement and emotion. Besides being fun, dancing has many positive health benefits. A meta-analytic study by Koch, Kunz, Lykou, and Cruz (2014) on 23 studies demonstrates DMT effects on depression, quality of life, positive mood, and affect in various populations. 4,5,6 For example, dance techniques have been shown to help enhance self-expression and confidence in those who are socially anxious, ultimately increasing their ability to feel comfortable in settings that involve interacting with other people.7. 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. 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