Use Dance/Movement Therapy to enhance physical and mental health

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About Dance/Movement Therapy

For psychotherapy purposes, dance/movement therapy promotes a mind-body connection that helps achieve greater self-expression. It also reduces anxiety, increases mobility, and encourages social interaction.

Dance/Movement Therapy - An Overview

In the belief that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected, people of all ages and types are able to utilize dance/movement therapy in a non-judgemental environment to influence and promote their growth and development through every stage of life. In other words, the therapeutic use of movement is well-known for treating a wide range of physical issues (including chronic pain, arthritis, and hypertension), mental health issues (including anxiety, depression, and poor self-esteem), cognitive issues (including dementia), and social issues (including autism, social interaction, and aggression). Moreover, dance/movement therapy helps improve one's body image, develop effective communication skills, reduce stress levels, ease mood swings, and prevent a variety of diseases. So, with valuable body language serving as the core component of this type of unique therapy, people have the potential to target certain emotions and issues that may have been unreachable or otherwise unattainable.

What makes Dance/Movement Therapy so unique?

Similar to other mind-body approaches that help improve our mental and physical health, dance/movement therapy is different and unique in its creative and responsive practice using barely any verbal communication. Instead, therapists utilize a variety of techniques and styles of dance to match the individual styles and needs of their clients. For instance, some therapists may play music, invite clients into a circle, and develop a group rhythm while other therapists encourage clients to move slightly while they either speak, sit, or stand. Then there are therapists who use more creativity by encouraging clients to create a dance or movement sequence that comes from their inner concerns or sensations. And in a group session, clients may be asked to create a piece using the benefits of teamwork and proper communication skills. So depending on the therapist and their clients, each style of dance/movement therapy is unique in its own way, especially from other therapies out there.

Global Reach of Dance/Movement Therapy

Having evolved from various cultures and generations around the world, dance/movement therapy has always been used to help those with physical, emotional, and mental health problems. It wasn't until 1966 when the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) was established, making dance/movement therapy more recognized than it was before. Today, it holds thousands of members across 46 U.S. states and 20 countries world wide. Similarly, dance/movement therapy is accepted and encouraged as a profession in many American, European, and Asian countries as it's transferable to any culture. It is being held in various medical, health, and education settings near and far, such as rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, hospitals, and disease prevention centers. There are also credited organizations and associations to assure the quality of dance/movement therapy. For instance, the European Association Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT) maintains and updates the European standards of the therapy for its specific countries.

What steps are involved in Dance/Movement Therapy?

There are a variety of techniques and styles of dance/movement therapy that therapists use to help people express their experiences and gain access to emotions and certain issues. The different techniques help establish trust, safety, a collaborative relationship, and an avenue to discuss feelings that might otherwise be hard to talk about in verbal therapy. First are the dance styles used during dance/movement therapy. Depending on the needs of the client, they can include modern dance, Turkish folk dance, line dance, aerobic dance, ballroom dance, the foxtrot, the waltz, and the tango. This therapy process also has four steps or stages. The preparation stage involves warm-up exercises that help develop comfort. The incubation stage involves subconscious, open-ended imagery that helps clients focus on mindfulness and relaxation. The third one is the illumination stage, where clients self-reflect by uncovering and resolving subconscious motivations while learning their negative or positive effects. Last but not least, the evaluation stage focuses on the significance of the process while preparing to end the therapy session.

What are the benefits/advantages of Dance/Movement Therapy?

Dance/movement therapy has a lot of benefits and advantages, with one being the ability for clients to express certain emotions that may not be easily expressed verbally. It's interesting to see just how music, dancing, and sounds can have such an effect on someone, right? Another advantage is the relief of stress. Any form of therapy is beneficial for relieving stress in the body and mind, and dance/movement therapy is no different. Clients are also able to increase physical fitness by strengthening their muscles, increasing their flexibility, improving their balance, and improving their posture. Moreover, clients use the power of their imagination to encourage creativity. They also experience improved confidence and self-esteem in a positive, encouraging, and safe learning environment. That's because dance/movement therapy increases social and communication skills and create a sense of accomplishment. Other advantages include increased mobility and enhanced body-mind connectivity.

Is Dance/Movement Therapy advisable for obese people?

It's not any news for us that obesity is a serious, chronic disease, with the number of obese people rapidly increasing all around the world. And its negative effects can severely impact someone's health and well-being, including the risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, joint problems, sleep apnea, and a variety of cancers that include breast cancer, colon cancer, gallbladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. With that said, it's important to utilize therapies that promote weight loss whenever we can. When it comes to dance/movement therapy, studies have suggested that it's especially helpful for obese people who have experience with a major part of obesity considered emotional eating. Dance/movement therapy's techniques and exercises can decrease psychological stress and increase self-esteem to control cravings and reduce food intake, all the while promoting a positive mood, and a sense of well-being and happiness.

Can Dance/Movement Therapy aid in weight loss?

Dance/movement therapy isn't only great and beneficial for the mind, but also for the whole body. By adding some unique moves and techniques to your life, you'll be able to exercise away stress, reduce emotional eating, burn calories, and boost your self-image, ultimately promoting easy weight loss over time. In fact, several studies have tested the effectiveness of dance/movement therapy when it comes to weight loss and found that it significantly lowers the chance of emotional eating while promoting a better body image.

Are there any limitations associated with Dance/Movement Therapy?

No, we don't believe so. That's because dance/movement therapy is widely practiced by elders, children, developmentally delayed adults, people with head injuries, and anyone simply looking for another way to communicate. It can also be practiced without any previous training or classes in dance. With that said, there are no limitations when using this therapy process. The primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for expression and to feel more grounded and calm, especially when confronting challenging issues.

How can I find qualified Dance/Movement Therapists near me?

It's easy! That's what HealingRadius was created to do after all. To get started, simply visit, select Search by Therapy, enter your location in the field provided, then find dance/movement therapy. Next, you'll be directed to a listing page of all the qualified dance/movement therapists in your area! And with the option to view their business profiles and read their reviews from other clients, you'll be able to make the right choice for you! Another great option: you can book an appointment with them online in the comfort of your home. Told you it was easy!

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