As a nation, we sit too much. We sit in the car for a long commute to the office, where we sit all day, only to get back in the car. Then we make dinner and sit down again. The lack of movement in our routines leads to poor stress management, insomnia, health declines, and more.
If you currently don’t workout, don’t worry about starting to run around the neighborhood or buying an expensive gym membership. There are tons of movement therapies to join in order to stay in shape and relieve stress, including dancing with movement therapy.
Dance Movement Therapy History
People have been dancing in order to promote healing and to bring the community together since the beginning of time. For centuries cultures all over the world have been dancing to ward off diseases and relieve stress.
However, people didn’t look at dancing as a form of therapy until researchers and therapists began to study how movements can affect a person’s mood and sense of well-being in the 1940’s and healing1970’s when authentic dance sessions were created and accredited.
Also, the ADTA or American Dance Therapy Association was founded. Since then the dance therapy movement has grown bigger and bigger.
What Is Dance Movement Therapy?
Dance movement therapy is founded on the premise that your body, mind, and spirit are connected. As energy flows from the Earth it’s constantly moving, and the energy inside of you is flowing as well. Sometimes as a result of being too sedentary our energy flows can be blocked off, leading to illnesses and psychological issues like depression.
By simply going to a dance movement class you can restore your inner energy flow as well as, improve your circulation and improve your cardiovascular health. As a physical exercise, dancing will help you build strength, flexibility, lean muscle, and joint resiliently. It’s a low-impact exercise that can help you heal and prevent physical injuries. Also, the movement will relieve stress from your muscles and help you get a better night’s sleep.
At a dance therapy class you’ll be asked to warm up by closing your eyes and listening to your body’s impulse to move for contemporary movements. Then your instructor may play music or guide you through a relaxed session where you may be asked to do certain movements or hold a few different poses.
During this process, you’ll discover your inner self and become aware of your body to improve your sense of well-being and find the source of your stress, anxiety, or trauma. You can talk to your therapist about your discovery after class or simply express yourself through movement.
Because dancing and listening involve several areas of the brain, dance movement therapy can help you improve your memory and reasoning skills, which is one of the reasons why this form of holistic healing is popular in senior citizen homes.
How to Prep for Your First Session
First go to healingradius.com, the holistic health search engine to find the perfect dance movement therapy center and instructor for you. HealingRadius will show you which centers are closest to your area and will let you compare reviews.
Then based off of your needs you can select a group or individual session. You may be asked a few questions about your daily life and routine so your instructor can learn about the sources of your stress.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothes that you can move in and don’t feel intimidated by the word ‘dance’. Dance movement therapy isn’t like Zumba or high-intensity dance workouts, instead, it’s your body connecting with your emotions to express yourself with movement.
If you’re going to dance therapy to heal or prevent injuries be sure to get checked out by a physician before attending your session.
Dance Your Problems Away
Even if you aren’t suffering from physical or emotional ailments get out there and express yourself through dance. You’ll be amazed at how uplifted you’ll feel are simply moving a little to get your blood pumping. You might even relieve pounds of stress that you didn’t even know you had, so dance movement therapy is definitely worth a shot!
Allison Barfield is a content writer for Span Enterprises and has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil, shortly after birth. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in media arts she fell in love with marketing. She's been copy writing and managing multiple blogs ever since.