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Dance Therapy: What Is It And How It Works
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Art therapies have been gaining popularity in recent years. These therapies allow people to treat their mental and emotional issues through art and with the help of a trained professional.

Dance therapy, which is a popular form of art therapy, is a means to enhance body and mind connection through movements. Paired with other therapies, dance therapy can be an efficient way to treat various mental, physical, cognitive, and social issues.

Continue reading if you have ever considered doing dance therapy but haven’t been quite sure about it. In this article, we will tell you everything you should know about dance therapy, including what makes it different from regular dancing, the common techniques, benefits, and more.

Dance therapy, also known as dance/movement therapy and DMT, is a type of therapy that uses movement to improve physical, mental, and emotional health
What Is Dance Therapy?

Dance therapy, also known as dance/movement therapy and DMT, is a type of therapy that uses movement to improve physical, mental, and emotional health. This therapy has been around since the 1940s and is an efficient way to achieve emotional and physical integration.

One of the most popular questions about dance therapy is how it differs from regular dancing. In essence, dance therapy takes regular dancing to a therapeutic level.

During dance therapy, movements become a way for people to express their conscious and unconscious emotions. The therapist then analyses and evaluates these movements and addresses the underlying issues during the DMT sessions.

It is important for people to understand that accumulated negative emotions can lead to physical pain and numerous health issues.

You may have heard about psychosomatic illnesses. These are illnesses where physical symptoms are caused by the psychological problems the person is experiencing.

Constant stress and emotional pain weaken the immune system. A weak immune system puts you under the risk of all kinds of health problems.

Dance therapy is an amazing way to release emotional baggage and repressed emotions that will eventually lead to physical issues. Some people do dance motivations and ecstatic dances as a form of dance therapy to get rid of negative energy.

The underlying premise behind dance/movement therapy is that body and mind are interconnected. Thus, body movements lead to mental changes.
Different Dance/Movement Therapy Techniques
Different Dance/Movement Therapy Techniques

When going to dance/movement therapy, you should expect the therapist to customize the DMT technique to your abilities and mental or physical issues.

Here are three common dance/movement therapy techniques.

  • Mirroring. Mirroring is one of the most popular dance therapy techniques. It can be used for group sessions and individual ones too. This technique implies one person doing a random movement and others trying to imitate it. The idea behind this technique is that the person performing the spontaneous move sees that others understand them. This encourages the group members to further express their emotions and feelings.

  • Authentic movement. This DMT technique is all about improvised dancing. It is best for the client to keep their eyes closed while moving to avoid distractions and express authentic emotions. Improvised movements help release subconscious emotions and feelings. Observing them helps the therapist treat the client efficiently.

  • Chacian. This is a DMT technique particularly efficient for promoting communication. This technique includes rhythmic movements. The therapist assesses the emotional state of the people involved in the group therapy. The group starts engaging in repetitive movements. In the meantime, the therapist watches and gives clues to help them achieve a mind-body connection.
One of the best things about dance therapy is that everyone can do it. You don’t have to have good dancing skills to do dance therapy. Dance therapy sessions are not dance classes.
Who Is Dance Therapy Good For?

One of the best things about dance therapy is that everyone can do it. You don’t have to have good dancing skills to do dance therapy. Dance therapy sessions are not dance classes.

No one is going to judge you for your dancing skills. Dance therapy sessions are therapeutic. They are meant to solve important mental and emotional problems.

Dance therapy is good for children, teenagers, adults, and seniors.

Children who may not be able to put their feelings into words can express themselves through dancing. Teenagers and adults can work through their traumas with the help of this practice.
Seniors, on the other hand, have declining health and numerous issues that come with it. Being an easily customizable practice, dance therapy may work well for elderly people too.

What Issues Does Dance Therapy Help With?

Dance therapy can be helpful in treating a variety of health issues. It can be used to treat such physical issues as chronic pain, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, etc.

Most commonly, dance/movement therapy is used to treat mental health issues. These include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.

Together with other therapies, dance therapy can be used to treat dementia, autism, various communication issues, etc.


Benefits Of Dance/Movement Therapy
Benefits Of Dance/Movement Therapy

As DMT is a form of art therapy, it is not surprising that many people are skeptical about its effectiveness. In reality, numerous studies and thorough research have confirmed the effectiveness of dance/movement therapy.

Studies have been conducted to prove the positive impact of DMT on such conditions as Parkinson’s disease, chronic heart failure, autism, eating disorders, depression, etc.

Here are some of the key benefits of dance/movement therapy.

  • Enhanced body and mind connection.
  • Improved psychological health, including relieved stress and anxiety, and restored self-esteem.
  • Boosted cognitive abilities, including enhanced creativity and body image, ability to manage mood changes, etc.
  • Improved physical health, including improved balance and gait, blood pressure, etc.
Getting Started With Dance Therapy

Now that you know the basics of dance therapy, it should be a lot easier for you to get started with it. Learning about the particular therapy before going to it is important as you know what to expect.

In addition to learning about the basics of this therapy, our best advice to you would be to start with a trained and certified dance therapist.

Before you start engaging in dance therapy, confirm with your therapist that they have observed all your health limitations.
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