DANCE AND MOVEMENT THERAPY: A CATALYST IN MENTAL WELL-BEING

DANCE AND MOVEMENT THERAPY: A CATALYST IN MENTAL WELL-BEING

If you only set people in motion they're going to heal themselves

-Gabrielle Roth

A study conducted by the Stress, Trauma, and Anxiety Research Clinic (STARC) based in Detroit, Michigan on exploring the dance and movement therapies to help address mental trauma among the refugees. The study shows positive results as dance and body movement therapies not only provide a way to express oneself furthermore helps in relieving stress and a lifelong healing process. Study shows that Dance and Movement therapy treats Depression, Anxiety and other Psychological issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dance and Movement Therapy is a type of therapy that utilizes bodily movements to assist individuals in coping with mental health issues. Dance The therapy enhances coordination and muscular strength releases tension and stress and allowing one to express freely. Lana Ruvolo Grasser, a neuroscientist said that it is instinct to move one’s body or oneself to express is as old as humanity, the movement-based therapies which include dance and movement therapy are something novel in treating mental health. Research revealed that dance movement therapy is important for early life experiences in which a child learns to deal with stress having a long-lasting impact on adulthood. Dance therapy involves five stages of therapy these include movement seeding, movement exploration, movement expression, resolution, and integration. Some of the dance and movement therapies increase attention span for example moving the index finger in the air and start focusing on it with full concentration which at last increases attention span. We as human focuses more on non-verbal communication and dance an movement therapy allows for expressing ourselves through bodily movements which reduce bodily tension and anxiety as well. In dance therapy an individual experiences mind, body, and soul interconnectedness which makes us realize oneness. Dance and movement therapy are both assessment as well as intervention tools for example if an individual is hesitant to move his/her body that might be because of the person experiencing discomfort or other psychological issues likewise bodily movement therapy can be used as an intervention in treating psychological problems.

In India dance and movement-based therapy are novel but with time more people are entering this and becoming professional dance therapists. Indian tradition from ancient times focuses on dance, drama, art forms. From Harappan civilization to the present date art forms are considered as the heart and soul of our country. In the current scenario when people are suffering from mental disorders such therapies should be encouraged which are low in cost and more ineffectiveness. With the beginning of digitalization, people do their work while sitting and not at all moving their bodies, dance and movement therapies can be included in daily work-life routine for a healthy lifestyle. In the end, the study by STARC says the effectiveness of dance therapies in refugees is helpful when there’s a crisis situation in Afghanistan, Rohingyas in Myanmar, Uyghurs in China, etc. The need of the hour is to spread awareness about the effectiveness of different therapies and how can use them in treating different psychological issues in the era of digitalization.

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Psychologs Magazine

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