|Posted by earthygirl81 on April 5, 2019 at 8:50 PM|
As you may already know exercise & movement is an important part of our health & wellbeing. You may be asking yourself what does this have to do with mental health. I work Holistically, meaning I view the whole person~ Mind, Body, & Spirit, not just the ‘mental’ aspects, its all connected.
The body expresses things non-verbally that we can’t express with just our words. It is the biggest communicator of how we are feeling and provides data and information that something is right or is off for us. We know that research shows us that the body holds the trauma. This can show up as physical pains, somatic issues, muscle twitches, digestive issues, and so on. Emotions are energy and when this energy is not acknowledged/moved/processed through then issues arise. This can be on a subconscious level or conscious level. We often don’t have the words to express the emotions, especially after traumas. Dance & Art is another wonderful tool for expressing what we can’t verbal or choice not to. Either way we are moving this energy and expression. With dance we are expressing fully the energy and emotions, there is no buffer to stop it. Its primal innate expression.
The healing nature of Music, Dance, & Art brings us together and communicate to us on a deep level that we are safe after trauma or coming from unhealthy/unsafe environment. We can see and sense with our whole bodies that these people mean no harm to us and that we are ok and safe again. It can open up space for healing, expression, release, and relaxation to occur. I use music, dance, & art alongside with education of coping skills, mindfulness, nutrition, & lifestyles in my office as I am interested in the movement of this energy and releasing feelings out of the body to allow new fresh energy to flow in for healing. It brings our awareness mindfully into our bodies and the present moment. Meaning it gets us out of our heads and into our bodies.
Let’s talk Brain Health for a minute. The Right-Side of the brain has functions of~ creativity, music awareness, abstract thinking, intuitive, imagination, spatial & visual learning/awareness, emotions, big picture/holistic, random sequencing and it controls the left side of the body. On the other hand, the Left-Side of the brain’s functions are~ logic, language, verbal, detail oriented, ordered sequencing, mathematical skills, time awareness, literal, detached, and it controls right side of the body.
Both of these sides are equally important for us to function at our maximum ability, however, an imbalance I often see is Left-Side prodomient, meaning the person is detached from their creativity, emotions, and expression. This can be from trauma and/or avoidance of emotions. Ideally we want balance between these hemispheres and firing of neurons equally on both sides of the brain. Dancing & body movements tap into both sides of the body helping to create healing, balance, and to move stuck energy & emotions.
Other Benefits of Dance as a Therapy Tool:
- Healing Expressive Techniques
- Increased Self-Expression
- Increased Creativity
- Decreased Stress, Anxiety, & Depression
- Increased Mindfulness- Alertness, Focus, & Concentration
- Positive Self-Care
- Increased Physical Activity/Fitness
- Increased Emotional Awareness
- Increased Body Awareness
- Increase Self-Confidence
- Positive Outlets for Emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness, & so on
- Increased Communication Skills
- Increased Social Connections
- Increased Empathy & Understanding for Others
- Increased Motor Skills, Agility, & Spatial Awareness
- Increased Balance, Flexibility, & Coordination
- Increased Muscle Strength & Endurance
- Better Heart & Lung Health
- Weight Management
- Increased Ability to Work with Others