Dance therapy for chronic pain is a fantastic way of managing pain and reducing stress. Dance therapy is also a great way to add exercise to your daily routine and maximize the benefits of physical movement for your chronic pain. Most people picture dance as a heart-pounding, acrobatic performances or rigorous ballet variations. What many don’t know is the therapeutic qualities of dance. For years, the practice of using dance as a medium for dealing with physical and mental disorders remained outside of the spotlight. Now, with the lens turned towards the mind-body connection, Dance Movement Therapy sees practical applications in aiding children with autism, overcoming psychosomatic disorders like depression, assisting in rehabilitation for injuries, supporting an addiction or eating disorder recovery, and chronic pain management.
Dance Therapy For People With Chronic Pain
The mind-body connection is often a forgotten component in dealing with mental and physical trauma. Individuals will find themselves turning away from emotions related to their present state. Due to injuries, disabilities or mental limiters, a person might draw their energies inward and become disassociated with their body. Dance Movement Therapy seeks to reconnect the body and mind by giving an individual the means to express themselves without words.
Dance Therapy: Not Just For Exercise
This psychotherapeutic method helps clients regain and improve their self-esteem, develop communication skills and expand movement vocabulary. Most sessions are self-guided and improvised. As a regular exercise or dance class, there’s a warm-up, a meditation stage, a guided practice and then evaluation, where the therapist discusses their observations with the client(s). The body is allowed to explore its potential while simultaneously essaying thoughts the mover has internalized. The movement might be subtle or expressive. For that reason, anyone can enjoy movement therapy. Even those with limited mobility, like the elderly or physically challenged, can learn to dance.
Coping With Chronic Pain Through Dance Therapy
As for dealing with chronic pain, the movement is certainly useful. Movement keeps joints lubricated and muscles taut. There is also the presence of feel-good endorphins. Dance Movement Therapy encourages participants to move comfortably while facing their fears. In other words, the movers can “play” with a movement that feels good to them, helping them discover alternate yet functional methods of working through their chronic pain. Meanwhile, the mind-body state is exercised and gives way to a freer, healthier people.
Dance Therapy For Better Health
Dancing away pain might sound unfeasible, but the applications for Movement Therapy are endless. Learn how to move within the body you have instead of fighting the pain. Accepting your condition then transcending what you thought were your boundaries is an excellent way to start managing chronic pain. To find a Dance Movement Therapist near you, check the websites for the American Dance Therapy Association and the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia.
Have you tried dance therapy? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section!