Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is based on the interrelationship of body, mind and emotion. It uses movement as a process that furthers the emotional, physical and spiritual integration of the individual. Thus, DMT effects changes in feelings, cognition, physical functioning and behavior. Non-verbal expression through movement and music enables participants to respond spontaneously and creatively to the here and now.
Because people often experience illness as a loss of control over their bodies, gaining the ability to calm anxiety and to manage pain can restore a sense of connection that is revitalizing…thus reducing stress. THIS IS WHAT DMT OFFERS.. The ability to relax deeply, to experience the release of tension, and to feel that your body can still provide pleasure is a powerful sign of hope when facing a life-threatening illness. Learning that you can achieve a state of relaxation at will brings a feeling of confidence that your are once again in touch with your body. In addition, relaxation itself is recuperative and can lead to a decrease into need for some types of medication.
It has been demonstrated clinically effective in developing body image, improving self concept, increasing self esteem, ameliorating depression, decreasing fears and anxieties, expressing anger, decreasing isolation, fostering solidarity, decreasing bodily tension, reducing chronic pain, enhancing respiratory and circulatory functions, increasing feelings of well being and promoting healing DMT deals with issues that art not addressed in many stress reduction programs such as sensuality and sexuality.
The dance movement therapist integrates the traditional flow of words with the less defended expression of the body. Attention to movement, gesture, rhythm, breath verbal and nonverbal communications are key elements of DMT. Body movement simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention.
Dance may provide a more complete mode of self-expression then speech or writing. (Hanna, 1995) . Dance usually involves sight, sound, touch, smell and kinesthetic feeling. Thus dance may provide a person with a captivating, multisensory experience. The intricate combination of movement , rhythm and music involves simultaneous right and left brain usage in the complex process of self-expression.
“Dance” refers to human behavior composed from the dancer’s perspective, purposeful, intentionally rhythmical and culturally patterned sequences of nonverbal body movements other then ordinary motor activities. The movement is frequently accompanied by music.
The role of social support in the healing process?
An overwhelming amount of evidence shows that social support has therapeutic effects on our psychological and physical health (Cohen, 1988; House et al., 1988; Willis, 1990). A carefully controlled study in 1989 showed that breast cancer patients who were given supportive group therapy, in addition to their medical care, survived almost twice as long, after beginning treatment, as those not receiving group therapy (Spiegel, Bloom, Kramer, et al. 1989). 1995).
One method of encouraging a social support network is through Dance Movement Therapy. DMT uses movement as a process to further the emotional, physical and spiritual integration of the individual. The literature on dance and healing suggests that through dance, with its physical, emotional, cognitive and cultural dimensions, a person may gain a sense of control related to stress and pain ( Hanna, 1995). DMT acknowledges the fusion of the mind and body and the expressive and communicative primacy of nonverbal body movement in revealing aspects of a person’s mental and emotional state and range of adaptive behaviors.