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Holistic Integration Through Dance Therapy

Do you ever just want to break through the barriers and into a freedom where your spirit is free? To find yourself in that space where you are lifted beyond limitations while at the same time operating from the very center of yourself? Feeling your whole self, including emotions, body, mind and spirit integrated as one complete entity moving with the multiple forces of the universe breaking barriers of the physical world as if co-creating both space and time… this is the dance.

Living with a severe mental illness can be stressful. There are many parts of one’s life that are affected and a person who is suffering with the symptoms of mental illness such as bipolar can sometimes feel quite burdened.

There are many theories about how DMT actually works, but the art/science itself always uses the interaction and interrelatedness of mental and physical components often emphasizing how one feels. Naturally, as a form of exercise, it will help a person achieve physical benefits that usually result in feeling better overall and in being more relaxed. The physical exercise component of DMT releases positives neuro-chemical changes are activated, especially the feel good neuro-chemicals called endorphins. The therapy is offered in both a group setting and in individual sessions depending on the specific issue of the person.

Dance therapy, or DMT (Dance Movement Therapy) is a vehicle through which a person can break free of barriers and experience psycho-physical integration. Some of the goals of dance therapy may include connecting with oneself, and with other people. Dance therapy engages the mind and body in a rhythm of time in space and can have the same effects of meditation while helping to increase the dancer’s awareness of movement and of the expression of movement. This helps to connect experience to feelings while helping the individual to tune into to the meaning of movement and the life’s events that the movement represents. The ritual of the dance sets the experience in the psyche thus helping the dancer achieve integration.

The American Dance Therapy Association defines DMT as “The psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process that furthers emotional, cognitive, social and physical integration of the individual”. With the assumption of the mind-body connection, and that both are interrelated, the idea is that a person’s state of mind can be reflected in movement. Thus, a person can express that which is deep within the unconscious or subconscious through this modality. A dancer can connect with her/his deepest feelings, emotions, and even unconscious beliefs and schemas about what is making up her or his world. By expressing what is within through the external language of dance, a person can sort things out, even resolve conflicted emotions.

If you would like to learn more about DMT, below is a website that explains the therapeutic art/science quite eloquently:

http://www.reintegration.com/health/

You can read a moving story about a young woman and the healing power of dance at this website. You will need to scroll down the page a bit:

http://danceproject.ca/can-dance-be-therapy-for-bipolar-disorder/