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Dance Therapy

Undoubtedly, dance is one of the most physical art forms. The pure physicality of this artistic expression can provide dancers with a range of therapeutic benefits. Suzanne learns about the many advantages that dance therapy offers by talking with Angela Tatum Fairfax, a psychotherapist with a passion for psychology, teaching, and dancing. Angela says that participating in dance therapy can help people to overcome emotional problems, mental issues, and sometimes even physical illnesses. People that are disabled and forced to use a walker or wheelchair can also utilize dance therapy to help them reconnect with their bodies and improve their overall mobility.

Angela demonstrates the components of a typical dance therapy session, which starts with deep breathing exercises and body warm-ups. After everyone in the class is relaxed, Angela continues the session with activities that utilize props such as balloons, scarves, and pillows. At the end of each session, the class discusses the different thoughts and memories provoked by their dance therapy meeting. Practitioners of dance therapy say that regular sessions help increase their feelings of mental and physical awareness as well as bolster their natural gracefulness.

A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, which tracked the progress of forty dance therapy practitioners over the course of 12 weeks, showed a significant reduction in their psychological distress levels from when they were originally measured at the onset of the experiment. It also revealed an increase in serotonin production in the test subjects, which correlates to an improvement in overall mood and mental health. These findings led researches to believe that dance therapy may aid in stabilizing the sympathetic nervous system which produces serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals responsible for maintaining proper psychological condition.

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