Benefits of Dance Therapy
Although not many scientific evaluation studies have been completed on dance therapy, clinical reports are available that state dance therapy may help to reduce stress and improve self-esteem. This type of therapy is promoted not only to healthy people as a wellness program, but as a benefit to people suffering from various types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Proponents of dance therapy claim it helps to reduce the anxiety and stress of dealing with serious and chronic illnesses. Dance therapy centers on the belief that the body and mind work together, and what affects one, is a reflection of the other. It is claimed that through dance, people are able to express their deepest emotions and bring them to the surface in an effort to deal with them, bringing about a sense of renewal and serenity. Reducing stress has been shown to benefit people in reducing blood pressure and certain kinds of pain.
Exercise in general increases circulation, improves mobility, and reduces muscle tension. Another advantage includes the release of endorphins, the “feel good” substance triggered in the brain. In dance therapy, however, a program is tailored to the individual for the purpose of nonverbal expression to reveal problems within the body.
During the first session, the dance therapist has the patient use free form dancing to try to express his or her feelings. Observation can then be made to assess the person’s situation and design a personal program to help the patient in coping with emotional and physical concerns. The therapist should take into account the level of difficulty and frequency of the dance steps and movements when outlining an individual program; always correlating them to the patient’s level of fitness and stamina.
Mesothelioma and Dance Therapy
Dance therapy may be beneficial to most participants in helping them with physical fitness, weight control and a general feeling of well-being. Scientific studies are needed, however, to determine if dance therapy has the ability to assist in the prevention of, or recovery from, chronic or serious illness. When coupled with standard medical procedures, dance therapy could result in reduced pain and stress, along with a sense of peace among patients. Patients diagnosed with cancers such as mesothelioma may benefit from alternative therapies such as this one. Mesothelioma exhibits a long latency period, oftentimes resulting in diagnosis occurring in the later stages. When used in conjunction with standard procedures, alternative methods like dance therapy could aid in a mesothelioma patient’s overall well-being, and quality of life.