The other day, we shared some brand-new studies that investigated the neural effects of dance on people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Dance has been shown to improve motor function, cognitive function, mental symptoms, and overall quality of life in people both with and without Parkinson’s disease.
These results have been found in scientific studies, but also shared by a number of you in the comments that were left on the last blog.
Deb, a child trauma therapist, shared how tap dance has made such a difference in the life of a traumatized young patient.
And Virginia, LPCA, highlighted how dance therapy takes advantage of the discovery of the role of mirror neurons in the brain.
So what is it about dance that makes it such an effective intervention for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (and other brain disorders)?
With some help from our friends at Dance for PD®, let’s count the ways:
- Dance develops flexibility and instills confidence.
- Dance is first and foremost a stimulating mental activity that connects mind to body
- Dance breaks isolation.
- Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful movement.
- Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears and touch as tools to assist in movement and balance
- Dance increases awareness of where all parts of the body are in space.
- Dance tells stories.
- Dance sparks creativity.
- The basis of dance is rhythm.
- The essence of dance is joy.
When I look at this list, I notice words and phrases like “creativity,” “breaks isolation,” and “connects mind to body.”
And we’ve created several Brain Science webinar series where we get into practical strategies for connecting the body and brain in order to strengthen resilience, speed healing, and increase happiness.
Which of the reasons listed above resonates most with you or in your work with clients? What other strategies have you used with patients that have shown similar benefits? Please leave a comment below.