Expert Says Doing a Jive Every Day Can Reduce Anxiety and Help Manage Chronic Pain
Dance is the best medicine! Expert says doing a jive every day can reduce anxiety, help manage chronic pain and even improve quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients
- Dancing can reduce a person’s anxiety levels, in addition to providing other clinical benefits
- A study from last year found that dancing can even help reduce symptoms of schizophrenia.
- There has even been a rise of dance therapy groups hoping to add a different factor to the process that talk therapy cannot.
Laughter aside, dancing may be true natural medicine for anxiety and chronic pain, and could even help lift the spirits of Alzheimer’s patients.
Starre Vartan, a noted science writer and former geologist, writes for the Washington Post that dance got her through tough and lonely times during the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts agree the activity can have a positive impact on the brain.
While there have been known links between regular physical activity and better mental health, experts say there could be some additional benefits to dancing.
Daily dancing has been linked to relieving anxiety symptoms, managing chronic pain, and even an overall better quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Dancing can ease feelings of anxiety, chronic pain and even help treat symptoms of schizophrenia, study finds (file photo)
Vartan writes that during the pandemic, her father’s illness and then her long struggle with covid left her in a tough place mentally.
She danced every day to ease her feelings of anxiety about situations and found that it had a great effect.
While Vartan, along with many other amateur hoofers, may be hanging around their rooms, there is a clinical aspect to the dance.
Starre Vartan (pictured) said she used dance to help her get through a challenging period of the Covid pandemic
Dance/movement therapy takes the known benefits of physical activity and expands them into a more emotional realm.
“We hold all the experiences we’ve had in our body, so being able to move can release something we’ve been holding onto, hidden in a muscle,” Dr. Angela Grayson, president of the American Association for Dance Therapy, told. Mail.
‘The muscle has the memory of that, and when we’re moving, we can release it.’
Dr. Jacelyn Biondo, a creative arts therapy expert at Drexel University in Philadelphia, told the Post that dance’s individualism is what makes it different from a simple activity like riding a bike.
She says that dance allows everyone to express themselves, and not just do a monotonous activity that looks the same as everyone else.
Biondo said that the dance treatment has shown a positive impact on people suffering from depression and anxiety, which is already commonly known.
Where dance therapy really shows exceptional value is in its ability to combat the symptoms of schizophrenia, a serious psychiatric disorder.
A 2021 study led by Biondo found that patients with schizophrenia who participated in dance therapies were less likely to suffer from auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and delusional thoughts compared to those who used regular talk therapy.
Those who participated in the more active form of therapy also showed more expressions of emotion and had reduced levels of psychological distress.
While dancing alone in your room can provide benefits, the rewards gained could be further increased if that person receives advice from a trained therapist.
“By working with a dance movement therapist who is a trained observer, you get support to help you process what is being expressed in the dance and come up with a treatment plan,” Grayson explained to the Post.