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Four Forms Of Healing Through Dance

1025 words - 5 pages

Judith Lynne Hanna is a professor at the University of Maryland who focuses on anthropology, sociology and dance. She combines these topics to analyze how dance can help heal a person and help improve health. In a broader context, dance therapy is a recent form of movement that does not require any form of previous dance experience and focuses on “movement behavior as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship.” (ADTA) Judith Hanna focuses in on broader concept of dance therapy by concentrating on expressive behavior that relieves stress, disabling conditions, tension, and chronic fatigue.
According to Judith Hanna, “dance may promote wellness by strengthening the immune system through ...view middle of the document...

The supernatural being would then direct the person to do specific treatments to care for themselves. In some cases the healer would perform a specific dance to heal the person or the healer would remove the deity that causes the debilitating condition. Thus religious beliefs and specific practices of a certain belief impact how healing through possession can affect a person’s well-being, which is displayed in different cultural dances.
The second way Judith Hanna describes healing through dance is through the mastery of dance movement. Mastery of dance movement involves a person practice certain physical exercises, in sequences and which can aid in body functioning and the dancers awareness of their body’s natural responses. Judith Hanna explains that this process can be achieved by doing multiple warm-ups which prepares certain body parts, in doing so allows the dancer to have a sense of control over their body and its actions. Being in control of the body allows a person to develop a positive self-perception, body image, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Judith Hanna then goes to state that dancing in itself can cause a dancer to experience emotional changes or even altered states of consciousness. It is known that physical exercise caused by dance increases the circulation of blood which carries oxygen to the muscles and the brain, and when doing so the levels of brain chemicals are altered. Hanna believes that dancing may induce the release of endorphins to produce analgesia and euphoria. Along with improving and altering mood, dance also helps ease pain. Dance can help ease pain because dance can help improve muscle tone, flexibility, coordination and balance. Hanna describes a study in which Cynthia Berrol a professor at California State University East Bay reports using dance therapy for head injury patients. Berrol does this by using helplessness and fear by enabling ambulation, performing movement tasks and improving coordination.
The final way that Hanna believes can help a person heal through dance is by...

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