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How Dance Therapy Can Help People With Depression And Memory Issues

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You may know from casual consideration of your own life that dancing can help elevate your mood—but a promising body of scientific research (for more on that, check out this article from Psychology Spot ) also shows the potential mental health benefits of dancing, as well. As a piece from Brit + Co. recently reminded us, dance has the power to lift our spirits thanks to hormones that are released in our brains when we rhythmically (note: nobody said elegantly) bop our limbs around.


Understanding the body in motion

Dance/movement therapy goes beyond simply dancing. DMT uses dance and movement to promote insight, integration and well-being, as well as to diminish undesirable symptoms in various clinical populations.

Improvements in Parkinson’s disease

Dance typically involves learning sequences of steps and movements in space, in coordination with music. In other words, it requires substantial physical and cognitive engagement and, as such, it should improve not only muscle tone, strength, balance and coordination, but also memory, attention and visuospatial processing.

New possibilities for feeling and perceiving

Conversely, our posture and our movements have the power to transform our mental states, to evoke repressed memories, to release spontaneity and creativity, to reorganise our brains. New ways of moving and dancing may produce new ways of feeling and perceiving the world.

Changes in brain structure

These studies are compatible with the idea of using dance and DMT in various neurological and psychiatric disorders — such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders — as well as in the general population.

New possibilities for feeling and perceiving

DMT from its inception emphasised that the body is inseparable from, and in constant reciprocal interaction with, the mind. As such, sensations, perceptions, emotions and thinking affect our body and the way we move. By observing the body we can deduce mental states.


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