also known as body work

DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY

How Dance Movement Therapy can help you

Definitions

Dance movement therapy (DMT) is based on the premise that thoughts, feelings, and the experience of self are expressed through the body and movement. It is a relational process that integrates emotional, cognitive, physical, and social aspects of self.

The DMT approach incorporates knowledge from psychotherapeutic approaches, psychology, sensorimotor and developmental movement, movement analysis, and neuroscience. The elements of dance (body awareness, rhythm, time, space, gesture, posture, and dynamics) are applied as a framework for exploration, discovery, learning and change. DMT focuses on movement behaviour as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviours are all considered for group and individual treatment. Body movement, as the core component of dance, simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention.

A dance movement therapist has a Master’s or PhD level of education that is followed by an extensive supervised internship prior to the onset of DMT practice.

 – Dance Movement Therapy Association, Canada

Bodywork and Manual Therapy [including Dance Movement Therapy] are general terms that refer to body manipulation therapies used for relaxation and pain relief. Massage is a well-known form of Manual Therapy. 

The idea behind Bodywork is that people learn—or are forced by injury or stress into—unnatural ways of moving or holding their bodies. This unnatural movement or posture changes the natural alignment of bones, which in turn causes discomfort and may contribute to health problems. The aim of Bodywork is to realign and reposition the body to allow natural, graceful movement. 

Bodywork, along with identifying possible contributing causes of unnatural movement and posture, is thought to reduce stress and ease pain. 

– HealthLink BC

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