Imagine someone gave you the gift of the most beautiful house on the block with an exquisite garden. Your excitement overtakes you as you rush to open the door.
In your horror, you find that the inside of the house does not come close to the outside. A wave of disappointment rushes over you, followed by shock and deception.
Unfortunately, this scenario is the true story of many individuals. Amazingly, some people can spend hours improving their appearances with makeup applications, but can´t spend 5 minutes checking in on themselves to ensure that their inner being is flourishing and thriving.
Regulating stress, unforgiveness, hatred, anger, resentment, and every other negative emotion ensures that you do not accumulate junk in your heart and slip into your body as somatic symptoms of chronic pain and diseases.
This article takes a deeper look at body awareness and dance therapy as possible ways to release stress from your body.
Stress is all around us; although not all types of stress are bad, you have to admit that negative stress is on the rise globally, and it isn´t a coincidence that so are chronic diseases.
Are you in sync with your body? Can you tell if something is off in your body?
Or are you more into the flow of the daily grind that you don´t realize, sometimes when you´re hungry until your stomach reminds you through hunger pangs?
What is your first reaction to a sign of pain or slight discomfort? If you´re like some people, you ignore it and go about your day.
However, that approach hardly ever works because most times, the pain gets worse right? It would have been much easier to tackle the pain in its infancy instead of in a blown-out catastrophe phase. That is where body awareness and other techniques come in handy in keeping you in sync with your body, mind, and emotions.
Suppression of emotions (especially anger) can manifest into bodily symptoms (somatic) such as back pain.
According to findings from the NIH, stressful situations can alter the effectiveness of the white blood cells’ function in your immune system.
Emotional and physical health are intimately intertwined.
Acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation relaxation techniques, Tai Chi, and yoga are effective ways to release chronic pain in areas such as the lower back, neck, or knee.
What is body awareness?
Body awareness is the art of sensing what´s happening in your body. It is vital and can save your life. Body awareness covers many things which, include the following examples:
- ability to identify various parts of your body by touch
- understand the organs of your body, their locations, and how they feel
- deepen awareness of the texture, taste, and temperature of the foods you eat
- knowledge of when you are full, thirsty, or hungry
- realization of body temperature (hot/cold)
What is the importance of body awareness?
It is an asset to be in sync with your body and to develop the skills to deepen your body awareness. Some benefits of body awareness include:
- significantly reduces anxiety and stress
- improves self-care (keeps you in tune with your physical and emotional needs)
- makes you more sensitive/alert to what´s going on inside your body
- pain management awareness
- teaches you to have a good relationship with your body
- ability to make sound behavioral choices
- can train your body to react differently
Now that we talked about the meaning and importance of body awareness. Let us dive into the types of body awareness solutions that can help deepen your sensitivity and well-being. Some forms of body awareness activities include:
- relaxation exercises (Yoga, Tai Chi)
- body scanning (focus your attention on different parts of your body, slow process to make you remain still, patient, and observant of your body, you can start from your head and work your way down to your toes)
- mindfulness meditation (deep focus on the present moment)
- progressive muscle relaxation (the focus is on tensing and relaxing muscle groups)
What is Dance Movement Therapy?
Dance Movement Therapy or DMT is a new science that can help you enhance your feelings of well-being through dancing. This format allows people who have problems expressing themselves verbally to express their emotions through movement. DMT allows the interaction of body and mind.
The movement has symbolic functions and facilitates self-comprehension. It also aids in developing a good body image and self-esteem and is an ideal therapy treatment for people suffering from poor body perceptions like anorexia and bulimia. Dances such as ballet, folk, and contemporary are common in Dance Movement Therapy.
What are the benefits of Dance Movement Therapy?
Dance Movement Therapy uses dance and other forms of physical movement to improve someone´s emotional and psychological functioning. It provides a safe, non-judgmental environment to express yourself freely.
Uses of Dance Movement Therapy
You can use dance therapy for:
- stress or nerve damage
- chronic pain
- somatization (physical symptoms brought about by emotional difficulties which seep into your body as symptoms)
- to improve body image
The American Dance Therapist Association (ADTA) began in 1966. A trained and certified specialist leads group or individual sessions.
Negative stress affects many people worldwide. Sometimes people are not aware when they are experiencing chronic stress. Chronic stress does havoc on your body and your health. There are several ways to combat stress and lead a successful and fulfilling life.
Body awareness enriches the sensitivity to your body, emotions, and mind connection and keeps you alert to any changes that may arise. Dance therapy is a way to help people who are less verbal to express their emotions through movement in a safe environment free from judgment.
Both techniques allow you to release stress from your body in healthy ways. A healthy lifestyle is not about diet and exercise alone. It also covers healthy ways to release stress from the body and involves other healthy lifestyle choices for example doing things you enjoy like hobbies, volunteering, etc.
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