Dance movement therapy (DMT) is a holistic therapy that improves health and wellness. It promotes emotional, cognitive, and physical movement to support the well-being of the individual. It is a holistic way to heal, and it is based on the concept that the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected. DMT is centered on the concept that anything that happens to one happens to all. When people use both verbal and non-verbal communication, it allows everything to be communicated.
The Premise of DMT
- Movement is the first language of humans
- Non-verbal and verbal communication are equally important
- Spirit, mind, and body are connected to each other
- Movement can be four things: functional, communicative, developmental, expressive
- A primary mode of DMT is assessing movement
Techniques Used in DMT
Dance movement therapists help patients experience and validate what the patients feel but cannot verbalize. DMT therapists also help their patients further develop a sense of control over their bodies. The beauty of DMT is that it can be adapted to meet a wide variety of different body types and emotional needs. DMT allows its users a safe space to go back and forth between speaking and using nonverbal movements for communication and self-exploration.
While providing space for people to experience a sense of choice and tolerate new sensations, DMT therapists help their patients find compassionate ways to feel a sense of control. Therapists use “mirroring,” a strategy in which the therapist will copy a person’s movements thus allowing the person to be more connected to others and to build empathy within themselves. This allows freedom of expression in verbal and nonverbal ways of using movement. Within this freedom a patient may do the following:
- Find the connection between movement and emotions
- Learn to track breathing and sensations within the body
- Learn improvisational movement
- Share specific movements in order to allow healing
- Process the feelings caused by the movement
Conditions That DMT Helps
DMT is a holistic therapy that is helpful for a wide variety of issues while in rehab. It is used to treat physical health issues and mental health issues. DMT can raise self-esteem and allow for a more positive body image. Some conditions that can be improved with DMT include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Chronic pain
- Problems communicating
- Eating disorders
- Esteem issues and low self-esteem
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Negative body image
Benefits of DMT
DMT is a holistic therapy and it helps other types of therapy such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) be more effective. The benefits of DMT often include:
- Causes self-awareness
- Improves coping skills
- Improves body-image
- Allows self-expression in a safe way
- Enhances interpersonal skills
- Enhances cognitive skills
- Enhances quality of life
How DMT Helps
DMT aims to improve people’s well-being through gentle activity. Mental health challenges are difficult to deal with, and these conditions sometimes make verbalizing some emotions feel next to impossible. By integrating the mind and body in DMT, individuals may be able to better process some of these emotional challenges and further strengthen their coping abilities.
DMT can help improve:
- Nonverbal communication and expression
- Awareness of the body
- Improved self-esteem
- Release of tension
- Coordination and mobility
DMT is advantageous for most people regardless of age or physical health. Almost everyone who participates can benefit from this therapy because it promotes wellness physically, mentally, and spiritually. DMT is a physical exercise that incorporates a physical effort to release tension and stress. In doing so, DMT acts as a way to prevent harmful physical and mental health conditions.
It can be adapted to meet a variety of physical abilities, so it can be gentle enough that children and seniors alike can participate and benefit. Children in particular who lack the ability to verbalize their deep feelings and trauma may benefit from DMT. DMT may improve its users’ moods, coordination, desire to interact with others, and self-esteem. DMT may get people moving in other areas of their life due to the positive feelings derived from the benefits of dance.
DMT allows people to be tuned in to what they feel in their bodies, and, in doing so, start to identify the triggers in their life based on how certain movements make their bodies feel. Once DMT patients identify their triggers, they are able to learn how to positively cope with them. Dance movement therapy is a very gentle way to process uncomfortable things and can be beneficial for all ages of people, particularly children. Verbalizing trauma can cause more trauma, DMT allows things to be processed without recreating trauma and allows for healing and self-knowledge in a gentle and compassionate way.
Dance movement therapy (DMT) improves wellness. The mind, body, and spirit are connected and anything that affects one affects the other two. DMT provides the opportunity for personal growth and improves connection with oneself and with others. DMT allows people to express themselves and find solutions without talk therapy. Nonverbal communication promotes well-being and confidence. DMT is not about dance training; it is designed to help you be in contact with all parts of yourself. DMT allows you to release things with movement, and feel the feeling, without having to verbalize it. While allowing yourself to move and symbolize your inner self, you can work through very difficult emotions without the need to explain them to anyone. Vanity Wellness Center can help. To learn more about our integrative facility, call us today at (866) 587-1737.