Therapeutic Movement: Top 10 Health Benefits of Dance
The therapeutic benefits of dance are impressive. Research and anecdotal evidence both prove that the therapeutic movements of dancing come with tremendous health benefits for people of all ages. The following are the top 10 notable health benefits of dance.
1. Increased Strength
Increased muscle strength is one of the healing benefits that dance participants of all ages will note as they begin regular dance lessons. In fact, pretty much every style of dance can help build muscle tone.
2. Improved Circulation
One of the most significant and impressive health benefits of dancing is how it can help improve circulation. Like other types of cardio exercise, dance strengthens the heart and lungs, and healing happens throughout the body more rapidly as oxygen-rich blood circulates. This reduces the chance of heart disease and stroke, brings down inflammation and promotes healing.
3. Early Childhood Development
Dance lessons for young children help foster all of the early childhood education goals that we hold important, such as independence, creativity, following instructions and organization.
4. Cognitive Development
Dance provides a different perspective on how we process, structure and store information because it activates our kinesthetic intelligence, which is our understanding of our own physical relationship between the things and space around us. Regular dance practice, especially in professional dance lessons, can help us exercise cognitive skills and improve both our memory and concentration.
5. Increased Creativity
With improved circulation and greater strength comes increased creativity. What's more, as our creative thinking skills become stronger, we will experience a phenomenal increase in our quality of life. Challenges will be easier to overcome and we will have a more focused perspective.
6. Increased Focus
Dance practice helps us exercise the concept of discipline and focus through motion. When we are focused, we are better able to achieve both our personal and professional goals. This increased focus reduces symptoms of ADHD, allowing students to learn more effectively, and also reduces symptoms of PTSD.
7. Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
Dance is renowned for the improved flexibility that it gives people. This can be especially helpful for people recovering from an injury or undergoing physical rehabilitation, since the movements of dance can increase their range of motion.
According to Good Health.org, dance also significantly reduces the symptoms of Parkinson's disorder, allowing more control over motion and improving quality of life for those with Parkinson's
8. Improved Digestion
The popular image of a ballerina is that of a fairly thin lady holding an elegant pose, such as the fantasy ballerina of our musical jewelry box. In fact, regular dance practice improves digestion and increases appetite. With the high caloric output from regular dance practice, many people report eating larger portions and having a greater appreciation for the taste of foods.
9. Reduced Inflammation and Pain
Increased circulation from therapeutic movement and dance has the important additional benefit of reducing both inflammation and pain. In fact, according to a recent CTV News report about the effectiveness of dance therapy in Ontario, Canada, patients are reporting reduced pain through therapeutic movement and dance. Patients have reduced and eliminated reliance on pain medicines, and one participant no longer requires leg braces to walk comfortably.
Dance is proven to be a major factor in longevity. Not only do dancers live longer, but elders who dance claim to feel younger. According to a 2016 review in the Archives of Gerontology, dance practice may help to reduce falls and increase balance in older adults.
In addition, a recent study published in the journal Menopause shows that dance therapy improves balance, increases mobility, improves blood pressure and reduces body mass in post-menopausal women. Dance lessons also provide a creative social opportunity for the elderly, reducing health risks associated with social isolation.