20 Feb Dance towards a better state of mental health
A national movement to help combat mental health issues
“He traps me like a prisoner. Never lets me see the light. Never lets me go. He keeps me up at night.”
The villain in this poem is not a person, not a creature, but depression. This is just one of many personal stories about battling mental health issues.
Every year, one in four people in the UK experience a mental health issue. The chances are at some point in your life, you will too, if you haven’t already. The ever-stretched NHS is feeling the strain as much as its patients, with 40% of GP appointments today involving mental health.
Our mental health is intimately tied up with our physical and emotional wellbeing. There is no getting away from the fact that without good mental health, loving life, loving yourself and loving others becomes an uphill battle.
Finding your way through
The road to a healthy mind is often long and filled with unexpected setbacks and challenges. There are solutions out there, from counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy to medication and support groups. But increasingly people are turning to dance as a means to express their pain, deal with their anxiety and feel good again, if only for a moment.
Through dance, individuals are able to take control of their mental wellbeing, becoming empowered to create their own moments of joy and bliss. This ultimately helps give them the strength to walk out from the shadows and into the light.
This is not just an anecdote, nor is it only true for a select few individuals. The uplifting nature of dance is a universal truth and there is ever more evidence to support this.
The science of dance
A growing body of research is proving the link between the power of dance and better mental health. A review of 20 years of research in the journal, The Arts in Psychotherapy, reveals that dance and its close relation, dance movement therapy, can improve depression, anxiety, body image and overall wellbeing.
The weight of this research has filtered through to mental health services, with increasing numbers now promoting the importance of arts therapists and expression through dance.
Help for all
The healing effect of dance crosses generations, from contemporary dance workshops helping the youth of Manchester explore their mental health issues to dance classes bringing joy to vulnerable elderly people at a time when social care is once again dealing with funding cuts.
The diversity of dance also means it is accessible to people of all genders and races. Hip-hop, jive, zumba, ballroom, street, wheelchair dancing, the list goes on. With dance there really is something for everyone, which makes it a truly personalised therapy.
All it takes to engage with the power of dance is a willingness to try. With Ecstatic Awakening Dance™, age, gender, fitness, or so-called rhythm are all unimportant.
Ecstatic Awakening Dance™ welcomes you
Created to help individuals reconnect with themselves, find their natural rhythm, and feel empowered and blissful, Ecstatic Awakening Dance™ doesn’t involve learning steps or forcing your body to follow set moves. It is all about free form movement, letting go and allowing your body to be free.
At the School of Ecstatic Movement, we welcome everyone to join us and try Ecstatic Awakening Dance in a safe, judgement-free environment.
Learn more about Ecstatic Awakening Dance™ here and discover your own moment of bliss.