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A dance a day keeps the doctor away

Eclectic Edge Ensemble

I am in the process of finishing up a thesis on the power of art to support adolescents in grief work.  While researching, I came across some interesting findings…

We are all aware of the effects of stress on our bodies.  Holding onto anger, anxiety, guilt, and grief can manifest in disorders such as heart disease, chronic pain, or immune dysfunction.  Art therapist Cathy Malchiodi explains that art has the power to alleviate some of these symptoms.  “The repetitive, self-soothing qualities of painting, drawing, or working with clay may induce the ‘relaxation response,’ a reduction in the heart rate and respiration related to stress reduction.”   Although dance gets the blood pumping, creative activities, such as dance, have the ability to reduce stress, improve blood pressure and respiration, and ultimately improve mood and outlook. This mood enhancing technique has the ability then to increase the capacity to communicate with one another.  Deepak Chopra, M.D, perceives that our creative existences are the most important factor for health and well-being. The evidence from psychological and neurological research is increasingly showing that the arts play a vital role in our ability to problem-solve, think, and remember.  Dance as art, like exercise and eating right, has the power to extend our life spans and stimulate our minds and bodies. What more could we ask for?!