Movement therapy, also known as dance therapy, merges creative arts and therapy. This type of physical therapy is derived from the idea that dance and movement promotes healing of the mind and body. Professionals in this field work on the basic premise that the constant motion of the universe directly correlates to the body’s need for movement.
This type of therapy often addresses the needs of the elderly, abused children and adults and even autistic or disabled individuals. Movement therapists work with patients on responding to emotions and pain through dance and movement. Some therapy focuses on precise movements while other forms center on spontaneous emotional responses in movement.
Movement therapy offers a variety of physical benefits including stronger muscles and joints, increased coordination, improved flexibility, better circulation and cardiovascular health. Injury prevention and wellness also result from movement therapy.
Mental health advantages have also been associated with movement therapy. Increased confidence and self esteem, self-awareness, sense of peace and improved positive attitude have all been attributed as benefits of movement therapy. Pilates and yoga are both considered forms of movement therapy.