11 Reasons Why Dance Movement Therapy Can Improve Employee Wellness
The connection between the mind and body is well understood. It refers to a person in a flow state when their body and mind are in harmony. The most creative work is believed to happen when an individual is in a flow state. The "flow state" is the mental condition in which people are most productive.
Mental health for corporate employees is rarely addressed. So there is less knowledge on interventions that can benefit corporations. Dance movement therapy (DMT) is a new intervention that supports corporate mental health professionals.
We talked with Myah Payel Mitra, who is an Award-winning Employee Engagement, and Somatic Leadership Coach. She is a certified dance movement therapy practitioner and a pioneer in the field of movement therapy named by Encubay in 2021. She enlightened us about movement therapy and how corporations incorporate it into employee wellness programs. Let's look at how DMT can benefit both the physical and mental wellness of an employee/employer.
Suggested read: How Movement Therapy Can Improve Employee Wellness?
- The American Dance Therapy Association is an organization in the United States. It was established in 1996 as a group to support the emerging profession of the group devotes itself to dance movement therapy.
- Since ancient times, dance has been employed as a therapeutic ritual.
Dance therapy was influenced by psychodynamic theory in the 1940s.
- Research on nonverbal behavior and the body's functions in mental health conditions in the 1960s.
- The creation of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) in 1966 led to the creation of dance certification criteria.
What is Dance Therapy?
Dance movement is a therapeutic intervention for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We can also say that it helps maintain a therapeutic relationship between our body and mind. Bringing back memories and other emotional events can influence our emotions and state of well-being.
Music from our youth can change our mood and bring back memories by making our bodies experience a certain emotion. When dancing or any other movement is accompanied by music, it can help people decompress and feel happy. It can also increase endorphin production in the brain.
"Dance movement therapy (DMT) is a way of expressing yourself within the framework of your body." She added, "Here we work in the trio of the mind, body, and soul connection." - Myah Payel Mitra
- Physical health advantages include greater strength, flexibility, less muscle stress, and better coordination.
It is a movement to promote emotional advantages and cognitive health.
- It provides significant mental health advantages, such as stress reduction, anxiety reduction, and mood improvement.
The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) defines dance therapy as the use of movement in psychotherapy to improve a person's emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration in order to improve health and well-being.
Depending on a person's sense of safety, access to the body, and familiarity with an authentic expression of the body, DMT appears differently for each person.
"The process may range from primarily verbal or speaking to primarily nonverbal or movement”. - Caroline Kinsley, an LPC intern and R-DMT.
As part of dance therapy, a therapist might:
concentrate on improving your body image and sense of value. They seek to develop effective communication and interpersonal skills. As a result, the client has a greater movement vocabulary, a better awareness of behavioural patterns, and new coping techniques as a result.
assist you in exploring and understanding the relationship between movement and emotion.
Encourage keeping a note of your breath and physical sensations.
assist you in leading improvised and self-expressive movements.
To encourage healing, use specialised movement or vocal therapeutic interventions.
assist you in processing the emotions brought up by the movement.
When working with a client, therapists may use various movement exercises and strategies. Several instances include—
Mirroring: One can confirm empathy and feelings by matching and echoing motions. Clients can see a reflection of themselves when a therapist mirrors their movements or when they mirror one another.
Movement metaphors: Movement Metaphor is nonverbal communication. A movement metaphor or prop can help you show a therapeutic challenge or achievement. For example, a therapist may give a participant a white flag to celebrate emotional surrender.
Jumping rhythms: Due to the fact that depression has been linked to a decrease in vertical movement, therapists may include jumping into dances for patients who are suffering from the condition.
What types of issues does dance therapy assist with?
In therapy, dance therapists work with clients to make them feel better about themselves and their bodies. The many uses of dance and movement therapy are based on the idea that motion and emotion are intertwined. Dance therapy's artistic expression can improve interpersonal connections and communication abilities. It is used to treat a range of physical, emotional, cognitive, and social issues, including:
Mental Health Issues:
Domestic violence trauma
11 Ways DMT is Beneficial for Employees
People who groove to music report that it is a stress-relieving, pleasurable, and therapeutic experience. Dance therapy for people “fighting their battles alone” has many benefits. It can also increase or release endorphins in the brain.
Many studies conducted in recent years have demonstrated the advantages DMT has for both the body and the mind. Thus, companies should encourage employees to participate in such wellness programs. It will make them focus on their health as well as their productivity.
Here are 11 ways that dance and movement therapy can increase employee wellness at work:
1. Happiness & Fitness
Fitness can be increased through dancing in a happy, musical setting. Each lesson includes stretching and deep breathing exercises to build muscles and avoid injuries. It also strengthens motor skills while highlighting balance, strength, and coordination.
For every $1 invested in fighting disorders like obesity in workers, a return of up to $3.80 has been seen! Dance is a low-risk activity that appeals to people of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels, especially beginners. It also offers various levels of intensity.
Whatever your starting point, dancing can be an intense full-body workout! It helps with posture, a major issue in the modern workforce. Employees perform better when they are aware of their body's requirements.
They will also develop a health-focused mindset with the help of dance therapy. Additionally, happier workers mean reduced medical expenses, saving you money.
2. Group Development
The success of any organization, including your own, depends on the capacity of its workforce to collaborate. Almost every successful and productive team you can name has found a method to function as a team.
According to research, teams that take social breaks or spend time together perform better than those that don't. Social time is responsible for more than half of the gains in communication habits.
"Social time turns out to be vital to team effectiveness."
Interestingly, DMT is an inexpensive way to promote teamwork. It encourages individuals to go beyond the workplace to get to know their coworkers.
3. Stress Reduction
Even though workplace stress is very common these days, fighting it is important. Many businesses try to provide creative stress-relieving activities and ideas at work.
Not only is dance therapy relaxing for the body, but it is also calming. There are obvious changes seen in a person’s general state of well-being as soon as he begins moving to music.
4. Staff Energy and Wellness
Adding "dancing time" can enhance employees' moods and increase productivity. As advised by WebMD, moving around causes the body to release endorphins. It interacts with brain receptors to cause feelings of good emotions throughout the body.
According to a study by FORBES, 70% of American businesses provide employee wellness initiatives!
According to the corpus of current research, when you feel good about your physical appearance, you typically do better cognitively and emotionally. Having both an intellectual and emotional presence is essential for achieving objectives. Hence, dancing is a fantastic way to excite the body and mind, improving the quality of work.
5. Emotional Expression in People
Emotions that are difficult to express can often be expressed via dance therapy. People who have trouble expressing their thoughts can express themselves through their energy levels.
As Myah said "Organizations should invest money in "wellness" rather than "illness"
Suggested Read:Creating an Effective Corporate Wellness Program
6. More Creativity Within Your Team
People are most creative when exposed to different stimuli. Encourage your staff to participate in dance therapy. It is a terrific way to break the day-to-day monotony, enabling the mind to absorb new, unrelated information.
"Creativity is the act of linking disparate elements - Steve Jobs."
You'd be astonished at the variety of work ideas your team might generate after that. Not only does dancing get the blood flowing, but it also sparks your staff members' creativity.
7. Confidence Booster
Body language and self-assurance distinguish success and failure in business. Dancers receive training to become experts in both. You develop self-awareness by paying attention to how the body moves.
Your team should have as much self-assurance as possible in themselves. A confident, upbeat team is more likely to succeed because they are more eager to attempt new things and recover from failures.
There are several things you can do to maintain your team's confidence. Incorporating dance and movement therapy could be a difference-maker. Dancers are taught to be self-aware. Therefore, they are skilled at controlling their body language and projecting confidence.
Additionally, your staff members are more likely to apply the abilities they developed on the dance floor to their jobs. It will be a great way to boost their self-confidence in the office.
8. Improved Mental Ability
Our brain is made up of a complex network of neural connections. Our brain then reinforces the links we create between various ideas and activities. Dance forms call for a sense of rhythm, social awareness, and physical coordination.
Dance therapy helps to increase memory and creativity while also helping you to recall all the steps. Kids with autism and other mental illnesses, such as ADHD or social anxiety, benefit from dance since it enhances learning capacity and builds the body's neural network.
Acknowledging employees' hard work, perseverance, and dedication is important. Most importantly, a creative way to say "Thank you!" and give them something fun as teaching them a new skill, like dancing.
10. Energy and Well-being
Any employee who expects to work effectively while spending eight hours per day in front of a computer is fighting an uphill battle.
Science has shown that we think and feel better intellectually and emotionally when we feel physically well. Dance will keep your staff members' minds, bodies, and creative juices moving. Hence, it will improve the quality of their job.
11. Dancing is Fun
Give them a day of dancing instead of your usual reward of bagels and doughnuts for breakfast. Their bodies and minds will be affected more fully, improving their perception of you among coworkers. With dance, you can't go wrong. Also, you'll get to show off your new moves at the next corporate party.
Organizations in the field of DMT
Association for American Dance Therapy
To sustain excellent standards in dance therapy, ADTA was established in 1966. Marian Chace and other dance movement pioneers founded the ADTA. In addition to establishing requirements that therapists must fulfill to obtain a license, ADTA maintains a current registry for all registered dance movement therapists. ADTA organizes yearly professional conferences and publishes the American Journal of Dance Therapy.
United Kingdom Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy
It is one of the earliest groups founded to oversee dance therapy. ADMP UK certifies therapists and ensures compliance with laws.
Dutch Dance Movement: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Danstherapie (NVDAT)
The NVDAT promotes the goals of dance movement therapists working in the Netherlands.
European Dance Movement Therapy Association
This association is a federation representing the national professional organizations in Europe. It practices dance movement therapy. It represents members in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the UK. Also, partial members in Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Switzerland, Ukraine, and associate members in Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Israel, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden.
Dance/movement therapists regard body movement as the essential element of dance. They say it is the main entry point into their psychotherapy practice; these precepts guide their work.
Movement therapists develop and implement therapies that address an individual's emotional, social, physical, and cognitive integration through verbal and nonverbal cues. So, try to implement it at your workplace as a part of your wellness program, and let us know how it helped you.
Also, to know more about this therapy you can join the "dance therapy session" held by Myah Payel on 1st October. Do feel free to join in with the link mentioned below.
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