Dance therapy treats emotional problems with dance.
Dancing goes back to primitive times, and magical powers have been attributed to it. When a witch doctor dances, it is to exorcise evil spirits from the sick person. I read that during the Middle Ages people even danced to avoid the plague. The Tarantella of Italy is believed to have originated after a poisonous spider's bite caused tarantism, and the cure for it was a jumping dance. Today's dance therapy evolved from the age-old idea that dancing has the power to cure. These days, dance therapists are mental health professionals, who treat problems such as neurosis, psychosis, and even alcoholism with the dance. Dancing is a primal response to rhythm and music, so the dance therapist uses dancer's techniques to put the patient in touch with himself. A psychiatrist, of course, talks a patient through his problems, while a dance therapist uses the non-verbal, movement oriented techniques.
In dance therapy, the patient is made aware of his feelings through sensation and movement. Emotional problems and conflicts become concrete this way, they say. By integrating body and mind, the goal of dance therapy is to build the self-esteem and self-identity of an emotionally ill person.
The American Dance Therapy Association was founded in 1966. Its aim was to establish criteria for professional education and competence in this highly specialized area. The result of this is that there are now standardized procedures based on the present-day knowledge of the human nervous system and psyche, and of dance.
It is known that each one of our five senses sends messages to our brain through the nerves. And we react accordingly. In a nutshell, we jump for joy when we're happy about something, we slump when we are sad. That is body language. When the body doesn't react to the messages of the brain, we may blow an emotional fuse, and withdraw.
In Dance Therapy, patients are taught to act out hidden hurts. It is believed that acting out past hurts and frustrations can help the individual come to terms with his emotional problems and thus, learn to deal with them.
A Dance Therapy session consists of a small group, observed by a therapist. Sometimes, patients sit on the floor at the start, and as appropriate music plays, they keep time by striking beaters, in actuality bamboo reeds, against the floor. This is to help release hostility. Or daily routines are acted out, to the music. Finally the group begins to move around the room by walking, running, hopping, jumping, skipping, sliding, and leaping.
Then, patients learn how to re-establish contact with themselves by touching. First they touch their own hair, eyes, ears, lips, limbs, etc., then partners are selected and they are encouraged to touch each other's parts. Basically, these exercises lead to movements of varying tempo, dynamics and rhythm.
The purpose of all the various dance rituals and movements is to help patients participating gain new insights into themselves. And the session usually ends with a group hug, to create an atmosphere of love and acceptance.
Dance Therapy has been found very effective for people living out their lives in nursing homes. By providing opportunities for freedom of expression through movement, many of these old people regain more positive attitudes about themselves.
Although Dance Therapy is still a fairly new practice, it is known that it can provide an emotional release for pent-up, repressed feelings, and as a result, the patient may be sent on the road to improved mental health. And for the average person, putting on some music and dancing around in the kitchen, is not only great therapy, it's also fun!
If you have a porch, patio or deck then you should make these areas just as warm and inviting as your indoor spaces. These outdoor spaces actually increase your living area by square footage, which makes them ideal for extending your home's possibilities. Whether you entertain or just want a spot to curl up in a chair and soak in the weather, outdoor spaces shouldn't be overlooked.
It's a shame to have these spaces as part of your home and only use them occasionally. If you decorate them in warm and inviting ways, then there's no reason why they can't be enjoyed as often as other areas of your home.
The problem most people make with their porches or decks is they think of them as an after thought. As a result, they just put out some lawn furniture and a barbecue grill and they are done. But, this lack of attention doesn't invite you or anyone else to stay for a while.
Think of your outdoor spaces as ?rooms? and decorate them like you would an interior room. What type of things do you consider when decorating an interior room? Color scheme, furniture arrangement, floors, walls, ceilings, artistic accents, etc. These are things to consider when designing your outdoor space, too.
Because your outdoor rooms tend to butt up against the exterior walls of your home, use a color scheme that complements your home's color. It's also a good idea to blend that with the outdoor environment, because nature tends to stand in as your other ?walls.?
Create intimate seating areas with chairs and tables. One area of your patio might be suitable for conversation with weatherproof sofas and coffee tables. Another area can be set up for dining or playing monopoly or a game of cards.
Include furniture pieces that you don't mind keeping outdoors. It's okay if they become a bit weathered over the years ? that only adds to the appeal of the space. Use an old hutch to store barbecue utensils or gardening supplies. One with open shelving can display colorful potted plants. These in themselves add an additional decorative element to the space.
Include some built-in pieces like benches or container gardens to create a more permanent feeling to your space. When you anchor a space with built-ins, it doesn't feel like an after-thought.
There are lots of beautiful weatherproof fabrics for your seating areas available today. If you live in mild climates go ahead and use cushions and throw pillows made from cotton or other fabrics. They might bleach a bit over time from the sun, but they add character and coziness to a space. Store them in your outdoor hutch during inclement weather when necessary and bring them out again later.
Include art in your outdoor rooms by hanging items on the exterior walls of your house. Bring in sculptural pieces, too. Even something as simple as a wooden ladder leaning against the house can have a decorative element to it. Other outdoor items like gazing balls, wheelbarrows potted with flowers, or shutters hinged together to create privacy screens are complementary to outdoor spaces.
Decorate your floors, too. Paint a checkerboard pattern or a faux rug on your deck or patio. If you have a covered porch or patio, think about the ceiling treatment, too. Also include extra mood lighting and breezy ceiling fans to extend the coziness of your outdoor space during different temperatures or times of day.
When creating home improvements, don't overlook your exterior spaces. They should be addressed like all areas of your home. Don't turn them into boring after-thoughts. Like your front entrance ? make them as welcoming and appealing as possible. You will get more enjoyment value out of your house when you use the extra square footage in these places, too.
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