Saturday, May 7, 2016

Does Dance Help Huntingtons Disease

I love it when I learn new things or how new things connect with stuff I already know.  One such article just came across my desk this morning and caught my attention.  An assistant professor of dance at the University of Massachusetts believes that dance can help Huntington's Disease.

Before today, I think I had heard of Huntington's Disease but like most things, that is about all I had heard about it.  In the article it explains that this disease causes a progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain.  It impacts a person's ability to function and causes difficulties in movement and thinking.

In the article, Paul Dennis explains that dance can help in balance, posture, coordination, motor learning, cognition and emotional well being.

One of the things I know from my own personal life healing from Conversion Disorder, is that in addition to healing the mind, I had to work on the body.  In the body centered therapy created by Dr. Paul Canali of Miami, FL, I learned that movement connected with the felt sense of the body could yield significant changes quickly for myself.

When I read about Paul Dennis and the work he is doing for a condition such as Huntington's Disease, it made perfect sense to me.  In the case of trauma, the body freezes and so if you offer the body something different than a freeze response, it can be life changing.  Movement of any type in that moment is what helps bring us out of freezing.

It isn't just movement by itself that I have seen others helped by, but the connected movement where the conscious brain of awareness is engaged.  Together, these things through the felt sense brings about a radical shift right before your eyes.

Healing is not just about following a standard protocol of paradigms that we know.  Healing is about advancing into the unknown thoughts that may present a fertile ground of moving through some of the physical limitations and difficulties we encounter.  There is much more than I think we realize alive in our bodies and so the work that Paul Dennis is doing is encouraging to me.

Article Source:  

Umass Assistant Professor Believes Dance Can Help Those With Huntington's Disease 

Paul A Dennis, Assistant Professor, University Of Massachusetts

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly

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