Belly Dance and Depression

Depression is a debilitating disorder and can range from mild depression to severe clinical depress sion. I have seen it many times enter my dance studio. I have seen it in many different forms, but one constant remains, these women have lost their power

Dance therapy, the use of dance as a healing tool, is rooted in the idea that the body and the mind are inseparable. The premise is that body movement reflects inner emotional states that changes in movement behaviour can lead to changes in the psyche. The ultimate goal of dance therapy is to help ladies regain their sense of wholeness by experiencing the fundamental unity of mind, body and spirit. Body movement in belly dance has a “cathartic” effect, meaning it releases all of the negative emotions of the day. The surge of good feel hormones after a creative dance lesson reduces negative mood and releases tension.

Cognitive behavioural therapy’s premise is that if you can change behaviour, you can change thinking and vice versa. It is the most successful form of therapy to combat depression and one I use in my dance studio. By belly dancing, you will see your inner goddess emerge and you will never let her go

Some belly dancers believe that emotions are stored in the body, that memories linger on in cells stored deep in our muscles. When we practice belly dance and move a part of the body that has remained mainly dormant until then, we stretch and release memories and emotions that were stored in childhood, and have quietly slept deep in our bones ever since.

Because of this, women become more aware of their bodies and their emotions when they belly dance. They are faced with their own truth, and the increase in self-confidence allows women to make better life decisions and ultimately to combat depression