Fibromyalgia Treatment

The Healthy Benefits of Dance Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Dance therapy is a movement based therapy that can help with both the physical and psychological symptoms of fibromyalgia. Through dancing you can reduce your anxiety and muscle tension as well as increase your mood and muscle tone.

Whether you decide to take individual lessons or a class, dance therapy has the ability to reduce the negative symptoms of your fibromyalgia.

Consider adding dancing to your physical activities to help you fight the physical and psychological conditions created because of your fibromyalgia.

Dancing can be intimidating to you at first, but stick with it and find a style that makes you feel good about yourself and more confident.

What is Dance Therapy?

Through dancing, fibromyalgia sufferers can improve both their physical and mental health. This movement therapy is a fun and easy way to battle the stiffness that is common for fibromyalgia patients.

There is no one specific form of dance therapy that is used; instead you can participate in any type of dancing you feel comfortable with. You can take individual lessons or join a class and you do not need any special training for these classes.

Most places that offer dance therapy or dance classes will have a beginner’s class available. Dance therapy is an alternative treatment to fighting fibromyalgia but it is a traditional way of exercising to build your muscle strength and release tension.

Benefits of Dancing

The benefits of dancing are similar to those of any other low impact physical activity. You will notice a reduction in anxiety and a feeling of being more relaxed. Your body will build muscle tone, may lose weight and feel healthier.

People who dance have increased circulation which can help with fibromyalgia aches and pains. Mood issues such as depression can also be alleviated from movement therapy such as dance.

Each person may feel different benefits, but in general these physical and psychological benefits will quickly present themselves when you start dance therapy.

Other physical benefits that are specific to dancing include improved posture and flexibility, which people suffering from fibromyalgia will also appreciate.

Tips for the Newcomer

When you first get started with dance therapy it is important to take it slow. Dancing is similar to other physical exercise such as walking or riding a bike and your body will need time to get use to the increase in movement.

For newcomers, an introduction to dancing class may be the most fun. It will offer you the opportunity to socialize with other new dancers and feel less awkward as you are learning the initial steps.

Some people may prefer individual lessons, especially if you are taking the class with a spouse or loved one. In individual lessons you will have the ability to customize what you are learning to the areas that interest you the most.

Take a friend with you on your lessons if you do not have a spouse, your friend can be your partner and support for you while you get started as a dancer.

dance for fibromyalgia

Classes

Taking a dance class can be very overwhelming if you are new to dancing. Before you begin a class, consider watching a session to see if it something you will like. Talk with the dance teacher about their style of dance as well as their teaching philosophy.

If you have any concerns about your physical ability to participate in the class you can also talk to the teacher about your limitations. Classes are a fun way to start out dancing because you can see the learning process for peers who are at the same level of dancing as you are.

Don’t be afraid to try a couple different kinds of dancing or try different dance studios until you find a place where you feel comfortable. Use your friends and ask if they have ever tried any of your local dance studios to get the best references.

Psychological Improvements with Dance

Beyond the basic reduction in your stress levels and overall calmness that dance can elicit. Many people find dancing improves their self confidence. As you learn and grow in your preferred dance method, you will become more comfortable on the dance floor and more confident.

You might even see physical changes in your body such as weight loss and more toned muscles that will also help increase your positive feelings about yourself. Using dance as a way to improve your psychological health is another great reason to try out dancing to fight against your fibromyalgia.

You can benefit from dance therapy and should give it an opportunity to help improve how you feel emotionally.

Social Aspects of Dancing

Many people who struggle with fibromyalgia find themselves isolating to their home and not interacting with others. You feel like your pain is unique or different from others and it can be hard to talk with people about your symptoms.

Through dance you can find others who also want to improve their physical and psychological health. You will find others who are interested in building their muscles and increasing their flexibility.

Dance is the perfect opportunity for you to grow your social network and meet new and interesting people. Some dance studios will even have free dancing events once per week where couples from other sessions can all come together and participate in a fun filled night of dancing.

Choosing to try dance therapy as a way to fight your fibromyalgia symptoms may seem a little unconventional, but it is a great way to have fun and get moving. Ask a friend or loved one to join you if you are nervous about trying this method of exercise on your own.

It is also important to ask your instructor questions before starting any dance program to ensure the level of dancing is appropriate for your skill levels.

Using dance to reduce your anxiety and muscle tension is a great way to actively fight the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Try individual lessons or dance classes to see which one works best for you in the style of dancing that is most exciting to you.

Resources

https://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02144116

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197455605000687

Dance Therapy for Fibromyalgia

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  • This makes me so happy to read, and spot on, as I’ve seen the results first hand. I’d recommend yoga as well which really works for me to just reflect on my day in quiet and peaceful enviorment, the breathing exercises and the stretching are great benefits too.

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