Friday, Jul 03, 2020 | Last Update : 04:20 PM IST

101st Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra1866261011728178 Tamil Nadu98392560211321 Delhi92175630072864 Gujarat33999246011887 Uttar Pradesh2482517221735 West Bengal1981913037699 Rajasthan1878515043435 Telangana185709069275 Karnataka180168336272 Andhra Pradesh169347632206 Haryana1550911019251 Madhya Pradesh1410610815589 Bihar10914799478 Assam8956583212 Jammu and Kashmir76954856105 Odisha7316535333 Punjab56683989149 Kerala4594243626 Uttarakhand2791190937 Chhatisgarh2339193713 Jharkhand2339160512 Tripura140110931 Manipur12605790 Goa11984783 Himachal Pradesh9796179 Puducherry73930112 Nagaland5351820 Chandigarh4463676 Arunachal Pradesh182601 Mizoram1601230 Sikkim88490 Meghalaya50421
  Life   More Features  05 Sep 2019  A dance of healing

A dance of healing

THE ASIAN AGE. | IMANA BHATTACHARYA
Published : Sep 5, 2019, 4:42 am IST
Updated : Sep 5, 2019, 4:42 am IST

It might not be a very uncommon concept abroad, but in India it is just starting to turn heads.

Dance/ Movement Therapy being  practiced in various forms. Photos are for representational purposes only.
 Dance/ Movement Therapy being practiced in various forms. Photos are for representational purposes only.

At a time when ever-burgeoning stress and anxiety have become a part of everyone’s daily lives, therapy comes highly recommended. While many have heard of therapy, most only think of it as sitting on a couch with a doctor-like figure in front of them, as they talk about their mental health issues and discuss solutions. In reality, however, a lot of other unique therapy procedures also exist, and one is gaining immense popularity here in India — dance/movement therapy (DMT).

It might not be a very uncommon concept abroad, but in India it is just starting to turn heads. This type of therapy allows one to address issues — many from their subconscious — through the use of a physical activity like dance. Movement is different for every individual. Their particular way of moving is seen as a form of communication. Dance/movement psychotherapists try to help individuals find a language that expresses their experience. DMT as a form of psychotherapy is now on the rise in metro cities.

 

“Mental health across the globe is still a bit of a taboo. People are not open to talk about these issues, unlike a physical health issue for which they will run to the doctor. So, it sometimes become difficult for people to take professional help in a proper way,” believes Abhay Srivastava, a dance/movement therapy facilitator.

Speaking of what makes this experience unique, Srivastava says, “Being very cognitive and rational by nature, humans keep gathering beliefs, opinions and notions from their surroundings, upbringing and conditioning. This is why the conventional talk therapy might become difficult. One cannot be sure if what they are sharing is actually their own understanding of the situation or what they have absorbed. But, in case of your body, there is no fixed syntax. In movement therapy we don’t do any kind of analysis or interpretation. It is more of a process work.” He believes that the change and healing in such therapy takes place within an individual. “Mind and body are interconnected. So, instead of approaching through the mind and coming to the body, what if we start approaching the body and let it have an impact on the mind?” he says.    

Although they sound similar, DMT is very different from usual dance classes. “While a dance class usually is instructor-led, where people learn movements and perform, DMT is client-led where the facilitator holds space for the people to find their own body movement and tune into their inner-selves”, explains creative dance/movement therapy facilitator Tilottama Dutta.  While therapy sounds like a concept restricted to adults, DMT is one form of therapy, which is not so. Children and teenagers can also benefit from it. Some organisations help children develop intellectually, personally, socially and emotionally through this programme.

This practice of connecting with one’s inner-self is trending amond Indians of all ages, from various walks of life. Jenika Shah, a travel blogger, who attends DMT workshops recounts, “Getting to meet so many new people and rediscovering myself along with them is a very cathartic process in itself.” She feels that the coming together of so many different personalities and their movement patterns under one-roof makes this symbiosis of the soul and the physical entity, a wonderful experience.

From one-on-one sessions to cleanse the mind to group sessions aimed at self-expression, the workshops include a plethora of therapeutic activities. A lot of institutes are nowadays providing certificate courses to help people get trained professionally to facilitate these workshops.

Tags: therapy