An Introduction to Medical Dance/Movement Therapy: Health Care in Motion

By Sharon W. Goodill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The Science behind Medical
Dance/Movement Therapy

Well, can we add a cubit to our height
Or heal ourselves by taking conscious thought?
The spirit sits as a bird singing
High in a grove of hollow trees whose red sap rises
saturated with advice…

Close your eyes, knowing
That healing is a work of darkness,
That darkness is a gown of healing…

From [Ode to Healing,] by John Updike1

This chapter presents research from the scientific disciplines of psychoneuroimmunology, neuroendocrinology and studies from various medical science areas. There is an emphasis on research with implications for understanding the mind/ body integration as it is viewed and employed in the practice of dance/movement therapy (DMT). Explanatory research for the mechanisms of DMT, whether in conventional mental health applications or in relation to total health, will likely come from interdisciplinary efforts with the fields of neuroscience, physiology, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) and movement science (an academic branch of physical therapy). PNI is an interdisciplinary field concerned with relationships among the nervous, endocrine (or hormonal) and immune systems with regards

1 From Facing Nature by John Updike, copyright © 1985 by John Updike.
Reproduced by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House,
Inc., and Penguin Group UK.

-58-

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