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

By Sharon W. Goodill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Dance/Movement Therapy
in General Medical Care

This far-ranging content will be organized around the following broad categories of recipient populations: adult patients, and child and adolescent patients. These divisions are somewhat reductionistic, and two caveats apply. First, pain is an overriding aspect of many medical conditions and could easily be addressed from that more general perspective. However, there are some conditions in which pain is the central symptom and focus. For the sake of expediency, issues regarding pain and pain relief for adults will be discussed in the context of the pain syndromes. When dance/movement therapy (DMT) is used for pain relief in other medical conditions (such as cancer, or post-surgical recovery) the same principles as are involved with pain syndromes are relevant and can be adapted to those needs. Second, issues surrounding death and dying are addressed later, in Chapter 6. Obviously, those issues may be significant to medical patients at any stage of an acute or chronic illness. Still, facilitating or supporting the processes of dying and bereavement requires particular knowledge and skill of the therapist, and the discussion of them is thus given its own context.


Adult patients

Pain

Pain, like stress, is a whole body phenomenon. In part, pain uses the same stress system pathways that are implicated in the health problems described earlier in this volume. Writing from a constructionist point of view, Yardley (1996) defined the experience of pain and suffering as [an intersubjective phenomenon, constantly negotiated and redefined by sufferers and their immediate social contacts (family, doctors, employers) in the wider context of their cultural and

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