Movement therapy is a holistic therapy approach. It consists of yoga’s physical, spiritual and philosophical framework combined with modern neuro-physiological approaches to address the specific needs of each individual.
The therapy is based on three underlying concepts. The first one is that the patient is already a whole, perfect human being. They do not need to be changed nor have things added to their life, they just need guidance in being the most complete human being that they can be. The second concept is that both the patient and therapist have unlimited healing abilities. If they are both open to the experience, a professional movement therapist can guide the patient into reaching their innate healing abilities. The third concept is the idea that no part of the brain, body, mind or spirit work alone. They are all integrated and connected, working together as a whole. Movement therapy addresses the whole health of a person, not just improving strength or providing pain relief of a certain group of muscles. Working from the core out, you are taught how to exercise and move efficiently in everyday life.
Combining these three concepts, movement therapy is a brain based therapy with concepts from yoga philosophy. The therapy makes use of six core principles: physical stimulation, language stimulation, structure and continuity, self-calming, social interaction, and self-esteem building. Following this method each student is able to meet their greatest potential.
Patients are taught how to make connections between how they move and live, which is similar to another complimentary therapy called movement education. They become more empowered as they begin to let old habits of movement patterns fade away and adopt a new style of movement. After a few sessions, patients will have the courage to live life to the fullest because they now have the knowledge and ability to safely perform any form of activity without fear of injury.
Since it is based on the belief that the body and mind are connected as whole, then through a series of specifically designed movements the inner mind and soul can be healed through the outer actions. As you can see, movement therapy is about applying various movement techniques to heal the body, mind and soul. Once the inner and outer are at peace with each other, then the body will be relaxed and at peace, and will be able to move and function more efficiently and harmoniously.
There are many physical benefits to movement therapy. Some of them include: ease of movement, increased balance, a greater range of movement, improved muscle tone and flexibility, prevention of injuries, pain relief, enhanced circulation, stress reduction and increased athletic performance. There are also mental and spiritual benefits to movement therapy including increased self-esteem, peace of mind, an increased awareness of one’s body, self-discovery, and an increased self-image.
Movement therapy has many different forms and variants. The therapy has been specialized for many areas including dance, athletics, physical therapy, and psychology. Some movement therapies were developed to discover new ways of moving and avoiding injury, while others were created as spiritual defenses and healing therapies.
Whatever the therapy was originally designed for, movement therapies all produce similar results - efficiency of movement and the expression and healing of inner emotions through the body.