Category Archives: Alternate Therapies
Biodance, more commonly known as biodanza, literally means the dance of life.
It is described in Wikipedia as “a system of self-development that uses music, movement and positive feelings to deepen self-awareness. It seeks to promote the ability to make a holistic link to oneself, emotions and to express them. Biodanza also claims to allow one to deepen the bonds with others and nature and to express those feelings congenially.”
Biodanza was created in Chile in the 1960s and is now practiced in at least 30 countries.
To analyse the effects of an aquatic biodance based therapy on sleep quality, anxiety, depression, pain and quality of life in FM patients, researchers assigned 59 patients to 2 groups: experimental group (aquatic biodance) and control group (stretching), for 12 weeks.
Significant differences in the experimental group were seen on sleep quality (49.7%), anxiety (14.1%), impact of fibromyalgia (18.3%), pain (27.9%), and tender points (34.4%).
This video discusses and demonstrates what Biodanza is all about.
In this next video, Biodanza is performed in the water. Although the voice on the video is speaking Portuguese, you can still see what Aquatic Biodanza looks like even if you don’t understand Portuguese.
Anyone tried this one yet?
Ever since I discovered the wonders of my warm water class, I have gone on and on and on about the wonders of water.
Like all water exercises, water walking is easy on the joints. “The water’s buoyancy supports the body’s weight, which reduces stress on the joints and minimizes pain,” says Vennie Jones, aquatic coordinator for the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas. “And it’s still a great workout. Water provides 12 times the resistance of air, so as you walk, you’re really strengthening and building muscle.” You do not bear weight while swimming and walking, however, so you’ll still need to add some bone-building workouts to your routine.
You can walk in either the shallow end of the pool or the deep end, using a flotation belt. The deeper the water, the more strenuous your workout. And it can be done in warm or cold water.
What you need: A pool! That’s it – but for deep-water walking, a flotation belt keeps you upright and floating at about shoulder height.
How it works: You’ll stand about waist- to chest-deep in water, unless you’re deep-water walking. You walk through the water the same way you would on the ground. Try walking backward and sideways to tone other muscles.
Try it: Stand upright, with shoulders back, chest lifted and arms bent slightly at your sides. Slowly stride forward, placing your whole foot on the bottom of the pool (instead of just your tiptoes), with your heel coming down first, then the ball of your foot. Avoid straining your back by keeping your core (stomach and back) muscles engaged as you walk.
Add intensity: Lifting your knees higher helps boost your workout. You also can do interval training – pumping arms and legs faster for a brief period, then returning to your normal pace, repeating the process several times.
Find a class: If you’re new to water exercises, an instructor can make sure your form is correct, says Jones. Plus, it can be fun to walk with others. To find a class near you, call your local YMCA, fitness centre or Arthritis Foundation office.
Don’t forget the water: You still need to drink water – even while exercising in the pool.
According to a new study in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, monosodium glutamate (MSG) in food may exacerbate our symptoms.
It was only a small study of 37 people: it included women with FM and IBS. Participants first avoided MSG and other excitotoxins (see below,) such as aspartame. Thirty one of the participants said that their symptom load was reduced by more than 30%.
Next, participants were given either orange juice with added MSG or plain juice (as a placebo,) three days a week, for two weeks. Those getting the MSG had a significant return of symptoms when compared to those who didn’t.
MSG also appeared to decrease quality of life when it came to IBS symptoms, and symptoms such as watery stools and abdominal bloating were higher in the MSG group.
Researchers recommend further exploration of what could be a relatively simple and low-cost, non-drug method of alleviating symptoms.
It can be tough to avoid excitotoxins in your diet. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in a wealth of products. It goes by the brand names Equal, NutraSweet, AminoSweet, etc. but should always be listed as aspartame in the ingredients list. Check your ‘diet’ products closely.
MSG is harder to identify and avoid, as it lurks in dozens of ingredients. The organization Truth in Labelling has a list of ingredients that do or may contain MSG: List of Ingredients Containing MSG.
- Aspartame: the Controversy! (outoftheboxremedies.net)
- Aspartame Can Kill You (healthupdates4u.wordpress.com)
- ASPARTAME…What Is It and Is It Good For You???? (coalitionofpositiveenergy.com)
Vibration can help reduce some types of pain, including pain from FM, by more than 40 per cent, according to a new study published online in the European Journal of Pain.
When high-frequency vibrations from an instrument were applied to painful areas, pain signals may have been prevented from travelling to the central nervous system, explains Roland Staud, MD, professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology in the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville.
If you think of a pain impulse having to travel through a gate to cause discomfort, the vibrations are closing that gate. “When the gate is open, you feel the pain from the stimulus. It goes to the spinal cord. When you apply vibration you close the gate partially,” says Dr Staud. You can still feel some pain, but less than you would have felt without the vibrations, he adds.
Subjects were split into 3 groups: 29 had FM, 19 had chronic neck and back pain and 28 didn’t have any pain at all. Dr Staud and his research team applied about five seconds of heat to introduce pain to each participant’s arms and followed that with five seconds of vibrations from an electric instrument that emits high-frequency vibrations that are absorbed by skin and deep tissue.
Dr Staud used a biothesiometer, an electric vibrator (not THAT kind of vibrator – get your mind out of the gutter!) with a plastic foot plate that can be brought into contact with the patient’s skin.
Similarly, you could buy/borrow a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS), which is a medical device, designed specifically for the purpose of assisting in the treatment and management of chronic and acute pain; and it does exactly what Dr Staud is suggesting. I am currently borrowing a compact TENS machine. The pulse rate is adjustable from 1-200 Hz.
Following the use of heat and vibration, patients were asked to rate the intensity of their pain on a 0-to-10 scale and found that the experimental pain, as opposed to their chronic pain, was reduced by more than 40 per cent with the use of vibration. What was of particular interest was that the patients in the study with FM appeared to have the same mechanisms in their body to block or inhibit pain through the use of vibration as those in the pain-free group.
“Fibromyalgia patients are often said to have insufficient pain mechanisms, which means they can’t regulate their pain as well as regular individuals. This study showed that in comparison to normal controls, they could control their pain as well,” Dr Staud explains.
What they don’t know is how long the pain relieving effects will last.
I used the TENS on my arms two days ago and the pain has not returned (yet! Knock on wood!) If I choose to buy it, it will cost me $175.00 from www.tensaustralia.com.au
Dr Howard, a rheumatologist and director of Arthritis Health in Scottsdale, Ariz., says this study is still very interesting. “Vibration is another way of minimizing pain, and it sounded like it would be more helpful for regional or local pain rather than widespread pain,” he says.
Dr Staud says this theory is still very much in the testing stages and the vibrating instrument used in this study isn’t available to the public. “Although we didn’t test it, I think that the size of the foot plate of the biothesiometer is relevant. I wouldn’t suggest that everybody should go out and by any vibrator to use for pain relief. But pending a commercial product this is entirely feasible,” he explains.
Until then, Dr Staud’s message for patients is that vibration involves touch, and that can provide pain relief.
Dr Howard agrees that this study reinforces the importance of touch therapy, like massage, and even movement therapy, like gentle exercise, for people with chronic pain.
“When you have pain, you want to stop what you’re doing and protect the area. But for some types of pain that’s not the right thing to do,” Dr Howard says.
You do, however, need to know what types of pain touch is good for and for which ones it isn’t. Dr Howard says his general rule is to baby your joints and bully your muscles.
“Fibromyalgia patients often shrink away from touch therapy and movement. The foundation of treatment is to use movement and touch and stimulus to help with their pain, but their natural reaction is to withdraw and avoid tactile activity. Don’t be afraid. Don’t avoid it,” Dr Howard says.
Good news! The most widely prescribed sleeping pills DO help people get to sleep, but maybe not only because of the medicine, a new study suggests.
When researchers combined studies of some of the newer prescription sleep drugs, they concluded that the drugs owe about half their benefits to a placebo effect. Personally, who cares? If the placebo effect gets me to sleep – that’s fabulous!
But at least one sleep expert disagrees with that conclusion.
The researchers conclude that these drugs improved people’s ability to fall asleep compared to a placebo; however, the size of the effect was small.
They add that the risk of side effects and the potential for addiction need to be considered when considering using these medications for treating insomnia.
Side effects of sleeping pills can include memory loss (would you actually notice through the fibro fog?), daytime sleepiness, and increased risk of falls, and researchers say the drugs may be especially risky for older patients.
But a sleep specialist says the study does little to convince him that the drugs are less effective than studies suggest.
“The fact is that it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of sleep medications in studies. Patients take them and they either work or they don’t.”
“I don’t see how these researchers can come to the conclusion that 50% of the effect of these sleeping pills are due to the placebo effect,” says David Volpi, MD, of the sleep disorders division of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
According to researcher A. Niroshan Siriwardena, MD, PhD, one of the major limitations of studies submitted to the FDA is that they failed to measure some of the most troubling issues associated with sleep disturbances including total sleep time, waking after falling asleep, and daytime sleepiness.
“Because the studies didn’t measure these things, we cannot say whether these drugs are useful for improving these outcomes,” he says.
And, Volpi says prescription sleeping pills are often used by patients for much longer than they were originally intended – These drugs are overprescribed and patients stay on them too long, he says.
Siriwardena and Volpi also agree that other types of sleep treatments, such as talk therapy, are underutilized and could be used to help many more patients with sleep issues.
“There are so many things you can try for sleep problems, and cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the best things patients can do to get off of these medication,” Volpi says.
The new analysis, published in BMJ, was a collaborative effort by scientists from the University of Lincoln in the UK, Harvard University, and the University of Connecticut.
It included data from 13 trials submitted by pharmaceutical companies to the FDA for approval of eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien).
The studies focused on the time it took to fall asleep after taking the drug.
The new analysis shows that sleeping pill users fell asleep about 22 minutes faster than non-users. Those on placebo fell asleep after 42 minutes.
Prior to publication of this study, the manufacturer of Ambien declined to comment; and the makers of Lunesta and Sonata did not respond.
- Treating Insomnia With Prescription Medicines (everydayhealth.com)
- Sleep & Your Mattress (mattress-find.com)
- New sleeping pill may be the remedy for insomniacs (time4sleep.com)
A University of Sydney study of more than 350 long-term meditators, defined as those who have meditated regularly for at least 2 years, points to improved health outcomes and greater well-being The area of greatest difference between the meditators and the general population was in mental health where the meditators scored 10% higher. And the most significant factor appears to be how frequently the meditators achieved a state of mental silence.
I don’t know about all of you (I think I have an idea) but I love silence…although achieving mental silence (stopping all those thoughts running round and round in my head) seems impossible.
“We found that the health and well-being profile of people who had meditated for at least 2 years was significantly higher in the majority of health and well-being categories when to compared to the Australian population,” said Dr Ramesh Manocha, Senior Lecturer in the discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, who led the research.
He worked with Prof. Deborah Black, Sydney medical School and Dr Leigh Wilson, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University.
The national study is a world first health quality-of-life survey of long-term meditators. It used the same measurement instruments as the ones used by the federal government’s National Health and Well-being Survey.
While we did expect that there would be differences between the meditators and the general population, we didn’t expect the findings to be so pronounced.
“We focused on the definition of meditation as mental silence and surveyed practitioners of Sahaja Yoga meditation who practice a form of meditation aimed at achieving this state rather than relaxation or mindfulness methods that are usually the focus of other forms,” said Dr Manocha.
The meditators were asked how often they experienced ‘mental silence’ for more than a few minutes at any one time.
Fifty two per cent of respondents said they experienced ‘mental silence’ several times per day or more, while thirty-two per cent were experiencing it once or twice a day.
Most markedly there was a robust relationship between the frequency of experiencing mental silence and better mental health. This definition is based on it being the form of meditation practised for centuries.
Our analysis showed very little relation-ship between how often the person physically sat down to meditate and mental health scores. However, the relationship was clearly apparent in relation to how often they experienced the state of mental silence. In other words, it is quality over quantity”.
Reprinted from the September 2012 issue of LIVING WELL with FIBROMYALGIA - like it? Subscribe for the next issue HERE
What’s a library dog? you ask. My friend Jane is going to trek an Incan trail with Thais, so I will be looking after her dog, a gorgeous and very spoilt maltese/shiatsu cross. I can’t afford to keep a dog: I can’t afford the food, I can’t afford potential vet bills, and I can’t be relied upon to be healthy enough to look after a dog. But a library dog is a dog that I get to borrow regularly, who sleeps on my bed and sits beside me on the couch. However, Jane pays ALL the bills. How cool is that!
Animals provide unconditional love without judging you for having a medical condition that most people don’t understand. And a new study shows that my part-time library dog may still let me to reap the benefits of pet therapy.
In fact, Dawn Marcus, M.D., the lead author of this study, suggests that the impact of a visit, as short as 10 – 15 minutes, with a therapy-trained dog significantly reduced the pain severity in FM patients. Further, all measures including fatigue, stress level, calmness, and cheerfulness improved, not just pain. Slightly longer visits tended to produce better results, of course, but not all of us can own a dog.
During a 10 – 15 minute period prior to their doctor’s appointment, 84 patients received pet therapy and another 49 FM patients just spent the time in the waiting room. A short questionnaire before and after the therapy service or wait time was used to detect symptom differences.
Animal-assisted therapy is a complementary approach to helping people with a wide range of medical conditions. Pets are often dogs trained to be obedient, calm, and comforting, and visits are typically provided through volunteer services at healthcare settings. Obviously, animals can be stress-relieving, but studies also show they boost the body’s production of pain-fighters and immune system healers.
“Clinically meaningful pain relief was reported in 34% of the fibromyalgia patients after the dog visit versus only 4% in the waiting room controls,” says Marcus. “Effects did not appear to be substantially influenced by co-existing mood disorder symptoms.”
Satisfaction with the dog therapy visit was 92%. Also, the effectiveness of the pet intervention did not depend upon whether the patient viewed themselves as a “dog lover” or someone who prefers cats.
You can get yourself a slice of pet therapy and receive the potential benefits from it, if you don’t already have a pet, by contacting your local Humane Society, animal organization, or veterinarian clinic to find out about programs in your area. You may also volunteer for a while to determine what type of animal best suits you and your pocketbook.
- Pet Therapy and Depression (everydayhealth.com)
My head is not working right at the moment. I was totally prepared for this and had a number of pre-prepared posts (…and here’s one I prepared earlier) ready to publish. I even had one for today BUT this wasn’t it.
One of the doctors in the hospital (who didn’t know me from a bar of soap) said that my blog was a sign of maladaptive behaviour. Firstly, I am not exactly sure what this is but it sounds bad. Next, he wants me to change my anti-depressant by going to a new psychiatrist. He also wants me to see a new psychologist (despite the fact that I have been happy with the one I have had for 5 years now; and that I thought I was doing pretty well and hadn’t been to see her in quite a while (ok, I have no idea how long it has been!)) I won’t be seeing a new psychologist, although I think I will drop in to see my ‘old’ one to check on this maladaptive behaviour.
So back to that…this had me thinking and I started to go back and read some of my old posts. I came across ‘Waking Up with Debbie Downer’ (written in May of this year) which I am re-blogging because it sort of sums up my mood right now:
Guess what? I woke up this morning – that’s all I can say without getting negative; and even that can be taken in a negative light. I was going to write wonderful, positive things about home treatment but my mean-spirited voice kept adding in asides.
As such, on the left is the post I was intending to write (when I went to sleep last night) and on the right is the Debbie Downer digressions. Do NOT read the right-hand side if you’re feeling horrible!
Although fibromyalgia is a
chronic condition, there is
much you can do to relieve
and control your symptoms. Yeah, right!
Taking control and becoming
involved in your own
treatment is the most
important part of treating
fibromyalgia. There are many
things you can do:
♥ Exercise regularly. Of all Regularly? Does that
the treatments for mean when I’m
fibromyalgia, cardio- regularly feeling well?
vascular (aerobic) Or when I’m feeling
exercise may have the like I regularly do?
most benefit in reducing (which means I really
pain and other symptoms don’t feel like
and in improving your exercising!)
overall condition. Work And who is going to
with a physical therapist provide the money for
or other professional this professional help?
who has expertise with
fibromyalgia to build an
exercise program that
works for you.
And then stay with it.
♥ Improve sleep. Sleep Oh, really? Because I
disturbances seem to haven’t been trying to
both cause and result do that already?
from some of the other Because I really enjoy
symptoms of FM, waking up feeling this
such as pain. Learn good bad? Because I love
sleep habits. And try to feeling this tired all
get enough sleep each the time?
♥ Relieve pain. Heat therapy, Anyone got a
massage, gentle exercise, battery operated heat
and short-term use of non- suit?
prescription pain relievers My chemist already
may be helpful. believes that I am
running some kind of
lab from the basement
of my house!
♥ Reduce stress. Have you been in my
♥ Learn about fibromyalgia. Control is merely a
The more you know, the figment of the
more control you will imagination!
have over your symptoms. Even at my most
People who feel more in positive, I know that I
control also tend to be am just running
more active and report (figuratively) from FM.
less pain and other
♥ Learn ways to manage If I could do that, I
your memory problems. wouldn’t have memory
Feeling as though you problems!
are not thinking clearly
increases stress and can
make memory problems
worse. Simple things like But where did I put
writing yourself notes that note? And what
can help you feel more did I mean when I
in control. wrote SHARE?
♥ Adopt a good-health Even I’m speechless
attitude, along with these for this one (and I
other healthy habits. It’s wrote the stupid
hard to stay positive when sentence)!
you don’t feel well. But a
good attitude helps you
focus less on your
challenges and feel more
The best results occur when No-one can say that I
you take an active, committed haven’t been taking
role in your own treatment. an active, committed
You may need to adjust your role in my own
lifestyle to fit home treatment, treatment – and this is
especially regular exercise, the BEST I can come up
into your daily routine. It may with? I’m going back
take time to find an approach to bed!
that works for you. Try to be
patient. And keep in mind that
consistent home treatment
usually can help relieve or
control symptoms of
All expletives (and there were many) have been erased!
Hmmm, which way are you leaning today?
***Maybe I should make that appointment with my psychologist on Monday!
I was sent an article about older women (although I have no idea by what is meant by older: is it older than 18? 30? 40? 50?). I had a read, then did some further research.
Sexual climax (of any kind) leaves one in a relaxed and contented state. This is often followed closely by drowsiness and sleep – particularly when one masturbates in bed. Ta-Da! Problem solved!
***If you do not approve of masturbation, please do NOT continue reading***
Matched with male masturbation, female masturbation is considerably less common: 90 per cent of the total male population compared to 65% of the total female population masturbate from time to time. There are many benefits linked to masturbation, in general.
Masturbation has been shown to relieve depression and lead to a higher sense of self-esteem.
Masturbation may even be considered a cardiovascular workout. Though research remains scant, those suffering from cardiovascular disorders should resume physical activity (including sexual intercourse and masturbation) gradually and with the frequency and rigor which their physical status will allow. This limitation may also serve as encouragement to follow through with physical therapy sessions to help improve endurance.
Benefits for Men
In 2003, an Australian research team led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Australia found that males masturbating frequently had a lower probability of developing prostate cancer. Men who averaged five or more ejaculations weekly in their 20s had significantly lower risk! However they could not show a direct causation. The study also indicated that increased ejaculation through masturbation rather than intercourse would be more helpful as intercourse is associated with diseases (STDs) that may increase the risk of cancer instead.
However, this benefit may be age related. A 2008 study concluded that frequent ejaculation between the ages of 20 and 40 may be correlated with higher risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, frequent ejaculation in one’s 50s was found to be correlated with a lower such risk in this same study.
A 2008 study at Tabriz Medical University found ejaculation reduces swollen nasal blood vessels, freeing the airway for normal breathing. The mechanism is through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and is long-lasting. The study author suggests a male can masturbate to alleviate the congestion and can adjust the number of ejaculations depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Benefits for Women
As you age, your body undergoes normal physical changes that may affect your sex life. The good news is that all these changes aren’t bad: ageing can have positive effects on sexuality. Some women, for instance, report feeling the freedom to enjoy sex more as they get older and don’t have birth control issues to contend with. Other women, however, experience emotional or physical changes that can make sex less enjoyable.
Practicing masturbation techniques can help remedy some of the problems experienced by women as they grow older. As a woman ages, her vagina becomes shorter and more narrow. In addition, without regular supplies of estrogen, the walls of the vagina can become thin and stiff. For this reason, it is common to experience vaginal dryness, or a lack of natural vaginal lubrication (wetness), as you get older. Masturbation stimulates the brain to produce physical changes in the vagina and activates various neural pathways responsible for clitoral swelling, vaginal congestion, lengthening of the vagina, and lubrication.
Bottom line? Having a healthy sex life, including masturbation well into your golden years, may solve those sleeping problems!
- 10 Good Reasons to Masturbate (mryoungscholar.wordpress.com)
- FOXSexpert: The Health Benefits of Masturbation | Fox News (ganjavibes.wordpress.com)
Belly dancing was one of the first forms of exercise. Belly dance is found all over the Near East, including Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Greece, and Turkey.
Belly dance (also known as Middle Eastern dance, Danse Orientale, Raqs Sharki, Ciftetelli, Rakkase, Danse du Ventre) is a celebration of a woman’s body. It is a unique style of world dance that intertwines improvisation originating from ancient folk and gypsy movements with trained professional choreography originating in the harems.
There is no definite origin of belly dance, but one can see traditional associations with many fertility rituals of the ancient world and the dances in the ancient Indian temples. The fertility rituals were meant to celebrate the reproductive aspects of life, both human and in nature. The movements developed into being used by female only groups for strengthening muscles and spirit for birthing. In this sense, the dance was seen as a private, sacred art. The undulating movements strengthen muscles and breathing techniques, making it easier to control your body.
The common people and travelling gypsy groups later performed belly dance movements on the street (the higher class did not dance in public). Eventually this moved into the harems, where beautiful slaves and dancing-girls learned to entertain their host. With harem girls began sophisticated dance and music training, incorporating choreography and “props”, and the dance was also taught to the higher-class female family members, who also lived and were educated in the harems.
So, it’s kinda weird that it was researchers in Brazil who found that, after beginning a belly dance program, FM sufferers reported reduced pain and improved functional capacity, quality of life and self-image.
Researchers studied 80 women with FM (the rest were doing the Samba! Lol!) who were randomly assigned to either a dance group or control group. The dance group participated in 1-hour belly dance classes twice a week for 16 weeks, with movements involving the upper limbs, scapular girdle, trunk and hips. A masked physiotherapist evaluated pain assessment, functional capacity, quality of life, depression, anxiety and self-image at the beginning, 16 weeks and 32 weeks.
The dancing FMers significantly improved from baseline to 32 weeks in pain, emotional aspects and mental health scales.
Health benefits of Belly Dancing (not just for FM sufferers)
- Stress reduction
Belly dancing requires tremendous relaxation and concentration, as you must focus on isolating various parts of your body. The flowing movements of belly dance help to calm and soothe the mind. The repetitive movements of the dance and the concentration needed to do them can help a mind filled with daily stress to “let go” for a while and relax. It’s hard to worry about deadlines at work when you are thinking about getting that next drop just right, or while making sure that you are in time with the music.
One effect of stress is that our bodies tense up, causing contractions or spasms in muscle groups, such as those in the neck, shoulders, or back. Belly dance, on the other hand, gently stretches and uses these vulnerable muscle groups, and as they are utilized, blood flow increases and lactic acid is flushed away. Stressed muscles relax as they are gently exercised, relieving the “clenched” muscles often seen in FM sufferers. The body becomes supple and limber, and practitioners frequently report that pain diminishes in the back and neck areas.
- Fitness and Muscle Building
Belly dancing is vigorous and will make you break a sweat. The fast movements of the hips and shoulders are enough to really get your heart pumping, offering tremendous cardiovascular benefits. When performed as exercise, belly dancing can be compared to any other aerobic workout.
Belly dancing is also a wonderful way to strengthen the major muscles of your body. When performed correctly, belly dancing can also stretch and release tension in the back. Because it is a low-impact form of exercise, belly dancing won’t jolt or jar your body.
- Weight loss
Belly dancing can have a positive impact on your weight, improving your self-image. If performed regularly, belly dancing can actually encourage weight loss, as it burns calories as well as increases your metabolic rate. According to Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, M.D., belly dance can burn up to 300 calories per hour. This estimate will vary, of course, depending on the intensity of your dancing.
Belly dancers come in a variety of body types and sizes. Belly dancing will make you more aware of your posture, grace, body language and facial expressions, all helping to improve your self-image. If you attend a belly dancing class, you will probably see several different sizes of bodies, all just as beautiful as the others.
- An Internal Massage
Belly dancing can be very beneficial to the health of your internal organs. It is sometimes said that belly dancing was developed as a way to prepare the body for childbirth. Since belly dancing centres around controlling the muscles of the abdomen, it may make carrying and delivering a baby easier on your body. For women who desire natural childbirth, this form of exercise through dance, with its emphasis on muscle control not only facilitates natural childbirth, but also makes an excellent post-natal exercise that helps encourage abdominal tone.
Also, many women notice that belly dancing helps to relieve menstrual cramping.
Belly dance seems like a fun, healthy way to exercise. As we are continually being told, exercise is important in the treatment of FM. The Brazilian researchers concluded, “Patient education regarding how to initiate and continue exercise is crucial to the success of treatment. … Belly dance leads to improvement in pain, sleep pattern, functional capacity and self-image in patients with fibromyalgia. [It is] a safe, effective therapeutic strategy for women with fibromyalgia.” It can be a creative outlet that conditions, tones, and allows a woman to tune into the natural movements of her body. It can refresh, relax, and/or exhilarate. So why wait?
Caution: Many doctors have suggested belly dancing classes as part of rehabilitation from injury; it is, however, important to check with your own medical provider before starting any new form of exercise.
- Is Belly dance the answer to fibromyalgia pain? New scientific study. (jadebellydance.com)
- Belly Dance – the Uncommon Male (kindshipincolorandwool.typepad.com)