Dance for a cure

Danser pour se soigner

Photo: Annik MH de Carufel Le Devoir
The dancers know from experience, since of the moons; the science says it now too: dance promotes socialization, the dialogue, the management of emotions and development of empathy.

Five years ago, the neurobiologist and populist French Lucy Vincent began to dance, to evacuate the stress and helps you relax. “As soon as I started, I have seen the effects can be quite important on the body, but also on the brain,” she explains in an interview. She noted ” an improvement of self-esteem, confidence, mood in general very markedly. My body completely changed shape, and distribution, if I may say so. “Curious, Ms. Vincent turned to the scientific literature in order to understand what dancing mechanisms were found to influence emotions and cognitive processes. Result is Made to dance your brain !, seventh book of the author and summary of current studies on dance. Conclusion ? A transformation of the vision body-the brain prepares itself and could lead to changes in education, in care, in training, according to Ms. Vincent.

Danser pour se soigner

Lucy Vincent

“When one looks at the scientific literature, it is, and lucky for me, a kind of revolution is in the making in exercise physiology,” says Lucy Vincent in his French perfect accent british. “All these years, when it was said that it should be made to suffer for doing good, and the other No pain no gain – 1980s, disappear to the benefit of recommendations of exercises much more moderate. Because we realized that the complex movement in particular, which requires coordination, has important effects on the brain. “

The dualistic body-brain is very challenged by the recent studies and those on the dance. “We know it for some time, writes Mrs. Vincent in her book, every muscular contraction, however small, has an impact on our body ; better, nothing beats a muscular activity, moderate, but regular, which works all over the body smoothly and stress. In the near future, nothing prevents us to imagine that we prescribe such or such sequences of movements which work these muscles to stimulate our liver, our kidneys, our digestive system, our immune system, our brain, etc — in the manner of the reflexology chinese. “

You thought you were ? I am very comfortable.

The dancers know from experience, since of the moons ; the science says it now too : dance promotes socialization, the dialogue, the management of emotions and development of empathy. But the benefits add up. “The doctor, Jeremy Schmahmann in the United States has focused on the cerebellum,” says voice of the one who, through his books (How does one become a lover ?, The shape and sham, both in Odile Jacob), by the animation of a program on France Culture and as a spokesperson in front of media, is recognised in France as more of an orator than for his scientific career. “Schmahmann realized that the cerebellum plays a major role in the coordination of movement, and that it has implications on the systems of emotion regulation and networks cognitive. Several teams in the world today demonstrate that everything that is intellectual going on in the first place by an exploration of the world and of themselves through sensory systems. In other words, one is obliged to move, in all possible ways, to develop his brain. “And his body move makes you smarter.

Well, dance now !

New facts that could lead to changes, and very physical, on the ways to teach, learn, heal, analyze ? “Yes. But the company is still far short of taking into account these data. It is always said that there are twenty years between what is happening in the laboratories and the beginnings of changes in society. This is going to take years before one starts to use it in education and in nursing, for example. Several experiments have been done in schools, where we taught the children the displacement of atoms for example, or planets, by making use of the movement. Even if one makes a movement very abstract to represent a thing, a concept, is remembered much better items learned if one has learned by moving. It is the reality. I use it personally, for memorization. And I continue the dance, I realized that the sensations in the body that one acquires make you much more aware of your body. And as said, Antonio Damasio when he explains the functioning of self-awareness, the more it increases, the more the confidence increases. “

All these years where it was said that it should be made to suffer for doing good, and the other No pain no gain – 1980s, disappear to the benefit of recommendations of exercises much more moderate

— Lucy Vincent

Are there other activities just as rich of consequences ? The martial arts, which have many points in common with the dance, otherwise the relationship to the music ? “There are some searches which speak of the martial arts. I agree, I think it is the most of the dance. “Intuitively, the consequences would be similar ? “Yes. Yes. “But the famous of the music, not present in general martial arts, is not trivial. “Moving in rhythm to the music, in particular, in synchrony with other, releases endorphins : it feels good. Someone who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and happens at a stage where it can no longer trigger a movement, for example a walk, if he makes music that is well paced, his brain connects to this rhythm, and recreates them on the market, which allows him to start again the movement. “

Ms. Vincent continues : “I note that it is a return to knowledge instinctive. There are a lot of companies that use the dance for rites of passage, learning, and healing. We made a big circle, whatever. “

And what is the dance that she prefers to practice ? Short silence at the end of the wire, and then a voice full of smile : “The jive. Really. It hopped, it is very joyful. “Music, therefore.

Made to dance your brain

Lucy Vincent, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2018, 208 pages

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