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Miracle Gro for the Brain

"There are just no words to impart the measureless sense of joy, the love of life, the enchantment with existence that envelops the dancing human. Have you danced lately?" - Trudi Schoop

As a Dance/Movement Therapist, I know in my bones the joy and benefits of dance. It is a way of expressing oneself like nothing else can. It is a path to awakening on all levels. It is catharsis, insight, and transformation...Can't you just feel its vividness in this fabulous video by Laurana Wong? (You can listen and watch out of the corner of your eye while you read until you just have to get up and dance with her!)

AND, at its very most basic, dance is simply great exercise. Now there is some compelling new research that may cause you to look at even "simply great exercise" in a different way. I am thrilled to have come across new research by Dr. John Ratey, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard that addresses the direct effects of movement on the brain.

In his book, Spark, the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise on the Brain, Ratey writes that just 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise a day increases BDNF, (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors) in the brain. BDNF is responsible for brain growth and new neural connections.

Creating new neural connections is critical for breaking free of depression, and for releasing the ill effects of stress on all aspects of our being. Aerobic exercise also improves cognitive functioning, focus, and decision making capacities as well. We're just better on exercise.

Any kind of aerobic exercise is obviously incredibly beneficial. Unfortunately, many of us have sedentary work and will need to carve out time for it. And let's face it, some exercise can be boring and rote, and forgive me, doesn't add to your body's creative intelligence despite the obvious aerobic benefits. (Treadmills, exercise bikes, tracks, etc--Yuck!) Sorry, it's just my opinion ;-)

Why not turn on strong music that matches how you're feeling right now, and express yourself in the way only you can...Get the amazing benefits of aerobic exercise while dancing out your demons, your joy, your fear, your ex, your frustration at that dang computer...whatever it is that needs expression!

It's what the Doctor orders!

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