The power of dance: health and healing

J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):323-31. doi: 10.1089/acm.1995.1.323.


Dance involves the culturally mediated body, emotion, and mind. So do illness and pain. Dance may promote wellness by strengthening the immune system through muscular action and physiological processes. Dance conditions an individual to moderate, eliminate, or avoid tension, chronic fatigue, and other disabling conditions that result from the effects of stress. Dance may help the healing process as a person gains a sense of control through (1) possession by the spiritual in dance, (2) mastery of movement, (3) escape or diversion from stress and pain through a change in emotion, states of consciousness, and/or physical capability, and (4) confronting stressors to work through ways of handling their effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural*
  • Dance Therapy*
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Psychophysiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*