The idea of a mind-body connection is key to dance therapy, and therapists use techniques such as breathing exercises, games, improvisational dance and other movements to encourage personal expression. All of that movement is part of an effort to help patients nonverbally let go of anxiety, fear and stress. It can also boost body image, coping skills and self-esteem.
The basic idea behind dance therapy is that all movement is inherently therapeutic. Dance is physical activity, and being active improves your overall physical health and reduces chronic pain — but exercise also gets your endorphins flowing, and those are the brain's feel-good chemicals. Dancing makes you feel good, and some studies suggest the benefits of dance extend to your emotional and cognitive health too.