Make Your Life a Blessing

How to bring blessings into everyday life

Dancing Away Dementia

New research shows that dancing reduces incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's.

Via 5Rhythms Reach Out: "New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that dancing dramatically reduces the occurrence of dementia and Alzheimer¹s disease. But not just any dancing will do. Freestyle dancing requires constant split-second, rapid-fire decision making, which is the key to maintaining intelligence because it forces your brain to regularly rewire its neural pathways, giving you greater cognitive reserve and increased complexity of neuronal synapses. Frequent freestyle dancing was shown by the study to reduce the risk of dementia by 76 percent—twice as much as reading—and playing sports or practicing choreographed dance sequences which had no benefit at all."

Working with aging and its problems and possibilities will be a growing field in the future. Being able to work with these issues by bringing in a wide variety of methodologies is important for healthcare providers. AgeSong is a pioneering residence for seniors that appreciates the importance of life review, narrative methods, movement, music and art that is practiced in a loving, respectful environment.

Please contact AgeSong for information about its volunteer programs and training in the expressive arts and dance movement therapies. Information about the expressive arts and dance movement therapies program is found here.

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Ilene Serlin, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and founder and director of Union Street Health Associates and the Arts Medicine Program at California Pacific Medical Center.

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