Archive for the 'Dance' Category

Dance and Aging: A Critical Review of Findings in Neuroscience

old couple dancing.jpg

This article reviews research that measures the benefits of a variety of dance forms with older adults, for cognitive and sensorimotor performance (such as balance and gait), social and emotional wellbeing, and underlying neurobiological factors.

 Besides reporting the measurement methods for each study, this article draws three important conclusions from the studies as a whole:

1.  Sensorimotor performance (such as balance, gait, speed, and functional exercise-based capacity) seems to improve with long-term and not short-term (e.g., 3–5 days per week for 2 weeks) participation.

2. All forms of dance (cultural, social, modern, jazz, mixed, ballroom, dance/movement therapy) led to significant improvements in static, dynamic or functional balance.

3.  Many positive benefits were found in cognitive and sensorimotor performance.

Click here to read the article.
Kshtriya S, Barstaple R, Rabinovich DB, and DeSouza JFX.  Dance and Aging: A Critical Review of Findings in Neuroscience.  American Journal of Dance Therapy. (2015) 37:81–112 DOI 10.1007/s10465-015-9196-7.

New Online Creative Caregiving Guide

NCCA Creative Caregiving Guide

Imagine a world where every caregiving act for adults with alzheimer’s disease and related cognitive disorders contributes to quality days for both the caregiver and their care partner.

The public is invited to utilize FREE video clips and curriculum materials developed by the National Center for Creative Aging to facilitate cognition, self-expression, movement and social connection in adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and related cognitive disorders.*

The guide is constantly expanding with lessons for additional languages and cultures.

http://creativecaregiving.creativeaging.org/

* Note from Ping Ho, MA, MPH – Founding Director of UCLArts and Healing:

The lessons are applicable to other populations such as special needs and young children.

Movement Facilitates Creative Thinking

Sample drawings from Saggar et al study on creative thinking and cerebellum activity

A new Pictionary-based Stanford study by Saggar et al has shown that creative thinking is facilitated by activity in the cerebellum (the movement coordination part of the brain) and hampered by activity in the prefrontal cortex (the executive function part of the brain associated with planning, organization and management).

Subjects were given 30 seconds to depict each of several action words by drawing pictures of them while inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine to monitor brain activity.  They were also asked to draw zigzag lines to observe differences in fine motor activity without a creative component.

When words were difficult to draw, there was more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, which is associated with attention and evaluation.  Independently-rated creativity scores were higher with low activity in the prefrontal cortex and high activity in the cerebellum.

Saggar stated, “The more you think about it, the more you mess it up.”

Stanford professor Michel Serres hikes the Dish on a regular basis.

Stanford professor Michel Serres hikes the Dish on a regular basis.

This study may shed neurobiological light on an interesting finding from another Stanford study by Oppezzo and Schwartz published in April 2014 that walking compared to sitting more than doubles creative inspiration, whether out in nature or indoors facing a wall on a treadmill.  They compared the walking conditions to sitting indoors facing a wall or sitting outdoors while being pushed in a wheelchair.  They also compared various combinations and sequences of walking and sitting.

While walking or sitting, 176 subjects were given four minutes to solve “divergent thinking” problems—taking an object and coming up with innovative yet appropriate alternative uses for it.  Creative brainstorming was 60% greater when walking.

In another test, they were asked to come up with meaningful analogies to phrases such as “a robbed safe”.  100% of subjects in the walking condition were able to come up with appropriate analogies, whereas only 50% of the subjects in the sitting condition were able to do so.

The researchers wonder whether other forms of mild physical activity that does not necessitate focused concentration for execution (such as loosely-structured creative movement), would lead to the same benefits.  They also suggested that movement may facilitate creative thought processes through improved mood states and that movement breaks throughout the day may be a good idea.

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Stanford news media summaries of the two studies for the lay public can be found through the links below:
Saggar et al study on creative thinking and cerebellum activity.
Oppezzo and Schwatrz study on creative thinking and walking.

Re-Write Your Life

Mindset Book 3

A New York Times blog by Tara Parker-Pope offers examples of studies that show how changing your narrative can change the trajectory of your life.   Scroll down to see the blog.

The examples that she cites suggest that changing one’s story contributes to a growth mindset that is associated with learning and achievement.

According to Carol Dweck, of the Stanford University Department of Psychology, those with growth mindsets seek challenges for an opportunity to learn and those with fixed mindsets of intelligence avoid challenges that lead to self-judgment.

Research from Dweck’s lab has shown that exposure to even simple messages (e.g., “You must have tried really hard”) can have a profound effect on academic performance, and that parental messages heard by children from ages 1-3 determine their mindsets by ages 7-8.

When we re-write our stories, not only do we change our mindsets, but also we visualize new outcomes, which register in the brain as if real, hardwire us for new behavior, and can even change our memory of past events.

Click here to view a TED Talk by Carol Dweck.

Click here if you are interested in a teleseminar on re-writing your life, which will enable participation from far and near from the comfort of home.

Blog post by Tara Parker-Pope

The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.

The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.  Read More… Continue reading ‘Re-Write Your Life’

Stories Can Drive Social Change – We Want Yours

animal conference FINAL_centered_imagePURPLE

On February 7, 2015, a cardiologist, integrative veterinarian, author and storyteller shared their personal, transformational stories of healing choices and end-of-life care.  They spoke about the elephant in the room.  The experience was profound for everyone.

Why did we organize this program?  My experience of the effectiveness of holistic treatment options in animal care made me wonder whypeople can’t have these options.  As integrative veterinary medicine involves less regulation, I wondered if exposure to these practices could motivate PET OWNERS to drive the HUMAN integrative medicine movement through their stories and advocacy.

The other reason that I organized this program is because the therapeutic uses of the arts are a branch of integrative medicine, and I saw an opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of the arts in health policy and practices.  Time and again we see in our community writing programs the power of stories to elicit emotions and facilitate meaningful dialogue.

We encourage you to add your voice to the movement for choices in healing and more humane approaches to end-of-life care.  Your story can make a difference.  If you have one to share, please send it to info@uclartsandhealing.org.  We are also collecting them on behalf of Dr. Richard Palmquist, who will post them on the website of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation in order to fuel the proliferation of research.  As he noted in his presentation, when patients hear that “there is no evidence” for a particular treatment, it does not necessarily mean that things do not work; it means that there is no research to support the intervention.

Some resources for your preparing your story:

Barbara Clark will be teaching a workshop on Finding Meaning in Love and Loss as a follow up to this program, where you will learn how to craft an effective story that is imbued with meaning.  You will leave with a complete story imbued with meaning for yourself and your audience.Click here for details.

Barbara Abercrombie’s blog that includes writing tips and exercises: www.BarbaraAbercrombie.com.

Special Message from Richard Palmquist, DVM:

If you have a story involving the benefits of integrative veterinary care, please consider writing it and sending it to me at this email address, cahdogcat@aol.com. These stories are incredibly helpful for those trapped in a disease cycle and having nowhere to turn. Upon discovering one successful outcome, a dedicated animal guardian may then find the path to assist their friend in recovering or improving its state of health.

The AHVMF, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation, at www.AHVMF.org is dedicated to expanding humane research and education in integrative and holistic veterinary medicine. Through our work we are supporting important steps to improve health care options for both people and animals. To see how we use these stories go to our website and look at the “Inspiring Stories” and “Animal Teachers” links.

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The following are links to books from our Feb. 7 event: Love and Loss: The Power of Stories in Healing Choices and End-of-Life Care

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz’s website: www.zoobiquity.com.

Link to her book: Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health  http://www.amazon.com/Zoobiquity-Astonishing-Connection-Between-Animal/dp/0307477436.

Barbara Abercrombie’s blog that includes writing tips and exercises: www.BarbaraAbercrombie.com.
Link to her book: Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost  http://www.amazon.com/Cherished-Writers-Animals-They-Loved/dp/1577319575/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423898820&sr=1-2&keywords=cherished   All royalties will be donated to Best Friends Animal Society.  Includes stories by Anne Lamott, Jane Smiley, Jacqueline Winspear, Carolyn See, Mark Doty, and more.

(Barbara Abercrombie’s husband Robert Adams died on February 10th.)

Dr. Richard Palmquist’s Centinela Animal Hospital website: www.LovAPet.com.

Link to his book: Releasing Your Pet’s Hidden Health Potential  http://www.amazon.com/Releasing-Your-Hidden-Health-Potential/dp/1449908446/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423899576&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=palmquist+unleashing+your

Ping Ho, Founding Director, UCLArts and Healing

UCLA Integrative Medicine Conference 2014: Creative Arts Therapies Panel

Click here to view the creative arts therapies panel.

Integrative Medicine in the Community through the Creative Arts Therapies:  Experiential Panel Presentations on Creative Arts Therapies at the UCLA Integrative Medicine Conference – March 1, 2014

The creative arts therapies offer accessible, nonverbal and universal tools for facilitating emotional and physical health through a focus on the process of expression, rather than performance or product. The creative arts therapies can offer a humanizing complement to increasingly technological medical care, that can enhance the environment of medicine and address the increasing societal health care burden from chronic diseases rooted in emotions and behavior.

A panel of clinician/scholars from four creative arts therapy disciplines (art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, and music therapy) demonstrate how and why the creative arts therapies are so effective as an integrative medicine discipline.  This remarkable presentation features the layering on of each art form in an experiential presentation.

The 2014 Conference for Integrative Medicine panel presenters include:

Ping Ho, MA, MPH (Moderator) – Founding Director, UCLArts and Healing; Steering Committee member, UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine; member of the Council of Advisers for the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

Erica Curtis, MFT, ATR-BC – Past President of the Southern California Art Therapy Association; past board member of the American Art Therapy Association; Instructor at Loyola Marymount University Department of Marital and Family Therapy with specialized training in Clinical Art Therapy.  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Certified Art Therapist

John Mews, MA, MTA, MFT Registered Intern – Executive Director and Founder: Mewsic Moves; Board Certified Music Therapist, Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Intern; Special Needs Family and Parenting Coach.

Mimi Savage
, PhD Candidate, RDT – Southern California Chapter President of the North American Drama Therapy Association; Registered Drama Therapist; Drama Therapy Fund Professional Research Grant Recipient for 2014; Instructor for UCLArts and Healing SEA Program.

Lora Wilson Mau, MA, BC-DMT – President of the California Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association; Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, Department of Dance.  Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist.

Dance/Movement therapy for hospitalized kids

Lori Baudino

Lori Baudino, PsyD, BC-DMT is a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified dance/movement therapist who brought the first dance/movement therapy programs to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles through funding by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation (for Dréa’s Dream pediatric dance therapy programming).

Click here to view a TED-style talk by Dr. Baudino describing the experiences of hospitalized children and how dance/movement therapy meets their needs (sponsored by the American Dance Therapy Association).

Click here to view a UCLA Health website article featuring Dr. Baudino describing how she works with children in the hospital, how she got connected with Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, and a particularly memorable experience.

Click here to view footage of Dr. Baudino doing dance/movement therapy with children at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.