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One of Biodanza’s aims is stress management through the creation of a chronic state of happiness that becomes your best line of defence against the negative impact of stress.
There are three possible chronic states your body can be in: health, “fight or flight” and shock.
If you’re in a perpetual state of good health – well done! You possibly get the occasional cold but your health is generally robust and strong. Biodanza can help you maintain and strengthen this wonderful state – ramp it up to a truly chronic state of joy and happiness!
The alternative states of “fight or flight” and shock are not so positive.
How to recognise symptoms of stress
Stress is what occurs when life overwhelms you. It can be caused by one factor or many factors. Depression, anxiety, difficulties in the workplace and post-traumatic stress are just a few of them. Whatever the cause, when high levels of stress continue for too long, it starts to affect your long-term health and stress management is required.
These days, it’s hard to just switch off and relax. Our lifestyles are fraught with all kinds of challenges and our health and relationships tend to take a backseat to frenetic schedules and the never-ending demands of modern living.
The nervous system is therefore constantly under pressure, causing stress, depression anxiety, and even chronic fear. Since it rarely gets a chance to turn off, these reactions to stress become ingrained.
Here are seven major health problems linked to chronic stress of the nervous system:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Weakening of the immune system
- Possibly even certain forms of cancer, such as bowel cancer
… Unmanaged reactions to stress are a more dangerous risk factor for cancer and heart disease than either cigarette smoking or high cholesterol foods.
University of London 20-year Landmark Study
Anxiety or Alarm
Alarm or anxiety is where your body is predominantly in a state of “fight or flight”. The emotions most common in your life are anger, rage, fear and even deep-seated terror.
In today’s world, these emotions cannot be discharged by fighting or running. Our lifestyles are too sedentary – We tend to sit still, take it and hold it and all the while, the stress mounts. Your anxiety levels soar and you live in a state of emotional instability – a ticking emotional time bomb.
Shock or Depression
If life has overwhelmed you, your ability to choose between “fight” or “flight” is diminished, either gradually or suddenly. Your body sinks into a deeper chronic state – shock. Emotionally, this can leave you feeling lifeless, numb, depressed or apathetic.
In order to survive these states, your body decides to conserve the core body functions and withdraws from those less critical to sustaining life. However, a long-term withdrawal of this nature causes even the core functions to weaken and degenerate.
How Biodanza helps you manage stress, anxiety or depression
Before we discuss stress relief, it’s important for you to understand the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the role of this system in the body’s responses to stress. The ANS is the body’s automatic section, which runs without you having to think about it. It controls your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, sugar absorption and many of the other key functions related to long-term health – all those core body functions mentioned earlier.
The ANS consists of two main parts – the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic part can be regarded as the “accelerator”. It is most active when you are either in the positive states of excitement and enthusiasm, or in a negative state of chronic alarm. The parasympathetic part can be likened to the “brake”. This part is most active either when you are positively relaxed or asleep, or negatively in a state of chronic shock.
When in chronic alarm or shock, the body “locks” the autonomic nervous system and its associated endocrine system into fixed patterns, leading to your internal organs being in a continual state of stress.
This is the basic physiology all alternative methods of health are seeking to access and release – yoga, meditation, Biodanza and so on.
The Biodanza stress management method
A Biodanza class is structured to work with the autonomic nervous system. The first part of a class raises you into a state of excitement and enthusiasm, activating the positive, healthy response of the ANS sympathetic function. The second part of a class activates a journey into the healthy response of the parasympathetic section – deep relaxation and quiet inner reflection.
Almost all Biodanza exercises are designed to create a healthy response or release within the internal organs – known as a state of cenesthetic awareness. This is where you can feel your internal organs are functioning in a healthy way.
Biodanza works to create happy, balanced internal organs which are then able to move smoothly between health, alarm, shock and then back into a normal condition, without getting locked or triggered into unhealthy, fixed, long-term patterns.
It has been scientifically validated that regular Biodanza classes have immediate and medium term benefits for a significant percentage of people on such body indicators as heart rate, blood pressure and other measures of autonomic and endocrine systems.
Dance your troubles away
Not too long ago someone said that it was possible to dance your troubles away, and many laughed at him. They said it was not possible. They said it was foolish.
Then a man came along and proved it worked – Rolando Toro Araneda, Founder of Biodanza. He then continued to do so over the ensuing 60 years.
Music, dance and self-expression with others are therapeutic processes that have almost magical properties. It’s just you, your expressions – nothing else. It is you with yourself in a safe space, with others who are too, themselves and safe. This all makes for a space for holistic healing and growth.
You should try it sometime. After all – what could you possibly lose?