« The body can do many things at which the mind is amazede »

Spinoza, Ethique

 

 

 

 

 

David Leventhal

DanceForParkinson Program Director

Thierry Janssen
Doctor, writer and therapist
"Dance has saved me"

 

For quite some time, an undisguised interest has been taken in the benefits of alternative care in certain chronic and degenerative neurological diseases.

A physical approach is often favoured.

Aside from drug treatment, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and cognitive retraining, the practice of an aerobic sport (walking, running, cycling), a martial art (Tai Chi, yoga) or sessions of fully alert meditation – to give just a few examples – have often appeared to be effective complements to the treatment.

 


As the vascular and neuroprotective benefits of some of these exercises have now been proven, it is possible that these other practices could also prove capable of activating new neuronal connexions or even of stimulating neurogenesis!

 

Finally, and contrary to traditional approaches, these activities are practised in groups, ideally outdoors, away from any hospital context and in a fun way that can give real enjoyment. So they add a social and environmental dimension to conventional care, which is focused on correcting the mechanism of the pathology and its main symptoms.

 

These group activities often enable the patient to come to terms with their illness and reconnect to an existential dimension. They are agents of change and learning and help patients regain possession of theirbody, which they often disparage, to recover self-confidence, to form a better opinion of themselves; in short, to experience a kind of “reincarnation”.


 

 

Finally they align perfectly with the primary definition of health according to the WHO: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”, supporting the idea that, without doubt, one can be ill and fully healthy!