When Trauma Overwhelms People Of Colour, Cultural Art Can Help

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For ex-child soldier EmmanuelJAL, African dance traditions helps him manage flashbacks

, which seeks to address how safe a traumatized person feels in their own body. The latter may involve encouraging awareness around how the body reacts and balancing emotional responses.To encourage that movement, he uses music as a medium that “re-programs” what the brain fixates on. Music alone as a therapy tool has been praisedreveals can assist traumatized children in developing essential body regulation skills.

“When you dance, you’re not looking around. You’re focused on enjoying the sound and what your body feels,” he said. “My anxieties, my fears are gone. I dance when I’m happy, sad, need to be courageous ... when I dance, it restores me to the present.”Emmanuel Jal, seen pre-pandemic, leading participants in a guided dance and yoga session.

Making one’s mind and body feel present is a major perk of using dance to supplement trauma therapy, as it can give someone the language to express reflections on memories that feel too painful to voice. “Art, music, drama, and dance act as a translator to the speechlessness that comes with terror and fragmented memories...

Source: Entertainment Trends (entertainmenttrends.net)

 

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