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Dancing for life: an exploration of the effectiveness of dance-movement therapy as an intervention for HIV

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. M. Mokwena en
dc.contributor.author Wessels-Bloom, Simone Louisa
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-14T14:19:18Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-14T14:19:18Z
dc.date.issued 2008-11-14T14:19:18Z
dc.date.submitted 2004-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1684
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract Although there are approximately 40 million people in the world infected with AIDS, 4.7 million of whom live in South Africa, very little research concerning non-medical modes of treatment has been conducted in South Africa. The use of antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS recently came under the spotlight when AIDS dissident Robert Giraldo argued that antiretroviral drugs induce rather than treat AIDS. Extensive research concerning medical interventions for AIDS has been conducted, but to date the field of psychoneuroimmunology and it’s principles have been left largely unexplored in the South African context. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a field of mind-body medicine that examines the relationship between the mind, the emotions and the body. Mind-body medicine is based on the premise that mental and emotional processes can affect physiological functioning. PNI is the study of the interrelations between the central nervous system and the immune system. It focuses on the influence of cognitive images on the nervous system and consequent interactions with the immune system. It incorporates but is not limited to, biofeedback, the impact of thought and belief on physiology and the effects of stress on physical and emotional functioning. The current research attempts to draw parallels between the fields of PNI and Dance/Movement therapy (D/MT). Dance Movement therapy (D/MT) is an art and a science that involves the use of nonverbal communication through the medium of movement and dancing. It is partnered with the practices of psychiatry and psychology. D/MT is based on the idea that the body and mind are inseparable. It is a form of psychotherapy, which utilizes psychomotor expression as its major mode of intervention. The basic premise of D/MT is that body movements reflect inner emotional states and changes in movement can lead to changes in the psyche, promoting health. One of the fundamental principles, and moreover a central purpose, of dance/movement therapy is the unity and balance of mind and body. Furthermore, the use of D/MT as a healing tool is rooted in the idea that the body and mind are inseparable. The premise that the mind and body have an interdependent relationship is not limited to the theory and practice of D/MT. The field of psychoneuroimmunology also maintains that mental and emotional processes of the mind can affect physiological functioning within the body. In addition, research has shown that certain psychological constructs such as stress, social support, self-esteem, and optimism and pessimism can affect the functioning of the immune system. The constructs discussed and targeted in the field of PNI are just some of the elements that are addressed in the practice of D/MT. Effective psychological intervention can assist the individual to manage and alter stressful conditions. Furthermore, group therapy, which is often employed in the practise of D/MT, provides an effective, efficient and economical system of peer support and hope from other individuals facing the same situation. D/MT is a psychotherapeutic treatment that uses body awareness, expression and acceptance to facilitate physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual integration to heal disorders of the body and the mind. Other psychological and physical improvements that have been attributed to D/MT include enhanced self-esteem, greater social support, an increased sense of control, and a greater ability to cope with stressful events. Because the elements of PNI discussed above have been shown to affect the physiological functioning and immunity of individuals, they are important constructs that need to be considered in the treatment of disease. Further, as D/MT has been shown to effectively address these factors, it follows that when treating individuals for a disease from the perspective of PNI, D/MT may be an appropriate intervention. In the current research, the aforementioned elements of PNI and how they are affected by the application of D/MT are discussed. Because the present investigation is focused on an area that has yet to be explored in South Africa, very little information concerning the topics in question is available. Consequently, the researcher focused on assembling information in the form of a literature review regarding D/MT and the possibility of using this means of therapy as an intervention for HIV. As such, the research design employed in the current investigation was exploratory in nature. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Dance therapy en
dc.subject Psychoneuroimmunology en
dc.subject Movement therapy en
dc.subject AIDS (Disease) alternative treatment en
dc.title Dancing for life: an exploration of the effectiveness of dance-movement therapy as an intervention for HIV en
dc.type Thesis en


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