5 Types of Body Movement Therapy for Recovery
Movement therapy is a blanket term that refers to a wide variety of physical activities and exercises that combine Eastern and Western practices to help your mind and body. These activities are typically low-intensity exercises focused on mindful movements as a way to aid recovery.
Today, we’re looking at five types of body movement therapy and the potential benefits they provide. Read on, and see how integrating these into your routine could enhance your quality of life and overall wellness.
Benefits of Movement Therapy
Practicing different types of movement therapy is meant to boost your overall health and wellness, but what areas does it impact? Some of the most common benefits of movement therapy include:
- Better cognitive function
- Reduced stress levels
- Elevated mood
- Faster bodily healing
- Increased flexibility, mobility, and balance
- Improved awareness
There may also be benefits to different types of movement therapy for particular health conditions such as cancer, chronic heart failure, and Parkinson’s disease. While movement therapy cannot cure these conditions, it may be helpful in improving overall quality of life, reducing the risk of falls, and increasing the capacity to handle other forms of partnered therapy techniques.
Types of Movement Therapy
Mindfulness movement therapy is about taking an active role in your personal health and has been shown to share universal commonalities throughout the centuries. These activities are perfect for mental and physical recovery and pair perfectly with a personal health and wellness checklist. Taking an active role in your personal health creates healthy habits that become second nature and improve your overall quality of life.
Some of the most popular types of body movement therapy include:
- Tai chi
- Massage therapy
- Dance therapy
- Qigong movement therapy
One of the most popular forms of movement therapy and mindfulness practices in the world is yoga. There are many types of yoga you can choose to practice as part of your movement therapy, but each contributes to mental and physical benefits, making them all useful. Countless studies have shown the potential benefits of yoga for mental and physical recovery. The poses and postures practiced during yoga exercises bring focus to movement and breathing.
Whether you practice yoga as purely a form of body movement therapy or combine it with spiritual healing, there’s something for everyone. There are even chair yoga exercises you can practice, for those who may have limited physical abilities or are looking to combine movement therapy with zero gravity chair recovery tools to enhance their recovery further.
Often mentioned alongside yoga as a form of popular movement therapy or mindfulness exercise is tai chi. Originating as an ancient martial arts form, tai chi visually looks like a combination of dance and martial arts, rich in cultural history and mindfulness-based recovery. While yoga and tai chi share common benefits, they are fundamentally different practices, however.
Where yoga has a particular focus on holding poses and positions, tai chi is a low-impact, low-intensity movement therapy technique that uses a slow, continuous movement sequence.
Massage may be one of the types of movement therapy on our list that surprises you most! How does lying still for a massage count as body movement therapy? The answer comes in two parts.
First, traditional massage therapy may incorporate movement therapy techniques depending on the type of massage you get. For example, Thai massage combines acupressure and muscle manipulation with assisted stretching, moving your body inside and out.
What about people who don’t have the time to fit regular massage appointments into their busy schedules, however, or don’t want the ongoing mounting costs of continuous appointments? The second easy way people are bringing massage into their body movement therapy for recovery into their daily routine is with zero gravity chairs.
Choosing a zero gravity chair with massage features gives you the opportunity to experience the recovery elements of the zero gravity position while adding in bodily manipulation via vibration or air pressure massage benefits (sometimes referred to as air cell massage). Both types of massage features provide the potential benefits of body movement therapy to boost your mental and physical wellness. Some models also provide heat therapy alongside massage features for an even more incredible experience!
One of the most well-known types of movement therapy is dance therapy. Who said recovery can’t also be fun? Dance therapy functions as a psychotherapeutic activity for body movement therapy and could positively impact your overall wellness by reducing stress, improving motor skills, and using creativity to engage the mind for better mental cognitive function. A holistic health practice, dance therapy emerged as a popular body movement therapy treatment in the 1940s. Not sure what ‘holistic health’ is? (Learn more here: What Is Holistic Health and How Can You Practice It?)
One of the greatest things about dance movement therapy is that you can choose any kind of dance that feels great for you! Whether it’s classical dance steps and movements or freestyle dancing to your favorite music, dance therapy falls under a category known as creative arts therapy which is all about expressing yourself using your body.
Qigong Movement Therapy
Qigong may be a new movement therapy technique to you, but it dates back thousands of years and is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. This type of movement therapy uses exercises and movements to optimize energy flow throughout the body, mind, and spirit. It’s a holistic health practice aimed at balancing ourselves inside and out.
Qigong and tai chi are similar in that they’re both movement-based exercises. The difference is best considered that tai chi is a series of continuous movements in one smooth activity whereas qigong can be a particular movement for a certain purpose. For example, types of qigong exercises include movements for relaxation, breathing techniques for lung improvement, or mental visualizations for centering the mind. Instead of a blanket term for an entire exercise, qigong is able to be broken down into any particular movement you need for your recovery at that moment.
There are many types of movement therapy to try, so find which one works best for you! Taking time to add movement therapy to your routine may help with recovery and keep you in optimal health. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any form of new health routine to ensure it’s safe for you to do so.
Curious about pairing types of movement therapy with the recovery benefits of zero gravity chairs? Start by comparing zero gravity chairs and see which model meets your needs most.