Belly Dance

Fibromyalgia and Dance

Event in Rio

Researchers in Brazil studied the effect that dance and belly dance in particular has on the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body and extreme tiredness, amongst other symptoms. The causes are not completely known yet and, although it can affect anybody, women are on average more affected than men. There is no cure at the moment but doctors advice patients on different strategies to alleviate the symptoms. In addition to medicines, counselling and relaxation, certain forms of non strenuous physical exercise are considered to be beneficial.

A. Baptista, A. Villela, A. Jones, J. Natour, researchers in Sao Paulo University in Brazil, have published a paper that shows that belly dancing helps relieve the pain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. The researchers studied 80 women, whom they divided in two groups of 40: one group did belly dance twice a week for 16 weeks and the other group was put on a waiting list. At the end of the 16 weeks, the women were scored on pain, emotional aspects and mental health and the dance group had significantly improved.

The paper by A. Baptista, A. Villela, A. Jones, J. Natour is called:’Effectiveness of dance in patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized, single-blind, controlled study’ and it was published on Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012 Sep 28. Read more information about this research here.

This is just another example of how belly dancing can benefit people who practise it, both on a physical and on an emotional level. Read more about belly dancing physical and emotional benefits.

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Valeria is a dance researcher completing a PhD in dance and heritage. Valeria also teaches and performs as a belly dance but also enjoys learning ballet, jazz dance and other dance genres.


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