Not many would associate a doctor with dance, but then Dr. Niraj Mehta is not your run-of-the-mill kind of a glum-faced doctor. When he is not in his white coat and stethoscope, you will find him in his dancing shoes, jiving with his patients, no kidding!
Who Said Doctors Don’t Dance?
Founder of a fun, movement-based transformational program that aims to accelerate a patient’s healing process, Dr. Niraj Mehta is also a Sherpa with Cancer Awakens. He supports the Functional Medicine approach to oncology’ based on the mind-body correlation. Simply put, it is a holistic and System-based approach to healing that takes the patients’ physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health into consideration.
His Definition of Stress & Swaasthya (Wellbeing)
Stress is a “loss of equilibrium, when the pressures of life, begin to exceed our coping mechanisms.”
This is when the level of stress hormones (Adrenaline and Cortisol) rises. Other factors that contribute to sleep deprivation, dietary imbalances, interpersonal conflict, etc. In such cases, any conscious movement whether its dance, brisk walking, and yoga can bring down the stress hormones levels and increase the feel-good hormones (endorphins).
“On the other hand, Swaasthya (Wellbeing) is a state of equilibrium when the body is relaxed, the breath is even, the mind is clear and calm, the heart is open, the senses are open and receptive and you are brimming with energy and vitality.”
It is possible for anyone to experience this state of ‘Presence’. Click here to try it out.
Everyone can “make moves”!
Niraj does not count himself as an expert on Dance Movement Therapy (DMT). He simply wants people to “make moves”! He always believed that movement arises naturally in response to the music of any kind. He trusts that untrained people, given the music stimulus, will burst into rhythmic moves on listening to melodies and beats. Also, he feels intuitive, that music has a “higher power” to connect people to their inner being and to be more in sync with their surroundings. Moving to music naturally creates a state of happiness. He feels “Two-left feet” and “The ability to dance” are extremely overrated phrases.
Music & movement can thus be a powerful tool to express one’s emotions and conflicts. It helps to break out of one’s shell and tap the world with a fresh perspective. Coordinated and rhythmic movement can address issues like loneliness, self-rejection, feeling pity for oneself, depression along with other psychological issues, emotional conflicts, and stressors.
At present, Niraj with his team is engrossed in designing live sessions where participants get to “speak” without using any words. This requires creating a safe and encouraging environment for any trained or untrained dancer.
Dance Also Helps in Pain Management
Patients who have participated in Niraj’s movement sessions rave eloquently about its positive results. They feel physically and mentally recharged, as, besides healing, DMT has also been found to be effective in slowing down the aging process. That’s why Niraj likes to call it ‘Natural Immunotherapy’; while scientists prefer the term ‘Psychoneuroimmunology.’
How Does DMT Work?
- A channel to constructively express emotions
- Provide stress relief
- Increase physical fitness and gross motor skills development
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Fosters creativity and imagination.
According to the American Cancer Society, dance movement increases endorphin levels in the brain and makes one feel comfortable and secure. Besides, dancing or moving the body in a rhythmic way also activates other body systems.