This article seeks to address the main instruments used in Biodanza and talks about its effectiveness, relating them coherently and seeking reference in several theoretical fields to demonstrate the extension of its reach. Aimed at creating elements to answer the question of why the Biodanza works in an integrative manner on its participants.
WITH THANKS TO
Nathália Massi, Alessandra Moraes and Leonardo Cruz for all the support they offered me.
"What would happen if, instead of us just building our lives,
we surrender to madness and wisdom to dance it?”
The above question was put by the French thinker will unfold throughout this article generating new questions, not only related to dance, but especially to Biodanza, method created by the Chilean Anthropologist Rolando Mario Toro Araneda. After all, what are the effects produced by Biodanza in people who practice it? How is it possible to generate benefits in the organic levels and social changes in lifestyle of the participants through dancing and group exercise? Is Biodanza a method that allows for the contribution of a more caring and humane world? What resources have Biodanza to achieve its’ goals?
* Didactic Facilitator of Biodanza, Pedagogical Director of the Biodanza Rolando Toro Schools of Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), Psychologist.
These questions are the reason to build the article and to propose Biodanza as a practice that allows for positive results to the challenges and complexities of the contemporary world lifestyle.
The aim of this approach is to generate therapeutic and educational effects, not only to recover high levels of health but also to act prophylactic form, enabling its participants a re-educate for a daily life that respects the vital basic needs. It is necessary to have an integrated vision, not dissociating what is psychological and what is body. I agree with Groddeck (1994) when he says that should not treat diseases, but the person and there is no difference between diseases of the mind and body, “soma"5 and psyche are essentially the same. He called for 'it' to something unknown, which both health and disease are manifestations.
Biodanza extends this notion and defines itself as a therapy for “the sick people of this civilization" (Toro, 1991, p.135), this means that the style with which we live, can be pathological or healthy generator and treatments lose its effectiveness if we don’t change our lifestyle. As pointed out by Lewis (1993), people with certain character are more likely to contract certain diseases. To be able to act not only in the individual but also their lifestyle, the conceptual basis of Biodanza are based in biology, anthropology, physiology, psychology, sociology and mythology, encompassing the most of the human manifestations. And to give systemic coherence 6 to this theoretical framework, Toro (2002) opens the way creating the Biocentric principle, which makes immediate reference to life, and is based on the laws that keep living systems and allows its evolution. This principle suggests that the universe is driven to perform a particular purpose, oriented to life, of which we are a manifestation. This author finds resonance in De Duve (1997), which claims life is a cosmic imperative, and Bohm (1998), when he criticizes the limitation of fragmented perception of the universe and expands the vision for all. The Biocentric Principle ensures the consistency of Biodanza and only incorporates elements that are in accordance with its intention to encourage integration.
To talk about the practical application of what I have described I will use as a guide The Seven Powers Transformation: the power of music, the power of the integrated movement (dance), the power of 'vivencia’, the power of the group, the power of touch, the Power of trance and regression and the power of the expansion of consciousness. This allows extremely effective approach to Biodanza, as they are integrated into a consistent method to gain an unusual transformative dimension.
THE POWER OF MUSIC
"Then rose a tree! Pure high!
Orpheus's singing! A big tree in the ear! Gone silenced! But even in the unanimous silence, it was born new principle, gesture and transformation "
Rainer Maria Rilke
The music finds its mythical antecedent in Orpheus above celebrated in the German poet verses. To Brandão (1996) mastery of Orpheus with his lyre and the softness of his voice trailed by enchantment wildlife, nature beings, causing the trees incline to hear him, turning angry spirits in full souls of tenderness and kindness. In ancient times the philosopher Pythagoras of Samos, as described in Kirk et al (1994), extolled the harmony giving it a cosmic dimension and relating it to the ordering principle of all things. Bornheim (1993) comments that for the thinker and mathematician this harmony is engendered in stars like sounds produced symphonically, generating the music of the spheres. I think it is important to realize that since the structure of human thought, and according to Durand (1997), the myths are ideas in a nascent state and the imaginary corresponds to the childhood of thought, music was regarded as endowed with an exceptional power that can generate deep feelings not possible to be achieved through other methods. For the philosopher Nietzsche (sd) life without music becomes a tiresome task, in exile, just a mistake.
Coming to the present, Benenzon (1985), founder of the Music Therapy course, teaches that music does not reach us in a cortical pathway. It is in the thalamus - the brain region where they receive the corresponding sensory signals to the sensations and emotions - we are touched by it in a non-conscious level; that is, by a musical rhythm we can unconsciously condition an automatic response.
Toro (2002), notes of music ability to promote regulation of the autonomic nervous system by activating music euphoric rhythms, resulting in sympathetic-adrenergic activation, which generates increased blood pressure, heart rate, the ‘vain-constriction’, Blood shifts to the muscles that will take action, bronchodilator to allow greater ventilation - all these are emergency response. Since the soft music, with movements in slow motion, generate decreased heart rate, increased secretion of the lacrimal and salivary glands, promoting the accumulation of reserves, predisposition to sleep and rest - all these sensations of fullness and peace. The author also indicates a path for the evolution of a semantic musical10 where the organic elements of music, called biomúsica11 - such as fluidity 12, harmony, rhythm, tone, and feeling of unity 13 - are preserved. Adding that rescue elements in music a powerful tool for triggering vivências14, emotions and feelings. "In the first beats of a song is, in a sense, the embryo of a whole (...) an affective-motor-expressive response scheme, which will determine the successive movements of the dance; coherence between music and dancing comes the experience of vivencia. "(Toro, 2002, p.130).
All ideas and reflections hitherto elaborate allow me to highlight the transformative power of music in some of its effects. The music in Biodanza already contains the dance that will be generated in the participant that feels touched by the music. As well, the potential to generate gestures of integration motivated by feelings, emotions, experiences and vivencias.
THE POWER OF INTEGRATION OF MOVEMENT
"The dance generates destiny
Under the same laws that bind the flower and the breeze under the harmony sunflower
All are one. "
Throughout its history, the dance was losing its original meaning. Ceased to be a manifestation deeply connected with the constitutive roots of man with his world and has become an aesthetic appreciation object in the form of a performance where dancer and audience are separated. I agree with Garaudy (1980) when he says that dance became a dead language "after four centuries of classical ballet and twenty centuries of contempt for the body for a perverted Christianity the Platonic dualism" (p. 13). These dissociations have occurred as a result of a process where dance is becoming distant from its original roots, the movement is no longer generated from vivência15, becoming driven by learning sometimes mechanical and repetitive stereotyped gestures choreographic purposes. The same author notes that in its original form dance is linked to fertility rites, the reverence to the gods, the conclusion, to magic, to religion, to work, to parties and the reiteration of social ties. Adding further that modern dance, especially with Isadora Duncan, takes dance "... not only as an art but as a way of life" (Garaudy, 1980, p. 13).
Biodanza follows this principle to propose the dance of life.
Within the Biodanza methodology, the original meaning of dance in its meaning of 'full sense of movement' is recovered and the dance takes arquetípica16 dimension, deeply connected with the seeds / matrix of eternal gestures accumulated since the genesis of human culture. Although you do not realize you are dancing life. Toro (1991):
More than a show, dance is the interior movement that originates the vital acts: the hug, baby caress, caressing and kissing, work, gestures of solitude and gestures of encounters. (p. 491)
THE POWER OF VIVENCIA
"We see the same things,
the world is what we see,
if we ask what is
this us, what is this view and
what is this thing or this world, we enter a maze
difficulties and contradictions "
A history of Western culture has been characterized by a gradual and intense withdrawal from the world we experience 17, which in the line of thought of Merleau-Ponty (1990, p. 42) provides: "... the bottom always assumed all rationality, all value and all existence. " Before the rationalism platônico18 be dominant, their predecessors, the pre-Socratic thinkers were seeking basic and unifying principles of the Universe organization - "Arché" in Peters (1967), it is the search for a basic substance from which all things are made - "Kósmos" in Peters (1967) alludes to the notion of order and beauty of all that exists. These thinkers saw in the "physis" (Bornheim, 1993) the sprouting of all things, for this is "the totality of everything that is" (p. 14). In Mileto19 Thales we have water as Arché, already in Heráclito20 the fire, and was Empédocles21 that found a harmony between the four elements, drawn by love and divided by hatred. These proto philosophers 22 still lived in one world and it was only with Plato's philosophy that built a way of thinking, in which there is the possibility of separate worlds - the world of physis and the Metaphysics 23 where the first refers to ' world of things' and the other refers to the 'world of ideas'. This separation of worlds was followed by the separation of body and soul and the growing discredit of the body, finding its climax in Descartes, where contempt for feelings is justified as a means of access to true knowledge. Some philosophers and thinkers have been responsible for restoring life to the world, to body and vivencia its founding dimension of the whole knowledge. Such as Nietzsche in Deleuze (sd), talks about the plurality of forces involving a body and criticizes philosophers who were arrested both in the study of consciousness and do not know power of the body; Merleau-Ponty (2000) "I organize my body a perception of the world (...) I live my body and he dwell things" (p. 122), continue with Gois (1995) “..in that instant what one lives is full, and there is nothing else. " (p. 69) consider that the emergence of the concept of experience in philosophy means a recovery of the wisdom of ancient thinkers. The concept of living was prepared by Dilthey (1949) as:
... a distinct characteristic way in which reality is there for me. The experience does not present me as something represented; is not given, the reality experience is there for us because we perceive ourselves inside it, why have so immediately as belonging to me in some sense. (p. 362)
And developed by Toro (2000):
Vivencia is an intensive experience lived by an individual in a time frame here now (current genesis), encompassing the emotional, coenesthetic and bodily functions. The experiences generate global sense of "feeling alive", evoke the intense perception of being who you are. The experience with great intensity by an individual in the present moment, which involves coenesthesia, visceral and emotional functions. (p. 3)
The Vivencia is privileged form of activation of genetic potential 24 responsible for the expression of identity 25 and occupies a central place in the Biodanza method.
POWER OF THE GROUP
"Western philosophy has been
very consistently ontology:
a reduction of the Other to the Same, by mediation of a medium term and neutral system ensures
intelligence of being. "
"In the beginning it is the relation"
The poet Hesiod in his ‘Teogonia' 26 describes the four primary divine beings encountered in the Universe origin. Eros, symbol of life and connection among beings, was present among them. Highlight this fact to consider the importance of unity and the bond and will develop the idea that life would not have been possible without solidarity, as highlighted by Margulis (2001) in his vision of a symbiotic planet on which couplings and interdependence have been a major driver for the evolution. In our species we found instinctive patterns of behavior both to love and to hate as described Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1998).
Meet together with the group with the aim to grow is by extension a confirmation of this gregarious 27 trend in which, through the union and sharing, attraction and repulsion, enables each participant enriched by the diversity of own affective stimuli of these dynamics. Authors have criticized belief in a solitary growth like Hillman (1992), indicating the trend of 'therapeutic projects' focus on the individual and alienate the collective problems, it reinforces individualism and isolation. Toro (1991), has denounced this trend solipsist 28 of therapies, influenced by Anglo-Saxon individualism, move away from manufacturing community solutions to social environment. The group is most effective for the individual and for society, because this is a micro-social sample and, from it, each participant returns of transforming shape the environment in which they live.
Authors like Pagès (1982) emphasize that the group lives up all dynamic link feeling and authentic love as also the anguish of separation. Bion (1970), devoted himself to study the process of the groups that evolved into several basic assumptions, such as the need for reliance on a leader and to have messianic hopes, as also achieving a cooperative and mature group.
In Biodanza, according to Toro (2000):
The Biodanza group is a bio-generator, a generator life center. The concentration of convergent power within a group has a greater potential than the sum of its parts. This biological energy renewal undermines the unity and harmony of the body. It created thus a magnetic field, which reflects and projects emotions, desires, and physical sensations of great Intensity. It produces a more essential perception of others, a new identification mode. (p. 03)
The affection plays a central role in the dynamics of Biodanza group in the form of empathy, solidarity and a structured continent 29, essential for the individual to feel protected and respected according to their needs.
THE POWER OF CARESS
"Your presence enters through seven holes of my head
The eyes, mouth, nostrils and ears
It involves my torso, my arms and my legs Your presence. "
Psychotherapies had its history marked by confrontation with the social environment, as highlighted by Hillman (1992): "The revolution of Freud was an attempt to deal with the European puritanism of the nineteenth century. After Jung and Reich did the same thing. "(P. 204) In spite of the attacks suffered by them, their theories were absorbed in various fields of cultural expression, from cinema to marketing. In psychology of the area resulted in numerous branches practices analíticas30 and neo-reichianas31. The academy remains refractory to approach called 'body' and is maintained psychology codes are on alert as the contact approaches in psychotherapy. Practice always seen as dangerous and threatening to the ethical limits of psychological action.
Among the different forms of relationship between therapist and client, I see variants as the gap in the Orthodox Psychoanalysis, through approaches 'person to person' as in psychotherapy Rogerian orientation and coming in touch therapies as in, Rolfing32, Biossíntese33, among others. The therapeutic effect of contact has been shown in research such as Harlow (cited Mussen et al, 1977) who did experiments with monkeys, although accept being fed by a mechanical mother made of wire, in the moment of fear and necessity sought protection and nutrition offered by contact with the mechanics mother made of fabric similar to hair. Besides Harlow, Montagu (1988) highlights the need for that in the first months immediately after birth, set up intimate body contact between mother and baby, so that the demands of the senses synesthetic 34 and muscle are met. Moreover, further states that, in order to develop well at all levels, the baby should be cherished and nestled in the arms and should talk to him affectionately. Man can survive other extreme sensory deprivation, such as visual and noise, but not the sensory deprivation of the touch.
Spitz shares the same thought (Toro cited, 2002), which noted that children deprived of maternal love, the emotional stimulus derived from contact in their first months of life, suffering irreversible damage to ‘physical motor' levels, emotional and intellectual and language development. All this is supported by Eibl- Eibesfeld (1998), whose extensive ethnological research reveals patterns of communication through contact, found in nature in different species and also in human groups, fundamental to generate cooperation and solidarity ties.
In Biodanza, we move the contact 35 towards caress 36 - involving various levels of sensitivity, body commitment, the presence of quality. The strokes have the effect of appeasing the anguish, regain self-esteem and dissolve chronic tensions. This passage is made gradually, given the amount of negative beliefs that have in relation to the contact and, moreover, our culture has failed to perceive and foster the contact as essential for health. Share of Marcuse's view (sd), where Eros and Civilization 37 can live together in an integrated manner, eliminating overcharging the 'more-repression', which are restrictions required by social domination with the aim of using the depletion of libido, power direct weak remaining energy for a mechanized and alienated labor. According to this pattern of social organization, without an intense repressive control, the man would return to barbarism and cultural disorder, "to explode civilization and revert to prehistoric barbarism" (Marcuse, nd, p.142). These beliefs have been used to justify the impossibility of a more loving and humane society. The 'over-enforcement' is distinguished from repression 'basic', which is part of the regulation of instincts necessary for the perpetuation of life and cultural order. This does not prevent manifest affection in concrete contact acts only regulates and fits anywhere and feedback with the surroundings.
THE POWER OF TRANCE AND REGRESSION
The contemporary lifestyle has ergo-tropic dominance, characterized by hyper-perceptive stimulation, too much activity, and too little sleep and constant alertness. To compensate for this imbalance is necessary to activate the mechanisms of organic repair, cell renewal and relaxation, styled by Toro (2000) regressive states:
Regression state is a psycho-physiological return to fetal or perinatal step, i.e. immediately preceding or following the birth. During the regression state the individual reissues psychic and biological conditions of childhood. Regression can have integrative character renewal, repair and psychobiological compensation. Integrative regression has a healthy effect. Its anti-stress effect is accepted scientifically. (p.03)
To achieve such effects, it is necessary to make a trance from the state of consciousness, as in the explanation of the author:
Trance and regression are phenomena that often occur simultaneously. The word trance comes etymologically the term "transir", transit, transport themselves, move from one state to another. The usual meaning is "change of state of consciousness." The experience of "falling into a trance," "go into a trance", refer to a psycho-physiological mechanism in which the person is abandoned to certain external or internal conditions for joining a different state of consciousness. Trance states are always accompanied by changes cenestésicas38 and neurodegenerative. (p. 03)
Organic harmonizing effect derived from the trance states and regression enables participants Biodanza the adoption of a more balanced lifestyle and deep experience of renewal
THE POWER OF CONSCIOUSNESS EXPANSION
"If the doors of perception were to be purified every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite."
Let us now address one of the most profound effects of Biodanza, with great capacity to generate change in the daily lives of individuals who reach it by special states. I follow the indication Damasio (2000) when he states that: ". The essential foundation of consciousness is the central consciousness, but its glory is heightened awareness" (p.251) The awareness of being alive was a key acquisition for our species it has enabled us to create the world of culture, but the expanded consciousness allows us to bypass, as defined Toro (2000):
The sense of intimate connection with nature and with one another is a culminating experience that has rarely in life. Try it once allows you to initiate a change in attitude towards yourself and forward to others. To know with "certainty" that we are not isolated beings, but we partake of the unifying movement of the cosmos, just to move our scale of values. But this know for sure is not an intellectual knowledge; is a know most moving and transcendent.
The possibility of achieving a state of higher consciousness, in which each can free yourself from mental and emotional habits that makes them “switch off", is scarce for the people of this civilization, harassed, planed for standardization, sick with tension that must support, bullied by mechanism.
Its importance surpasses the scope of the clinical and psychiatric research to encompass the anthropology, pedagogy, art and other cultural sectors. (p. 07)
In Neumann (1968), there is the narrative of the creative evolution of human consciousness and its self-liberation of the unconscious. The author reveals that the evolution of consciousness took place in stages at the same time, collective and individual, therefore, the development ontogenetic old way of access to the sacred, as it says Eliade (1957): ". The desacralized cosmos is a recent event in the history of the human spirit" (p. 19)
Throughout this article I discussed about the seven powers of transformation in Biodanza, in order to pave the way to answer the original question about why Biodanza works and acts in full on its practitioners. Organic, affective, cognitive and existential levels are activated in an integrative way because we are using highly effective contemporary theoretical and methodological features. I also hope to contribute in order to have clarity regarding the scope of this method. So much for the students to know more about the effect of this practice, and to encourage facilitators to seek greater control of these resources. This will enable to expand the space of action, better making use of a wealth of resources accumulated over more than forty years of research by the author, Rolando Toro and colleagues.
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