* DUE TO THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION, WE HAVE EXPANDED THE VIRTUAL SERVICES WE OFFER, INCLUDING VIRTUAL MOVEMENT THERAPY! PLEASE CONTACT US OR SCHEDULE A COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Our emotional state both influences and is influenced by our physical state. Essentially, how we feel in our bodies affects how we feel in our brains. By manipulating our physical experience, we are able to alter our emotional experience as well. Movement therapy is a multimodal approach focused on using movement in an intentional and therapeutic way to improve an individual’s emotional, cognitive, and social functioning. Trauma and emotional distress (like depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem) can profoundly impact not only the way our brains operate, but also the physical structure of our brains. This, in turn, impacts our sense of self, moods, ability to form and retrieve memories, and concentration. Multiple studies suggest that movement therapies such as dance, yoga, and somatic expression can result in structural and operational changes to the brain, which in turn help an individual heal from trauma and gain improved cognitive and emotional functioning.
Movement therapy combines the benefits of exercise, music, artistic expression, and interpersonal relations to provide multifaceted sensory stimulation as well as a language to express that which is sometimes difficult to express with words. It engages the whole brain, targeting aspects that may be altered by trauma or chronic mental illness. Dance and movement assist the regulation of emotion and arousal by providing new input to the brain from the bottom up. Positive sensory stimulation can provide a traumatized body with new, pleasurable, empowering experiences that viscerally and fundamentally contradict the overwhelming fear, rage, sadness, and shame that may have defined its prior experiences. Music and physical movement can also evoke the surfacing of emotions that have been suppressed and held within the body and subconscious mind, allowing them to release and diffuse.
Research on the correlation between movement therapy and brain function/structure suggests that this form of therapy can increase neurogenesis (i.e., formation of new cells) and neuroplasticity (i.e., formation and reorganization of synaptic connections) in different brain regions associated with emotional experiences. At NeuroGrove, we’ve created our own neuroscience-informed movement therapy that combines the benefits of yoga, dance, exercise, and other somatic modalities. Through group classes and individual coaching, we utilize this unique approach to support your overall brain-body wellness.
Our unique neuroflow modality
NeuroFlow is a unique form of movement therapy designed by Dr. Ashlie Bell and Brittney Clements to improve overall brain-body wellness. This neuroscience-informed modality utilizes a combination of techniques from somatic therapy, the Bowspring method, restorative yoga, somatic expression, dance/movement therapy (DMT), breathwork, mindfulness meditation, and functional neurology.
NeuroFlow utilizes specific movements to exercise specific parts of the brain, as well as improve the connectivity and flow of information between them. Engaging in somatic therapies also provides an expressive outlet for the nonverbal, subconscious brain, as well as a healthy release of the fight-flight-freeze response. It breaks up our unhealthy physical, cognitive, and emotional patterns and reprograms them toward healthier ways of being and functioning. It also utilizes dynamic postures to encourage a uniform tone within the myofascial.
NeuroFlow targets various brain regions, including (but not limited to):
- Prefrontal cortex (e.g., attention, emotional regulation, & cognitive functions)
- Limbic system (e.g., emotions and stress responsivity)
- Hippocampus (e.g., memory)
- Sensorimotor regions (e.g., sensory processing & motor function)
- Cerebellum (e.g., balance & coordination)
- Mirror neuron systems (e.g., interpersonal skills)
Additional benefits of the techniques used in our NeuroFlow classes include:
- Enhance blood flow and oxygen to the brain
- Improve interhemispheric connectivity
- Lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol
- Decrease muscle tension and tension headaches
- Provide healthy release for fight/flight/freeze response
- Balance neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin) for improved mood and attention
- Stimulate the vagus nerve and cerebellar vermis (e.g., calming effect)
- Improve flexibility, posture, and natural curvature of the spine
- Improve balance, coordination, and proprioception
- Improve immune, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal function
- Foster psychological/spiritual growth
This class is designed to be feasible and tolerable for all levels and body types, so come as you are! Engaging in this kind of a class is also a powerful way to create close, healthy connections with others who are also working to improve their brain body wellness. Social support has been scientifically proven to reduce levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, along with a myriad of other benefits!