The benefits of belly dance on women’s health
At the worst of my endometriosis symptoms I didn’t do any exercise at all. Even walking to the end of the road was painful and I just didn’t want to do anything to make the pain worse. Plus I had no energy at all. Once my symptoms started to ease and I moved from intense pain to lower level pain, I slowly started to do some exercise again, but I was always nervous about it making the pain worse.
Without knowing much about it, one of the things I tried was belly dancing. I’d always liked dance, but knew that I wasn’t up to going back to something like aerobics or Zumba again which felt too high impact and jarring. By pure chance I saw an advert for a belly dance class, and though it would be gentle and that I’d give it a go.
I remember going to my first class feeling a dull level pelvic pain and my bladder feeling irritated like it was going to go into a flare. I stood at the back on the class thinking that would be less noticeable if I had to stop part way through and sit out the rest of the class. But the music was really upbeat, the moves were all low impact and to my amazement I got through the hours class with my bladder feeling calmer, the pain easier and feeling a real mood and energy boost – I was hooked!
I started to look into the research about the health benefits of belly dance. Traditionally the moves had been used to prepare women for pregnancy and childbirth as a lot of the moves focus on the pelvic area. There are research studies showing the benefits of belly dance on:
- pelvic floor health and reducing urinary incontinence.
- reducing lower back pain.
- reducing stress
- reducing pain in people with fibromyalgia.
- increasing self-esteem
Although I couldn’t find a research study to back it up, there are reports of belly dance reducing pelvic pain and congestion in the pelvic area.
There is also research showing that dancing improving bone density, so helping to reduce osteoporosis and can also improve brain health and help with weight loss.
So this gentle dance form can be part of your toolkit to manage pain, pelvic health and stress.
That’s why I have paired up with Debbie from Belly Belles to put on a wellbeing event focused on hormone balance. You’ll get to try out a gentle belly dance routine designed to help balance the chakras, or energy centres in the body. And then I’ll be talking through a number of diet and lifestyle tips you can use to help balance your hormones. Whether you are struggling with PMS, endometriosis, PCOS or the perimenopause, there will be plenty of practical advice to help reduce your symptoms. The event is on Saturday 29th April from 12 to 3.30pm at Havers Community Centre, Bishops Stortford. The cost is £45 and includes a light lunch. If you would like more details or to book do get in touch.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.