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KDA and Dignity Health – Memorial Hospital are pleased to launch MightyMOVERS, a dance/movement therapy program for patients in the Lauren Small Children’s Center. Dance/Movement Therapist Elena Rezai will facilitate MightyMOVERS to help pediatric patients cope with stressors related to their hospitalization from physical pain to anxiety and depression.
MightyMOVERS is a FREE 8-week program that uses Dance/Movement Therapy to address the needs of pediatric patients, age 6-10, in the Pediatric ICU, Pediatric medical surgical unit and Burn ICU at Dignity Health. Using a combination of play, techniques drawn from creative movement, and jazz and hip hop-based choreography, this 8 session program will help patients cope with stressors related to their hospitalization, from physical pain to anxiety and depression.
MightyMOVERS Program Dates
Dignity Health- Memorial Hospital
TO ENROLL IN MightyMOVERS
Children admitted to the Dignity Health-Memorial Hospital Pediatric Ward are able to be considered to participate in MightyMOVERS based upon clinical approval.
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ABOUT DANCE/MOVEMENT THERAPIST, ELENA REZAI
Elena grew up in California and started dancing at the age of 5. She received her BA in Dance from UC Irvine, and went on to receive her MA in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling from Columbia College Chicago. She has used her experience as a Dance/Movement Therapist in a number of inpatient and outpatient hospital settings and care facilities, working with people from a diversity of backgrounds and age-groups. She loves building community through movement, and facilitating spaces where movement can foster the physical, emotional and mental integration of the individual. Elena has facilitated the KDA Therapeutic Dance Programs since 2017.
WHY DANCE/MOVEMENT THERAPY?
Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) offers many benefits for individuals experiencing the effects of Cancer and Cancer treatment, and is commonly utilized with populations battling chronic emotional and physical pain.The purpose of this program will be to improve quality of life and manage physical pain through use of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) techniques and strategies. In our groups, we will identify both emotional and physical stressors, and strive to mitigate these stressors by fostering a more complete and holistic understanding of the mind/body connection. DMT techniques and strategies may include, but are not limited to: Body Mapping (the practice of identifying the physical and emotional associations you carry in each body part), guided meditation, improvisational movement, verbal processing, movement processing (the practice of addressing emotional issues through improvisational movement), performance as therapy (creating choreography or other artistic expression that can be performed), use of props, etc.
DMT has the ability to ameliorate feelings of depression, anxiety and hopelessness that may occur during cancer treatment, and can help patients experience heightened mind/body connection and awareness of how their treatment affects their mind and body. This 7 week program aims to utilize DMT as a modality to support all of the above-mentioned goals, and to offer clients, staff and caregivers alike a glimpse into the transformative power of movement.
A TYPICAL MightyMOVERS SESSION
All MightyMOVERS sessions will take place at the Dignity Health-Memorial Hospital Pediatric Ward in a pre-designated group room or patient’s bed side. Groups generally take place in a circle, with participants facing each other to facilitate sharing and group cohesion. Patients may also stand up to move and dance as their range of motion allows.
5 minutes: check in and body part warm-up
The therapist uses this time to observe each participant’s movement patterns and affect, and may do movement and verbal check-ins, such as asking participants to offer an opening movement or share one word about their current mood. Clients improvisationally warm up every part of their body. The Dance/Movement Therapist may encourage clients to stretch, make eye contact, or increase range of motion during the warm-up.
10 minutes: dance-based movement games and thematic development
This forms the majority of the session, and is used to address specific goals of the session through movement. The therapist may utilize a number of DMT modalities to support the individual or group’s goals.
20 minutes: choreography and/or creative movement
The therapist will use a combination of play, techniques drawn from creative movement, and jazz and hip hop-based choreography or creative movement to further address DMT modalities.
5 minutes: cool down and closing
The therapist will facilitate a body cool-down and closing, that will include breath-work and consciously slowing down movements to bring the group to a natural close. Movement and verbal cues may also be used, such as asking each participant to share a closing movement or positive word.
1. Physical Pain Management
a. Modality: stretching, play, choreography
2. Anxiety/Depression Reduction
a. Modality: mastering fun, accessible choreography; movement games.
3. Isolation Reduction
a. Modality: holding sessions in a group environment.
4. Increased Self-Expression
a. Modality: techniques drawn from creative movement; choreographic opportunities
**All sessions will support all of the above goals, although specific sessions may focus more on one particular goal.
HOW YOU CAN HELP MightyMOVERS
MightyMOVERS is made possible by generous donations from our community. You can support HealingMOTION by becoming a donor:
$100 affords MightyMOVERS props and materials
$500 affords MightyMOVERS program supplies
$2000 affords MightyMOVERS administrative costs
$4000 affords an MightyMOVERS session