In America, far too many individuals suffer from chronic pain. A 2019 National Health Interview Survey revealed that 20.4% of adults in the US, mostly among seniors, suffer from chronic pain, while 7.4% experience chronic pain so debilitating it inhibits their ability to perform common life or work activities. Such chronic pain can lead to decreased quality of life, poor mental health, and an increased risk for opioid dependence.
As difficult as these conditions are, there are still many strategies individuals suffering from chronic pain can use to manage their symptoms. One such activity is pole dancing — the art of performing dance and acrobatics exercises on a vertical pole. Below, we’ll go over the many different benefits pole dancing can provide.
Physical activity is a commonly prescribed treatment for chronic pain. Since exercise helps decrease bodily inflammation, it’s effective at managing pain levels. Strength training, in particular, can also help to build muscle. The stronger your muscles are, the less load you place on joints, which thus reduces pain.
And pole dancing is an effective way of developing muscle strength. Physical therapist Colleen Freeman explains that pole dancing challenges not just core strength, but also the upper back, shoulders, neck, and grip. Consistent training can significantly improve muscle strength in just a few months, therefore reducing pain for the whole body.
Helps Burn Calories
Extra mass increases the body’s load on bones and joints. Additionally, excess fat cells can also increase bodily inflammation. Through pole dancing, individuals can burn calories and consequently decrease inflammation and load on the bones and joints. And since pole dancing targets multiple muscles in the body, it’s a particularly effective weight-loss method, one that can put you at a healthy weight within months.
Improves Mental Health
How you feel plays a key role in managing your mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, emotional and physical pain are closely linked — increased emotional pain can amplify physical pain and vice versa. Under stress, a person may develop increasingly negative perceptions of their situations. Thus, learning how to cope with stress can help individuals manage physical pain.
Pole dancing is particularly effective at improving mental health because it decreases stress and boosts confidence. By challenging your body and your comfort zones, pole dancing can help you build confidence. Additionally, like any physical activity, pole dancing boosts circulation in the brain, making it more effective at managing stress. The activity can also help promote the production of the hormones serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with improving one’s mood.
How To Get Started
Of course, pole dancing isn’t 100% risk-free, especially if you’re not used to moving around. Since the activity involves a lot of acrobatics, the wrong technique can lead to falls, sprains, or even broken bones. See a professional to determine whether the exercise is right for you. If you want to save, see if your health insurance can cover such services. KelseyCare Advantage shows that individuals with disabilities, as well as seniors aged 65 and above, can leverage their Medicare Advantage plans to cover assessments from personal care providers. Those who do not qualify for Medicare may also be able to seek coverage from Medicaid or other health insurance programs.
Once you’ve determined whether pole dancing is right for you, make sure to start with exercises your body can handle. Here at Pole Fitness Dancing, we suggest looking for instructors that can simplify dance routines according to your level and understanding. If you don’t have a pole yet, you can also start by studying proper standing and walking postures, as well as upper body conditioning exercises.
When you experience chronic pain, it can be difficult to start exercising. Fortunately, activities as fun and low-impact as pole dancing may be able to get you moving in a way that is enjoyable, and thus help you better manage your symptoms.
Written by Gabriella Madron for polefitnessdancing.com