Event Title

Because We Have To: Flamenco as Survival Strategy against Detrimental Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Start Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 5:30 PM

Description

Can daily practice in flamenco training can help to mediate the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the brain and body? This research focuses on the inner-workings of the brain and how it processes stress and trauma. This is discussed through: the idea of the Fear Circuit, which is a habitual response to reminders of the original trauma; the review of a current therapy for PTSD patients-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); the theory that throwing, music, and dance can all work to increase strength in areas of the brain that atrophy under post-traumatic stress; and by approaching the creation of a traditional flamenco choreography through the lens of EMDR, and a throwing and reward-based system. Aspects of flamenco within my own body and my own community were identified that could be mediators of PTSD symptoms when practiced on a regular basis, while acknowledging that flamenco is not usually approached in this way, nor was it developed for this purpose. The purpose of this research is to propose that flamenco holds within it specific neurological, biological, and communal functions that make it uniquely effective in helping to maintain functionality and improve the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities suffering from PTSD. This is argued through a discussion of brain functionality as it pertains to PTSD; through theories on the transmission of memory; through a review of EMDR and its comparison to flamenco; through a discussion on the effects of throwing and sequencing on the brain, especially when coupled with reward, and through my own bodily investigation of all of these components as they relate to daily flamenco practice and flamenco performance and its effect on the symptoms of PTSD.

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Nov 8th, 1:30 PM Nov 8th, 5:30 PM

Because We Have To: Flamenco as Survival Strategy against Detrimental Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Can daily practice in flamenco training can help to mediate the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the brain and body? This research focuses on the inner-workings of the brain and how it processes stress and trauma. This is discussed through: the idea of the Fear Circuit, which is a habitual response to reminders of the original trauma; the review of a current therapy for PTSD patients-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); the theory that throwing, music, and dance can all work to increase strength in areas of the brain that atrophy under post-traumatic stress; and by approaching the creation of a traditional flamenco choreography through the lens of EMDR, and a throwing and reward-based system. Aspects of flamenco within my own body and my own community were identified that could be mediators of PTSD symptoms when practiced on a regular basis, while acknowledging that flamenco is not usually approached in this way, nor was it developed for this purpose. The purpose of this research is to propose that flamenco holds within it specific neurological, biological, and communal functions that make it uniquely effective in helping to maintain functionality and improve the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities suffering from PTSD. This is argued through a discussion of brain functionality as it pertains to PTSD; through theories on the transmission of memory; through a review of EMDR and its comparison to flamenco; through a discussion on the effects of throwing and sequencing on the brain, especially when coupled with reward, and through my own bodily investigation of all of these components as they relate to daily flamenco practice and flamenco performance and its effect on the symptoms of PTSD.