Self-Healing: Fibromyalgia and Dancing

Fibromyalgia and Dancing

by Joyce Del Rosario


Fibromyalgia – what is it?

Fibromyalgia is a very common syndrome in which pain is present in joints, tendons, muscles and soft tissues of body, which persists for more than 3 months without any apparent cause like tissue damage or inflammation. In this syndrome, 11 paired tender points out of total 18 can be identified on palpation. Pain can be aggravated with poor sleeping habits, exertion, cold weather and stress.

If you are having the same problem which is affecting your daily activities and quality of life then you must visit a pain clinic as soon as possible before your symptoms are exacerbated, because there is no such treatment that can completely cure fibromyalgia that is why pain management should be your primary focus to improve the quality of your life and reduce disability.

Dance – a type of aerobic exercise:dreamstime_m_28044682

Various studies like Wigers S. et al (1996) and Busch A. et al (2007) have shown the positive effect of aerobic exercise in reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia while improving the quality of life of patient. As we know that dancing is also a type of aerobic exercise and there are some mythologies roaming around that dancing can worsen the situation, which is why we are going to discuss the effect of different types of dancing on the life of patients of fibromyalgia.

Belly Dance and fibromyalgia:

To understand the usefulness of belly dance in patients with fibromyalgia, Baptista A. et al (2012) conducted a single blind control study, in which 80 patients of fibromyalgia were recruited. Half of them were placed in dance group and half were placed in control group. Dance group went through 16 weeks belly dance with 2 sessions of dance per week. Both groups were assessed after 16 and 32 weeks and the results showed that dance group showed marked improvement in pain reduction, emotional features and mental health therefore it can be used to reduce pain, improve quality of life and to improve functional capacity in FMS patients.

Biodanza – A dance of life:

Biodanza literally mean the dance of life which is an amalgamation of movement, emotion and music. Biodanza is scientifically proven for reducing stress, improving communication skills and relationships. On the other hand it can also help patients with fibromyalgia as Carbonell B. et al (2010) conducted a controlled trial 59 women suffering from fibromyalgia in which 27 women were placed in Biodanza intervention group and 32 were placed in usual care group with a follow-up of 3 months. Results showed that Biodanza intervention for 3 months (once a week) showed improvements in pain, BMI, body fat percentage and fibromyalgia impact in women, which shows that, Biodanza dance can be helpful in making a patient’s life better who is suffering from fibromyalgia.


It can be concluded that dance therapy can be an effective item to include in your fibromyalgia treatment plan but it should be kept in mind not to exert yourself too much to obtain maximum results. In prior studies the dance intervention was performed once or twice a week and intensity was also moderate. If you want to start dance therapy, go to fibromyalgia treatment clinic and ask your health care professional that will guide you about this therapy after knowing your condition with a physical examination.



2. Nampiaparampil DE, Shmerling RH. A review of fibromyalgia. Am J Manag Care. 2004 Nov;10(11 Pt 1):794-800. Review.

3. Clauw DJ. Fibromyalgia: an overview. Am J Med. 2009 Dec;122(12 Suppl):S3-S13. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2009.09.006. Review. (link)


5. Busch AJ, Barber KA, Overend TJ, Peloso PM, Schachter CL. Exercise for treating fibromyalgia syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct17;(4):CD003786. Review. (link)

6. Wigers SH, Stiles TC, Vogel PA. Effects of aerobic exercise versus stress

7. management treatment in fibromyalgia. A 4.5 year prospective study. Scand J Rheumatol. 1996;25(2):77-86. (link)



10. Baptista AS, Villela AL, Jones A, Natour J. Effectiveness of dance in patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized, single-blind, controlled study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012 Nov-Dec;30(6 Suppl 74):18-23.(link)

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