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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Breast cancer causes the second highest mortality rate for any type of cancer. The illness, treatment, and side-effects can impact a woman’s identity, body image, and ability to function. Medical dance/movement therapy (MDMT) is a holistic therapeutic method uniquely suited to working with women with breast cancer. This chapter describes MDMT as an intervention that, through a safe and supportive environment that encourages creativity, can help develop psycho, social, and spiritual dimensions of women’s lives at a time when their life trajectory has been interrupted. It explores ways in which MDMT can enable women to rebuild their sense of self and their worlds. Arguments are put forward that create new meaning-making systems, confronting existential issues, and experiencing personal transformation through movement which can lead to enhanced wellbeing. A review of relevant literature is included to illustrate some key ideas of this work at individual, group, and ritual/community levels.

Keywords: medical dance movement therapy, whole person healthcare, breast cancer, body image, wellbeing, kinaesthetic imagining, creativity, existential issues, meaning, spiritual issues

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