Jose Dominguez believes keeping your body in motion is key to ensuring you remain mobile and active later in life. He is a movement instructor and as some say, “the humble teacher”. As an instructor and therapist, he deals with physical movement and Soft Tissue Therapy.
For Jose, when he left his country for America, he started a life long process of learning. As a result, his learning wasn’t just about his body. Most importantly, it was also learning a new language, how to survive this new life and work. Along the way in his learning experience, Jose took lessons from a teacher named Idol Portal. Teacher Portal was teaching something no one else had, movement therapy. At that moment in his life’s journey, Jose realized “this is what I want to do for the rest of my life”. He totally enjoys teaching, coaching, and as something that he loves. He, of course, wants to share this passion with others. Hopefully, he will also inspire others to follow their dreams. A real humble everyday hero.
His goal – to develop and maintain a healthier, more mobile body over time. To focus not only on strength and cardiovascular training. Also on mobility, flexibility, speed, reaction, balance, timing, softness, hardness, accuracy, and the list goes on.
Life long practice
Body in motion practice is a life long learning process, thus learning what one’s body can do. Movement therapy, or dance therapy, uses movement to help a person deal with severe; issues. Illness (physical or mental), a disability, or life challenges that keep them from functioning fully. The aim of movement therapy is to enhance a person’s cognitive, physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Every one of us is born with a sense of movement, and our bodies have their own unique language. Some lose touch with this sense of movement. Due to lack of use, illness, disabilities, or blocks with how we perceive ourselves. The movement therapist’s role is to help the person tap into this sense of movement and express themselves. Particularly thoughts or issues that may have been repressed.
Soft Tissue Therapy is the management, manipulation, and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The body in motion techniques used by soft tissue therapists have been developed to ensure effective and efficient results. “Movement is a combination of fitness, dance, martial arts, and flexibility. Can you flip? Can you invert? Are you able to crawl?” per teacher—Ido Portal.
Body in motion therapy
Movement therapy is the destination for personal training and exercise. Programs for Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, dementia, fall risk. Also, prevention, and orthopedic recovery. It bridges the gap between clinical therapies and community-based exercise.
Helping people live better lives
Jose says, “In order to become the best teacher we have to be a good student first”. Orla Stokes says, “he brings stuff out in people that most coaches would not bring out”. Jose gains such pleasure when a client accomplishes something and he knows he was able to help. Orla also says, “Body in motion therapy brings you back to when you were a child. When we were able to naturally move our bodies in many directions and movements. As a result, that is what this movement therapy is.”
A student, Dan O’Rourke, had fusion surgery. Dan relates that just by working through the class with Jose. Doing the different phases of movement that he, Dan, was able to strengthen his back and improve his overall wellbeing.
Mark Boys says, “If you could have seen me when I first started – I was a disaster! Two hours of failure.” Yes, TWO hours of failure from his perspective. But, as luck would have it, Jose came to the rescue. Jose helped Mark as he has done for many. To free up his mind, and to let go of what he thought he couldn’t do. Instead showed him what he could do. What a great life lesson, don’t you agree?
Improve all aspects of life
Jose feels there is so much we can do to help our bodies. And that it SHOULD be of major importance. He feels that it makes him a better father, a better teacher, and a better spouse…which to him is very important. It is all about the physical aspect and the mental aspect together for one’s best personal development.
Better understanding body in motion
Creative Movement Therapy is a psychotherapeutic framework that works with the mind-body connection. It uses personal movement language and dance for health and wellness. An individual’s physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral aspects.
Our bodies are the container of our experiences; they hold memories, emotions, and express themselves. Listening to our bodies can help us understand our issues better. In our most emotional or vulnerable times, it is a song that stirs intense emotions in us or dance that expresses the depth of our emotions. We perceive the world through our senses, and we use the arts in our daily life. Art-based therapies are non-threatening, co-created processes that help us deal with our illnesses and challenges.
A session of movement therapy, which could include various activities ranging from stretching to unstructured dancing. It encourages people to express their own feelings, thoughts, and ideas through body movement, in a safe atmosphere.
Born with movement
All of us are born with a sense of movement, and our bodies have their own unique language. Some of us lose touch with this sense of movement due to lack of use. Illness, disabilities, or blocks with how we perceive ourselves. The movement therapist’s role is to help the person tap into this sense of movement and express themselves. Particularly thoughts or issues that may have been repressed.
Anyone who wishes to connect with their body and understand themselves better can benefit from movement therapy. Today, movement therapy is being used with different populations, across age groups and diagnostic categories. Movement therapy can help a person deal with minor and major dysfunctions, and enhance their sense of wellbeing. Movement is also used as a powerful metaphor for the way the client wishes to reconstruct their life; it helps a person overcome their own limiting perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of.
A movement therapist can help
A trained therapist will be able to customize the session to meet the needs of a specific client or group. The therapist does an assessment or evaluation of the client’s needs to identify their challenges or issues. Then designs the activities that can help the client resolve them. If a person lacks attention span, the therapist may use rhythm to focus attention. For instance, while working with clients who need to improve their social skills. The therapist may plan activities that involve interaction. Passing the ball making eye contact, mirroring, and shadowing each other.
How a movement therapy session works
Many of us have inhibitions about our bodies; some of us don’t like to dance in public because we believe we have two left feet. Every movement therapy session is designed keeping the clients’ challenges in mind. Each movement therapy session has four aspects:
- Warm-up or movement building through games and activities, which helps participants tune into the session and get comfortable with movements. Props such as balloons may be used to help the person get comfortable and begin expressing themselves.
- Theme development in which the client’s or the group’s specific needs are addressed. For example, for clients with disabilities. The theme development may be geared towards meeting the goals of body coordination and motor development. The therapist then creates activities that help the person explore their body coordination and improve it.
- A cool-down phase which uses breath and movement to help the person wind down.
- Verbal processing or closure, in which the person or group does a debrief with the therapist about the session. The therapist and the client may discuss possibilities for integration. How can the client take back what they experienced during the workshop and use it in their daily life?
Body in Motion FAQs
Movement therapy refers to a broad range of Eastern and Western movement approaches used to promote physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Some forms of movement therapy that combine deep-tissue manipulation and postural correction with movement education are also known as bodywork therapies.
Therapists say that while movement therapy does not cure mental illness, it can make a person more functional. People who are on psychiatric medication may feel lethargic, or notice that their responses to situations have changed. Movement therapy offers a complementary intervention to medication, much like physiotherapy does to people with physical problems.
“Any therapy is not only for people with problems, but also for those of us who see ourselves as normal – because if you look at it that way, no one is really normal. We all have issues of one kind or the other.
Yes, you can try movement therapy in a one-off session. Many therapists offer experiential workshops of one or two days’ duration. Alternatively, you could also choose to work with a therapist over a longer period of time.
Complete a master’s degree program focused on human services. You do not need a master’s degree that is specifically focused on dance movement therapy to become a dance movement therapist. However, you do need a master’s degree that is related to the field in some way.