Paul, N. (2023). Dancing into wholeness: An interpretative phenomenological analysis into experiences of healing relational trauma through 5Rhythms [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

There is increasing evidence supporting the use of somatic approaches such as yoga and somatic experiencing to treat trauma. Other somatic modalities remain under researched, including the conscious dance practice 5Rhythms. The present study addressed this research gap by employing the method of interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the lived experience of healing relational trauma through 5Rhythms in a sample of seven dancers. The research sought to answer the following question: How do people who have healed from relational trauma through the practice of 5Rhythms dance experience this healing? Participants expressed that healing was often slow and multifaceted and included interconnections between experiences on and off the dancefloor. It involved returning to their body and reconnection with their authentic self. Connecting with others facilitated healing and participants gave accounts of embodying many new ways of relating. A sense of safety supported vulnerability and the mind played some role, although this was often secondary to the body. These findings suggest that the experience of healing relational trauma through 5Rhythms is a multidimensional process embedded within a larger healing path. The results contribute to filling a gap in the literature into 5Rhythms as a somatic approach to trauma healing.

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