From the Christian point of view, we are spirit, as God is spirit, (and being His true worshippers, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth -John 4: 24), we have a soul (i.e. mind, will and emotion) and we live in a body. Any physical movement, such as dancing, has often been associated with physical health. A lyric which contains the active and living words of God is the spiritual food for our spiritual health. As we meditate on the life and truth of God’s words, our mind is renewed for our mental health and we are being transformed into mature Christians.
Indeed, the most important aspect of praise dance is that it provides a holistic approach to health and whole well-being. According to this modern approach to health and well-being, which is widely accepted in medical circles, all aspects of people’s needs, psychological, physical and social should be taken into account and seen as a whole.
Disease is a result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental imbalance and, in particular, the spiritual aspect should always be taken into account when assessing a person’s overall well-being. In other words, we cannot really achieve good health or well-being by focussing only on the physical needs of our body for good food, proper exercises and sleep or relaxation alone. To achieve good health, we need to be involved in activities which promote positive emotions (such as an attitude of gratitude and gracious empathy) at the expense of negative ones (such as ingratitude, envy, hate and anger). Of course, you can treat praise dance as an alternative to working in the gym or line dance and rely on attendances in church services or Bible study groups for your spiritual and perhaps mental needs. But research has consistently confirmed the synergetic effects of combining all physical, mental and spiritual exercises into a single activity such our praise dance class in Adelaide, Australia.
In praise dance, just as in all other activities, I believe that everyone should find her/his spiritual gifts and missions to serve and edify others in accordance to God’s plan for her or him. I have been most happy to devote a great of my time and energy to get help from all kinds of people in my church (Holy Methodist Church, Adelaide, Australia) and outside to provide the required materials to bring holistic health to students and teachers in the praise dance class. People with special skills helping me include a gracious pastor, a qualified acupuncturist, Mandarin interpreters into English, computer programmer and my husband. People have all been enthusiastically contributed their time and effort to help me whenever I asked them because they have all shared my vision in making praise dance a holistic approach to health for the benefits of everyone, who knows either Mandarin or English. For praise dance to realise its full holistic health benefits, it is most important to remember that a good division of labour according to their spiritual gifts among the teachers in a cohesive cooperative group is necessary. Such a group, which would produce positive synergetic effects, would not require everyone of its member to do the same set of things but would allocate tasks to her/him according to her/his individual abilities and limitations.
Benefits to Individuals & The Community
Praise Dance not only is good for all participants but also helps them to feel great! It is a wonderful form of worship and dancing exercises which benefit one’s whole being. These exercises suit people of all ages, as they involve gentle stretching of muscles, deep breathing and good ‘cardiac’ exercises, etc. We, praise dance teachers in Adelaide, would like to share our blessings with the community by providing joyful and healthy dancing exercise class as our free service to the people in the community.
Praise dance is good for the community as well as every individual participant.
It is good for the community for the following reasons:
- it reduces the medical costs to the community and Medicare as it helps to improve the physical and mental health of the participants.
- it reduces the number of working days lost through workers absences owing to illness and increases workers’ efficiency, concentration, mobility and hence productivity at work.
- it provides a healthy environment for people to meet socially and to be a blessing to others as they share their experiences.
It is good for every participant for the following reasons:
- it improves memory, self-esteem, and balance and flexibility.
- it increases mental alertness and bone strength.
- it lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system and enables better sleep.
Most importantly, praise dance is good for one’s whole being (which is the interconnection of our mind, body and spirit) for the following reasons:
- It involves exercises which express love, joy, thanksgiving, praise and worship and thereby promotes one’s spiritual health that is very important for one’s joy and peace.
- It changes our inner being, reinforcing in one a loving and grateful attitude which produces kind thoughts, encouraging words, good deeds and a character- all of which in turn give one the inner peace and better spiritual health.
- It helps us to face our daily challenges in life, in spite of one’s ever changing circumstances and environment.
- It contributes to bringing the Spirit of God for comfort and healing, as one tunes one’s mind, body and spirit to the dancing exercises through the music and lyrics.
In short, if we could get enough people in this country and elsewhere to participate in praise dance, we all can help to make a difference to the world we live in, to make it better, more peaceful, joyful and loving for us as well as for the future generations to come.
May we always have love to share, health to spare and friends to care.
by Geik Huan Nguyen (13 August 2012), (Holy Methodist Church, Adelaide, Australia)