Movement Medicine

Movement Medicine

Movement Medicine is a relatively new practice of movement meditation, developed by Susannah and Ya'Acov Darling Khan.[1] For ten years they co-directed the Moving Centre School Europe, representing Gabrielle Roth and the 5rhythms in Europe until 2007.[2] Susannah and Ya'Acov Darling Khan describe "Movement Medicine" as an integration of physical, artistic, spiritual, shamanic and therapeutic practices, which may stimulate human creativity, healing and transformation, focussing specifically on the relationship with self, others, the earth, and life. Besides 5rhythms, Movement Medicine is strongly influenced by shamanism, Helen Poynor’s ‘Walk of Life’ movement work,[3] and global environmental initiatives such as the "Awakening the Dreamer Symposium.[4] Although it is not a ‘movement’ in the traditional sense of the word, the practice shows similarities with the Human Potential Movement and the New Age Movement, sharing interest in a search for self actualization, empowerment and spiritual transformation.


Maps of Movement Medicine

Movement Medicine works with 4 different maps, which focus on different aspects of life in general and the dance practice in particular. Each map is accompanied by different tools, exercises and practices.

First of all, the map of "the 4 elements" Earth, Fire, Water, and Air is foundational to Movement Medicine. According to Ya'Acov and Susannah Darling Khan, these elements provide an opportunity to explore a wide range of different movement qualities, and a rich and varied language of metaphor which can support the movement practice. Each element is considered to exist both within and outside of the dancer, who connects to them through movement and imagination and quite literally, as the elements are ever present in the human body.

Secondly, "the 5 dimensions of awareness" concern different dimensions of moving between micro and macro, individual, inter-personal and global. These are called ‘the 5 dimensions of awareness’: Self, Relational, Environmental, Ancestral and Divine. The practice supports fluid movement across each one of them.

The third map, called "the 9 Gateways" provides an orientation in space and time and reflects the following 9 aspects of life, divided into groups of three, called "Journeys": 1 Body, 2 Heart, 3 Mind, 4 Past, 5 Present, 6 Future, 7 Embodiment, 8 Inter-Connection, 9 Love. The 1st "Journey" covers the first three gateways; Body, Heart and Mind. In Movement Medicine, this is represented as a vertical axis from the feet, through the head upwards, and back down again. The 2nd "Journey" explores the 4th, 5th, and 6th gateways, which are Past, Present and Future, which are said to form an axis through time, with the 'present' represented in the body, connected horizontally to the past (behind) and future (in front). The "3rd Journey", which can be visualised as a horizontal lateral connection from side to side, aims at manifesting individual qualities and a sense of connection with the culture or community around.

Finally, the last map reflects the centre and the Tree of Life which is found in many cultures worldwide,[5]. In the tree sits the Phoenix, which, as symbol for the power of transformation [6], seems to reflect the essence of Movement Medicine.


As the Movement Medicine practice started in 2007 and is therefore relatively new, no research has yet been completed. However, two PhD research projects are currently being carried out at Roehampton University, London,[7] and Exeter University, which look at the transformational aspects of Movement Medicine through the lenses of anthropology and leadership studies respectively.

See also

Shamanism Sacred Dance Gabrielle Roth 5rhythms


  1. ^ Darling Khan, S. and Y. A. Darling Khan (2009). Movement Medicine. How to Awaken, Dance and Live Your Dreams. London, Hay House.
  2. ^ Roth, G. (1990 [1989]). Maps to Ecstasy. Teachings of an Urban Shaman. Kent, Mackays of Chatham.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Cooper, J. C. (1978). An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols. London, Thames and Hudson Ltd.
  6. ^ Cirlot, J. E. (1971). A Dictionary of Symbols. London, Routledge.
  7. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Movement, fetal — Movement of the fetus in the womb. The first fetal movements felt by the mother during pregnancy (quickening) are usually between18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy …   Medical dictionary

  • movement disorder — any of numerous neurologic disorders characterized by disturbances of muscular movement, distinguished as either hyperkinetic (conditions such as chorea, dystonia, hemiballismus, myoclonus, stereotypy, tic, and tremor) or hypokinetic (conditions… …   Medical dictionary

  • movement therapy — see dance/movement t …   Medical dictionary

  • Movement Shiatsu — was developed by Bill Palmer during the 1980s as a specialist approach for dealing with difficult chronic conditions and developmental problems through Shiatsu. In a typical session, normal Shiatsu is alternated with exercises and experiments,… …   Wikipedia

  • Movement Disorders (journal) — Movement disorders   Abbreviated title (ISO) Mov. Disord. Discipline …   Wikipedia

  • Movement Disorders — Beschreibung FachzeitschriftMedizin Fachgebiet Medizin Sprache Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Medicine (band) — Medicine Origin San Fernando Valley, United States Genres Shoegaze Alternative rock Noise pop Years active 1991–1995; 2003–present Labels …   Wikipedia

  • Medicine Show (album) — Medicine Show Studio album by The Dream Syndicate Released 1984 …   Wikipedia

  • Medicine — aging ear altruistic donor andrologist antigerm ape diet apitherapy baggage malaria bed blocker …   New words

  • movement — 1. The act of motion; said of the entire body or of one or more of its members or parts. 2. SYN: stool. 3. SYN: defecation. [L. moveo, pp. motus, to move] active m. 1. m. effected by the organism itself, unaided by external influences. 2. in… …   Medical dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”