Benefits of belly dance on pelvic floor, menstrual cycle and sexuality

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Benefits and exercises of a full-fledged holistic dance

Among the countless benefits of belly dancing we find considerable ones for women’s health, particularly for the pelvic floor, menstrual disorders, and the pelvic area. In this article we will explore how belly dancing can be an excellent activity to improve the health and well-being of these body parts.


Scientific studies and reference texts on the benefits of dance for the pelvis and pelvic floor


Belly dancing can improve the health and well-being of the pelvic area. This dance form involves fluid, undulating movements that stimulate the muscles of the pelvis and improve blood circulation, flexibility and mobility of the hips. Another study showed that belly dancing can also reduce lower back pain in some women.

The pelvic floor is composed of a series of muscles and connective tissues that support the pelvic organs. These muscles can weaken over time, especially during pregnancy and childbirth, but also due to age, obesity, and other factors. When the pelvic floor becomes weak, problems such as urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and chronic pelvic pain can occur. Belly dancing can help strengthen these muscles, improving their function and preventing such problems.

  • A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy has shown that belly dancing can improve pelvic floor strength in postmenopausal women. Study participants participated in belly dance classes twice a week for 12 weeks and showed significant improvement in pelvic floor strength. Belly dancing is also often instrumental in reducing urinary incontinence: another study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science in 2015 highlighted the effectiveness of belly dancing in both reducing incontinence and improving pelvic floor function and health.

An authoritative book on the subject is “The Belly Dance Book: Rediscovering the Oldest Dance” by Tazz Richards, which explores the history and benefits of belly dancing. Also, “The Tao of Women: The Natural Way to Health, Sexuality, and Longevity” by Pamela K. Metz explores the importance of the pelvic floor to women’s health and provides advice on how to maintain pelvic floor health.

  • Another study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in 2016 examined the effect of belly dancing on women’s mental and physical health and concluded that belly dancing can improve mental and physical health, reduce stress, and improve flexibility and muscle strength.

Most famous then in the study of sacred sexuality is the book “Healing Love through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy” by Mantak Chia and Maneewan Chia which explores how the practice of Tao Yoga and Tai Chi movements can help improve pelvic floor health and female sexual function. These movements are often found in many forms of ritual dance and women’s sacred dance, which we remember is probably the origin of modern belly dance as I explain in my book “La mistica della danza orientale”.

I also invite you to explore the concept of sacred dances and in my dedicated article.


Relief for menstrual disorders


Menstrual cycle disorders are common among women and can include sometimes really disabling pain, so-called premenstrual syndrome, and cycle irregularity.

Belly dancing can help reduce the symptoms of these disorders and improve women’s overall well-being. With the type of movements inherent in this dance, one goes on to improve internal muscle tone and control, thus creating a greater chance of living a fulfilling sex life and improving one’s relationship with one’s body and partner. Per approfondire questo aspetto ti invito a leggere il mio libro “Eros Sacro” scritto insieme al mio compagno che puoi trovare qui.

Another study showed that belly dancing can help reduce menstrual pain. Participants in the study attended belly dance classes twice a week for 8 weeks and reported less menstrual pain than the control group who did not participate in dance classes.

In general, belly dancing can be an excellent physical activity for women who wish to improve the health of their pelvic floor, menstrual disorders, and pelvic area. With the right targeted exercises combined with steps and regular practice, belly dancing can be an enjoyable and beneficial form of exercise for the overall health of the body and mind.


Targeted exercises combined with the steps


Specific relaxation exercise for pain

Stand in quadrupedal position and rest your buttocks on your heels while resting your chest or even just your elbows on the floor. Perform a contraction for a couple of seconds by inhaling and with a long exhalation relax all the hamstrings, anus, vagina and abdomen. Repeat until completely relaxed.

Combined exercise of movement and breath

On a fitball would be best, but a pillow is also good to feel the movement of the pelvis. Start by moving the tailbone backward by inhaling and contracting the perineum and finish by exhaling as you bring the tailbone forward and relax the perineum and entire pelvis.

Standing exercise

Legs apart, hold on to a tree or something similar that is stable and relax your shoulders. Move the right hip all the way forward without lifting it, and do the same with the left. Continue in a fluid movement with alternating hips while keeping the trunk still and relaxing the upper body.

Belly dancing can be even more effective when combined with targeted exercises for the pelvic floor and pelvic area. Let us now look at other examples of useful exercises combined with oriental dance steps such as pelvic floor squeeze, pelvic floor bridge, and pelvic muscle stretching.

  • Pelvic floor squeeze, similarly to the well-known Kegel contractions, involves contracting the pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to hold back urine. This exercise can be done during belly dancing, for example, contracting the pelvic floor muscles while performing shimmy or undulation movements.
  • The pelvic bridge is an exercise that aims to strengthen the gluteal and pelvic floor muscles. It is performed by lying on the back with the knees bent and lifting the pelvis off the floor. You hold the position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your pelvis. This exercise can be done before or after belly dancing to further strengthen the pelvic muscles.
  • Stretching the pelvic muscles is important to maintain flexibility and mobility of the pelvis. Stretching can be done on the floor, lying on your back with your knees bent and bringing one knee at a time toward your chest. This exercise can be done before belly dancing to prepare the pelvic muscles for movement.

These are just a few exercises that promote belly health, and their combination with belly dance steps turns out to be a winning combination to achieve deep and lasting positive effects in the female body.

Of course, breathing, focused exercises and body awareness are all very important, but it is crucial to acquire and maintain a healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet and a deep attunement to natural rhythms in general in order to enjoy the full benefits of this wonderful dance, this art that regenerates and heals.




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