I posted an article last year about salsa and it’s positive effects on those suffering for depression. Here is an update to this study which is quite interesting from Casadelatinos.com:
“Salsa dancing can be a fun and effective exercise but if a U.K. study holds true, salsa dancing benefits may extend far beyond simple calorie burning. A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that salsa dancing may be beneficial in lifting the mood of those who suffer from symptoms of depression.
In order to look more closely at salsa dancing benefits, a group of researchers in the U.K. recruited twenty-four volunteers previously diagnosed with depression to participate in a study to determine if salsa dancing could help relieve the symptoms of depression. The volunteers were given a standardized written depression evaluation before the salsa dancing classes began. The volunteers then participated in eight one hour salsa dancing classes over a nine week period. The depression evaluation was repeated after the nine week period to assess improvements in overall mood. The researchers were surprised to find that volunteers who had remained in the salsa dancing classes showed significant improvement in their depressive symptoms as well as on their scores on the depression evaluation. The researchers noted that the volunteers who dropped out of the study may have altered the results somewhat.
Although further studies would be necessary to make firm conclusions as to whether the benefits of salsa dancing extend to helping with depression, if effective it certainly provides a safe and effective all natural option for giving depressed patients a sense of accomplishment which may translate into improved mood and greater sense of well being.
It shouldn’t be surprising that salsa dancing might benefit depression. Exercise has long been known to improve moods in patients with depressive symptoms and salsa dancing is an energetic form of dancing that raises the heart rate and could potentially increase production of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones responsible for exercise related mood elevations. Plus, salsa dancing provides depressed patients with increased social interaction which reduces their sense of isolation which may have positive benefits. Salsa dancing also provides the depressed patient with a new skill which can help to raise levels of self esteem.
Hopefully, more studies on salsa dancing benefits will show whether or not the improvements in mood were real and sustainable. Many people suffering from depression are looking for alternatives to prescription antidepressants with their undesirable side effects. Salsa dancing could be an activity that would provide multiple benefits to their health and sense of well being. Could salsa dancing be a viable alternative to prescription antidepressants? Only time and further study will tell.”