Not only does PanEuRhythmy have spiritual benefits, such as a greater feeling of one’s Divine purpose and a feeling of oneness, some of the health benefits noted are changing depression to joy, relieving arthritis, relaxation, added flexibility, enhanced body image, creating a cleansing and energizing effect, induce a Kundalini type energy to move up the spine, free energetic blockages, stimulate the higher chakras, and heightened creativity and awareness, Interestingly, Nathanael also states that different clairvoyants have seen the same colors for the same dances.
Native American Healing Dances
Many forms of Native American ceremonial dances represent forms of prayer and are performed with the guidance of the tribe’s Medicine Man to ensure plenty of crops, game, fish, fruit, etc. for the coming year. Other dances are for a variety of particular purposes; among them to honor members of the tribe, for protection, to honor elders, to honor animal spirits, as naming ceremonies, as healing ceremonies, and to access knowledge, spirit helpers or power animals.
The use of power animals in dances of worship by Native Americans is described by Stewart “Snake dances were performed by the Hopi, the Navaho, and the Pawnee in worship of Mother Earth, a religion of the Great Spirit whose dance attributes great potency on the serpent. Snake dances often reenact cosmic processes. To the ancient Hopi Indians, the snake symbolized closeness to earth, endurance, and influence on the clouds.”
The Sun Dance of the Native American Kiowa people of the Southern plains is usually danced at the Summer solstice after the priest of the tribe has had an inspiration in a dream. The Sun Dance is an example of a peoples preservation of culture and history. It is a purification ritual of protection, healing, and self-renewal. It is a religious ceremony that is also a reunion and sharing of the news among the different tribes of the Kiowa people. Also referred to as the Medicine Dance, it is danced with painted bodies, from sunrise to sundown, or around the clock, honoring the guardian spirit of animals and seeking protection and abundance for the coming year. The participants in the Sun Dance believe that if Indian people come together again in this sacred circle, civilization will endure. If they fulfill this commitment made by their ancestors to Wakan Tanka, the Great Spririt, then the earth will survive.
The Indian Corn Dance of South Dakota represents planting corn: making the furrow, blessing the seed while sowing the corn, covering the seeds with earth and putting a magic circle around the corn for protection and to bless the harvest. The Grass Dance expresses the harmony of the universe and the movements are symbolic of the long prairie grasses blowing in the wind. What became known in the 1950s as the “pow wow” were gatherings significant to many tribes, including the Sioux, Crow, and Blackfeet tribes, and were celebrations of song, dance, and ritual. Unfortunately, Native American gatherings and rituals were banned by the Unites States government, in fear of the power these rituals represented. Not until the Religious Freedom Act of 1978 when the rights to have these public gatherings was legally restored.
Carl Hammerschlag, M.D. describes beautifully in his book The Dancing Healers, A Doctor’s Journey of Healing with Native Americans, the relationship of dancing and healing “Santiago, also from Sano Domingo, had been admitted to the Santa Fe Indian Hospital with congestive heart failure. I didn’t know that he was a Pueblo priest and clan chief. I only saw an old man in his seventies lying in a hospital bed with oxygen tubes in his nostrils. Suddenly there was this beautiful smile, and he asked me, “Where did you learn to heal?” Although I assumed my academic credentials would mean little to the old man, I responded almost by rote, rattling off my medical education, internship, and certification. Again the beatific smile and another question: “ Do you know how to dance?” Somehow touched by whimsy at the old man’s query, I answered that, sure I liked to dance; and I shuffled a little at his bedside. Santiago chuckled, got out of bed, and short of breath, began to show me his dance. “You must be able to dance if you are to heal people,” he said. “And will you teach me your steps?” I asked, indulging the aging priest. Santiago nodded. “Yes, I can teach you my steps, but you will have to hear your own music...Santiago knew that to heal you must be able to dance, to hear the music from deep within...All the great dancing healers I have met have enabled their people to build bridges over the unknowable gaps, the mysteries, of our existence...We are here to help each other discover our individual uniqueness. This selfhood, once understood, will of itself sustain us and will, in turn, connect us to the larger reality of humans and spiritual experience. In that way, we may all become dancing healers.”