Therapy that moves you!

By Erica Hornthal, MA, LCPC, BC-DMT, Chicago Dance Therapy

Chicago Dance Therapy is the premier dance/movement therapy practice serving Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Offering psychotherapy with a body-centered approach focused on connecting mind, body, and spirit.


In dance/movement therapy, movement is the therapeutic tool used to process feelings and emotions. The client is encouraged to experience, observe, and process behaviors and thoughts through body sensations, non-verbal communication, and body language. We use the body to recharge, refocus, and even re-pattern the mind.


We use the body to assess, observe, and intervene in the therapeutic relationship. When words alone may not be expressing what someone is experiencing, dance/movement therapy can help to validate and support each individual.


This holistic alternative to traditional talk therapy is a wonderful way to treat mind, body, and spirit. Using movement we can connect to our subconscious, enhance our awareness, and learn to be more present.

According to the American Dance Therapy Association, dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual. Benefits of dance/movement therapy include:

  • Facilitate self-awareness
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Encourage reminiscing
  • Maintain and/or increases mobility
  • Enhance body-mind connectivity
  • Focus on non-verbal communication
  • Enhance emotional and physical well being

9 Ways to Live Healthier in 2018

We all should eat better, exercise regularly and get more sleep. We hear those three pieces of advice so often it can be easy to drown them out. But there’s a reason this advice has become so cliché: Combined, they truly can result in a healthier life, physically and mentally.

But where should you begin? We’re here to help.

Below is the best advice from The Times on ensuring that your body and mind are in top shape in 2018, whatever that means for you. Whether you’ve been trying to sleep better, establish an exercise routine or finally give your house the deep clean it deserves, we’ve got you covered.

Finally fix your sleeping hygiene

It seems like such a simple problem to fix: Get more sleep. But how? In this Times guide to getting a better night’s rest, you’ll learn how to create and maintain positive sleep habits, find a nighttime ritual that works for you, figure out when you should even be sleeping and much, much more. Read more »

Try biking to work

Yes, biking to work can be a daunting prospect. But in this simple how-to guide, we’ll teach you the rules of the road and the best ways to stay safe. Read more »

Learn to manage your stress

Stress can impact both your mental and physical health, so as you move into the new year it’s important to get a handle on yours. Read more »

Never done a downward dog? Give it a try

Like stress, yoga is something that can impact both your mental and physical well-being, but in an incredibly positive way. Read this beginner’s guide, then show us your best child’s pose. Read more »

Clean home, clean life

A new year means new beginnings, so give your home a makeover with our comprehensive guide to cleaning out every room, nook and cranny. Read more »

Save time on your workouts

Working out certainly can end up consuming large chunks of your day or week, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some really, really short workouts you can build into your fitness routine. Read more »

Conquer your negative thinking

Here’s a New Year’s challenge for the mind: Make this the year that you quiet all those negative thoughts swirling around your brain. Read more »

Strengthen those muscles

Strength training can be crucial to your health goals, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. This guide to strength training solves that problem, giving you a simple-yet-effective nine-minute routine you can do practically anywhere. Read more »

Go for a run

A recent study found that runners tend to live about three years longer than nonrunners, even if they run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight. No other form of exercise that researchers looked at showed comparable impacts on life span. Get out there! Read more »


Destress, Build Bones, & Boost Metabolism

By Karen Malkin – Karen Malkin Health Counseling 


By now, you probably know that stress takes a tremendous toll on your body, often showing up in the form of headaches, intestinal issues, weight gain, hypertension, insomnia, and other health problems.

Did you know stress also wreaks havoc on your bones and calorie burning capacity?

If stress travels with you like unwanted baggage, take advantage of summer’s slower pace to let it go, boost metabolism and build strong bones. By making a commitment to incorporate these stress-reduction techniques into your summer routine, you will stand taller, breathe easier, feel stronger and burn more calories.

First, let’s take a quick look at how stress impacts your health.

  • When stressed, your body releases the hormones cortisol and insulin.
  • Elevated cortisol and insulin lead to increases in blood sugar, cholesterol, and signals the body to store fat and not build lean muscle.
  • Stress causes salt retention.
  • Stress decreases gut flora, healthy bacteria, needed for good digestion.
  • Stress decreases the amount growth hormone in your body which is needed for growth and to build muscle.
  • Stress decreases thyroid hormone needed to regulate metabolism.
  • Stress increases inflammation in the body and oxidative stress and causes premature aging.
  • Stress increases nutrient excretion.  The body excretes calcium as well, chromium, selenium, magnesium, zinc and all the micro minerals, through the urine, from going to your bones for the good of other tissues-it’s like the anti-Vitamin D.

Am I stressing you out?

Slow Down to De-stressDon’t worry-if changing gears doesn’t come naturally, it’s very hard for me, too. Thankfully, summer’s warm temps and laid back attitude presents the IDEAL environment to slow down. For me, heading to Eagle River, Wisconsin for time with my family and friends breathing in the north woods air helps me truly relax and recharge.

Here are 5 tips to help you de-stress:

  1. Cut down on your commitments. Say “NO”.  Create a NOT to-do list.
  2. Take a vacation, spend time in nature, and truly unplug (NOTE: this means your mobile phone and laptop also take a rest!) Try not to worry. What you resist, persists!
  3. Practice deep breathing, rhythmically, which short cuts the stress response and allows you to feel relaxed very quickly, which increases calorie burning capacity.
  4. Read a good book; catch up on your summer novels!
  5. Get quality sleep and give yourself permission to nap. Sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which causes refined carbohydrate and sugar cravings.

Move to De-stress

Summer also presents the perfect season for strengthening bones, as you’re naturally more active in the warmer months. Cycling, walking and Pilates are my exercises of choice, especially in the morning to get my day started right; it’s a great option for stress reduction, which in turn helps keep cortisol levels regulated. Simple daily walks, weight training and finding loving ways to move your body will go a long way toward rebuilding your bones.

Eat to De-stress

Reducing caffeine and other acidic foods such as animal protein, milk, packaged foods and soda, and adding in a nutrient dense array of colorful whole foods from summer’s harvest helps ward off bone deterioration. Fruits and vegetables, especially calcium rich leafy greens and those high in lycopene and polyphenols such as tomatoes, berries and watermelon are particularly beneficial for bone health. Additionally, Food + Oxygen = increased calorie burning capacity.

Take deep sips of air before and during each meal. Eating under stress slows down metabolism. Turn on the parasympathetic nervous system by relaxing, which burns more calories and boosts metabolism! So, in the remaining weeks of the season, claim your space in the hammock, spend time with the people you love, take a walk in nature, catch up on your summer read, and fill your plate with dark leafy greens, fresh fruit and lots of vegetables. Your body-and bones will thank you. Keep your eye on the prize: a long and healthy life!

8 Things That Happen to Your Brain (and Body) When You Spend Time Outside

Health Benefits of Spending Time Outside

If we told you there was a way to elevate your mood, reduce stress, improve your work performance, live longer, and make your workout feel easier—for free—would it seem too good to be true? The science, however, doesn’t lie: Simply spending some time outdoors can benefit your body and mind in countless ways.

So whether it’s a quick jaunt on your lunch break, a tough weekend hike, or a few tranquil moments in your backyard, consider scheduling some time in nature today. And if we still don’t have you convinced, the impressive health benefits below just might.