Breathing, Moving, Being Creative Movement Project at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice
From 2013-2014 Helga facilitated 'Breathing, Moving, Being’, a creative movement project that offered people with life limiting illness at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice in Cork the opportunity to engage artistically and creatively through the language of movement as a medium of expression, communication and connection. It aimed to enable people who are frail and limited in their movements to communicate and express through movement, breath, touch and imagery in order to find connection to self and others. Specifically the work focused on:
Awakening sensory awareness to support participants into finding a more connected sense of self
Creating a communicative space where meeting and exchange takes place through the moving body
Providing a platform for older people to express themselves and be recognized for who they are
Promoting well-being by reducing stress levels through the calming effect of breath, touch and movement
Focusing on artistic process, context and intent, ‘Breathing, Moving, Being’ followed a person-centred approach in order to meet people where they are in the here and now and to facilitate a meaningful creative engagement. The central elements of the work included:
Movement as creative expression and a form of non-verbal communication
Touch as a form of communication and connection
Breath as a means to reawaken sensory awareness
Imagery as inspiration to discover personal movement
‘Breathing, Moving, Being’ supported participants in discovering movements long deemed lost, and they shared images, movements, stories and sensations. Engaging creatively and being witnessed as a whole person rather than a patient, allowed participants to experience a feeling of normality and to connect to the wider fields of their lives.
Participants' comments: "This is nice, it brings a bit of life back into me" "There is a lightness in the movement" "You are transferring energy to me… you see, I’m in a lot of pain, not so much physically, but mentally, and that is just as bad. This music and the movement, it helps take your mind of things, it eases the pain."