October 28, 2020

Integrating dance to enrich breathing rehabilitation globally

Siân Williams

There is emerging evidence of the benefits of dance for people who are breathless in the UK and Canada.  This session will summarise these benefits, based on work from the UK invite the audience to try some dance moves to gain personal experience and then to collectively consider how this might translate to their settings and cultures.   Issues that we can consider are the connections between breathlessness, breathing awareness, movement, rhythm and pace;  touch and what happens when we have to work remotely; the power of dance to scale up scarce interventions such as pulmonary rehabilitation; using dance to build social capital; the value of dance as a holistic intervention affecting the mind, body and spirit; “demedicalising” breathlessness without invalidating its impact and burden.


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Siân Williams

About Siân Williams

Siân Williams has been working in the field of respiratory health for over 20 years.  She has a curious career, having graduated in History of Art, working as a tour manager for a national ballet company, and then becoming a national management trainee with the UK National Health Service. Also public-health trained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she became interested in large-scale improvement focused on respiratory health including programme managing IMPRESS, co-leading the London Respiratory Network and also Helping Smokers Quit in London. She also co-founded the International Primary Care Respiratory Group, a global respiratory network with primary care colleagues in 2000. She has always danced and been interested in movement.  More recently, she has returned to these roots by undertaking a diploma for leading dance for older people.  She has been running dance sessions for older people who are breathless from chronic respiratory problems, working closely with the British Lung Foundation Breathe Easy support group in Haringey, London since 2017.