An article that was recently published about Hula Dance
By Michael Tsai
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 29, 2012
Hula practitioners have long touted the health benefits of Hawaii’s signature dance form. Now, thanks to a new study on the rehabilitative potential of hula for heart patients, they have the science to support their claims.
According to the five-
“When you watch accomplished hula dancers, their movements look effortless,” said investigator Mele Look. “But what they are doing requires a lot of strength and energy.”
As part of their research, investigators outfitted accomplished hula dancers with
The results showed that low-
The implications for those recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery are promising, according to study investigators.
Having proved that a hula-
Kumu hula Mapuana de Silva, who worked with investigators to adapt regular hula classes to the requirements of the study and conducted classes for study participants, said the results confirm what many in the hula community already knew.
“For those of us who dance hula, we knew what the results would be before we started,” de Silva said. “But what the findings revealed was more profound than we realized. The participants came in with an open mind and they really got into it, and not just the dancing but the study of hula as well. They gave it 100 percent. It was pretty amazing.”
Kahea Rivera, a study investigator and cardiology fellow at Queen’s, said the social, psychological and spiritual benefits many participants experienced during the study only added to the physical benefits produced by the tempo, style and movements of the dance sets.
“And what would you rather be doing,” Rivera asked, “running on a treadmill or dancing hula?”
Pilot programs that use hula as part of overall cardiac rehabilitation are already in place in Papakolea and Kokua Kalihi Valley. Results will be compiled and examined at the end of the year.
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