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Women in midlife: experiences of the mind and body movement of Nia.
Martha Lynn Switzman (author)Corinne Koehn (Thesis advisor)Sylvia Barton (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
Master of Education (MEd)
Number of pages in document: 210
Midlife is a time when many women encounter life changes. Mind and body exercise programs such as t'ai chi and yoga continue to increase in popularity as a way to manage with life stressors and enhance well-being. A new form of exercise called Neuromuscular Integrative Action, ...also known as Nia, has been added to the mind and body paradigm. I used a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to better understand the role Nia has as a mind and body movement form with eight women in midlife and its potential for counselors to consider, as an adjunctive therapeutic means to aid in managing and enhancing greater well-being. The findings were set within the reflective interpretations across the four lifeworld existentials of time, body, relationship, and space. The women's narratives revealed: 1) reflections through time in representations of stories of the past - childhood, shifting and tragic, living in the moment, and future glimpses, 2) the body's wisdom ~ the body's movement in representations of body being ~ body listening, music ~ movement ~ emotions, and energetic connections ~ spiritual connections, 3) transforming relationships were understood through representations of self-discovery ~ self-acceptance, self-expression ~ self-care, and compassionate responses, and 4) living well-being in midlife spaces emerged as representations of a welcoming and safe space, making connections with other women, and well-being in midlife ~ lived as a life style. Further synthesis and discussion focuses on an overarching theme of how the revisioning of self-identity of midlife women practicing Nia leads to a sense of wellness through reconstructions of the reflective self, the connected self, the authentic self, and the contextualized self. Finally, considerations related to aligning social identity with well-being are also discussed.
Middle-aged women -- Health and hygiene.Exercise for middle-aged women.Stress management for women