Dispatch 141: Dance Your PhD - The Path to Warrior Wellness


Allison Winters Fisher's research is a holistic case study analysis of an existing integrative treatment program. Her recent video features original music by Nathaniel McLaughlin, videography by Elizabeth Freeman, and choreography by Allison herself. View the video here and directly below.


An innovative way to explain PhD research, the contest challenges scientists to explain their research without PowerPoint slides or jargon—in fact with no talking at all.  

Now in its 11th year, contestants submit a video explaining their Ph.D. research through interpretive dance.  


Many military members struggle with symptoms of trauma. The body responds to trauma by over-activating the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Soldiers can remain in a high alert state for long periods of time, which can include continuous, quick, and shallow breathing and a racing heart. It is a burden that is carried in the body, just as a soldier wears a rucksack wherever he or she might go. Mind-body practices, such as diaphragmatic breathing, gentle movement, and relaxation techniques can counteract these automatic physiological responses. Practicing and building mind-body skills increases heart rate variability (HRV) and coherence levels, transforming burden into a new found and lasting sense of calm, balance, and peace. 

This video is Allison's dance interpretation of her Ph.D.dissertation, Dance/Movement Therapy-Based Mind-Body Medicine in an Integrative Medicine Treatment Program for Military Members with Traumatic Brain Injury.