The Octaband® with People with Dual Diagnosis
Dance / movement therapist Melissa Sabatini uses the Octaband® in novel and unique ways. She leads groups on adult detox and dual diagnosis units, mostly with men. She uses the Octaband® as a physical warm-up for creating mandalas. The Octaband® has a center focus, just as a mandala may. Melissa has them alternate pulling on one leg and then the other, which she calls "milking the cow." They may each turn into the center, sometimes rubbing shoulders or elbows as they twirl in or out. Sometimes she has them cross the circle 2 at a time. Or use it as a double dutch jump robe. One time there was 1 man under the center, while the others moved the Octaband® down over him and up again. When asked how he felt, he said he felt "like a king". She has found that with the Octaband® the men are often more willing to free dance to music. When I expressed amazement at Melissa's ability to get a group of men in a detox unit to be so expressive in movement, Melissa said "It's all in the energy that you bring and how you present it. I give them permission to express their resistance."