Adjunct Professor (Title of a docent in interdisciplinary research on health and well-being), Doctor of Arts in Dance, Master of Arts (Dance Pedagogy), Master of Health Sciences (Exercise Medicine) and Physiotherapist Hanna Pohjola works on a four-year grant from the Kone Foundation and as a University Researcher in Social Sciences and a University Teacher at the Institute of Dentistry at the University of Eastern Finland. “Interdisciplinarity and art are central to my background in education, work and research, through which we reach a broader and holistic vision of well-being”, says Hanna, who is motivated by multidisciplinary research and collaboration.
“My main research topics are, for example, dance biomechanics, identity, disability and disease narratives, and neurological rehabilitation”, explains Hanna. Currently undergoing is, among other things, a research collaboration with Canadian UQAM University (L’Université du Québec, Montréal) on a project to explore the dance rehabilitation of stroke. Hanna also collaborates with the Biosignal Analysis and Medical Imaging Research Group (BSAMIG) of the University of Eastern Finland and the HUMEA Laboratory, which provides facilities to analyze the biomechanics of movement, but also combines art and science in new, innovative, ways. “We conducted the Pop-up Movement Laboratory in Kuopio Tanssii and Soi Festival with creative industries in summer 2022. We are demonstrating how to convert a dancer’s movement to sound through sonification. Its possibilities and applications are wide”, explains Hanna. In addition, she is involved in the Virtual Remote Physiotherapist project (2022—2026) at the University of Jyväskylä, funded by the Academy of Finland.
Hanna also participated as a specialist in the pilot “Neurodance”, carried out by Savonia University of Applied Sciences in the University of Eastern Finland’s now completed ERDF -project “Neurocenter Finland – Savonia Regional Center of Excellence”. “This was a coeducational concept for physiotherapy and dance teacher students, whose aim was to organize dance lessons in relation to neurological diseases. The dance classes applied elements of physiotherapy and dance to individuals with stroke, MS and Parkinson’s disease,” Hanna elaborates. “Rehabilitation with dance has been perceived as meaningful and motivating — moving in the first place has positive effects on brain health. The gratifying thing is that Neurodance has remained a permanent part of teaching in Savonia University of Applied Sciences.”
HUMEA Laboratory: https://sites.uef.fi/humea/humea-laboratory/ and https://visuon.io/@mytech/HUMEA (virtual tour)
Remote Virtual Physiotherapist (REVIP): https://converis.jyu.fi/converis/portal/detail/Project/151678254?auxfun=&lang=fi_FI
Neurocenter Finland – Savonia Regional Center of Excellence ERDF –project (1.1.2019 – 31.12.2021): https://neurocenterfinland.fi/en/development-projects/
Neurodance –pilot (In Finnish): https://blogi.savonia.fi/uuttaluomassa/2021/06/16/viretori-mahdollisuuksien-tilana/
Tanssivaa neurokuntoutusta ja trialogioppimista (In Finnish): https://blogi.savonia.fi/uuttaluomassa/2020/08/17/tanssivaa-neurokuntoutusta-ja-trialogioppimista/
Hanna’s photo: Susanna Kekkonen
Kuopio Brain & Mind is part of a nation-wide Neurocenter Finland researcher network. For more information, please visit www.neurocenterfinland.fi