Corybantic movements: A history of treating lunatics
Plato in his famous treatise, on lawstalked about an ancient ritual at Cebelle's temple. That ritual is about treating those people who lose their wits due to hysteria or other type of trauma during the ritual of the goddess. Plato termed this ritual corybantic swings or corybapakphilosophy.blogspot.comntic movement, and in this treatment the effected person was , usually a woman or a child, for Plato has somehow said that man seldom remained a part of this ritual, was sat on a swing and old woman used to give them swings. And these swings and corybantic motions(this was attributed to to corybantes) traumatized child or woman felt healed. The same was true for lunatics and maddened folk.
Plato identified fear as the basic cause of madness. It is the excess of fear that causes mental problems to people. And the best remedy to solve this problem is to engage the effected person in a rhythmic movement usually that of a swing.
Plato has also mentioned the same technique be used in the case of alleviating the fears of an infant or child. If one moves them persistently , in a swing or in the lap, they are likely to feel a healing effect and this has a good impact on their future lives as well.
In his treatise on Madness and Civilization Foucault has also mentioned a similar technique to address the problem of madness. He mentions a tradition according to which mad people were sent on board a ship known commonly as 'the fool's ship'. And thus kept in motion all the time , their anger and fear remained well in control. Their journey on this ship was reckoned as a journey to themselves , aiming at a rediscovery of the lost harmony with the life.
So, one can see here clearly that how the same idea of corybantic movements is at work. To alleviate the fear and to restrain the anger in the maddened folk, it was essential to keep them in a persistent motion or movement.