Peter Hess Sound Massage as a complementary method in Therapeutic practice

Dr. Christina M. Koller


Peter Hess Sound Massage in therapeutic practice
Peter Hess Sound Massage

More and more specialists of therapeutic professional fields are inspired by sound massage, originally developed by Peter Hess as a holistic relaxation method, because the relaxing and stress reducing effect of the harmonious sounds and gentle sound vibrations may excellently supplement and accompany conventional therapeutic and medical interventions. The DVD “Peter Hess-Klangmassage als komplementare Methoden in der therapeutischen Praxis” (Peter Hess Sound Massage as complementary Methods in therapeutic Practice) provides manifold insights into this. In this presentation, three of the six articles in total of this DVD describe fields of application in clinics.


Dr. Glockner, leading Senior Physician of the geronto-psychiatric department at the AWO specialist hospital Jerichow (near Berlin), was inspired by sound massage when she got to know it for the first time. Dr. Glockner and other employees of care and social services as well as the team of therapists, doctors and psychologists have been since integrating sound massage as a concomitant therapy in parallel with medicinal treatment.  Many patients of the hospital’s psychiatry and psychotherapy, psychosomatic medicine,neurology and special pain therapy are highly stressed, feel under pressure and are often hardly capable of perceiving their body. Therefore, the rapid and deep relaxation achieved comparably easily in sound treatment is an ideal basis which can be applied in preparing or accompanying therapy. Moreover, sound bowls are an excellent medium for supporting body perception and enabling communication without words. A “touch without touching”, which may enormously facilitate the contact between professional and a patient, is possible. So people, suffering from dementia for example, react very positively to the sound which usually induce feelings of confidence, security and safety. It is not surprising therefore, that good results are also obtained in case of fears, slight restlessness or sleep disorders. The medical director Prof. Joachim Muller, who is open for new treatment methods and has enabled the in-house training for his employees, reports that this body-oriented method is also enjoyable to those applying it. This substantiates the preventive character of sound massage because therapists always benefit themselves from the pleasant sounds of sound bowls.

Employees of the hospital “Klinik am Park” in Lunen, one of the three locations of the Klinikum Westfalen (Clinical Centre Westphalia) have gained similarly positive experience. The manager Christian Scholz accentuates the personal atmosphere of the clinic which becomes noticeable both between employees as well as between employees and patients. Sound massage is applied in many fields here, be it in pain therapy, surgical preparation, in surgery after fractures or also in employees’ health prevention.

At the beginning, the aim of Mr. Scholz in introducing the sound massage in pain therapy was less a therapeutic benefit but rather a suggestion patients would feel comfortable with, after which they could say “That was a great thing for me, that helped me, I can really recommend this (and the clinic)”. And exactly this is the feedback the management receives again and again in the form of long laudatory letters with regard to the sound treatment. In effect, also senior consultants became attentive thereof and the sound offer was expanded to further fields. This includes, for example, the project “Pain-less surgery” under the leadership of Dr. Sauer, Senior Consultant for Anaesthesia. Within this project, various procedures are offered to the patient intending to take their mind off during waiting for the appointment and to calm them down. From the very first, the feedback on sound massage was very positive such as “The sound has calmed me down”; “l am feeling somewhat relieved”, “I was positively surprised how sound and also vibration enter into the body, this has calmed me down”.

And what is good for the patient surely does not do any harm to the employees either. So regularly after work they meet for sound mediation or mutual sound massage. Peter, working in the field of surgical management, pain therapy and internal training, calls this “a little piece of luck during work”.

For two years, the pleasant effect of the sound of sound bowls has also been applied at the Arcadia Clinic for cancer therapy and integrative medicine at the health centre Bad Emstal in addition to meditation and relaxation exercises as well as special therapies. Dr. Christian Buttner, one of the senior physicians, reports how sound massages are used for example for the preparation and support of whole-body hyperthermia. Kirsten Knopfel-Rahmann one of the attending nurses and trained Peter Hess sound massage practitioner, shows how using sounds she gets patients in the mood for this fever therapy. Her aim is to calm down the patient, to relax the body and to encourage the patient to perceive their body. The treatment may be unpleasant for patients and in some induces fear or aggression. Sounds provide an acceptable remedy here and help patients to better cope with the situation and to be in control of oneself.


Within the framework of various relaxation offers, sound massage represents an opportunity for many patients to once again after a long time experience their body as a pleasant place. Patients frequently experience that they are capable of lying for a longer time without having pain. Many patients are thankful for not having to undress when applying this treatment, not having to show their scarred body and not having to remove their wig either. The disease, frequently dominating the entire daily routine, fades into the background for the duration of the sound session. During this time, finally the disease is no longer a central point, but the patients themselves as human beings, feeling comfortable in their body, making them feel: I am able to relax.

©2016 translation and editting Maranta Sound Academy

©2010 Peter Hess Institute