Sound massage as a tool for stress reduction

How do we know that the sound massage is such a wonderful tool for relaxation?

After 20 years of the sound massage practice in the framework designed by Peter Hess and his associates, countless anecdotal reports surfaced of the benefits of this treatment especially in combating stress. In 2009 the European Association for the Sound Massage in cooperation with Dr Tanja Grötz conducted a research on whether (and how) our stress coping strategies (SMS) and the body image (BI) change under the influence of the sound massage. The researchers tested a group of around 200 people as well as the small control group which has not received the sound massage.

The testing tools included standardised questionnaires on stress management strategies and body image. (Janke & Erdmann, Clement & Leo). The sound massage was given in an intensive training seminar environment, where people were subjected to the treatment every day for a week. Both groups were tested before the “intervention”, directly after the sound massage week as well as 10 weeks after.

The results confirmed the positive influence of the sound massage on the stress management strategies. The graph below shows mean values of stress management strategies in three time points, before the intervention (MZP1), directly after the intensive week(MZP2) and 10 weeks after (MZP3). The first group shows increase in positive stress management strategies, and second – decrease in negative SMS. Most surprising for the researchers was even further improvement in the values  after 10 weeks after the “intervention”.

In other words, the subjects found overall, that their stress coping strategies improved after the sound massage week, and some kept improving (especially the negative ones) even after 10 weeks from the treatments.

StressStudy-pic 2

The results of the body image survey are shown in the graph below. Again, the sound massage weeks has made an improvement on the body image values both positive (increase) and negative (decrease). There was no significant change in positive body image after 10 weeks, however the negative BI has certainly kept improving (reducing).

StressStudy-pic 31bThis was a first empirical long term study of the effects of sound massage according to Peter Hess method and it brought a confirmation to numerous anecdotal reports. It also brought more questions to be further studied, for example what is the origin of further improvement in stress management techniques and body image 3 months after the treatments.

“In times of increased stress-related diseases, the influence of stress management measures and body image through the Peter Hess basic-Sound Massage is promising not only in the context of health prevention, but also for many areas of learning, problem-solving or creativity.”


Literature:
1. Peter Hess Basic-Sound Massage as a method of coping with stress and effects on body image; An empirical longitudinal study of the European Association Sound Massage Therapy in cooperation with the Peter Hess Institute's Dr. Tanja Grotz, August 2009 (Peter Hess-Klangmethoden im Kontext von Vorschung und Wissenschaft, 2010)

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