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Supporting data for Relaxation Responses by Tibetan Singing Bowls

posted on 2024-05-09, 01:24 authored by Ho Wai Joseph LeeHo Wai Joseph Lee

Background: There has been a significant research interest in Tibetan singing bowls in recent years. However, the evidence is weak.

Objectives: It examined whether Tibetan singing bowl sound induces relaxation.

Methods: There were four phases. In phase one, participants (n = 11) were exposed to an 8-session singing bowl. Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale, Body Mind Spirit Well-Being Inventory and Daily Spiritual Experience Scale were measured. Pulses, blood pressure, respiration and cortisol were recorded. In phase two, participants (n = 38) attended an 8-session bowl sound. The self-reporting questionnaires were State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Profile of Mood States. Pulses and blood pressure were measured. Sample size was estimated from the dataset for the phase three study. In phase three, a randomised cross-over controlled trial was conducted. Yoga exercise was the comparison condition. Participants (n = 47) were randomly assigned into two different orders: singing bowl first and then yoga or vice versa. In each condition, they attended 4 sessions. The measurement tools were the same as Phase Two. Heart rate variability measurement was added. A follow-up measurement was carried out. In phase four, past participants (n = 7) were invited to join the focus interview group. Transcription was made with the audio recording. The information was then coded and analysed.

Results: At phase one, there were significant drops (p < .05) of the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, anxiety, and negative mood by the Wilcoxon test. There was no significant change (p > .05) at the depression and cortisol. At phase two, there were significant drops (p < .05) of pulses, current-moment anxiety, general perception anxiety, and negative mood. There was no significant change (p > .05) in blood pressure. The positive mood dropped significantly (p < .05). The estimated sample size in each condition was 28. At phase three, there were significant drops (p < .05) of pulses, at-the-moment anxiety and negative mood in both conditions. The amplitudes of drops appeared more in the singing bowl. There was no significant change (p > .05) of the blood pressure in both conditions. The general anxiety and heart rate variability were improving in the singing bowl condition only. The positive mood dropped significantly (p < .05) in both conditions. At phase four, the main themes identified: profound relaxation, self-awareness enhancement, low pitch sound, detailed debriefing, short-term relaxation and non-positive feelings.

Discussion: The results in Phase One optimized the research design. The exposure time was prolonged, and measurement tools were shortened. Four singing bowls were utilized in following phases. Most results in Phase Two were positive. The results obtained in Phases Three were like Two. Positive mood was dropping in both phases. The participants might shift towards a more mindful state of deep relaxation, so the positive mood diminished. The results collected in Phase Four indicated that exposure to the sound enhanced short-term relaxation. Additionally, it appears to induce mindfulness meditation when compared to yoga.

Conclusion: Most results provide evidence that exposure to singing bowl sound can induce short-term relaxation, like yoga.


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