Relaxation Effects of Musially Guided Resonance Breathing: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study


Music and Medicine




Music therapy and resonance breathing (breathing at about 0.1 Hz) may be effective in treating stress-related symptoms and promoting relaxation. However, no identified study has explicitly explored the potential of integrating the working mechanisms into a combined approach using live played music to guide respiration. Therefore, the objective of the present pilot study was to evaluate the psychophysiological effects of a combined intervention. A total of 60 healthy adults were randomized to either the experimental group or the control group (where participants listened to prerecorded relaxation music). Heart rate and heart rate variability were extracted for the following 5-minute segments: Resting baseline, stress task, intervention, resting post-intervention. Additionally, self-evaluation scores for relaxation and general well-being were assessed with visual analogue scales. Significant time × group interaction effects were found for general well-being (p = .028) and heart rate variability as measured by RMSSD (p < .001), indicative of increased parasympathetic outflow in the experimental group. In conclusion, the combination of music therapy and resonance breathing seems to be a well-received and effective way to induce relaxation and well-being in healthy adults. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Heart Rate; Live Music Listening; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Therapy; Receptive Music Methods; Relaxation; Relaxation Levels; Self-Report Measures; Stress; Vital Signs; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Heart Rate Variability; Relaxation; Respiration; Psychophysiology; Vibration; Stress; Well Being

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

Document Type