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Victor O. Oguy, Anna A. Tarasenko Analysis of vibroacoustic massage use world experience // Modern European Researches. - Salzburg, 2018. - №3. - P. 61-71.

Victor Oguy

“Exercise therapy” and “Massage” courses teacher, “Clinic of Aesthetic Medicine” LTD, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia  

Anna Tarasenko

The expert on improving massage, Health-improving center «Siberian Center of Singing Bowls» Kemerovo, Russia



The review of existing methods of personal condition complex correction with the help of singing bowls during the entire period of their study and within last 10 years and further analysis showed that this method proved its effectiveness in international psychological and medical practice in many diseases and disorders. However, the number of sufficiently reliable studies and patents, especially in our country, is very little.


Vibroacoustic massage, vibration therapy, music therapy, Tibetan singing bowls, medical rehabilitation, psychological rehabilitation, vibromassage, sound therapy, restorative medicine, prophylaxis.


A fundamentally new direction of activity is developing in Russia today - the transition from a system focused on the treatment of the disease to a system of protecting the health of citizens based on the priority of a healthy lifestyle, health programs aimed at the prevention of disease (Razumov, 2017).

Therefore, the development and scientific substantiation of new health-saving technologies that promote activation of reserve and adaptive capabilities of the body, correction of risk factors for the development of diseases, prevention of complications in common somatic diseases constitutes the main platform for scientific research in the field of restorative medicine (Shusharjan, 2013, Olenskaya, 2015).

 Despite the progress of medical science and the introduction of modern medical technologies, unfavorable trends persist in most developed industrial countries, characterized by an increased proportion of severe chronic pathology in the structure of the population sickness rate and an increase in the complications of diseases that are on top positions among causes of death and disability of the population (Vishnyakov, 2013; Tikhonova, 2013)

A number of reasons causes an increased role of restorative treatment nowadays. There has been a clear tendency towards an increase in common and primary sickness rate of the population recently. We can observe a steady increase of severe chronic diseases number, long-term treatment of which involves a restorative treatment stage. The rapid development of high-tech methods of treatment, the need to optimize the hospital beds use, too expensive health resort care for a large proportion of patients, the need for individual rehabilitation programs also increase the role of rehabilitation and restorative treatment in modern conditions.

Diseases of cardiovascular, nervous, musculoskeletal systems and injuries traditionally occupy a leading place among the causes of morbidity with temporary disability. In this connection, the growing need for restorative treatment is quite expected not only among the elderly, suffering from severe chronic diseases, but also among the working population. Therefore, the problem of complex rehabilitation of patients and victims is of special importance. It includes three main areas: therapeutic-diagnostic, preventive and rehabilitation (Bolshakova, Prilipko, 2010, Preobrazhensky, 2010, Drag, 2011).

Essential shortcomings of the modern health system are weakening of preventive orientation and popularization of a healthy lifestyle. This direction is especially important in connection with the transition of health care in Russia from a system focused primarily on the treatment of diseases to a system of protecting the health of citizens based on increasing the adaptive capacity of the body and preventing diseases. This determines the need for the organization of medical and psychological rehabilitation of persons with premorbid conditions, as well as healthy individuals working in extreme or harmful environment, experiencing stresses of a megacity (Lyadov, 2017).

The condition and development of restorative medicine, rehabilitation and prophylaxis in megacities in modern conditions is an important and complex problem for the government at the federal and regional levels. This is because multi-million population is concentrated in a relatively small space. They have various demographic, social, economic characteristics, significant differences in health status. On the other hand, a city is an industrial complex that has a contradictory (both positive and negative) impact on its population. Social contrasts and inequalities are the most evident in a large city, including Moscow, where not only the registered population of the city is treated, but also residents of the Moscow region, as well as patients from other subjects of the Russian Federation (Ivanova, 2010, Chernikova LA, 2010).

Restorative medicine is based on systemic approaches, since its objects are often systems of organs or functional systems of the human body. It was the systemic approach and the need to develop systemic methods in medicine in general, including restorative medicine, that P.K. Anokhin pointed out in his works (1966-1976). Currently, the efforts of scientific schools by K.V. Sudakov (1971-2011) and V.G. Zilov (1976-2018) in the development of systemic methods for studying the processes of sanogenesis and pathogenesis bring the most significant results in the field of restorative medicine. They are especially important in the field of integrative medicine when it is used to study the mechanisms and properties of restorative medicine new methods therapeutic effect (Zilov, 2018).

The great importance of health care and prophylaxis programs is determined by the fact that socially dependent and professionally conditioned changes in the health of the population (disadaptive syndromes, socio-ecological fatigue and exhaustion, stressful diseases) are progressing in the last decade (Kaznacheev, 2014, Izmerov, 2015). For many years, the general trend in the mortality rate of the country's population is determined by the situation with the extreme mortality of working age people. The overall incidence of neurotic and psychiatric disorders increases in the structure of sickness rate every year.

One of the effective ways out of this situation is, firstly, to increase the health potential of healthy individuals, and secondly, to improve the health of patients who do not suffer from any exacerbation, who are in a pre-illness condition through the human functional reserves evaluation and management system (Razumov, 2016, Bobrovnitsky, 2017).

The need for a systemic solution to the problem of taking measures to protect and improve human health is determined by the following circumstances (Razumov, 2013):

• the need to ensure healthy, active and creative life of a person as the main task of state social policy;

• high economic efficiency of prophylaxis programs (cost-saving ratio reaches 1: 8);

• the need to focus on health as a social property of the individual, ensuring the well-being of the family, professional longevity, and secured old age;

• the need to develop health culture.

Scientific justification for the use of drugless health-saving technologies, among which drugless methods that eliminate vegetative, metabolic and psycho-emotional imbalances, is of great interest. They determine the health level evaluation of a practically healthy and sick person (Agadzhanyan, 2008; Avilov, 2009; Shumova, 2014).

Adaptation disorders may be rapid, when an extremely strong stimulus, regarded as "stress," influences the body. Along with this, the decrease in adaptive capacity of a person may be gradual due to unfavorable climatic, professional and domestic conditions that cause the formation of chronic psycho-emotional stress, since emotions are an important component in adaptation, a peculiar system of the human body biological adaptation to various conditions of the social environment.

Physical factors of low intensity, so-called information impacts, have been used in practice recently. According to experimental and clinical data, they have an impact not only on energy, but also on the chronobiologic processes of the bio object’s structures and systems, optimizing their physiological processes (Uzdensky, 2009; Illarionov, 2013).

The concept of building up the health of a healthy person provides for the accumulation of resources to combat factors that threaten health, resulting in an effective primary prophylaxis system becoming a priority and providing for the establishment of health care centers and centers for restorative medicine along with existing traditional medical and prophylactic institutions.

Monitoring of functional reserves, early diagnosis of adaptation syndrome development, and timely correction of the functional condition by various drugless methods is considered as the most optimal methodology for protecting healthy people's health (Dodonov, 2002; Popadyukha, Demidenko, 2016).

The evaluation of the body’s functional reserves and health level is very important in the process of health-improving and recreational activities in sanatorium-resort practice, health tourism, fitness, bodybuilding, in the use of health-improving technologies at home, for the "Health passport" formation, for the quality of medical services assessment(Ponomarenko, 2010; Khalfin, 2012; Nazarenko, 2015; Razumov, 2015; Vyalkov, 2017).

Despite the apparent abundance of different ways to evaluate the functional state of human beings and health technologies, there is not a unified point of view of specialists concerning unified methods of early detection and correction of functional disorders (Ushakov, 2015; Sorokina, 2016). This is probably due to the lack of unified requirements for their development from the position of conclusive medicine. In addition, we know that early diagnostics should meet certain medical, social and economic requirements - it must be expressive, non-invasive, and reasonable (Bobrovnitsky, 2016).

However, there is practically no personal responsibility of an individual for his health and that of his family. An individual approach is not always applied to a person, both from the point of view of individual constitutional features and quantitative evaluation of the body’s reserve capacities (Agadzhanyan, 2014). There is no effective mechanism of motivation to use health care technologies (Sudakov, 2012). The problem of establishing a health culture is urgent (Ponomarenko, 2013)

We know that resonance results in the most efficient transfer of energy from the source of vibrations to the body, and therefore it can be the cause of an increased sensitivity of the organism to vibrations and acoustic fields, which frequency corresponds to the resonances of the body, its organs or individual cells. At resonance, a relatively weak signal can cause considerable perturbation in the body; therefore, it is important to be able to protect the body from the negative influence of intense technogenic physical fields, which frequency falls in resonance with the body's own oscillations. For the same reason, the selection of the dosed vibration frequency used for treatment should also be made taking into account the phenomenon of resonance in organs and tissues (Greenberg, 2014).

Resonance, by definition, is the phenomenon of a sharp increase in the amplitude of oscillations of some body or a part of it when the frequency of the external periodic impact coincides with the frequency of its own oscillations. Therefore, to excite resonant oscillations of organs, individual cells or intracellular structures for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment, one must be able to determine the frequency of their natural oscillations in dynamics, which can vary depending on changes in their elasticity, viscosity and density (Radchenko et al., 2014; Dyachenko, 2016)

We know that most pathological processes are accompanied by changes in the mechanical characteristics of tissues. Pathological changes of density, for example, in fibrosis, are usually detected with ultrasonic scanning and changes in elasticity and viscosity with acoustic waves in the sound range (Krikukha, Sergievich, 2015; Timofeev, 2005).

The phenomena of mechanical resonance are still rarely used in practical medicine, since they have not been adequately studied. As a rule, we do not know what frequency of resonance has this or that organ, this or that biological structure at this or that moment of time. The dependence of the resonance frequency on viscosity and elasticity characteristics, on deformation and on the functional condition of organs and tissues has not been studied in practice. As a rule, we do not know how the functional condition of certain organs, tissues and the organism as a whole can change under the influence of mechanical oscillations at the resonance frequency. This is partly due to the inadequate elaboration of methods of stimulation and analysis of resonance oscillations in the human body (Sagaidak, Tsikunov, 2016).

One of the promising areas is the use of bio resonance and bio synchronized physiotherapeutic and art-therapeutic methods based on the principle of coordinating physical factor with the vibrations of physiological processes in the body. It is the correction with "singing bowls" - vibrational-acoustic massage (Waltraut, 2009, Bush, Terwagne, 2010 Kalinichenko, 2012; Imbery, Biberger, van de Par, Weber, 2013; Podberezkina, 2016., Sokolov 2016; Barrass, 2014, 2016; Wu, Yeh, Michon, Weitzner, Abel, Wright, 2015; Keefer, Collin, Moore, 2015; Pacifici, 2016; Ann, Bae, 2017; Ross, Barat, Fujioka, 2017; Jorm et al., 2017).

Literature Review

There is a large number of studies devoted to the analysis of singing bowls vibrational-acoustic influence effectiveness, but there is not one that would be conducted according to all the canons of "conclusive medicine" (Arend, 2006; Wepner, Hahne, Teichmann, Berka-Schmid, Hördinger, Friedrich, 2008; Mamedes, Wanderley, Ferreira-Lopes, 2014; Lidchi, Gama, 2015;Debut, Antunes 2016;Gregory, et al., 2017; Cho, 2017; Goldsby, et al. 2017; Imbriani, 2017; Robb, Hanson-Abromeit, May, Hernandez-Ruiz, Allison, Beloat, Polasik, 2018). Nevertheless, scientists made the analysis of the quantity and quality of scientific publications in related fields several times (Shrestha, 2009; Mckenna Longacre, Silver-Highfield, Lama, Grodin, 2012; Henry, 2014; Lindner, 2015; Paine, 2016; Bidin, 2016; Bulsara, Seaman, Steuxner, 2016; Perry, 2016; Campbell, Hynynen, Ala-Ruona, 2017; Parker, 2018). 

Let us give a variant on which it is necessary to study further the correction with singing bowls(Doe, 2013). For example, Hou W.H., Chiang P.T., Hsu T.Y., Chiu S.Y., and Yen Y.C. studied the effect of therapeutic massage on emotional disorders in children and adults.They made a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of therapeutic massage treatment for depressive disorders from PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL. All studies showed significant effectiveness in the treatment group compared to the control group. Therapeutic massage significantly alleviated the symptoms of depression, as it was shown in similar studies (Black, Rodin, Zimmermann, 2017;Gelding, Sun, 2018)

Problems with the quality of reporting make it difficult to interpret effectively and cross-match the facts about correction with singing bowls. Inconsistent and misused terminology also creates barriers for professional communication and translation of case reports. Improving the quality of reporting and the common language use will contribute to the scientific accuracy and clinical relevance of studies concerning correction with singing bowls (Landry, 2014; Collin, Keefer, Moore, 2015;McKusick, 2017).

This method boundary study by Sherman K.J., Ludman E.J., Cook A.J., Hawkes R.J., Roy-Byrne P.P., Bentley S., Brooks M.Z., Cherkin D.C. evaluated the effectiveness of therapeutic massage, thermal therapy, relaxation room for people with generalized anxiety disorder. They compared changes in depressive symptoms before the massage and after it according to Hamilton anxiety scale in the control group and after 6 months. In all groups, the effect was achieved by the end of the treatment and lasted for 26 weeks. The massage produced clinically significant improvement in the condition of patients, as well as other methods of restorative treatment.

The patients themselves often use complementary and alternative therapies, including massage. Systematic review by Coelho H.F., Boddy K., and Ernst E.evaluated the data obtained during randomized clinical trials of the effectiveness of several sessions of classical European (Swedish) massage for the treatment of depression. It has been reported that massage is effective for the treatment of depression, but less than acupuncture.

Muller-Oerlinghausen B., Berg C., Droll W.investigated the antidepressant effect of one hour of relaxing massage in comparison with the control group. They also compared its effectiveness for patients with depression with relatively healthy people. The treatment was repeated 5 times with an interval of 2-3 days. It was reported that relaxing massage is effective as a treatment for patients with subdepression. The effect was more pronounced in patients, in comparison with healthy people.

In addition, a method of relaxation for the treatment of somatic and mental disorders where the sound waves are applied, in particular, through the "singing bowls" is additionally studied directly for checking the effectiveness of vibroacoustic massage, for example, in the patent Oxygen Accoustic Therapy (Waltraut R.)with pure oxygen or a gas mixture having oxygen content of about 90% by means of a respiratory mask before and / or during and / or after applying sound waves. The gas mixture is fed with an oxygen concentrator that has a flow rate of 1 to 4 liters per minute. The method is effectively used, for example, to detoxify the body, to restore the body after diseases. The efficiency of rapid (short-term) correction of distress conditions is achieved due to combination of sound and oxygen therapy.

There is also the most tested study described in the article by Goldsby T.L., Goldsby M.E., McWalters M., Mills P.J., in which musical instruments (Tibetan singing bowls, gong, bells, etc.) were placed near heads of the participants who lay on the rugs and were exposed to their acoustic impact. Most singing bowls were 9 to 12 inches in size and weighed between 3 and 5 pounds. The sound was produced mostly with the help of beaters, in about 95% of cases. Each participant had at least 2 singing bowls and the duration of this sound therapy session was approximately 60 minutes. This method of correction (for a number of psychometric specialized scales), immediately after it, reliably increased the feeling of relaxation and mental well-being, reduced the level of depression and anxiety, tension and anger.

There is also a patent "Method of biological age correction as prevention of premature body aging" (Anisimov B.N., Karbysheva N.V., 2012). It also uses vibration sound therapy in the format of procedures according to resonance-acoustic vibrations program and using resonators (a musical self-sounding instrument made in the form of a bowl and called "singing bowl"), which ensures the normalization of the organism’s functional condition. In this patent, the therapeutic effect of the complex is based on the principle that the component acoustic fields, produced by a multilayer acoustic cavity in the form of a SB, interact with the patient's body. As a result of this influence, the general tone of the body increases, destructive emotions, habits, programs and settings are eliminated. This harmonizing practice allows you to relax quickly and get rid of blocks, bustle and chaos of thoughts, contributes to the equilibrium state of right and left hemispheres. The patients get relaxation on the emotional level, there comes pacification, harmonization. This method of sound therapy makes it possible to adjust each organ as a "tuning fork" correctly, to restore its harmonious functioning; it is a necessary" tuner ", increasing the effectiveness of each performed procedure. 

A patent "Singing bowl sound and vibration healing table" (Shrestha S.)also describes a similar approach. It suggests a method for relaxation through "sounding" a  body, including "singing bowls" or a stereo system, or music player, or a personal tablet computer with a number of auxiliary support structures or platforms, the size of which corresponds to one or more sound generating devices (e.g. singing bowls or speakers). The auxiliary platforms can be adjusted in one or more directions and can be selectively removed. The invention includes an electronic device, a mat that includes a number of sound generating devices, with the facilities to support a person in a horizontal position located at positions intended to coincide with human chakras lying on the rug, other supporting structures (e.g., a chair) for facilitating healing sessions, a lot of speakers located on the rug in predetermined places that correspond to the chakras of the person lying on the rug, and the interface that is intended for connecting the speakers with the electronic device. Sessions are conducted, for example, for 5 seconds with pauses of 5-20 seconds or until the sound is almost completely dissipated, while the vibroacoustic device is moved from "chakra to chakra", for example, 3 times for 12 minutes.

A patent "The method of chronic cystitis complex treatment in women at the health resort stage" (Anisimov B.N., Karbysheva N.V., Kuzmina O.M., Brilkov D.V., Lomzhina I.B., 2015)shows similar effectiveness. It used the "program of resonance-acoustic oscillations", including the use of SB (direct remote (contactless) and drugless restorative impact). It was effective in the complex treatment of cystitis according to the analysis of Hamilton’s depression scales and Hamilton’s anxiety evaluation, as well as a life quality questionnaire SF-36 with symptoms: depressive mood; daily condition changes; guilty feeling; early and late insomnia; hypochondria, urogenital symptoms, tension, insomnia.


Comparative analysis of literary sources devoted to the use of Tibetan singing bowls for correction of various symptoms and improvement of a person's psychosomatic condition.

Materials and Methods

We estimated the number of scientifically grounded studies on the topic that mention the impact of singing bowls on a person by the key words "singing bowl" in three databases:

After finding all the publications on this topic, the most relevant ones were not selected from them, but the entire amount related to these keywords was counted, including the mention of one of the methods, without its use in this published study. Then a search was conducted according to specific time ranges and affiliation with domestic or international science.

After that, we made the analysis of the spheres of singing bowls method effective application in studies with statistical data available.

The results of the research were processed by traditional statistical methods using Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software.


After analyzing scientific studies (theses, articles and patents) related to vibroacoustic massage and effects, we revealed a significant increase in their number over the past 10 years, in both domestic and international databases.

The results are shown in Table. 1.

Table 1. Number of publications mentioning singing bowls in the studied databases.

Publications on the subject of the method Publications in Russian Publications in English
Publications after 2008 558 26.800
Publications for the whole period 922 119.000

As we can see, the number of Russian-language publications has significantly increased over the past 10 years, relative to the growth of foreign publications.

We calculated the number of medical referrals in these publications - syndromes and diseases, the effectiveness of their correction with singing bowls had already been examined. Their number was significantly less than general mentioning of this method in literature shown in the first table.

Table 2. Identified nosology definitions in publications about the effectiveness of vibroacoustic impact with singing bowls

List of diseases, syndromes, disorders Publications in Russian Publications in English
Anxiety 2 18
Depression 1 7
Dementia 0 2
Pain syndrome 0 5
Distress 2 6
Psychomotor agitation 0 3
Behavioral disorders 0 2
Apathy 0 3
Arterial hypertension 1 5
Headache 0 2
Cosmetology 2 0
Support inoncology 0 3
Spiritual well-being 0 1
Support inParkinson's Disease 0 1

As can be seen from the data obtained, the spectrum of syndromes and disorders is extremely wide, and various anxiety related disorders take the first place among them. 


It is found out that this method has not been sufficiently studied, both in domestic and in international psychology and medicine. Nevertheless, already conducted and published studies confirmed its effectiveness in restoring the compensatory and protective mechanisms of the body, normalizing the excitability of the neuromuscular apparatus, improving the tone of the smooth muscles of mucous membranes vessels, harmonizing the vegetative balance, which is important, especially for sedation.


The proven effectiveness of this health-caring, medical and psychological technology in cases of anxiety, distress, pain syndrome, dementia, hypertension and some others has been discovered, but to confirm its full potential, we need further research that will improve sessions and clarify the quantitative, follow-up and course recipes of the impact with singing bowls.



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