Effects of speech therapy with poetry on heart rate rhythmicity and cardiorespiratory coordination


      Our objective was to study the effects of guided rhythmic speech with poetry, referred to as anthroposophical therapeutic speech (ATS), on binary differential heart rate dynamics (also called musical heart rate rhythmicity or HRR) as well as on classical spectral parameters during the 15 min after a speech exercise had ended. A total of 105 1-h sessions with speech or control exercises were performed in seven healthy subjects, with 15 sessions each. Heart rate was recorded with ambulatory solid state recorders. Sessions were divided into a 15-min baseline measurement (S1), 30 min of exercise and a 15-min effect measurement (S2). The overall binary pattern predominance (PP) as well as the frequency of predominant and cyclically recurrent cardiorespiratory phase locking patterns were calculated from HRR and their changes from S1 to S2 were compared with the changes in low and high frequency heart rate variability. The results showed that: (i) ATS provokes alterations in heart rate dynamics which are different from those after control exercises and which persist at least for 15 min following exercise; (ii) in comparison to spectral parameters of heart rate variability, pattern predominance discloses the effects of rhythmic speech exercises best; and (iii) cardiorespiratory phase locking patterns, which contribute most to the rhythm pattern predominance, are more prominent after ATS.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to International Journal of Cardiology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Denjean B.
        • von Bonin D.
        Therapeutische Sprachgestaltung. Urachhaus, Stuttgart2000
        • Bettermann H.
        • Amponsah D.
        • Cysarz D.
        • Van Leeuwen P.
        Musical rhythms in heart period dynamics: a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to cardiac rhythms.
        Am J Physiol. 1999; 277: H1762-H1770
        • Bettermann H.
        • Cysarz D.
        • Van Leeuwen P.
        Detecting cardiorespiratory coordination by respiratory pattern analysis of heart period dynamics: the musical rhythm approach.
        Int J Bifurcation Chaos. 2000; 10: 2349-2360
        • Kümmel W.F.
        Musik und Medizin: Ihre Wechselbeziehungen in Theorie und Praxis. Karl Alber, Freiburg1977
        • Antonovsky A.
        Unraveling the mystery of health. How people manage stress and stay well. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco1987
        • Bettermann H.
        • Kröz M.
        • Girke M.
        • Heckmann C.
        Heart rate dynamics and cardiorespiratory coordination in diabetic and breast cancer patients.
        Clin Physiol. 2001; 21: 411-420
        • Raschke F.
        Coordination in the circulatory systems.
        in: Rensing L. an der Heiden U. Mackey M.C. Temporal disorder in human oscillatory systems. Springer, Berlin1987: 152-158
        • von Bonin D.
        • Frühwirth M.
        • Heusser P.
        • Moser M.
        Effects of speech therapy with poetry on heart rate variability and well-being.
        Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001; 8: 144-160
        • Moser M.
        • Frühwirth M.
        • von Bonin D.
        • et al.
        Das autonome Bild als Methode zur Darstellung der Rhythmen des menschlichen Herzschlages.
        in: Heusser P. Akademische Forschung in der Anthroposophischen Medizin. Peter Lang, Bern1999: 207-223
        • Bettermann H.
        • Engelke P.
        • Van Leeuwen P.
        • Heckmann C.
        Determination of respiratory rate on the basis of respiratory sinus arrhythmia.
        Biomed Tech. 1996; 41: 319-323
      1. MacHenry R. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago1997
        • Schäfer C.
        • Plesser T.
        • Abel H.H.
        Methodik der Analyse binärer Sequenzen in der Herzfrequenz.
        Wien Med Wochenschr. 1995; 17–18: 521-522
        • Essens P.
        Structuring temporal sequences: comparison of models and factors of complexity.
        Percept Psychophys. 1995; 57: 519-532
        • Shmulevich I.
        • Povel D.
        Measures of temporal pattern complexity.
        J New Music Res. 2000; 29: 61-69
        • Dauer A.M.
        Derler 1: Ein System zur Klassifikation von Rhythmen. Musiktheoretische und musikhistorische Aspekte.
        Jazzforschung/Jazz Res. 1988; 20: 117-154
        • Rottman J.N.
        • Steinman R.C.
        • Albrecht P.
        • Bigger Jr., J.T.
        • Rolnitzky L.M.
        • Fleiss J.L.
        Efficient estimation of the heart period power spectrum suitable for physiologic or pharmacologic studies.
        Am J Cardiol. 1990; 66: 1522-1524
        • Bettermann H.
        • Karoff M.
        • Schulte M.
        • Kümmell H.C.
        Gesteigerte LF-Herzperiodenvariabilität tagsüber nach 4-wöchiger Rehabilitation bei Patienten mit koronarer Herzkrankheit.
        Herz Kreislauf. 1997; 29: 56-60
        • Bernardi L.
        • Wdowczyk-Szulc J.
        • Valenti C.
        • et al.
        Effects of controlled breathing, mental activity and mental stress with or without verbalization on heart rate variability.
        J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000; 35: 1462-1469
        • Morse D.R.
        • Cohen L.
        • Furst M.L.
        • Martin J.S.
        A physiological evaluation of the yoga concept of respiratory control of autonomic nervous system activity.
        Int J Psychosom. 1984; 31: 3-19
        • Mohan M.
        • Saravanane C.
        • Surange S.G.
        • Thombre D.P.
        • Chakrabarty A.S.
        Effect of yoga type breathing on heart rate and cardiac axis of normal subjects.
        Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1986; 30: 334-340
        • Spicuzza L.
        • Gabutti A.
        • Porta C.
        • Montano N.
        • Bernardi L.
        Yoga and chemoreflex response to hypoxia and hypercapnia.
        Lancet. 2000; 356 (letter): 1495-1496
        • Telles S.
        • Nagarathna R.
        • Nagendra H.R.
        Autonomic changes during ‘OM’ meditation.
        Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1995; 39: 418-420
        • Peng C.K.
        • Mietus J.E.
        • Liu Y.
        • et al.
        Exaggerated heart rate oscillations during two meditation techniques.
        Int J Cardiol. 1999; 70: 101-107
        • Stancak Jr., A.
        • Kuna M.
        • Novak P.
        • Srinivasan M.A.
        • Dostalek C.
        • Vishnudevananda S.
        Observations on respiratory and cardiovascular rhythmicities during yogic high-frequency respiration.
        Physiol Res. 1991; 40: 345-354
        • Bernardi L.
        • Sleight P.
        • Bandinelli G.
        • et al.
        Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on autonomic cardiovascular rhythms: comparative study.
        Br Med J. 2001; 323: 1446-1449
        • Hildebrandt G.
        The autonomous time structure and its reactive modifications in the human organism.
        in: Rensing L. an der Heiden U. Mackey M.C. Temporal disorder in human oscillatory systems. Springer, Berlin1987: 160-175
        • Hildebrandt G.
        Reactive modifications of the autonomous time structure in the human organism.
        J Physiol Pharmacol. 1991; 42: 5-27
        • Moser M.
        • Lehofer M.
        • Hildebrandt G.
        • Voica M.
        • Egner S.
        • Kenner T.
        Phase- and frequency coordination of cardiac and respiratory function.
        Biol Rhythm Res. 1995; 26: 100-111
        • Aldridge D.
        Physiological change, communication and the playing of improvised music.
        Arts Psychother. 1991; 18: 59-64