Early pregnancy loss is a shocking and traumatic event for women and their families. Miscarriages usually induce an intense period of emotional distress which finds a natural resolution within few months but for half of women, the natural grief turns into depression and chronic anxiety affecting women’s daily life, relationships with their partner and families, future pregnancies, future births and future relationships with the children to come.
As such, a miscarriage all common it is, has many negative ripple effects in a woman’s life, which raises the necessity of a more efficient screening and therapeutic care proposal to support women in their grief complications and opens the field of new therapeutic possibilities, namely in the focus of this research, sound healing with gong or Gong Therapy, to provide an efficient, rapid and comforting therapeutic support and improve women’s wellbeing and psychological and emotional health after a pregnancy loss.
We are aiming in this paper at showing the benefits of gong sessions on women emotional and psychological distress after a miscarriage. This reflection came from our practice as a clinical psychologist and sound therapist working with women for nearly two decades and from the actual assessment of the “mathematics ” of miscarriage.
Miscarriages are common. 10-25 % of pregnancies.
Miscarriages generate normal emotional and psychological distress in women and their families with a resolution by 6 weeks.
This distress may last longer in time & not resolve naturally for 50% of women, evolving into anxiety and depression that can last up to 3 years.
This distress is not systematically screened by medicals neither supported socially, so women are left alone & helpless with their symptoms.
When screened, the women wishing for support, be it medical and/or psychological, failed to find one in a significant majority of cases.
Sound healing with gong has shown significant improvement in depression and anxiety. 50% of symptoms reduction in a single 45 minutes gong bath.
Sound healing can be done individually and collectively so healing can be spread on a bigger scale and have a social impact.
Sound healing especially in collective gong baths is an accessible therapeutic care and can support population with a lower socio-economic background. On average 20 euros per gongbath.
As a consequence our hypothesis is that there are a significant amount of women and their families who need therapeutic care after a miscarriage and would greatly benefit from sound healing with gong which is an efficient, rapid and affordable method for stress, depression and anxiety relief.
This healing effect would ripple through time and space as women are the ones who carry, birth, love and bring up the future generations, from one womb to another.
Our patient in this paper shows the symptomatic profile of an unresolved grief 8 weeks post miscarriage and we intent to observe the evolution and improvement of her emotional and psychological states after 3 individual gong sessions ; and therefore test the efficiency of sound healing with gongs on miscarriage psychological and emotional symptomatology as the only therapeutic treatment method.
The patient didn’t receive any pharmaceutical treatment, neither psychological therapy prior, during and post this research. Today she reports feeling good and at peace with her past miscarriage ; anxiety and depression are not a daily concern. She is 4 months pregnant, soon 5 and conceived the cycle after the gong therapy sessions.
The method we used is individual sessions of Sound Therapy with gongs as the major instrument, in addition with Tibetan bowls, Pre-Colombian water and wind instruments, shakers and Japanese chimes. Each session included a proven therapeutic gong protocol created by Don Conreaux known as “Gong Bath” of 45 minutes, at a rate of one session every week, same day, same hour, same duration (75 minutes total with questionnaires), same gongs and instruments, same place.
Before the very first session and after the last of the three sessions, we collected datas on the patient’s emotional and psychological state through the use of the GHQ-28, a robust and validated mental health questionnaire, and before and after every weekly session, we had the patient filled up a self reflective 5-items questionnaire on her physical and mental health to have comparative results on the changes brought within a single session, from one session to another, and finally throughout the 3 weeks.
The protocol was the same for every session, the only variable was the way we played which is always unique and adapted to the specific needs of the patient in a particular session in order to serve at best her physical, emotional and psychological balance and wellbeing.
We used Excel to analyse the results which showed a significant improvement of the emotional and psychological post-miscarriage aggravated symptomatology within 3 weeks. In less than 1 month of Gong Therapy, physical symptoms, stress, anxiety and depression observed by the GHQ-28 were reduced of 84 %, showing that Gong Therapy can be a very effective healing modality to support women after a miscarriage and its emotional and psychological consequences. Gong therapy efficiency offers an optimistic potential for prevention, treatment and therapeutic healing for women experiencing miscarriage, miscarriage complicated grief with depression, anxiety, PTSD, postpartum depression and by extension mothers’ depression during pregnancy.
Key words : miscarriage, postpartum, grief, depression, anxiety, PTSD, gong therapy, sound