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  Posture and Mood

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By: Karl-Reinhard Kummer

(Original title: Korperhaltung und Stim-mung. Der Merkurstab 1997; 50: 243-4. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA)

An interesting dissertation has recently been published by Beltz Verlag which can help us to answer the recurrent questions concerning the effect of eurythmy therapy on somatic parameters. The theme was to determine if manipulated body postures had an effect on the emotional state of experimental subjects.

Manipulated postures (to look "sad" or "angry") had an effect not only on subjective emotions but also on perception and judgment processes. Compared to someone in a bent position, people who were upright wrote more original and more positive stories to fit pictures that could be interpreted in different ways. The images they produced were more positive and consistent, with qualities judged important being highly defined. The author concludes that she had shown the effectiveness of interventions that have for a long time now been standard in body-orientated therapies but have not yet been adequately substantiated. There is a need "to reflect, theoretically, if the central position given to cognitive processes in the triggering and maintenance of emotions still has its justification in view of these... findings, or if this concept should not be replaced by a model that takes more account of the significance of non-cognitive, i.e. direct sensory and above all bodily processes in the genesis of emotions."

The investigation reveals a link with (initially external) intentional movements leading directly to emotional effects. In the author's view, cognitive interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy should be specifically complemented with body-oriented, non-cognitive measures. We also show something of the processes that are effective in eurythmy therapy.

Karl-Reinhard Kummer, MD, Posseltstr. 7, D-76227 Karlsruhe, Germany


E. Dring-Seipel. Stimmung und Korperhaltung -erne experimentelle Studie. Weinheim: Beltz 1996.

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