Calligraphy and meditation for stress reduction: an experimental comparison

Article English OPEN
Kao, Henry SR ; Zhu, Lin ; Chao, An An ; Chen, Hao Yi ; Liu, Ivy CY ; Zhang, Manlin (2014)
  • Publisher: Dove Medical Press
  • Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management, volume 7, pages 47-52 (issn: 1179-1578, eissn: 1179-1578)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3928403, doi: 10.2147/PRBM.S55743
  • Subject: Industrial psychology | calligraphic handwriting | Psychology | Psychology Research and Behavior Management | HF5548.7-5548.85 | meditation | BF1-990 | stress reduction | Original Research | intervention

Henry SR Kao,1 Lin Zhu,2 An An Chao,3 Hao Yi Chen,4 Ivy CY Liu,5 Manlin Zhang6 1Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 2Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing, 3International Society of Calligraphy Therapy, Hong Kong; 4Department of Business Administration, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, 5Department of Psychology, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan; 6Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China Background: Chinese calligraphic handwriting (CCH) has demonstrated a new role in health and therapy. Meanwhile, meditation is an traditional and effective method for coping with stress and staying healthy. This study compared the effectiveness of CCH and meditation as distinctive and parallel stress reduction interventions. Methods: Thirty graduate students and academic staff members in Taiwan who suffered from stress were selected by the General Health Questionnaire and randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, ie, a CCH group, a meditation group, or a control group, for 8 consecutive weeks. Changes in physiological parameters were measured before, during, and after treatment. Results: CCH and meditation showed their strength in the respective indices of stress. There was a significant difference in respiratory rate, heart rate, and electromyographic scores between the groups. Comparing pre- and post-effects, a decrease in heart rate and an increase in skin temperature was seen in subjects who practiced CCH. Increased skin temperature and decreased respiratory rate were also seen in subjects who practiced meditation, along with reduced muscle tension and heart rate. Conclusion: CCH and meditation have good effects in stress reduction. CCH is a particularly promising new approach to reducing stress.Keywords: calligraphic handwriting, meditation, stress reduction, intervention
  • References (40)
    40 references, page 1 of 4

    1. Kao HSR, editor. Chinese Calligraphy Therapy. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press; 2000.

    2. Xu M, Kao HS, Zhang M, Lam SP, Wang W. Cognitive-neural effects of brush writing of Chinese characters: cortical excitation of theta rhythm. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:975190.

    3. Kao HSR, Chen CC, Chang TM. The effect of calligraphy practice on character recognition reaction time among children with ADHD disorder. In: Roth R, editor. Psychologists Facing the Challenge of a Global Culture with Human Rights and Mental Health. Presented at the 55th Annual Convention of the Council of Psychologists, Graz, Austria, July 14-18, 1997.

    4. Kao HSR. Chinese calligraphy handwriting for health and rehabilitation of the elderly. Presented at the Second World Congress of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. Prague, Czech Republic, May 18-22, 2003.

    5. Kao HSR, Gao D, Wang M. Brush handwriting treatment of cognitive deficiencies in Alzheimer's disease patients. Neurobiol Aging. 2000; 21 Suppl 1:14.

    6. Kao HSR, Gao D, Wang M, Cheung HY, Chiu J. Chinese calligraphic handwriting: treatment of cognitive decfiiencies of Alzheimer's disease patients. Alzheimer's Reports. 2000;3:281-287.

    7. Kwok TC, Ba X, Kao HS, Li JC, Ho FK. Cognitive effects of calligraphy therapy for older people: a randomized controlled trial in Hong Kong. Clin Interv Aging. 2011;6:269-273.

    8. Kao HSR. Calligraphy therapy: a complementary approach to psychotherapy. Asia Pacicfi Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy . 2010;1:55-66.

    9. Yang XL, Li HH, Hong MH, Kao HS. The effectiveness of calligraphy practice and relaxation training in Chinese nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud. 2010;47: 550-559.

    10. Bohlmeijer E, Prenger R, Taal E, Cuijpers P. The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy on mental health of adults with a chronic medical disease: a meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 2010;68: 539-544.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark