The effect on endurance-sport athletes after a 8 weeks practice

Marcello Zoni
Psychologist, Bioenergetic Therapist
Parma, Italy


IIBA Award2017 M Zoni PosterBioenergetics is a way of understanding personality through energetic processes, that is the production of energy by breathing, by the metabolism and the discharge of energy through movement. According to Lowen and other doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, the mind and body can influence each other: what you think influences how you feel and vice-versa. Thinking and feeling are deeply influenced by energetic factors. Chronic tension and rigidity reduce vitality and lower energy. Stiffness is due to prolonged periods of stress, which the organism faces without any possibility of removing the excess tension.
Bioenergetics works may comprehend exercises, which help people come in contact with their chronic tensions and learn how to release them using the proper movements. People who practice these kind of exercises experienced some advantages in their amount of energy, in their mood, and in their performances (at their job or in other activities). These exercises also help improve posture, allow for deeper breathing, and increase self-esteem. However, empirical research on the impact of different types of bioenergetic exercises on adults in general, and especially on athletes, is still insufficient.
The study is a small step towards filling the gap. We analyzed the effect of the bioenergetics exercises and of some mindfulness and yoga techniques on the reduction of the physical and mental stress levels. This produced an improvement of athletic performances, of general health conditions, of mood and of some important parameters (Heart Rating, VO2 Maximum, aerobic strength) which are fundamental for the effort required to participate in endurance sports such as running, cycling, triathlon and which also caused a reduced risk of injury. In particular, this pilot study used a mixed method approach, combining a qualitative questionnaire with a pre-test and post-test experiment over two periods, with a control group, in order to understand how an eight week training period, including bioenergetic exercises, yoga, and mindfulness exercises can decrease stress levels, improve joint flexibility and influence health and wellness in a cross-section of professional and recreational athletes.
The preliminary results suggested that the training participants experienced a higher level of body awareness, a better capacity to handle the stress and the emotional factors of competition, as well as declaring a lower perceived effort during training and competition. However further research is needed in order to better understand the relation between bioenergetic exercises with other psycho-physical practices and the competitive performances.

- Courtesy of the Swiss Society for Bioenergetic Analysis (SGBAT) -

Therapist Effects on Treatment Outcome in Psychotherapy: A Multilevel Modelling Analysis
Berglar, J., Crameri, A., von Wyl, A., Koemeda-Lutz, M., Köhler, M., Staczan, P., Schulthess, P. & Tschuschke, V. (2016).
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Sensitivity analysis in multiple imputation in effectiveness studies of psychotherapy.
Crameri, A., von Wyl, A., Koemeda-Lutz, M., Schulthess, P. & Tschuschke, V. (2015).
Front. Psychol., 27 July 2015
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The Brief Symptom Inventory and the Outcome Questionnaire-45 in the Assessment of the Outcome Quality of Mental Health Interventions
Crameri, A., Schuetz, C., Andreae, A., Koemeda-Lutz, M., Schulthess, P., Tschuschke, V. & von Wyl, A. (2016).
Psychiatry Journal, Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7830785, 14 pages
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What do Human Bodies Tell us? In Search of Statistically Significant Empirical Confirmation for “The Language of the Body”. A Study in Bioenergetic Body Diagnostics.
Koemeda-Lutz M & Peter H (2001).
Bioenergetic Analysis – The Clinical Journal of the IIBA 2002, 13 (1) 77-94. Original Paper: Psychotherapie Forum 2001 (9) 51-61.

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Body Psychotherapy in Outpatient Settings. A Multi-Center Study in Germany and Switzerland.
Koemeda-Lutz M., Kaschke, M.,Revenstorf, D.,Scherrmann, T.,Weiss, H. und Soeder, U. (2006).
Pp. 513 – 532 in: Heinrich V (2011, Ed.) Handbook Bioenergetic Analysis. Original Paper in: Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, Medizinische Psychologie PPmP 56: 480-487
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The Pan-American Health Organization (known as OPAS/OMS in Brazil) is an international public health institution with over a century of experience dedicated to improving health conditions in the Americas. Its integration with the United Nations occurs when it acts as the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Americas. It is also affiliated to the Organization of American States (OAS).

The organization has an important role in the improvement of public health policies and services through the transfer of technology and the dissemination of knowledge accumulated from studies undertaken in member countries. This requires a level of international co-operation between technicians and scientists specialized in epidemiology, environmental health, human resources, communications, services, the control of zoonotic diseases, medication and the promotion of health.

Popular practices closely related to the natural world became associated with the 1960’s counter-culture lifestyle at the same time as the popularity of alternative medicine grew in opposition to self-care and the debate about medicalization gained force.

The principle of integrated medicine is to construct an inclusive paradigm, to bring in what is different.
- In the 1970’s what had been termed ‘popular’ came to be called ‘alternative’.
- In the 1980’s ‘alternative’ became known as ‘complementary’.
- In the 2000’s the integrative concept aims to include these practices in mainstream medicine.

The combination of integrated practices and primary care is a Brazilian model which is being copied in other countries.

With the publication in May 2006 of the Alternative and Complementary Practices Policy, the Brazilian Health Ministry took an important step towards increasing the plurality of health services in the country.

Bioenergetic analysis (BA) has already starting been included on the lists of integrative and complementary practices in some states, which demonstrates both its preventive and a curative effectiveness.

These are some of the social projects undertaken by societies affiliated to the Latin American Association of Bioenergetic Analysis (FLAAB).


Lecture presented on the IIBA - Conference in Palermo, Sicily, 2013
(Vortrag für den Kongress des International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis,.2013 auf Sizilien)

Author: Rainer Mahr

According to the bioenergetic concepts everything that happens in the human psyche expresses itself in the body. That means it happens with biological, chemical and physiological processes and it can be influenced by physical interventions. If this theory is true then these processes must be described in biological categories and must comply with them.
This paper tries to describe Bioenergetic Analysis from the biological point of view. The biological processes are seen as the base, as the grounding of bioenergetic concepts.
The biological processes are not described in detail but somewhat like a blueprint to understand a little bit more what is going on in body psychotherapeutic work.

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In German: (translation) "Energie und Identiät"

Author: Rainer Mahr

In (English version): Rome, May 95, Body and Identity, First Clinical Congress of the European Federation for Bioenergetic Analysis-Psychotherapy, p.121-134
Also published by: Societa Italiana di Analisi Bioenergetica (SIAB)
Via di Pietralata 147/B
Roma, Italy
Tel. 0039/6/4510309

In (German version): Forum der Bioenergetischen Analyse, Nummber 1 1995, S: 39-52 ISSN 0946-8846

This is my first effort to describe the concept of Bioenergetic Analysis with ideas and concepts of modern physics, biology and physiology.  This seems being necessary for Bioenergetic Analysis uses terms of these sciences to describe bodily processes and shows how to modify them.  But how they are used is not corresponding to their scientific definition.  It is not described what is really going on in the body itself.  I focused on the term of 'energy'.  I try to show how this point of view is able to develop further the bioenergetic concept.  With some ideas of energy from subatomatic level perhaps you can explain with physical and bodily categories the meaing of 'relationship', 'intuition', 'nonverbal communication'.   Processes of transference and countertransference will get a 'physical' body.   The unity of body, soul and mind will find a new base by the term of 'energy'.   The energetic processes on the subatomatic level shows structures similar to those of the mental and psychic ones.

Original title: Migräne und Boenergetische Analyse

Author: Rainer Mahr

In: Der Körper in der Psychotherapie, Dagmar Hoffmann- Axthelm(Hrsg), Transform, 1991,S.1790185  ISBN 3-926692-21-9

Abstract: This is a study of the bioenergetic work with a patient with migraine.

Original title: Das Konzept der Orgonenergie von Wilhelm Reich

Author: Rainer Mahr

In: Forum der Bioenergetischen Analyse, Number 12, p.65-68, ISSN 0946-8846

I show the very serious researches of Reich in biological and physical issues to find out structure and shape of the energy which controls biological and psychic processes of life and human beings.  You can read about the history of how Reich discovered 'orgon energy'.  Do these concepts have any importance in our discussions of today?

Original title: Körperpsychotherapie zwischen Psychoanalyse und Physik

Author: Rainer Mahr

In: Energie und Charakter, Nummer 14, 1996

Publisher: David Boadella, Benhard Maul
Tel: 030 456 3882 Fax 030 622 7801
c/o Thomas Stoehr
Torfstr.25.D - 13353 Berlin
Tel: 030 453 4249

Body psychotherapy shows that psychotherapy altogether is involved with the human organism and its processes.  We only know about psychic phenomenas by its expression of the human body either by talking or by the body itself.   Even comunication with the soul is only possible by processing of the body.

Psychotherapeutic processes are always energetic processes for moder physics says that there is nothing in our universe but energy.  Besides you can show that the human processes of life are energetic processes of regulation.  So, mental and psychic phenomenas would be energetic processes too.

Author: Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D., CBT + Harold S. Ladas, Ph.D.

In: The Connecticut Society of Bioenergetic Analysis.

68% of the female therapists, members of the Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis in 1977, answered a mail questionnaire concerning the effects of Bioenergetic therapy on themselves and their clients.  Although 87% disagreed with one or more of the theories of Bioenergetic Analysis (and were therefore not "true believers"), between 70-89% reported increased capacity for self assertion, greater energy, improved breathing, increased capacity to experience pleasure, improved physical health and self esteem, improvement in sexual functioning and capacity to love and unification of sexual and tender feelings in relationships, diminished chronic muscle tension and greater ability to cope with depression.

Dr. Alice Kahn Ladas
241 Central Park West
New York, NY 19002
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Phone: (212)873-1067 or (505)471-6791
Fax (212)873-1068

Original title: in German ... - ? -

Author: Dr. Ulrich Gudat

In: Psychotherapie Forum (1997),5: p.28-37

Bioenergetic Analysis as developed by Alexander Lowen can be briefly characterized as a psychotherapeutical method comprising psychoanalytic, body-related energetical, and social systemic aspects.  A post treatment study involving 309 finished outpatient therapies shows that bioenergetic analytical therapy may be applied to a wide range of mental and psychosomatic disorders.  In respect of the effects of the treatment clients gave high change ratings in a standardized change questionnaire (compared with other therapy studies using the same questionnaire.)   The therapists evaluate the results as most positive for some neurotic and for psychosomatic disorders; but also in the case of other mental disorders remarkable improvements are found.  Bioenergetic analysis is however not a short-term therapy.

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