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„Pētīt biodeju ir kā pētīt dārgumus okeāna dzīlēs vai vērot Visumu pilnu ar neticamiem, skaistiem brīnumiem.”
/Dr. psych.profesors Markuss Štuks (Dr. M Stueck)/
 
M.Štuks Leipcigas universitātē 2006. gadā ir aizstāvējis Eiropā pirmo habilitātā doktora grādu par immoglobulīna izmaiņām cilvēku organismā bio-dejas ietekmē.
 
Abstrakts no M. Štuka pētījuma
„Biodeja, intervences forma, kas veicina veselības aizsardzību un labklājību, radās Dienvidamerikā un mudina pašizpausmi caur mūziku, deju un cilvēku mijiedarbību.
Kopš 1998 .gada  mēs esam pētījuši 10 sesiju biodejas programmas ietekmi uz 150 dalībnieku dažādiem psiholoģiskajiem (emociju regulāciju, veselību, personība psiholoģiju), fizioloģiskajiem (ādas reakciju, asinsspiedienu) un imonoloģiskajiem (immoglobulīna A) mainīgajiem.
 
Sākotnējie rezultāti no eksperimentālajiem kontroles grupu rādītājiem pētījumā Argentīnā un Vācijā atklāja būtiskas izmaiņas psiholoģiskajā veselībā un personības rādītājos pēc 3 mēnešiem.
Pēc turpmākajiem 3 mēnešiem bez biodejas sesijām, panāktais efekts stabilizējās. Tas parāda, ka regulārai, ilgtermiņa dalībai biodejas nodarbībās bija pozitīva ietekme uz dalībnieku pieredzi un uzvedību.” 
 

Profesors Markus Štuks

 
Profesors Markus Štuks ir godalgots pētnieks pasaules slavenajā Psiholoģijas Institūtā Leipcigas Universitātē, Vācijā. 
1995.gadā, zinātniskās ekspedīcijas laikā pētot uzvedības un fiziologiskās reakcijas augstkalnu alpīnistiem Andos, viņs sastapās ar biodeju. 
Kopš tā laika viņš ir veltījis daudz no savas profesionālās dzīves, lai empīriski pētītu biodeju un tās uzvedības un fizioloģisko ietekmi uz dalībniekiem. Viņs ir arī biodejas pasniedzējs.
 

 

Zinātniskais raksts:

Can we dance our way to stress reduction and health?
Effects of a new psychological intervention method, “Biodanza”, on the subjective feeling of relaxation and Immunoglobulin A. 
 
Marcus Stück, Katja Horn, Katrin Bauer, Alejandra Villegas, Raul Terren, Veronica Toro, Louis Mazzarrella, Annalie Pauw, Ulrich Sack
 
Marcus Stück, PhD: Institute of Applied Psychology, University of Leipzig, Seeburgstr. 14-20, D-04103 Leipzig phone: 0341 9735956; fax: 0341 9735958; email: stueck@rz.uni-leipzig.de / www.bildungsgesundheit.de
 
Katja Horn, MSc: Institute of Applied Psychology, University of Leipzig, Seeburgstr. 14-20, D-04103 Leipzig; phone: 0341 9735956; fax: 0341 9735958 
 
Katrin Bauer: Institute of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion medicine, University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 30, D-04103 Leipzig, phone: 0341 9725503; fax: 0341 9725839; email: bauk@medizin.uni-leipzig.de
 
Alejandra Villegas, Msc: Institute of Applied Psychology, University of Leipzig, Seeburgstr. 14-20, D-04103 Leipzig email: villegas@rz.uni-leipzig.de 
 
Raul Terren, Veronica Toro, Louis Mazzarrella, Universidad Abierta Interamericana, B. Aires 
Chacabuco 90 - 1° Piso, Capital Federal - Tel. 4342-7788 (Rotativas) - uai@vaneduc.edu.ar 
 
Annalie Pauw, Department of Psychology, University of Pretoria, South  Africa: phone 02712 4204924; fax 02712 4202404; email: apauw@postino.up.ac.za
 
Ulrich Sack, MD/PhD: Institute of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion medcine [medicine], University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 30, D-04103 Leipzig
phone: 0341 9725503; fax: 0341 9725828; email: mail@ulrichsack.de
 
Corresponding author: Marcus Stück 
Keywords: Biodanza, Stressmanagement, Immunoglobuline A 
 
Running title: Psycho-immunological process evaluation Biodanza
 
Abstract
Biodanza is a form of intervention intended to further health and well-being by encouraging self-expression and autoregulation through music, dance and interaction. It originates from South America and was developed by Rolando Toro. To date, no studies exist which consider the effects of dance-oriented psychological autoregulation methods on IgA in the saliva. This study is a response to this lack and examines the effects of Biodanza on the secretion of Immunoglobulin A in saliva and the subjective feeling of relaxation before and after the Biodanza sessions. The design of this study is the same as the one used in the study published in this journal concerning IgA and Yoga (Stück et al., 2003). In this former publication, which was a process-evaluation study of a Yoga-based stress management training for teachers involving 11 subjects (mean age 41.6 years), the subjective feeling of relaxation and Immunoglobulin A (IgA in saliva) were measured before and after ten training sessions. IgA was found to increase in saliva in 6 out of 10 sessions significantly (p≤.05) and in one session as significant tendency (p≤.1). The subjective feeling of relaxation, measured on a 17-point scale (17 levels: not relaxed = 1; very much relaxed=17) (Stück et al., 2005), increased in 8 out of 10 sessions significantly (p≤.05) and in one session as significant tendency (p≤.1). The authors hold in particular the auto-regulative effects of yoga and meditation responsible for these effects. In this current article, the influence of Biodanza was investigated on 13 subjects by examining the influence of 10 Biodanza sessions on psychological (feeling of relaxation) and immunological (IgA) variables. Subjects showed a significant increase (p≤.05) in Immunogloblin A (IgA) in 6 of 10 sessions. Significant psychological improvements in the feeling of relaxation were observed after 7 out of 10 sessions (p≤.05). We conclude that Biodanza-sessions have similar positive effects as Yoga-sessions on the subjective feeling of relaxation as well as on secreted IgA and thereby on the immune response.
 
Keywords: Biodanza, Immunglobuline A, Stress Management 
 
1    Introduction
 
Can we dance our way to stress reduction and health? A new psychological intervention method, Biodanza, may give the answer. The international work organisation of the UNO estimates that stress is involved in the development of disease in 70% of cases (Hecht, 1999). Cardio arrest, hypertension, insomnia, gastro-intestinal maladies, chronic back pain and burnout are named as typical reactions to stress. A study dealing with the improvement of life and work conditions in Europe found that stress at work can be linked to cardio-vascular diseases in 16% of cases for men and 22% of cases for women (Hecht, 1999). There is general empirical evidence demonstrating correlations between higher stroke risks, low degrees of freedom at the job accompanied by time pressure, pressure to perform and low social support.  In 1998/1999, in the context of a representative study among the workforce of Germany, the institute for labour market and occupational research (IAB) and the federal office for vocational training (BIBB) reported that 46% of the employees had perceived an increase in stress at the workplace in the last two years.
Definition of Stress and stress reduction:
 
Basics of Stress and Stress coping:
Although there are several different theories and definitions describing the phenomenon of stress, one central feature can be found in all of them: stress is an essential psychological and physiological reaction to coping with threatening problems. Acute stress is a necessary part of our lives and benefits us by evoking an arousal that helps us to achieve optimal performance. However, if stress and the corresponding arousal lasts for a longer period of time and the individual does not manage to succeed in his or her endeavour, we find a state of constant mobilisation and a using up of energy reserves which results in harmful restrictions in physical and psychological well-being. This state is also called chronic stress. To reduce states of chronic stress, the individual concerned needs help. Generally, two ways exist to influence this state (Stück, 1998; Schröder, 1999): (1) Changes in demands, and (2) changes to the following regulation strategies: 
a) Environmental regulation: Individuals learn how to deal more efficiently with concrete demands or problems in the social or organisational contexts (e.g. problem solving strategies, improvement of time management).
b) Auto-regulation: Individuals learn how to bring their impaired internal balance back to homeostasis through different self-regulation methods (e.g. autogenic training, yoga, meditation, Biodanza).    
Auto-regulation can be seen as a prerequisite for acting successfully in stressful situations. Auto-regulative methods balance out emotions, improve relaxation, general well-being, and mood, decrease muscle tension and lead to further relaxation effects seen as the parasympathic antagonist of stress reactions. A proven effect is the optimising of vegetative balance that has far-reaching psychological consequences: less aggression, lower anxiety, improved ability to concentrate (Ebert, 1986; Stück, 2000; Lüdtke & Stück, 2003). Many studies have been conducted which show the effects of stress treatment programs on these variables (Reschke & Schröder, 2000). 
 
Stress and Immune system (IgA):
It could also be shown that improved auto-regulation is connected to increased Immunglobulin A levels (Kaschka & Aschauer, 1990) Immunglobulin A (IgA) is an antibody of a specific humoral immune response (Birbaumer & Schmidt, 1999). IgA acts as a first line of defence against complaints such as upper-respiratory tract infections (Roitt et al., 1991).  IgA can be measured in the saliva.  Due to the dense innervation of the salivary glands and the connection with neuropsychological regulation mechanisms, IgA levels are closely related to aspects of emotional experience (Klosterhalfen & Klosterhalfen, 1990; Schedlowski, 1993; Kugler, 1991). Previous studies have shown a significant correlation between psychological relaxation and an increase in IgA in the saliva (Kugler et al., 1992; Tomasi, 1976). An increase in IgA in the saliva can be taken as a sign of improved specific immunological defense. IgA is particularly suited for immunological field studies because it can be measured noninvasively in the saliva (Hennig, 1994; Jemmott et al., 1983). There are few publications evaluating psycho-neuro-immunological training programs or the effects of such training programs on IgA at more than two points of measurement. The existing studies refer to examinations of a single relaxation session or to results in which the IgA was measured immediately before and after only a single session (table 1). 
 
 
A similar study that showed the effects of an intervention process with more than two measurement points was carried out September to December 2000 in Leipzig (Stück et al., 2003). A ten-week Yoga-based stress-reduction course (10 sessions, each session lasted for two hours) was developed and given to teachers from Leipzig (Germany). 
In an accompanying process-evaluation study with 11 subjects (mean age 41.6 years), the subjective feeling of relaxation and Immunoglobulin A (IgA in saliva) were measured before and after ten training sessions.  Here, IgA levels increased in saliva in 6 out of 10 sessions significant (p≤.05). In one session was shown a significant tendency (p≤.1). The subjective feeling of relaxation, which was measured using a 17-point scale (17 levels: not relaxed = 1; very much relaxed=17) (Stück et al., 2003), increased in eight out of ten sessions (p≤.05). In one session was shown a significant tendency (p≤.1). The authors hold, in particular, the auto-regulative effects of yoga and meditation responsible for these effects. 
In this study we will use the same design as the one mentioned above (Stück et al., 2003). To date, no studies exist which show the effects of dance-oriented, psychological, auto-regulation methods on IgA in the saliva. The aim of this study then is to measure effects of Biodanza on the secretion of Immunoglobulin A in saliva and on the subjective feeling of relaxation before and after the Biodanza sessions. We assume that the subjective rating of relaxation and the IgA levels, which can be seen as reflecting the mucosal immune state, can be enhanced by Biodanza. With this study we do not aim to track long-term effects, as IgA undergoes significant fluctuations across seasons of the year.
The question may arise as to why we are first presenting Biodanza, a relatively new method of self-regulation, in the context of an empirical, peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Meditation and Meditation Research?  What does Biodanza, or dance as such, have to do with meditation?  Biodanza was developed in South America in the 1960s by R. Toro, a Chilean psychologist. R.Terren, a Biodanza teacher from B.Aires (Argentina), introduced it to Yoga practitioners in Switzerland in the 1970s.  This fact is no coincidence, as both methods Yoga/Meditation and Biodanza are a form of auto-regulatory intervention intended to reduce stress, improve health, and expand or change consciousness. Those familiar with meditation will easily recognize the similarities and differences in the following description of Biodanza.  As Biodanza is relatively unknown, we will take the time to paint a relatively comprehensive picture of this method.
 
What is Biodanza?
According to Toro (1995), Biodanza is intended to encourage psychophysiological self-organisation (self-regulation).  The experiences in the context of this intervention aim to mobilise “powers of self-healing” and thereby increase feelings of self-confidence and joy.  In this way, Biodanza concentrates not so much on the problems but on a person’s available resources.  It works towards facilitating access to the individual abilities and strengths already present.  Toro (1995) developed a theoretical model for Biodanza.  We will explain the basic concepts of this theoretical model (TM) in the following section.
 
Integration:
An important goal of Biodanza is, in addition to achieving a balanced or well-regulated internal state, the establishment of a state of human integration in the context of the struggle to express one’s individual, genetically-determined potential (vertical aspect of TM). Biswanger (1973) was the first to mention the concept of human integration.  In Biodanza, integration manifests itself in three aspects:
The first aspect, affective-psychomotor integration of the individual, focuses on establishing individual synchrony between thoughts, feelings, and actions.
The second aspect, social integration, refers to the integration of the relationships between members of the same species.
Finally, the third aspect involves the integration of the original relationship between man and nature and the awareness of man’s involvement in the greater totality of the cosmos.
The integration takes places by means of the stimulation of the primal life functions, from which we are constantly separated by the forces of culture (Toro, 1995).  Characteristic of the fundamental vision in Biodanza, the integration of the three aspects takes place simultaneously, interactively, and not consecutively (Garcia, 1997).
 
Identity and Regression:
The horizontal access of the theoretical model represents the continuum between the poles of identity and regression (Garcia, 1997).  This continuum refers to the natural alternation between the various states of consciousness and leads to the integration process.  
The extreme end of the identity pole is our essence - the intimate feeling of being truly oneself.  In this state of consciousness, the world is seen from the very personal standpoint of the individual and a differentiation between subject and other subjects or, in other words, a subject-object differentiation, is possible.  Identity is the consciousness and the experience of being.  Identity is not static, but changes in every moment without losing the essence of its being.  In other words, identity is a heightened awareness of ourselves, in which we can feel ourselves intensely and are active (waking state).  A physical dimension of identity is movement, which is to say that the physical level of identity expresses itself by means of, among other things, dance.
Regression is a state of undifferentiated perception and relaxation involving the dissolution of identity.  Regression is the reduction or revocation of willed, cortical activity.  This state has a healing, regenerative effect on the organism by stimulating homeostasis.  In Biodanza, the regressive state is an experience of harmony of the primal life functions, such as, for example, the instincts.  In a state of regression, we are in touch with our healthy essence, which is distinctly separate from cultural and repressive values.  In this state, we strengthen the balance and stability of the living system.
Expanding further on the theory represented in the horizontal aspect of his model (identity vs. regression), Toro concluded that every disorder in the biopsychosocial system “man” must have an appropriate musical stimulus and an integrating exercise connected with it.  He developed the first Biodanza exercises corresponding to one of the two poles in his model (see table 2).  He used particular music to reinforce the identity pole (euphoric rhythms), and other music to induce states of regression.
 
 
Experience as the Basic Method in Biodanza:
Toro (1995) emphasised that Biodanza is a technique.  This Biodanza technique is based on the induction of experiences, the vivencias10.  The concept of experience in Biodanza is drawn from the philosopher and pedagogue W. Dilthey (cited in Kallen, 2003).  Dilthey postulated that it was the role of the arts to understand the human world, “to the extent that human states are experienced, to the extent that they are expressed and to the extent that these expressions are understood”.  Biodanza has adopted this principle, encouraging the experience of authentic expression of feelings and an intense state of being.  Experience is the intense and passionate perception of being alive in the here and now.  It involves intuitively perceiving the moment with maximum intensity and goes beyond rational understanding (Garcia, 1997).  Subjective experience takes place in the present.  Rational understanding is an interpretation of the present and is retrospective or prospective (e.g., fantasies, imaginings).  Experiences or vivencias in Biodanza are evoked by music, dance, song, and interpersonal contacts within a group, and are expressed in the five lines of potential.  They influence the immunological, physiological, endocrinological, and emotional compensatory processes of an organism and have healing, regenerative effects (organic renewal, Garcia 1997).
 
The Lines of Experiences (vivencias):
An important aspect in the definition of Biodanza is the learning, or re-learning, of primal life functions, such as, for example, being in contact with human instincts.  According to Toro (1995), common life functions or basic human potentials exist in all humans.  He called this the five lines of experience.  Depending upon their genetic potential, all humans develop 5 potentials in 5 lines of experience.  These consist of vitality, emotionality, creativity, sexuality, and transcendence.  These five levels of experience are connected to one another and reinforce each other.  According to ideas of Biodanza, the path to health and the maintenance of health, which is to say, the achievement of inner balance, involves allowing all of these potentials to express themselves.  Through Biodanza, all levels can be stimulated and harmonised.  In the following, the possible effects of these so-called “five lines” as outlined in Biodanza by Toro (1995) will be described briefly:
- Vitality (meaning health, alternation between activity and relaxation, joy):
The vivencias for vitality are intended to revitalise the body, lead to improved health, 
increase physical auto-regulation, and uncover or discover the joy of living and serving 
the life force.
- Sexuality (referring to the ability to experience pleasure, reproduction, sexual connection):
The vivencias for sexuality increase the ability to experience pleasure, strengthen sexual identity, improve the ability to make contact with others and increase sensual sensitivity.
- Creativity (means innovation, construction, imagination):
The vivencias for creativity stimulate abilities in expression and the ability to structure one’s life in a meaningful way.  Different forms of expression can be experimented with on this level and new creative possibilities of expression can be found.
- Emotionality (referring to sensitivity, love, friendship, altruism):
The viviencias of emotionality make a sensitive re-orientation possible, as well as enable 
new access to emotions.  Furthermore, more appropriate forms of emotional regulation 
and empathy can be learned, which can then be used in dealing with oneself as well as in 
developing emotional relationships with others.
- Transcendence (refers to an expansion in consciousness, connection with nature, a feeling of belonging in the universe):
The vivencias of transcendence attempt to expand consciousness and create a harmonic, holistic, integrative perspective on the world.
 
Protovivencias:
The development of identity is a life-long process that is influenced by our first experiences, the protovivencias9.  The source of the 5 lines of experiences or of our identity is our primal, intra-uterinal experiences, our so-called oceanic experiences (Jung, 1980).  In the first six months of life, these primal, oceanic experiences are differentiated by means of sudden flash experiences (flash-learning) and as a response to internal and external stimuli.  The oceanic experiences are differentiated into the following protovivencias (Timbergen, 1952, cited in Lopez, 1952):
- The protovivencia connected to vitality results from the baby’s movement and is based on the fluctuation between activity and relaxation or the experiences of arousal and rest.
- Sexuality is connected to the protovivencia associated with skin contact and affection.
- Creativity develops out of the expression of an infant’s curiosity.
- Emotionality is connected with the protovivencia associated with eating and protection.
- Transcendence develops out of the protovivencia associated with the harmony that a baby perceives in his or her environment.
 
In the table that follows (table 3), we have presented descriptions of the 5 lines of experiences (vivencias) and the associated experiences, emotions and feelings.  If one has, for example, experienced the protovivencia of protection as a baby, then one can later develop altruism, which is considered the associated adaptive experience.  If a person has not experienced sufficient protection, then it is relatively likely that the person will later exhibit fewer altruistic behaviours.
 
 
The lines are connected with each other and can reinforce each other.  They take their own individual course in a person’s life, depending on the stimuli from the environment, the eco-factors.  The goal of Biodanza is to express the genetic potentials a person has in the 5 lines of experience and integrate these experiences and behaviours so as to make the person a biopsychosocial whole (vertical aspect of the theoretical model).
 
Genetic Potential and Eco-factors:
The development of all beings follows along the lines of genetically inherited potentials.  The DNA within every cell contains the entire biological information needed for the complete development of the individual.  This information manifests itself in the network of the lines of vivencias.  Whether or not the genetic potential is able to unfold depends upon the eco-factors.  A large part of our potential remains only a “possibility” (potency) due to a lack of sufficient stimulation or to suppression.  Positive eco-factors are stimuli and conditions that encourage the development of the potentials.  According to Toro (cited in Kallen, 2003), however, people of our culture are exposed to a strong network of negative eco-factors. To counteract this, in one of his Biodanza sessions, Toro attempts to create a field of positive eco-factors in which the genetic potentials are stimulated.
 
Research on Biodanza:
Since 1998, we have been studying the influence of Biodanza and investigating different psychological (e.g. emotion regulation, health psychology), physiological (e.g. skin response, blood pressure) and immunological (specific, non-specific immune response) parameters (Stueck & Villegas, 2008).  We have collaborated with several universities and institutes (e.g. University of Leipzig, Institute for Stress Research Berlin, University Abierta Interamericana B. Aires), as well as the Biodanza school Buenos Aires. Approximately 150 persons have taken part in this investigation, which is based on an Experimental-Control-Group-Design. We were able to demonstrate that Biodanza is able to enhance well-being and personal resources and prevent states of stress. Biodanza improved psychophysiological self-organisation, a work-related capacity to act, and self-efficacy. A special effect is seen in the modulation and balancing of different emotional states (e.g. improves anger control, optimism) (Villegas et al., 1999, 2000). With respect to the results of our evaluation studies, Biodanza gains particular importance when we consider the health political mandate of the World Health Organisation, which seeks progressive health development and primary prevention of stress states.
To conclude, it can be said that Biodanza is a type of intervention for stress reduction that has two primary components:  integration and auto-regulation. We suspect positive effects of Biodanza on our experience of relaxation and on our immune system (for example, IgA), in particular by means of Biodanza’s auto-regulative impact.  Consequently, and in light of former studies and results, our central research question is: What is the effect of Biodanza on IgA and on the feeling of relaxation in the process of ten sessions?  
 
2 Method
 
Investigated Biodanza-programm:
The formal structure of the Biodanza intervention is as follows:  10 two-hour-long Biodanza sessions were attemded by participants. Before every class, the participants were given the opportunity to talk about the experiences they had had in the previous session or ask any questions.  The sessions were put together by two experienced Biodanza teachers, who are also the directors of the Biodanza School Buenos Aires, namely Raul Terren and Veronica Toro. The sessions were led by the psychologist and teacher of Biodanza A. Villegas (Mendoza/Argentina). The conceptualisation and the administration of these sessions are based on the theoretical Biodanza model (see above).
The different dances within the Biodanza sessions were designed to go through the states of identity (sympathetic) and regression (parasympathetic) (see figure 1).
 
 
At the beginning of the Biodanza sessions (1), activating dances or vivencias were performed (rhythmic dances, walking).  Relaxing, flowing exercises followed (flow dances, segment exercises), in order to lead participants gradually towards regression (2) (rocking circle, compact groups).  At the end of the session, the state of identity was once again strengthened by means of activating dances (samba, walzes, etc.).
In table 4, the main exercises performed in the Biodanza intervention across the 10 sessions are presented.  Every session was made up of 12 exercises or dances.  In the process of the sessions, dances were repeated or new dances were introduced, according to the progression illustrated in the Biodanza model curve (see figure 1). 
 
 
Sample procedure:
An experimental group of 13 participants took part in the Biodanza-sessions for 10 weeks (September-December 2000). It was a group intervention, so all participants took part at the same time. Participants were healthy teachers from Leipzig (Germany) without any indications of immunopathological processes. Each session lasted for two hours. 10 participants were female, 3 subjects were male.  The mean age was 43.08 (SD: 7.55) years. The experimental group was chosen by request. All participants were non-smokers who reported no current illnesses or medication use.
 
Saliva collection and analysis:
IgA in the saliva was measured before and after each session. The saliva samples were taken by means of sample tubes with an integrated cotton sponge (Salivette, Greiner, Frickenhausen, Germany). The saliva was collected passively (without chewing) within a time period of 2 minutes. In this way we were able to consider the IgA secretion flow rate and the volume of saliva. The saliva samples were kept frozen at –80 °C until analysis. The saliva was separated from the cotton sponge by a centrifuge and gathered in the lower part of the Salivette. Five µl of each undiluted saliva sample were placed on radial immuno-diffusion plates for testing secretory IgA (The Binding Side, Birmingham, U.K.). The diameter of the resulting precipitate ring was measured after 96 hours. 
 
Materials for measurement of subjective feeling of relaxation:
Before and after the sessions, participants rated the subjective feeling of relaxation on a 17-point scale (17 levels not relaxed = 1; very much relaxed=17). This scale was developed by Binz and Wendt (Stück et al., 2005). 
The obtaining of the data for IgA and the subjective feeling of relaxation before and after the Biodanza sessions took place according to the following pattern:  first all participants were asked to give a sample of saliva at the same time and, shortly thereafter, were asked to fill out the rating scale.
 
Statistical analysis:
For the comparison of the pre- and post-measurements, a t-test for grouped samples was calculated. Effect sizes for t-tests (dependent samples) were processed with the following formula: d’ =  .
 
3 Results
The psychological measurements of the subjective experience of relaxation due to the training sessions, which were assessed at the same time as the saliva sampling before and after each session, showed 7 significant pre-post changes (p < .05) (Table 5). In the second, third and ninth sessions, no significant difference was reported, but effect sizes point to a substantial increase. 
 
The concentration of secretory immunoglobulin A before and after each session differed in 6 out of 10 sessions significantly (p≤.05) (Table 6). In the 7st, 8th, 9th and 10th sessions, we found no significant differences between pre and post measures. 
 
 
The measures of the subjective feeling of relaxation and IgA showed a substantial moderate correlation of r = .23 (p<.01).
 
The effect sizes in the first 6 sessions (≥1.05) of Biodanza point towards a large difference between pre and post measures of IgA. The lack of effects from the seventh session onward may be due to an increase in pre IgA-values. In spite of methodological limitations, we want to present a first impression in table 7 by showing a statistical comparison of the participants’ IgA-pre-values (t-test for dependent samples) for the first and last sessions.  This should prove helpful for further examinations of the long-term effects of Biodanza (see table 7).
 
 
 
4 Discussion
 
With this pilot study, we were investigating the effects of Biodanza on the secretion of Immunoglobulin A and on the subjective feeling of relaxation. 
The subjective evaluation of the state of relaxation proved to be between 8 and 13 raw points in the 10 pre-measures. Participants felt slightly uneasy, grumpy and nervous before the sessions. After seven out of ten sessions, the state of mind of participants changed and became more calm, relaxed, and self-composed. All effect sizes point towards a real difference between pre and post measures of relaxation in the 10 sessions. The subjective relaxation measures drawn from participants in the Yoga-based training sessions showed significant pre-post changes in eight out of ten sessions (Stück et al., 2003). 
The results of the IgA measure before and after each session showed a significant post-session increase in 6 out of 10 sessions (p≤.05). We hold the effects of Biodanza responsible for the effects we found. The measurement of Immunglobulin A taken in the context of the Yoga-based training sessions (Stück, et al., 2003) showed significant pre-post changes in 6 out of 10 sessions (p≤.05, in one session significant tendency: p≤.1) (Stück et al., 2003). Therefore, the auto-regulative effects found in the participants of the Biodanza intervention are comparable to those found in participants of the Yoga-based training sessions. This finding can be further supported by other studies with adults, which have found moderate correlations between auto-regulative trainings and increases in the secretion of IgA (Green & Green, 1987; Jasnoski & Kugler, 1987; Green, Green & Santoro, 1988). These studies were all based on two points of measurement. Our studies concerning Biodanza and the Yoga-study (Stück et al., 2003) are the first to examine these effects based on 10 points of measurement.
Although it would have been interesting, we did not intend to look systematically at the possible long-term effect of the training on Immunoglobulin A production in this study. For this purpose, we would have needed a larger sample with a control group, as IgA-levels are subject to circadian influences over the seasons of a year, which can hardly be controlled. Our inferential statistical analysis showed a significant difference between participants’ first and last sessions to a 10% significance level (p=.09*). This difference suggests a long-term effect of Biodanza, although it needs to be interpreted with caution due to the methodological limitations mentioned above. Thus, long-term effects should be a subject for further research.
Based on the results, we can answer the initial research question as follows: Yes, we can dance our way to better stress reduction and health. Biodanza is able to achieve a significant effect with regard to the improvement of the IgA level in the saliva. This fact speaks for immuno-enhancing effects that should reduce the susceptibility to minor infections. With respect to the subjective experience of relaxation, Biodanza has a particularly positive effect on this autoregulative aspect of stress reduction. 
We suggest the following for future research in the field of immunological and psychological evaluations of Biodanza: Further research should address the issue of gender specific differences in the effects of Biodanza on immunological parameters. In order to be able to assess circadian influences on the human organism and thus be able to properly interpret our results, further evaluation studies related to this topic should be carried out. Furthermore, it would be interesting to explore which changes of emotional well-being correlate with changes in IgA concentration, and whether a correlation between personality factors and secretory Immunoglobuline A exists.
 
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