Dr. Karambir Khalsa presenting his dissertation proposal at the International Transpersonal Conference (April 2019, Pacific Grove, California)

Gong Meditation as an Intervention for Individuals With Anxiety

Dr. Khalsa conducted dissertation research which explored the impact of gong meditation on markers associated with trait anxiety and found that listening to a recorded gong meditation daily for two weeks resulted in reduced trait anxiety when compared to controls as measured using the State Trait Inventory for Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety (STICSA). Findings also showed that listening to a recorded gong meditation daily for two weeks resulted in statistically higher levels of hypnotic trance (which is commonly considered an altered state of consciousness) when compared to controls as measured using the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI). Dr. Khalsa also measured biological markers (EEG, HRV) to determine any correlation between self-report data from the STICSA and PCI. Unfortunately, data were inconclusive and largely invalid due to the challenges of measuring data remotely due to COVID.

Future Research

The focus going forward is to develop competency in gathering and analyzing EEG and HRV data remotely, assuming COVID restrictions may continue for the foreseeable future. Dr. Khalsa’s dissertation study resulted in a moderate-to-large effect size when measuring trait anxiety using the STICSA on a small sample (n=26). G*Power was used to determine an appropriate sample size to reach an effect size of at least 0.80 with the result that approximately 120 participants would be needed. Given the small sample size and lack of validity for the biological measures, the study should be redesigned and re-run to eliminate unintended independent variables. Gong Tones is still in the startup phase and our immediate goal is to ensure sufficient funding to cover monthly expenses.  Our longer term goal is to secure funding through grants or donations to conduct the followup study discussed above. This would likely require upwards of $150,000. At present, the best we can do is to conduct research and development of the data collection and processing tools and processes so that when funding is available we are ready to move forward with confidence that our research will provide valid data for analysis.

To date, Gong Tones has successfully completed the following sound healing research studies:

  • Experimental Sound Study for neten, inc. of Japan
  • Dissertation research entitled Gong Meditation as an Intervention for Individuals With Anxiety

Both studies originally involved face-to-face interaction between the researcher and participants and were halted due to COVID-19. They were subsequently redesigned to minimize risk of transmitting COVID-19 using remote interaction between researcher and participants.

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