Preliminary Research into the Effects of Higher Brain Living on Well-being

David Seagull, MSW

 

ABSTRACT

Context • Higher Brain Living (HBL) is a light-touch therapy, which practitioners claim can increase well-being.  Although studies have suggested that its component elements—light touch, focused breathing, and positive self-talk—can increase well-being for specific populations in specific contexts, no empirical research has occurred on HBL’s efficacy.

Objective • The study intended to measure the effects of HBL therapy on the well-being of individuals who have received it.

Design • The research team designed a quasi-experimental controlled trial that used a survey to gather self-reported data related to well-being.

Setting • The study took place in individual HBL practitioners’ locations throughout the USA.

Participants • Participants were adults who had attended an introductory presentation about HBL.

Intervention • Participants were assigned to one of three groups: (1) the intervention group, who had responded to the baseline and postintervention surveys and had participated in HBL sessions (n = 14); (2) the control group, who had responded to the baseline and postintervention surveys and had not participated in HBL sessions (n = 9); and (3) the noncompleter group who had responded to the baseline surveys and had not completed the postintervention survey (n = 54).

Outcome Measures • Well-being was assessed using five measures that evaluated constructs associated with well-being: (1) happiness using the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), (2) anxiety using the Anxiety Index (AI), (3) depression using  Depression Index (DI) (4) mastery using the Pearlin Mastery Scale (PM), and (5) flourishing using the Flourishing Scale (FS).

Results • The study included baseline data from 77 respondents; 23 participants completed the surveys at baseline and postintervention, 14 in the intervention group and 9 in the control group. A statistically significant, greater improvement occurred for the intervention group in the measures for flourishing, mastery, and happiness compared to the control group.

Conclusions • The current study provides a foundation of empirical evidence suggesting the effectiveness of HBL as a potential treatment for improving well-being, upon which further investigation can be based. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2022;36(2):8-13.)

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