The effects of chanting on respiratory function and general well-being in individuals with mild to severe depression were tested in this pilot study. A total of 10 women and 1 man participated in this 8-week-long chanting program. All of the participants had been previously diagnosed with mild to severe depression.
Several testing measures were employed. All subjects filled out a preliminary screening questionnaire and took the Beck Depression Inventory at the beginning of the study prior to their first chanting class and at the last meeting before chanting started. A 5-point Likert Scale Questionnaire was administered before and after each session. Spirometry was used to evaluate subjects' FVC, FEV, and FET. Each subject also self-administered pre and post peak/flow tests, taking the best of three forced exhalations before and after each chanting session.
At the end of 8 weeks, our results showed that participants increased their breath control and overall expiratory output level. Additionally, 10 of our 11 subjects surveyed showed an increase in their overall mood on the Beck Depression Inventory. The score for one participant remained the same. Preliminary results from this pilot study indicate that chanting is an effective means of increasing people's moods in the immediate present, as well as over an extended period of time in which chanting is performed at least once per week.