Positive effects, side effects, and adverse events of clinical holistic medicine. A review of Gerda Boyesen's nonpharmaceutical mind-body medicine (biodynamic body-psychotherapy) at two centers in the United Kingdom and Germany

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2009 Jul-Sep;21(3):281-97. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2009.21.3.281.


To review adverse events of intensive, clinical holistic medicine (CHM) as it is practiced in holistic body-psychotherapy in England and Germany. Gerda Boyesen's "biodynamic body-psychotherapy" (BBP) is an intensive type of holistic mind-body medicine used by Boyesen at two centers.

Methods: About 13,500 patients were treated during 1985-2005 period and studied for side effects and adverse events. The first author worked closely with Boyesen 1995-2005 with full insight in all aspects of the therapy and provided the data on side-effects.

Results: Therapy helped chronic patients with physical, psychological, sexual, psychiatric and existential problems to improve health, ability, and quality of life (NNT (number needed to treat) = 1-3). Effective in the treatment of mentally ill patients (schizophrenia, anxiety, poor mental health, low general ability). For retraumatization, brief reactive psychosis, depression, depersonalization and derealization, implanted memories, side effects from manipulations of the body, suicide/suicide attempts, hospitalization for physical and mental health problem during or 90 days after treatment, NNH (number needed to harm) > 13,500.

Interpretation: Intensive, holistic non-drug medicine is helpful for physical, sexual, psychological, psychiatric and existential problems and is completely safe for the patient. The therapeutic value TV = NNH/NNT > 5,000. Altogether about 18,000 patients treated with different subtypes of CHM in four different countries have now been evaluated for effects, side effects and adverse events, with similar results.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mind-Body Therapies*
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Kingdom