The Reaset Approach

(Study conducted by Tom Meyers for obtaining a BSc in the Science of Osteopathy at the Dresden International University, 2014)


Does the novel ‘Reaset Approach’ have an effect on the autonomic nervous system, state-trait anxiety and musculoskeletal pain in patients with work-related stress: a pilot study.


The evolution towards a more computerised work environment has changed the way we work and the way work is organized. These changes have given rise to new, psychosocial, physical and biological occupational health risks1 including work-related stress2, musculoskeletal disorders3, changes in the autonomic nervous system4 and anxiety5.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is foremost known for its efficacy on musculoskeletal disorders especially low-back pain6 however have also shown improvement in non-musculoskeletal conditions like trauma, neurologic7 and  autonomic nervous system disorders8.

This pilot study was conducted in order to determine the feasibility of a follow-up study and treatment efficacy of the ‘Reaset Approach’ - a novel biopsychosocial treatment approach based on the osteopathic tenets - on the autonomic nervous system, state and trait anxiety and musculoskeletal pain in subjects with work-related stress.


In total 15 subjects (30-50 years) with work-related stress and musculoskeletal pain were recruited and randomly assigned into 1 of 3 groups. Group 1 received a single 25 minute ‘Reaset Approach’ intervention on the body, group 2 on head and neck and group 3 on head, neck and body.

The effect on the autonomic nervous system was measured on the basis of short-term heart rate variability (HRV) and electro-dermal activity (EDA). Anxiety levels were assessed with the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and musculoskeletal pain was determined with the Short-Form McGill Pain questionnaire (SF-MPQ).


t0: Prior to the appointment, t1: Just before the intervention, t2: Immediately after the intervention, t3: 3 days after the intervention, t4: 21 days after the intervention

STAY Y-1: State Anxiety, STAI Y-2: Trait Anxiety, SF-MPQ: Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, HRV: Heart Rate Variability, EDA: Electro-Dermal Activity

B: Body, HN: Head and Neck, HNB: Head, Neck and Body


Autonomic nervous system: Compared to onset (t1) HRV parameter SDNN value increased after the intervention (t2) throughout the three groups in 13 of 15 subjects, while SD1 and SD2 increased in 12 of 15 subjects. Compared to onset (t1) EDA fell in 10 of 14 subjects after the intervention (t2). All reductions were with less then 1μS. 2 subjects in group B had an increase in EDA with more then 1μS.

Anxiety: Compared to onset (t1) state anxiety (STAI Y-1) reduced in all subjects and trait anxiety (STAI Y-2) reduced in 14 of 15 subjects after the intervention (t2).

Musculoskeletal pain: Compared to onset (t1) VAS reduced in all subjects but 1 (group B) after the intervention (t2), and was lower in all subjects 3 days after the intervention (t3). Total SF-MPQ reduced in all subjects after the intervention (t2) and overall measurements were still lower three days later (t3).


This pilot study determined that a follow-up study with a larger number of subjects can proceed subject to minor modifications.

The preliminary results as regards treatment effect indicate a measurable effect difference pre-post intervention and between groups on the autonomic nervous system (HRV), state and trait anxiety and musculoskeletal pain.

The intervention groups that included the head and neck intervention demonstrated better results that the body-only intervention.

The results invite further investigation in the biopsychosocial model and the inclusion of body-based practices in non-physical complaints.

Study in progress to obtain the title

‘Masters in the Science of Osteopathy’

(End date February 2016)

The effect of the Reaset Approach on the autonomic nervous system, musculoskeletal pain, state and trait anxiety and perceived stress in office workers: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial.


The Reaset Approach (Reaset in short) developed by Osteopath D.O. Tom Meyers, is a manual healing approach following the osteopathic principles that allows for a spontaneous return to ease of the body through a facilitators, gentle and passive touch on the cranium, limbs and body and thus increasing the rate of the ongoing but sometimes disrupted healing process.

The term ‘Reaset’ is an amalgam of the words ‘reset’ and ‘ease’. Reset is used in the sense of bringing a system to its normal condition (Merriam-Webster). Ease refers to freedom from pain or trouble, comfort of body or mind (Merriam-Webster) and being comfortable and free from stress (Wiktionary).

‘Approach’ is used as meaning ‘a way of dealing with’ (Oxford) and chosen instead of ‘technique’ to address the underlying notion that it is based on a dynamic principle and not a fixed modality.

‘Reaset’ is the manual application of a single self-organising toroidal shaped principle : EOD. This principle just like the breath cycle has 3 phases: a winding - engagement (inspiration), still-point and unwinding - disengagement (expiration) phase.

The role of the Reaset facilitators is to allow spontaneous dynamic processes to manifest themselves without interfering in them. For this the facilitator has to remove his Self during the phases and keep his attention as an observer on the dynamic processes that occur and not the result.

The BSc thesis:

“The effect of the Reaset Approach

on the autonomic nervous system, state-tait anxiety and musculoskeletal pain in

patients with work-related stress: A pilot study

is now available on Amazon