Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch (1863-1944) painted The Scream in 1893, now in the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. He created four versions on cardboard: two are in pastel and two are painted. I photographed this one (painted in brushstrokes) when it was exhibited at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris in the “Keys to a Passion” exhibition (April to July 2015).
Primal scream therapy was introduced in the 1970s as an approach to relieve stress. Physiologically, screaming releases hormones – and endorphins – which produce a ‘natural high’ as well as releasing anger and frustration. It is cathartic. After the release, people generally feel more positive and calm.
Experts do not recommend unsupervised scream sessions (i.e. alone). Usually, this method is recommended as part of a program with a medical practitioner or psycho-social practitioner or organisation so that deeper issues can be addressed.
For once-off, or short-term practice, try the following:
- Find a place – a room, a garden, or a remote place.
- Scream out loud. Generally one scream is enough, but it can be as many as you like. Be careful that you don’t harm your throat.
- If you are in a room with close proximity to other people, shout into a pillow to muffle the sound of the scream.
- Commercially, The ScreamBox – a small foam box that absorbs sound waves – can be used to reduce noise.
People from different cultures often adopt a technique similar to the primal scream therapy, such as … yell it out.
Some people start the day with a brief shout, or yell, before a walk or before exercise, to release tension. Experts say it is good for the lungs.
It is similar to shouting after stubbing a toe or hurting yourself, instead of bottling in a scream. It feels good to let out a grunt of pain.
Athletes often emit a short, quick grunt or groan or yell or scream in preparation for an event. It is a forceful emission of breath. Psychologists think that a grunt, in this way, improves strength.
Scream therapy is not intended to be a rant or screaming at other people. It is a release of a scream or shout into the air (or pillow), to no one, and without words of aggression.
A primal scream may help individuals, but family, friends, neighbours, and strangers may feel uncomfortable or worried when they hear someone screaming and yelling.
Research has shown that a scream, a shout, may induce or activate feelings of fear in people who hear the scream.
Scream therapy and scream activities do not necessarily address core issues.
“You would think it best to save your breath for running, but I often find screaming helps.” – Mark Lawrence, Prince of Fools
“You call it demonic because you hear screaming, I call it life saving because I hear the meaning.” – Mitch Lucker
DISCLAIMER: This website’s author does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician or psychologist, either directly or indirectly. Therefore, information provided here is not intended to replace readers’ existing or other medical, psychological, financial, or legal advice. The author’s intent is to offer general information to help readers in their quest for emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, guidance towards self-empowerment, and/or for entertainment purposes only. Rainy Day Healing and Martina Nicolls shall not be held accountable for any loss which may arise from any readers’ reliance and implementation of any information provided. For information on courses and personal consultations, see TERMS AND CONDITIONS.