Heart disease patients now have a new way to combat symptoms: listen to music. At least that’s the conclusion made by a team of Temple University researchers. It seems that listening to music could help to lower your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure — all key risk factors for
those suffering from cardiovascular problems.
The team of researchers belongs to the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center at Temple University. They looked at the results of 23 previous studies. In total, 1,461 patients were analyzed. All of the patients were given music to listen to either during a cardiac procedure or within two days of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease.
Patients who listened to music (which tended to fall into the category of mellow, slow-tempo tunes) recorded lower breathing rates, heart rates, and blood pressure. The research team also discovered that these calming effects were strongest when the patients were allowed to choose their own musical selections. A patient’s pulse rate, for example, fell by more beats per minute when they choose
their own music compared with those who listened to music selected by researchers.
Music therapy could do more than help your heart, of course. It could increase positive social interactions, positive emotions, and motivation in patients, too. When music therapy is combined with traditional therapy, researchers note that it improves rates of recovery, and emotional and social problems in stroke victims. One study examined the impact of music therapy when combined with
traditional stroke therapy in a community-based rehabilitation program. Thirty-three stroke survivors were randomized into one of two groups. One group was an experimental group, which combined rhythmic music and specialized rehabilitation movement for eight weeks. The second group was a control group that received referral information for traditional therapy. Results of the study
showed that participants in the experimental group gained more flexibility, wider range of motion, more positive moods, and increased frequency and quality of social interactions.
For anyone who is a closet pop or Broadway star, here’s some motivation to give karaoke a try. In another study focusing on stroke victims, researchers examined the incorporation of music along with therapeutic exercises on pain perception. Over the course of eight weeks, stroke victims participated in exercises using the hand, wrist and shoulder joints in combination with one of the three music
therapies: song, karaoke accompaniment, or no music. Patients participated in each therapy once and then rated their perceived pain immediately after the session. The researchers discovered that there was a significantly more positive effect while performing upper extremity exercises with both music and karaoke accompaniment.
And remember, you can always get more natural health advice, the latest alternative health breakthroughs and news, plus information about nutrition, alternative remedies and cures and doctors health advice, all free when you sign up for the Bel Marra Newsletter. Visit http://www.belmarra.ca/belmarra_health_news.php now to find out how to start your free subscription.