Lower it with Music

During these stressful times, you may feel tense and anxious. These feelings may raise your blood pressure, adding to your concerns. Try this: Put on some peaceful music, close your eyes, and bask in the serenity. Odds are you’ll soon feel more relaxed and calm, and your blood pressure should be lower.

Blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries. Every time your heart beats, normally about 60-70 times a minute at rest, it pumps blood out to the arteries. Your blood pressure is the highest during heart beats, when it is pumping the blood. This is what is known as systolic pressure. Between beats, when the heart is at rest, your blood pressure decreases. This is known as diastolic pressure.

Normal blood pressure is about120/80mm Hg. One may be diagnosed with hypertension when their pressure consistently registers 140/90 mm Hg. This means that their systolic pressure is over 140 and diastolic higher than 90. According to the Center for Disease Control, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, and nearly one third of those who have the condition are unaware of it.

Harvard University researchers noted that heart surgery patients who recovered in intensive care units with music playing in the background needed less medication to control their blood pressure than those who were in hospitals where no music was played

According to research reported by the American Society of Hypertension, researchers discovered that those with mildly high blood pressure, or hypertension, who listened to Celtic, classical, or Indian (raga) music for just 30 minutes a day for one month had significant reductions in their blood pressure.

Their findings show that people are soothed by listening to music. This has also been associated with controlling pain or anxiety. But for the first time, these test show the impact daily music listening has on one’s blood pressure.

The subjects of the study were taking medication to control mild hypertension. One group listened to half an hour of "rhythmically homogenous" classical, Celtic or raga music every day, while using slow, controlled breathing. The remaining participants, made no changes to their daily routine.

Blood pressure tests given one and four weeks later showed that systolic blood pressure - the top number in the blood pressure reading - dropped significantly in the music listeners. In contrast, the control group experienced only small, non-significant reductions in blood pressure.

Music can stir the soul. Some music can calm us down; some music can make us wild. Music has been used as therapy for seizures, mental illness, depression, stress, insomnia, and premature infants.

Music can change metabolic rates, affect energy levels, and even digestion. Classical music has been shown to have a very positive effect on the body, and cause the increase of endorphins; both hemispheres of the brain are involved in processing music. The music in these studies is not the "lyrics", but the music itself, the melody, the tones, the tunes, the rhythm, the chords.

Conversely music has also been documented to cause sickness. Some music can be detrimental to the body. Studies on plants have demonstrated that loud, hard rock music, for example, killed plants and soft classical music make the plants more robust.

Make it a resolution this year to improve your overall health and happiness.

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