Got high blood pressure? Listen up!
Submitted by Jon Nelson, Madison New Horizons Band
To music that is. In the March 2015 Reader’s Digest it was reported that medical research has validated something we’ve all known for a long time… Listening to music has a calming effect. According to RD, in at least one study, it was found that listening to music for around a half-hour a day for about a month can have a significant positive effect on blood pressure. How significant? The researchers recorded a reduction of 12mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 5 mm Hg decrease in the bottom number (diastolic pressure). This favorably compares to the benefits of taking a strong blood pressure medication.
The short article went on to say that the calming effect of music is so powerful that it was actually more effective at reducing stress for folks heading into cardiac surgery than a sedative. Moreover, a group who listened to music after their surgery “fared better than patients who received the sedative.”
One theory is that music directly acts on the body’s autonomic nervous system… the system that controls heart rate and blood pressure. Score another win for music! (Pun intended.)
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