Listening to Music May Help Lower Blood Pressure

A research conducted in Italy conclude that spending at least half an hour a day listening to music as well as slow breathing can lower blood pressure.

How was the study conducted?

Researchers at the University of Florence, lead by Pietro A. Modesti, MD, PhD, gathered 28 adults who take drugs to control their mild high blood pressure.  The patients were then strapped into a device that tracked their blood pressure for 24 hours.  After which, they were given a CD of classical, Celtic, or Indian music.  These types of music have similar slow rhythms.

The patients were assigned to listen to the CD for 30 minutes everyday for a month and to breathe slowly while listening to the music, taking twice as long to exhale as to inhale.  They were strapped to the device again after one month to monitor their blood pressure.

Researchers found out that the subjects’ blood pressure improved, with the average systolic blood pressure dropping by three points, while the average diastolic blood pressure was dropped by four points.  In comparison, 20 other patients did not listen to music or practice slow breathing.  It was found out that their blood pressure did not change during the study.

However, it was not clear whether listening to music or slow breathing mattered more.  Modesti notes that the antihypertensive effects have to be considered as the result of the combination of music and breathing exercises.