In a nutshell
This study looked at the effectiveness of music therapy on reducing blood pressure in patients with hypertension. The authors concluded that music therapy can successfully reduce systolic blood pressure (pressure when the heart is contracting) in patients with hypertension.
Patients with hypertension have a higher resting blood pressure than the body needs. The blood pressure needs to be lowered to avoid complications such as heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. For example, each 5 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure has been found to lead to a 13% reduction in the risk of stroke. Lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity, quitting smoking and improvements in diet can help to improve blood pressure.
Some alternative non-drug treatments, such as music therapy, are being tested as potential means to reduce blood pressure. Music therapy (listening to music to improve physical and mental health) has been shown to have a positive effect on anxiety, depression, pain and post-operative recovery and may effectively lower blood pressure.
Methods & findings
The authors examined if music therapy could lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. This analysis reviewed the results of 2 previous studies, including 90 patients.
One set of patients underwent music therapy sessions. These sessions were 25 minutes long and were carried out in a quiet room in a sitting position. This was done on a daily basis for 4 weeks. Results were compared to a control group who did not take part in the music therapy sessions.
The music therapy led to an average decrease of 6.58 mmHg in systolic blood pressure compared to the control group. There was also a slight decrease in diastolic blood pressure (pressure when the heart is between beats) in the group that took part in the music therapy when compared to the control group.
The bottom line
This study concluded that music therapy can significantly decrease systolic blood pressure. This may lead to a reduction in the risk of stroke.
The fine print
A limited variety of music was used for this study. The criteria used to diagnose hypertension within this study are not fully reliable.
Consult with your physician for advice on possible non-drug treatment options for hypertension.
Published By :
International Journal of Cardiology
Apr 03, 2016