Forget about those toxic medications!
A new study suggests that to lower your blood pressure, it may only take
a few sessions of relaxation by simply listening to some music or sounds of
ocean waves or even a calming voice.
The study of 41 elderly people showed those who listened
to a relaxation program lowered their blood pressure from 141/73 mmHg to 132/70
mmHg and heart rates from 73 to 70 beats per minute.
The study also found those who listened to Mozart music
lowered their blood pressure from 141/71 mmHg to 134/69 mmHg and heart rates
from 69 to 66 beats per minute.
The findings were presented at the American Heart
Association’s 62nd Annual Fall Conference of the Council for High Blood
For the study, one group was told to listen three times a
week for four months to a 12-minute audio-guided relaxation training program
with background sounds of ocean waves and a calming voice.
Another group was asked to listen to a
12-minute Mozart sonata three times a week for four months.
In comparison, the decrease in systolic blood pressure
was found greater in the relaxation group than the Mozart group: 9 mmHg versus
"Physiologic augmentation is difficult to achieve,
especially with blood pressure study, because people can only lower their blood
pressure to a certain extent," Jean Tang, Ph.D., ARNP, lead author of the
study and assistant professor in the College of Nursing at Seattle University.
"A 3 percent-5 percent change has been used as the
cutting point in clinical research. It has been suggested that a 5 mmHg
reduction in systolic blood pressure would result in a 9 percent reduction in
coronary heart disease related death and 14 percent reduction in stroke related
The difference between the drops in the diastolic blood
pressure for the two groups was not significant with 4 percent for the relaxation
group and 2.8 percent for the music group.
The heart rates between the two groups did not show a
significant difference after treatment.
"Higher systolic blood pressure is very prevalent in
the elderly population," said Tang.
"This program may provide yet another way to help manage
hypertension in conjunction with medication, lifestyle changes, exercise, diet
and stress management."
The methods seem to be simple and easy.
But long-term adherence to the program may be
a problem in elderly people with high blood pressure, Tang said.
Other studies presented at the same conference also
suggest that weight loss and taking vitamin C could lower blood pressure while
salt and high fat diet may increase blood pressure.
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