ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
CANCER
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
EYE CARE, VISION
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
FITNESS
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Football Can Shrink Players
Go To Work But Skip The Car
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Sun, Smoke, Extra Weight Add Years to Skin
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Add your Article

Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Listening to relaxation tapes or classical music by Mozart might reduce your blood pressure if you listen for three times a week or more.

In a study of 41 seniors living in retirement communities, researchers found that regularly listening to relaxation tapes reduced average systolic (the top number) blood pressure readings by 9 mm/Hg, while those who regularly listened to Mozart saw a 7 mm/Hg reduction in their blood pressure.

"This is a simple program that's very easy to do, and blood pressure did decrease," said the study's lead author, Jean Tang, an assistant professor at the College of Nursing at Seattle University in Washington. But, she added, "It won't replace medicine. It can only reduce blood pressure to a certain point -- it's like making lifestyle changes."

What the researchers couldn't investigate was if the drop in blood pressure was enough to make a significant difference in the study volunteers' health.

Tang was expected to present the findings Sept. 17 at the American Heart Association's annual fall conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, in Atlanta.

"High blood pressure is clearly a very significant and common problem. Approximately one in four people have hypertension, and about two-thirds of people with hypertension aren't adequately controlled," said cardiologist Dr. Robert Ostfeld, of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"This is a small, but very interesting study on a very safe and doable intervention," he added, but noted, "It's not clear if the reduction is sustained over time."

Tang's study included two randomly assigned groups of seniors. The first group listened to a 12-minute relaxation tape with the sound of ocean waves along with a man's voice guiding the participants through breathing and relaxation exercises. The second group listened to a 12-minute Mozart sonata. Each group was asked to participate three times a week for four months.

During this time, the researchers took blood pressure readings before the intervention and after. Once the active part of the study was done, the researchers asked the study participants to continue listening to the relaxation tape or to Mozart for three times a week, if possible. The researchers took follow-up blood pressure readings at one month and three months after the active period of the study had ended.

Before the intervention, the average blood pressure for the relaxation tape group was 141/73 mm/Hg; after the intervention, it was 132/70 mm/Hg. For the Mozart group, the average pre-intervention blood pressure was 141/71 mm/Hg; after the intervention, the average was 134/69 mm/Hg.

The differences in systolic blood pressure readings reached statistical significance in both groups. The drop in diastolic pressure (the bottom number) didn't reach statistical significance for either group.

After three months, the researchers found that only about half of the seniors had continued listening to the relaxation tapes or to Mozart three times a week. Tang said the reduction in blood pressure only persisted for those who continued with the intervention program.

Tang said using a relaxation tape with instruction is likely a good supplementary treatment for lowering blood pressure. Eating right and exercising are also important, said both Tang and Ostfeld. "Exercise is the fountain of youth," added Ostfeld.

Both experts cautioned that no one should think that relaxation exercises can replace blood pressure medication. Relaxation or listening to classical music is an additional way to help lower your blood pressure further but isn't an intervention that replaces any others.

-Serena Gordon

More information

The American Academy of Family Physician's FamilyDoctor Web site has more information on getting your blood pressure under control.



SOURCES: Jean Tang, Ph.D., assistant professor, College of Nursing at Seattle University, Seattle, Wash.; Robert Ostfeld, M.D., cardiologist, associate professor of clinical medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Sept. 17, 2008, presentation, the American Heart Association's annual fall conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, Atlanta

Last Updated: Sept. 17, 2008

Copyright 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com