ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
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