Music and Your Health – Lowering Blood Pressure
Listening to music may help lower your blood pressure, reported scientists from the University of Florence, Italy, at the American Society of Hypertension meeting.
In the study, 28 adults who were taking medication to control mild hypertension listened to 30 minutes of music (classical, Celtic, or Indian, known as raga) while practicing slow, controlled breathing exercises for a total of four weeks. A control group, 20 mild hypertensives, made no changes to their lifestyle.
The systolic blood pressure (the top number in the blood pressure reading) dropped significantly in the music-and-relaxation participants while the control group netted small, non-significant reductions.
Reported lead investigator Dr. Pietro A. Modesti: “Listening to music is soothing and has often been associated with controlling patient-reported pain or anxiety and acutely reducing blood pressure. But for the first time, today’s results clearly illustrate the impact daily music listening has on ambulatory blood pressure.” (Ambulatory blood pressure refers to readings taken several times throughout the day.)
Of course, music can only do so much. For optimal blood pressure control, it’s important to add music and relaxation to healthful nutrition and exercise like the Pritikin Program. The Pritikin Program has been documented to be so effective that many hypertensives leave the Pritikin Longevity Center within just three to four weeks with blood pressure in normal ranges and no longer requiring anti-hypertensive medications.
Key Pritikin Lifestyle Actions To Lower Blood Pressure Are:
- Lose weight.
- Limit sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg daily. Even lower intake is better if you’re older than 50.
- Eat plentiful amounts of fruits and vegetables daily – at least five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit. Fruits and vegetables are great not only for losing weight (they’re low in calorie density) but also because they’re good sources of nutrients like potassium, magnesium and calcium that help blunt some of the toxic effects of sodium.
- Don’t drink alcohol excessively. (In excess of three drinks daily can increase blood pressure.)
- Exercise daily, optimally 60 to 90 minutes.
- Enjoy stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, and yes, music.