Look After Your Heart By Listening To Good Music

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine located in Baltimore, United States, have recently conducted tests that show that listening to joyful music can have a positive effect on the function of blood vessels in the human body. This means that listening to your favorite music may indeed be good for your health.

The tests were very carefully conducted with the goal of measuring how certain external factors affect the functioning of blood vessels in the human body. Seven male and three female healthy, non-smoking volunteers participated in the study which had four phases. In one phase, the volunteers were asked to listen to music that they felt evoked joy. In another phase, they listened to music which they felt made them feel anxious. In another phase, they were shown videotapes designed to make them laugh, while the fourth phase saw them listening to audio tapes designed to promote relaxation. The various phases were randomly conducted with each test subject carefully monitored before and during the process. They were asked not to listen to their favorite music for two weeks prior to the test so that the response would be more exaggerated and easier to monitor. They were also asked to fast the night prior to testing which no doubt limited the effect of other kinds of stimulus on their bodies so that the tests were more accurate. The participants were also given a baseline test to measure flow-mediated dilation prior to the start of the study. A blood pressure cuff was then placed on the upper arm, restricting the blood flow so that when it is released, an ultrasound device can measure how well the blood vessels respond to the sudden increase in flow. The findings are then recorded as a percentage change in blood vessel diameter. The results were quite surprising.

The average upper arm blood vessel increased in diameter by as much as 26 percent when the participant was subjected to their favorite, joyful music. This was far more than the 19 percent increase in dilation measured in the laughter phase of the study and the 11 percent dilation recorded for the relaxation phase. Further to this, listening to music that made the participants feel anxious actually narrowed the blood vessels from their resting rate by six percent. According to Dr Miller, it is quite possible that the positive results from the joyful music test have a lot to do with how that individual perceives his music of choice. The rhythm, melody and harmony may all play a major role in the cardiovascular and emotional response that was experienced in the test. However, the role that endorphins play in the process also cannot be overlooked. As of yet, no one knows exactly why certain people enjoy certain types of music. But if that music makes you happy, chances are its good for your heart’s health.