Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Music Is Good For Your Heart


Music has many health benefits. It's good for the soul and has even been used to help cancer patients and children with attention deficit disorder.

But did you know ...music is good for your heart?

Research presented in November of this year at the American Heart Association scientific sessions in New Orleans documented the cardiovascular benefits of music. More information on this study can be accessed here.

The University of Maryland Medical Center conducted the research study. Participants were asked to select music that they enjoyed and made them "feel good". Then they listened to music that was "stressful" for them.

The results demonstrated that ...
  • After listening to the enjoyable music, there was a 26% increase in blood flow.
  • Listening to the stressful music decreased the blood flow by 6%.

This is great news! The changes occurred in the inner lining of the blood vessels. They have the ability to constrict (get narrower) and dilate (expand), which impacts the flow of blood to areas of our body.


Wow; I love this!

Music was such a huge part of my upbringing. As a child, I remember singing in the car with my family to pass the time. Spontaneously, my mom would begin to sing "Row, row, row your boat" or "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah". Eventually, we would all join in. I know it certainly distracted and entertained us kids ...so we didn't ask "are we there yet?".

Norwegian songs were taught to my brother, sister and me by my mom and dad since that was their heritage. They were fluent in the language and loved to sing. I don't know what happened to me because although I enjoy singing ... my singing voice is not all that pleasant to hear. :)

Recently, I discovered another new blogging friend who lives in Norway. Felisol posted a few YouTube videos of Norwegian music on her blog. One night, I had difficulty sleeping so I mindlessly checked a few blogs. I found myself singing along to the music with a huge smile on my face. Although I knew the music and could sing the words, I didn't know what the Norwegian words meant. So, I added a comment sharing this with Felisol and the next day, she posted the words in English! The music calmed me and ...I even was able to get back to sleep.Thank you, Felisol.

Music can be such good therapy. Even the Bible says that when King Saul was troubled, David would take his harp and play. 1 Samuel 16:23 says that "relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."

What about you? What kinds of music do you enjoy? How does it impact you? Are there any types of music that are stressful to you? I'd love to hear from you.

13 comments:

  1. Oh, Debbie, this is so interesting. I've always thought that music contained more than having "charms to soothe the savage breast." Now I see it goes much deeper. Right now, I am listening to the soothing sounds of instrumental Christmas carols on Pandora. It's called Peaceful Holidays. If God created the music, seems logical to think it is healing, especially to the heart. I loved your post. I'm so glad I got to read it. Blessings to you...Lynn

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  2. This is good news, Debbie. I'm sure you've heard of Dr. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who wrote Awakenings (later a movie) and also Musicophilia--a book about the power of music to heal, among other things. There's an interesting interview about him here at Discover magazine:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan/your-brain-on-music-magnets-and-meth

    Thought you and your readers might find it interesting.

    All my best,
    Jackie

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  3. Lynn- Thanks for visiting and commenting. I tuned in to the station you recommended on Pandora and I'm enjoying it too.
    Jackie- Thanks for the link to the article. I read it through and found it most interesting.

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  4. I love music. I love, love, love praise and worship music.

    I love Christmas music that is Christian...those about Christ and not just about a white Christmas or something.

    What does it do? Christmas music can bring my hear to my knees in awe.

    Worship music speaks to my soul like nothing else...many times much more powerfully than a sermon. That's why attending church is just as much about the worship music for me as the sermons are.

    Glad to see there is actually physical healings to music.
    Sweet blessings,
    Paula
    BTW...I've seen you around blogland and decided to click over and check out your blog...your profile pic is very pretty.

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  5. I love, love, love music!! I was raised with music as part of my everyday life. My dad played in a band--"when swing was king" type of music. All the kids play instruments.

    I've read these studies on music before. I work for a rather large health system, and they're starting a music therapy program for hospice patients. I think this is a wonderful idea--how soothing and destressing this could be for the patient as well as the family!!

    Beth

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  6. Debbie,

    I love music and I need all the help I can get for my heart!

    I have an award for you on my blog.
    Blessings to you!

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  7. There is a reason why there are 150 Psalms in the Bible.
    ;)

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  8. This is an interesting post to me as a lover of music and also the "teacher" in me. So many children are missing music in their early lives, they don't have music of any kind in their homes.

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  9. I love this! I'm the biggest music lover...have it playing constantly. I'm trying to instill this love into my children. We make up songs for everything (diaper changing...whining...washing hands) and now they sing them automatically.

    Blessings,
    Sandy Cooper
    www.godspeakstoday.blogspot.com

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  10. another feel good blog....I think I love it here, especially with all te negativity in the world these days. I think we need more blogs like yours. keep it up......

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  11. Dear Debbie,
    You are so right.
    Music begins where word alone has nothing more to give.
    My Dad and my uncle dyed within eleven months.
    Both lay unconsciously, my Dad fo a month, my uncle for a week.
    There wasn't much we could do. Hold hands, keep the mouth moist and sing. We song every song in the old songbook, and I made a list on my ipod of the songs they loved the most.
    When we were to tired to sing they still should have the best of sounds in their ears.
    Sometimes I have thought that the music was what kept us all sane.

    Music and songs for sorrow and joy.
    Music with loving memories attached.

    My hubby and I were in our late thirties when our first and only child was born.
    Hubby doesn't like to sing in assemblies.
    I said he would not be allowed to put our baby daughter to bed, if he would not sing with and for her.
    He did. They have the best and most harmoniously of all relationships.
    Like you Debbie, I was raised with song, I live with song and music and song was the thing I had to give in return at the end of the road.

    I am sad you don't sleep well though.
    I'll do the other thing my parents and my Dad in particular always did; I'll pray.
    From Felisol

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  12. Oh yes, music is wonderful. I love most kinds, although some of the new stuff is not for me. But Christmas music, hymns of the faith, classical, even a good country song, can soothe or lift my spirits - depending on my mood. One special memory I have of you is when my mom lay seemingly unconsious on her death bed. You told me that hearing is one of the last senses to go, so you and I leaned down and sang songs of the faith to her. UP to that point, she had never shown any signs of recognizing we were there. But upon hearing us sing, ever so slightly, she acknowledged our presence. She loved music too. Thank-you for the memory.

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Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA