Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your favorite music = happy heart: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) - - Listening to your favorite music may be helpful to maintaining a healthy heart, according to a study.

The research team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine announced they had shown for the first time the emotions aroused by music enjoyed by the listener to be beneficial to a healthy blood vessel function.

The team, who in a 2005 study noted the cardiovascular benefits of laughter, presented their work at the 2008 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

"I was impressed with the highly significant differences both before and after listening to joyful music as well as between joyful and anxious music," said head researcher Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The study found that participants -- 10 healthy, non-smoking volunteers -- listening to music that gave them a sense of joy caused the inner-lining tissues of blood vessels to expand, which increased blood flow.

The response matched the result of the 2005 study of laughter.

To minimize desensitization of emotions felt by listening to their favorite music, participants were instructed to avoid listening to the pieces for a minimum of two weeks before the test.

"The idea here was that when they listened to this music that they really enjoyed, they would get an extra boost of whatever emotion was being generated," said Miller.

The study found that the diameter of the average upper arm blood vessel increased 26 percent after listening to joyful music, and listening to music that caused anxiety narrowed blood vessels by six percent.

The physiological impact of music may also affect the activity of the "feel good" brain chemicals called endorphins, according to the study

The study's results, said Miller, signal yet "another preventive strategy that we may incorporate in our daily lives to promote heart health."

Today's animation by Charity & Co.

Christians think they are prosecuting attorneys
or judges, when in reality, God has called all of us to be witnesses.
Read Luke 6:37

While great brilliance and intellect are to be admired,
they cannot dry one tear or mend a broken spirit. Only
kindness can accomplish this.
Read 1 Peter 3:8

He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who
plants kindness gathers love.
Read 1 Peter 3:8

Turn your attention upon yourself and beware
of judging the deeds of other men, for in
judging others a man labors
vainly, often makes mistakes, and
easily sins: whereas, in judging and taking stock
of himself he does sometimes
that is always profitable.
Read Luke 6;37

Feelings of confidence depend upon the type of
thoughts you habitually occupy. Think defeat, and
you are bound to be defeated.
Read 1 Peter 1:13