Favourite music can improve blood flow to the heart

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Music to your heart: Listening to John Denver classics can improve your blood flow

    By Daniel Martin
    Last updated at 6:33 PM on 12th November 2008 The Mail

    Joyful: The sounds of country singer John Denver increased blood flow to the heart of volunteers

    Listening to your favourite music can improve the health of your heart, a study has shown.

    Scientists have found that happy music causes the lining of blood vessels to expand, increasing the amount of blood flow.

    And the benefits of joyful music are even greater than that of laughter, according to the researchers from the University of Maryland.

    But listening to 'stressful' music such as heavy metal can cause the vessels to contract - which can have a bad effect on the heart.

    They say the effect could be down to the release of endorphins, which are released by the brain to induce the feeling of well-being.

    Their study asked 10 healthy volunteers to bring in recordings of music that made them feel joyful.

    As the research was being carried out in the US, most brought in John Denver-style country music.

    They were also asked which music made them anxious, and most chose heavy metal.

    Exercise fails to improve survival rates of heart failure patients, study finds

    Ultrasound was used to test the functioning of an artery in the upper arm. When blood flow increases through a healthy artery, it dilates to allow for the greater pressure.

    Unhealthy arteries fail to react to such changes in the way they should, putting a strain on the cardiovascular system and possibly damaging the heart.

    The test involved tightening a cuff around the forearm and then releasing it while measuring the artery's dilation with ultrasound.

    A good reaction indicated that the cells lining the blood vessels, which regulate blood flow and respond to stimuli ranging from exercise to emotions, were healthy.

    After listening to joyful music, volunteers' arteries opened 26 per cent wider on average during the cuff test than they did when no music was played.

    Playing music that participants said made them 'anxious' caused the blood vessels to narrow by 6 per cent.

    Scientists then compared the results with the effect of laughing and comedy shows, and listening to relaxation tapes.

    Relaxing melodies

    Laughing at the videos led to a 19 per cent increase in dilation, while 'relaxation' sounds raised it by 11 per cent - both less than the effect of uplifting music.

    Study leader Dr Michael Miller said: 'We had previously demonstrated that positive emotions, such as laughter, were good for vascular health.

    'So, a logical question was whether other emotions, such as those evoked by music, have a similar effect.

    'We knew that individual people would react differently to different types of music, so in this study, we enabled participants to select music based upon their likes and dislikes.'

    The type of music did not matter, as long as it made the listener 'feel good', he said.

    He added: 'We're all wired differently, we all react differently. I enjoy country music, so I could appreciate why country music could cause that joyful response.

    'We don't understand why somebody may be drawn to certain classical music, for example. There are no words in that, and yet the rhythm, the melody and harmony, may all play a role in the emotional and cardiovascular response.

    'Needless to say, these results were music to my ears because they signal another preventive strategy that we may incorporate in our daily lives to promote heart health.'

    The findings were presented yesterday at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in New Orleans.

    Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1085026/Music-heart-Listening-John-Denver-classics-improve-blood-flow.html

  2. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    Good article Tansy. Before I had a computer and a pain med I would get up each day and play my guitar for about an hour and let the pain subside. I do notice a relaxation response as well depending on what type of music I play. Didn't you say one time that you use to play an instrument-guitar maybe?. Anyway, music has always been therapy in one form or another for me, especially when I can write a good song when inspired, often in the midst of either physical or emotional pain. Music is one of the great gifts we have been given. Thanks
  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Grace

    Yes I did play the guitar until it became physically impossible to do so. I miss it a lot but still enjoy listening to music. Several musicians I know are now employed to provide music therapy for patients with mental health and neurological problems.

    There were a couple of interesting related BBC documentaries a while back. The commentator in one of these was aslo a scientist. He used himself as a guinea pig and had scans done prior to and after listening to one particular piece of music that makes him feel good. The results were more extreme in his case than most; the increased blood flow involved virtually all of his brain.

    Have you come across Oliver Sach's book on music and the brain in neurological disorders? See

    I hope all is well with you.

    tc, Tansy
  4. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    Sounds like a good read, I will check it out. I have an unrelated question for you.

    I received a brochure in the mail for a product that is supposed to be a pain supplement. It says it is popular and has been studied in Great Britian and China,Germany etc. but fairly new to the US.

    The product is called Arthro-Zyme and contains the enzyme Serratioppeptidase. According to the article fibrin is what is causing pain by creating a hard mesh like substance which our bodies are not breaking down. I took an enzyme early in my treatment to thin the blood but this is the first that I heard that it can be a cause of pain. Of course the article mentions fibromyalgia as many cure alls do ,as so many companies are getting on the band wagon to sell products to people who suffer.

    I am always skeptical but hopeful that something might help us so I research many things that come along. One of their statements quotes the British Journal of Rheumatology as saying " The failure to clear fibrin leads to the persistence of chronic inflamation and chronic back pain."

    I was just wondering if you had heard of this. I had a really good summer but the fibro is back with a vengence so I guess one could say my pain prompts me to keep searching for something that won't have the terrible side effects that most meds cause me to suffer from. I am also going to have my cortisol and thyroid levels checked again. I had a cortisone shot this fall and I felt like a new man for a short time except for the nasty side effects like anxiety and feeling wound up I was pain free from head to toe. So I am questioning if my cortisol levels are low again so as to not keep inflamation down. I also have Hashimottos and I recently learned auto-immune diseases can contribute to inflamatory issues and low cortisol.

    A complicated situation many of us have to deal with for sure but I won't allow it to stop me from living and appreciating each day I have. I hope life is treating you better and I thank you again for your contributions here and your concern for others. Blessings
  5. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Grace

    Treating the build up of fibrin was the first Tx to have a beneficial lasting effect upon some of my Sx including chronic low back and joint pain.

    I have a blunted cortisol response and some of my problems immediately after surgery were related to that; pain and inflammation were a major issue for me. Low cortisol certainly won't help re inflammation.

    A former member of this message board used to post lots of info on the consequences of fibrin build up; took me while to take that on board due to having low platelets, but finally David Berg made sense of my medical history, test results, and symptomology.

    I started with bromelain and thought it wasn't working but I suddenly had a massive response as it took effect which took me five months to recover from. I've been able to sustain the improvements related to this with natto and serrapeptase using either or both.

    ISAC, like Hughes Syndrome, can cause neuro Sx and Prof Graham Hughes frequently reminds his peers that a small percentage of MS patients have been misdiagnosed and it's actually Hughes syndrome that's the underlying cause.

    You could check out the differences in cost; shopping around is always wise because often a good quality product can cost less than one of inferior quality. I often find it's better to tailor supps like this to my own needs rather than buying a formula.

    tc, Tansy