We hypothesise that routinely applied short sessions of slow and regular breathing can lower blood pressure (BP). Using a new technology BIM (Breathe with Interactive Music), hypertensive patients were guided towards slow and regular breathing. The present study evaluates the efficacy of the BIM in lowering BP. We studied 33 patients (23M/10F), aged 25-75 years, with uncontrolled BP. Patients were randomised into either active treatment with the BIM (n = 18) or a control treatment with a Walkman (n = 15). Treatment at home included either musically-guided breathing exercises with the BIM or listening to quiet music played by a Walkman for 10 min daily for 8 weeks. BP and heart rate were measured both at the clinic and at home with an Omron IC BP monitor. Clinic BP levels were measured at baseline, and after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Home BP measurements were taken daily, morning and evening, throughout the study. The two groups were matched by initial BP, age, gender, body mass index and medication status. The BP change at the clinic was -7.5/-4.0 mm Hg in the active treatment group, vs -2.9/-1.5 mm Hg in the control group (P = 0.001 for systolic BP). Analysis of home-measured data showed an average BP change of -5.0/-2.7 mm Hg in the active treatment group and -1.2/+0.9 mm Hg in the control group. Ten out of 18 (56%) were defined as responders in the active treatment group but only two out of 14 (14%) in the control group (P = 0.02). Thus, breathing exercise guided by the BIM device for 10 min daily is an effective non-pharmacological modality to reduce BP. (+info)
Treating hypertension with a device that slows and regularises breathing: a randomised, double-blind controlled study.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the efficacy of a new device, which slows and regularises breathing, as a non-pharmacological treatment of hypertension and thus to evaluate the contribution of breathing modulation in the blood pressure (BP) reduction. DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomised, double-blind controlled study, carried out in three urban family practice clinics in Israel. PATIENTS: Sixty-five male and female hypertensives, either receiving antihypertensive drug therapy or unmedicated. Four patients dropped out at the beginning of the study. INTERVENTION: Self treatment at home, 10 minutes daily for 8 consecutive weeks, using either the device (n = 32), which guides the user towards slow and regular breathing using musical sound patterns, or a Walkman, with which patients listened to quiet music (n = 29). Medication was unchanged 2 months prior to and during the study period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Systolic BP, diastolic BP and mean arterial pressure (MAP) changes from baseline. RESULTS: BP reduction in the device group was significantly greater than a predetermined 'clinically meaningful threshold' of 10.0, 5.0 and 6.7 mm Hg for the systolic BP, diastolic BP and MAP respectively (P = 0.035, P = 0.0002 and P = 0.001). Treatment with the device reduced systolic BP, diastolic BP and MAP by 15.2, 10.0 and 11.7 mm Hg respectively, as compared to 11.3, 5.6 and 7.5 mm Hg (P = 0.14, P = 0.008, P = 0.03) with the Walkman. Six months after treatment had stopped, diastolic BP reduction in the device group remained greater than the 'threshold' (P < 0.02) and also greater than in the walkman group (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The device was found to be efficacious in reducing high BP during 2 months of self-treatment by patients at home. Breathing pattern modification appears to be an important component in this reduction. (+info)
Application of receptive music therapy in internal medicine and cardiology.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of receptive music therapy in clinical practice. METHODS: Receptive music therapy was individually applied via musical auditions, including five stages: musical stimulation, sensation, situation, reflection, and behavioral alteration. Following anamnesis and obtainment of consent, patients answered a first questionnaire on health risk evaluation (Q1), and after participating in 16 weekly music therapy sessions, answered a second one (Q2). RESULTS: Two men and 8 women, aged above 18 years, referred to us due to symptoms of stress, emotional suffering, and the need to change lifestyles (health risk behavior) were studied between August 1998 and December 1999. Comparison between answers to Q1 and Q2, showed a trend (P=0.059) for reduction of ingestion of cholesterol-rich foods and for increased prospects in life with a tendency towards improvement, and also of increased intake of fiber-rich food (55.6%), increased levels of personal satisfaction (44.5%), and decreased levels of stress (66.7%). CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated decreased stress levels and increased personal satisfaction, higher consumption of fiber-rich food, lower cholesterol intake, and a better perspective on life, suggesting that receptive music therapy may be applied in clinical practice as an auxiliary therapeutic intervention for the treatment of behavioral health risks. (+info)
Effects of distraction using virtual reality glasses during lumbar punctures in adolescents with cancer.
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of virtual reality (VR) glasses on adolescents with cancer undergoing lumbar punctures (LPs). DESIGN: Pilot study using an experimental, control group design. SETTING: In-hospital oncology clinic. SAMPLE: 30 adolescents with cancer (17 in the VR and 13 in the control group) undergoing frequent LPs. METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to groups. Both groups received standard intervention during the LP, but the experimental group also wore VR glasses and watched a video. Following the LP, both groups rated their pain using a visual analog scale (VAS) and were interviewed to evaluate their experience. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Pain, subjective evaluation of experience. FINDINGS: Although VAS pain scores were not statistically different between the two groups (p = 0.77), VAS scores tended to be lower in the VR group (median VAS of 7.0, range 0-48) than in the control group (median VAS of 9.0, range 0-59). 77% of subjects in the experimental group said the VR glasses helped to distract them from the LP. CONCLUSIONS: VR glasses are a feasible, age-appropriate, nonpharmacologic adjunct to conventional care in managing the pain associated with LPs in adolescents. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The clinical application of various age-appropriate distracters to reduce pain in adolescents undergoing painful procedures should be explored. (+info)
Fetal learning: a prospective randomized controlled study.
OBJECTIVES: To examine whether prenatal exposure to a music stimulus alters fetal behavior and whether this continues into the newborn period. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A prospective randomized control trial was conducted using an exposure learning model in 20 normal term pregnancies. Music was played to ten fetuses via a headphone on the maternal abdomen. Ten controls had the headphone without sound. All fetal studies took place within 72 h prior to elective delivery. All 20 newborns were exposed to the same music on days 3-5. Computerized assessment of fetal heart rate and activity was documented and neonatal behavioral states were recorded. Nonparametric statistical analysis was used. RESULTS: For the first hour of study, exposed fetuses had higher mean heart rates (FHR) and spent more time exhibiting high FHR variation compared to unexposed fetuses, but neither of these differences was statistically significant. However, by the fourth hour the exposed fetuses not only demonstrated these two features but also exhibited more state transitions (P = 0.01) and higher FHR variation (P = 0.04) compared to unexposed fetuses. These effects were carried over into the neonatal period with prenatally exposed newborns manifesting more state transitions (P = 0.01) and spending a higher proportion of time in awake states (P = 0.05) when exposed to the same music stimulus. CONCLUSION: Prenatal music exposure alters the fetal behavioral state and is carried forward to the newborn period. This suggests that a simple form of fetal programming or learning has occurred. (+info)
Complementary therapy for addiction: "drumming out drugs".
OBJECTIVES: This article examines drumming activities as complementary addiction treatments and discusses their reported effects. METHODS: I observed drumming circles for substance abuse (as a participant), interviewed counselors and Internet mailing list participants, initiated a pilot program, and reviewed literature on the effects of drumming. RESULTS: Research reviews indicate that drumming enhances recovery through inducing relaxation and enhancing theta-wave production and brain-wave synchronization. Drumming produces pleasurable experiences, enhanced awareness of preconscious dynamics, release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self. Drumming alleviates self-centeredness, isolation, and alienation, creating a sense of connectedness with self and others. Drumming provides a secular approach to accessing a higher power and applying spiritual perspectives. CONCLUSIONS: Drumming circles have applications as complementary addiction therapy, particularly for repeated relapse and when other counseling modalities have failed. (+info)
Sound therapy induced relaxation: down regulating stress processes and pathologies.
The use of music as a means of inducing positive emotions and subsequent relaxation has been studied extensively by researchers. A great deal of this research has centered on the use of music as a means of reducing feelings of anxiety and stress as well as aiding in the relief of numerous pathologies. The precise mechanism responsible for these mediated effects has never been truly determined. In the current report we propose that nitric oxide (NO) is the molecule chiefly responsible for these physiological and psychological relaxing effects. Furthermore this molecules importance extends beyond the mechanistic, and is required for the development of the very process that it mediates. Nitric oxide has been determined to aid in the development of the auditory system and participate in cochlear blood flow. We show that NO is additionally responsible for the induced exhibited physiological effects. We proceed to outline the precise neurochemical pathway leading to these effects. Furthermore we explore the interrelationship between the varying emotion centers within the central nervous system and explain how the introduction of music can mediate its effects via NO coupled to these complex pathways. (+info)
Music therapy for mood disturbance during hospitalization for autologous stem cell transplantation: a randomized controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (HDT/ASCT) is a commonly used treatment for hematologic malignancies. The procedure causes significant psychological distress and no interventions have been demonstrated to improve mood in these patients. Music therapy has been shown to improve anxiety in a variety of acute medical settings. In the current study, the authors determined the effects of music therapy compared with standard care on mood during inpatient stays for HDT/ASCT. METHODS: Patients with hematologic malignancy admitted for HDT/ASCT at two sites (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio) were randomized to receive music therapy given by trained music therapists or standard care. Outcome was assessed at baseline and every 3 days after randomization using the Profile of Mood States. RESULTS: Of 69 patients registered in the study, follow-up data were available for 62 (90%). During their inpatient stay, patients in the music therapy group scored 28% lower on the combined Anxiety/Depression scale (P = 0.065) and 37% lower (P = 0.01) on the total mood disturbance score compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Music therapy is a noninvasive and inexpensive intervention that appears to reduce mood disturbance in patients undergoing HDT/ASCT. (+info)