Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 18, 2013
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study, published in the Netherlands Heart Journal, finding that making music can have similar beneficial health effects on the body as physical exercise.
As the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/weight-loss-articles/can-making-music-be-just-as-good-as-exercise) notes, part of the reason exercise training is beneficial in to a person’s health and helps prevent disease is that it triggers something called “somatosensory nerve traffic” in the brain. The somatosensory system is made up of receptors and processing centers that produce the sensations associated with touch, temperature, body position, and pain.
As the article “Can Making Music Be Just as Good as Exercise?” reports, it’s not only physical activity that triggers the somatosensory system, but music does, too. Researchers at the Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands hypothesized that making music should trigger training effects similar to those of physical exercise.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article explains that the researchers compared two groups of healthy, young subjects between 18 and 30 years; 25 music students (group M) and 28 controls (group C) who were non-musicians participated in the study. Measurement sessions to determine resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, and baroreflex sensitivity (the body’s mechanism for maintaining blood pressure) were held during morning hours.
The article notes that groups M and C did not differ significantly in age, height, weight, body mass index, and physical exercise volume. Group M practiced music daily for approximately one hour. In group M, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean blood pressure were lower than in group C. Baroreflex sensitivity in group M was slightly higher than in group C.
According to the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article, the researchers concluded that active music making has training effects resembling those of physical exercise training. So playing an instrument of some kind, in addition to being an artistic activity that stimulates the brain, could also offer some concrete health benefits, especially when it comes to the heart.
(SOURCE: Burggraaf, J.L., et al., “Neurocardiological differences between musicians and control subjects,” Netherlands Heart Journal January 3, 2013.)
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