Music and Laughter Might Help Decrease Blood Pressure

March 30, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. conduct (v.) [n. kon-duhkt; v. kuhn-duhkt] – to do or to lead something
Example: The manager of the company conducts leadership training every two months. 

2. therapy (n.) [ther-uh-pee] – method or process of healing or treatment
Example: Massage is one kind of relaxation therapy.
3. cardiology (n.) [kahr-dee-ol-uh-jee] – the branch of medical science that studies the heart and its diseases
Example: The department of cardiology published a report on ways to prevent heart attacks.

4. replacement (n.) [ri-pleys-muhnt] – a thing in exchange of something
Example: I had to find a replacement for the book I lost.

Read the text below.

Listening to music and laughing can lower a person's blood pressure, according to a research presented in Atlanta, USA last Friday.

The said study was conducted by Japanese researchers from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine headed by Eri Eguchi.

The researchers randomly picked 90 males and females ages 40 to 74. One group was given a music therapy, in which they listened to their choice of Japanese songs from classic, jazz, or pop. They were also given a laughing therapy, in which they listened to humorous Japanese stories. The members of this group were likewise encouraged to keep listening to music while at home. Meanwhile, the second group was given neither of the therapies. Sessions were done every other week for three months.

After three months, the first group who has received the music and laughter therapies lowered their blood pressure by five to six points while the second group did not show any change.

It is not yet clear how listening to music and laughing improve blood pressure. But Eguchi said that relaxation and therapies may decrease cortisol, a stress hormone that can add to high blood pressure. 

A similar study was done previously by the group of Michael Miller, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, in Baltimore. In their said research it showed "that both laughing and listening to upbeat music improved the function of the inner lining of blood vessels." But he also added that listening to music and laughing alone aren't enough to treat high blood pressure. Although these are more natural ways to improve one's health, he does not recommend it as a replacement for medication.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you like listening to music or watching comedy shows?
·         What activities do you usually do to relieve stress?

Discussion B

·         Do you take medicines when you get sick?
·         What do you think about natural ways of healing?

March 30, 2011