I’m pretty certain that everyone loves music and laughter. Listening to music is one of the most enjoyable sensations in the world, just closely rivaled by the sound and feel of laughter. They are the essence of happiness. It has always been said that happier people seem to live longer, and that music has the power to heal. A recent study has now provided medical evidence to prove that living a long, healthy life go hand in hand with music and laughter.
Now you have another reason to pull out the old guitar and invite your buddies over for a jam session. Enjoying your favorite band or joking with friends can lower your blood pressure, even as much as losing 10 pounds. This news was the result of a small study conducted by Researchers at the Osaka University Graduate School of medicine.
These Japanese researchers developed a study where they planned to compare two groups of people. The first group of people were instructed to attend bimonthly sessions that were focused on laughter and music. Their blood pressure was recorded over three months, and then compared with a control group who did not receive the therapy.
The results showed that the people who were laughing and enjoying music lowered their systolic blood pressure by an average of five to six points over a three month period. This equates to about a 5% to 15% lower risk of death as a result of heart disease or stroke.
That’s not all. Measurements were taken directly following the laughter and music therapy sessions, and blood pressure was observed to drop by nearly 30%.
“The three-month decline is in the range of what could be expected in someone adopting a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication,” says Michael Miller, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, in Baltimore.
Scientists are still not sure why music and laughter are such an effective medicine. Some believe that the relaxation caused by music and laughter result in lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that often leads to elevated blood pressure. Others think that the release of Nitric Oxide as a result of laughter or music might be causing dilated blood vessels and in turn lowering blood pressure.
This doesn’t mean that you should ignore a healthy diet and exercise. However, adding a little music and laughter to your day could never hurt, and it’s now a medical fact that it can save your life.
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