Music and Heart Rate -
The variability in the heart rate is usually measured in terms of 'Heart Rate Variability' (HRV in short). The time series of beat-to-beat intervals from ECG or arterial pressure tracings are analyzed and then HRV can be calculated.
How does music influence Heart Rate Variability?
Three kinds of music and noise are considered to study their influence on the heart rate variability and comfort when listened to them. Studies have been conducted on the effect of music on the heart. Relaxing (slow) music like Bach, Vividly or Mozart effected a considerable reduction in the heart rate and also the heart rate variability. When two pieces of classical music, rock music and noise were used, researches conclude that Classical Music creates a small variance in Mayer Wave related Sinus Arrhythmia (MWSA) and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA) components as compared to when the body is at rest, by suppressing sympathetic nerve, whereas Rock Music and Noise result in the increase of MWSA component and decrease in the RSA component. Clearly, Classical Music provides more comfort as against the other two forms and there is a correlation between the balance of MWSA and RSA components and the psychological evaluation. The variance of MWSA decreased as comfort increased and vice-versa.
Is music good for the heart?
The studies say yes. The researches show that slow, relaxing types of music can actually improve the heart's performance as they have a calming, soothing effect on the heart rate and breathing. The study conducted on a group of 24 people where each of them listened to each type of music for two minutes followed by two minutes of silence and again four minutes of music and breathing, heart rate and blood pressure were measured before and after those music sessions. Fast music causes increased breathing and heart rates. Heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure drop when the music stops even lower than what they started at.
Effects of Music Therapy on Post-Operative Pain, Heart Rate and Systolic Blood Pressures
In case of heart diseases, high post-operative pain leads to adverse effects leading to late recovery and prolonged hospitalization. Music is an effective form of distraction to relieve the patients from the post-operative pain. Experiments show that when the music was played intermittently and the pain intensity measured in terms of Pain Verbal Rating Scales (VRS), the group that listened to music showed considerable drop in the pain intensity and the systolic blood pressure and heart rate and had lesser oral analgesics for the pain. So, overall, it can be concluded that music therapy is an effective approach for post-operative pain management.
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