The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Relaxation and Mozart lower blood pressure

    But are the patients healthier?

    Here are results from a study presented during the 2008 American Heart Association’s Fall Conference for High Blood Pressure Research.

    First, the details.

    • Elderly participants were divided into 2 groups for this 4-month study.
      • 20 people listened 3 times a week to a 12-minute audio-guided relaxation training program (ATP), with background sounds of ocean waves and a calming voice.
      • 21 people listened to a 12-minute Mozart sonata 3 times a week.
    • Systolic blood pressure (higher number), diastolic blood pressure (lower number), and heart rate before and after each session were recorded.

    And, the results.
    In the ATP group…

    • Blood pressure went from 141/73 to 132/70 mmHg — a significant difference for systolic, but not diastolic pressure.
    • Heart rate from 73 to 70 beats per minute — a non-significant difference.

    In the Mozart group…

    • Blood pressure went from 141/71 to 134/69 mmHg — a significant difference for systolic, but not diastolic pressure.
    • Heart rate from 69 to 66 beats per minute — a non-significant difference.

    When comparing the groups…

    • The decrease in systolic blood pressure was greater with ATP vs Mozart: 6.4% (9 mmHg) vs 5% (7 mmHg).

    The bottom line?
    In explaining the results, Dr. Jean Tang from the College of Nursing at Seattle University in Washington said, “It has been suggested that a 5 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure [as accomplished in this study] would result in a 9% reduction in coronary heart disease related death and 14% reduction in stroke related death.”

    So, although diastolic pressure and heart rate didn’t change, Dr. Tang concluded, “This program may provide yet another way to help manage hypertension in conjunction with medication, lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, and stress management.”

    In the article on the Medical News Today website, the author explains the rationale behind using ATP.

    9/21/08 17:12 JR

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