Sunday, May 04, 2008

Reduce blood pressure and stress

from the Daily Mail!!!
Stress levels could be reduced simply by participating in some Gregorian chanting, researchers claimed today.

Dr Alan Watkins, a senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London, revealed that teaching people to control their breathing and applying the musical structure of chanting can help their emotional state.

He said: "We have recently carried out research that demonstrates that the regular breathing and musical structure of chanting can have a significant and positive physiological impact."

The research involved five monks having their heart rate and blood pressure measured throughout a 24-hour period.

Results showed their heart rate and blood pressure dipped to its lowest point in the day when they were chanting.

Dr Watkins pointed to previous studies that also demonstrated such practices have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase performance hormone levels as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

The lecturer also runs Cardiac Coherence Ltd, a company that helps executives perform under stressful conditions.

He said: "The control of the breathing, the feelings of wellbeing that communal singing bring, and the simplicity of the melodies, seem to have a powerful effect on reducing blood pressure and therefore stress."

"We have found that teaching individuals to control their breathing, generate more positive emotional states and connect better with those around them – all key aspects of Gregorian chanting – can significantly improve their mental state, reduce tension, and increase their efficiency in the workplace."

Record company Universal recently chose the monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, Vienna to make an album after responding to a public interest in the genre.

The company also believes the Halo computer game series, available on PCs and Xbox consoles, sparked a resurgence in the music traditionally sung in male church choirs, as Gregorian chant-like melodies form the main soundtrack of the games.


Physiocrat said...

My blog on Gregorian chant may be of interest - it contains various useful links, excerpts, videos, etc.

JARay said...

I didn't know that singing Gregorian chant actually lowered my blood pressure but it is something which I have always enjoyed doing. I even go, on occasion, to my local SSPX chapel simply in order to join in the singing. I little thought that after 40 years or so, my Liber Usualis would come in so handy.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm afraid that Gregorian Chant is not doing anything for my blood pressure. I am practising, practising to sing the Veni Sancte Spiritus at the Saturday vigil Pentecost Mass at my parish. I was told that the best way to do this is not to announce it, just go ahead and do it. For that congregation, I think it will be utterly strange, as if aliens had landed. But I intend to do it all the same, as a witness to our sacred tradition (pretend though we always do that it doesn't exist).

Pray for me.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Research has also shown that Gregorian chant can help migraine and depression.
My older son has Halo and it is rather peaceful to listen to-better than some of the Classic FM stuff he has on so often in fact.

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