Japanese researchers recently reported that laughter and music may lift the spirits and help lower blood pressure.
Joking around with friends and listening to music are two of our favourite activities when we’re teenagers. Back in those carefree days before adult responsibilities, stress—and teens of our own—elevate our blood pressure.
Japanese researchers recently reported that laughter and music may lift the spirits and help lower blood pressure. They divided 79 adults, ages 40 to 74, into three groups.
Laughter yogis trained one group in laughter yoga, a combination of yogic breathing and unconditional laughter. Apparently, laughing for no reason is good for us; our bodies can’t differentiate between real and fake laughter. This group was also entertained by Rakugo, a type of Japanese sit-down comedy.
Music therapists trained a second group to listen to music, sing, stretch with music, and encouraged listening to music at home.
The control group had no fun whatsoever.
Blood pressure readings taken immediately after each session showed a 7 mm Hg drop in the laughers and a 6 mm Hg drop in the music group participants, improvements still evident three months later.
Researchers caution their findings merely point out an association. They plan on further studying the role yogic breathing may play in lowering blood pressure.
Read more about the health benefits of music in the article "Good Vibrations."