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There's nothing quite as soothing as listening to a harp being strummed.
But apart from its stress-busting effects, a new study from the
University of Arizona claims that harp music can have physiological
effect on patients in an intensive care units as well.
The small study included 100 adults, many being middle age or seniors. Half were given 10 minutes to just relax, while the other half enjoyed a 10-minute harp performance. The researchers measured their blood pressure and pain levels before and after the 10-minute harp or relaxation periods. Participants who had listened to the harp music showed stabilized blood pressure levels and reported decreasing feelings of pain:
"If a patient's blood pressure was low, which is most of the patients we see here, it increased after the harp music. And for a few with high blood pressure, it's gone down after," study researcher Anne Baldwin said in a statement. "It appears the harp music is bringing this back into balance, back into the normal range, which is ideal for healing."
The researchers were quick to note that listening to harp music alone might not be enough to heal someone completely, but it can be an important part of musical therapy that could provide positive benefits to patients.