Complementary therapies in clinical practice

A study of the effect of relaxing music on heart rate recovery after exercise among healthy students.

PMID 24767956


Music has been employed in various clinical settings to reduce anxiety. However, meta-analysis has shown music to have little influence on haemodynamic parameters. This study aimed at investigating the effect of relaxing music on heart rate recovery after exercise. Twenty-three student volunteers underwent treadmill exercise and were assessed for heart rate recovery and saliva analysis; comparing exposure to sedative music with exposure to silence during the recovery period immediately following exercise. No differences were found between music and non-music exposure regarding: heart rate recovery, resting pulse rate, and salivary cortisol. Music was no different to silence in affecting these physiological measures, which are all associated with anxiety. Relaxing music unaccompanied by meditation techniques or other such interventions may not have a major role in reducing anxiety in certain experimental settings.