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We are all aware that music can have a profound influence over our emotions, but a recent study published in the British Medical Journal “Heart” has taken this a step further.

Researchers Dr. Peter Sleight and Dr. Luciano Bernadi used a selection of music ranging from Mozart to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to study the effect upon the breathing and circulation of 24 men and women. A two minute pause was inserted within each of the sequences.

What they found was that the tempo, rather than the style of music, exerted the most influence on the subject. Music with fast, complex rhythms sped up breathing and circulation while slower music caused heart rate to decrease significantly. The pauses also seemed to slow respiration and heart rate.

Researchers have already shown that music can reduce stress, improve athletic performance and improve movement in neurologically impaired patients. These findings suggest that music may also be helpful in the prevention and treatment of heart attack and stroke.

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