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Mind and Body Healing
May 6, 2014

Listening to music is one of many techniques that have been promoted for healing the heart and reducing stress. A few others include:

Transcendental meditation. Practicing the art of transcendental meditation can lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar and insulin levels, and ease stress. Other calming strategies, such as yoga or the relaxation response, can do the same.

Massage. After heart surgery, a simple massage decreased pain levels in a study at the Mayo Clinic. Whether massage affects the heart in other ways isn’t well known, but it certainly does feel wonderful.

Tai chi. The combination of simple, flowing movements and deep breathing in tai chi offers a safe, rejuvenating form of exercise for people with heart failure.

Guided imagery. A program of directed thoughts and suggestions that help you imagine a relaxed, focused state can lower blood pressure and reduce other problems related to stress.

Prayer. Personal prayer can help evoke the relaxation response, which can reduce your own stress, while praying for a loved one or friend may provide emotional or spiritual support that reduces his or her stress.

Humor. Laughter may be good medicine for the heart and circulation. In a recent study, blood flow improved in volunteers who laughed at funny movie scenes.