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Just breathe : comparing visual and musical breathing cues in resonance frequency breathing
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Heart rate variability (HRV) is related to stress management, emotional well-being, and hypertension. In general, greater HRV correlates with better health. Resonance frequency breathing (RFB), a systematic form of slow breathing, has been used successfully to maximize HRV. Thus, RFB has been used with success in a number of therapeutic settings. However, RFB is currently conducted without musical stimuli. Previous research indicates that musical interventions may achieve results similar to those of using RFB when targeting hypertension, and relaxation effects of music are well-documented. Therefore, including music in RFB interventions could improve the effects of RFB on HRV and relaxation. To examine the influence of music in RFB, two conditions of 10-minute RFB interventions were compared, using a within-subjects design with healthy adult subjects. In the control condition, RFB was conducted with a visual cueing system. In the experimental condition, RFB was conducted with a musical cueing system. HRV data, as well as Likert scales pertaining to perceived relaxation and attentiveness, were collected in both conditions. Additionally, participants were able to comment in open feedback about their experiences. Experimentation found no significant difference between the visual or musical conditions in HRV or Likert scale indices. However, the application of ABC relaxation theory to qualitative data indicates that perceived experiences in these conditions may differ. Furthermore, the musical condition performed similarly to the visual condition in terms of HRV data; thus, a musical version of RFB could be useful for people who prefer auditory stimulation or who are seeking a different kind of relaxation. ...
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