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Research Article
Effect of Music Therapy on Heart Rate Variability: A Reliable Marker to Pre-competition Stress in Sports Performance

Shaji John Kachanathu, Satish Kumar Verma and Gulshan Lal Khanna

Journal of Medical Sciences, 2013, 13(6), 418-424.

Abstract

As evidence-based Music Therapy (MT) turns its attention to physiological responses; it will need outcome measures that are grounded in an understanding of mechanisms which drive physiological activity. Despite strong indications for the involvement of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in health and disease, very few studies have systematically explored the therapeutic or interventional effects of music on ANS function. The purpose of the current study was to estimate the contribution of MT on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in reducing Pre-competition Stress (PCS) and its effect on Sports Performance (SP). A sample of 110 male elite Shooters, with mean age of 29.5±4.5 years were examined as in MT and control groups (n = 55). The total duration of the study was for 5 weeks, 4 weeks of interventional and followed by 1 week to determine the follow-up effect. Pre, post and follow-up data of quantitative phenotypic markers of ANS activity and PCS were analyzed by HRV and SP, respectively. Study results showed that MT group has shown significant result in post-intervention (p<0.001) and follow-up (p<0.001) in time and frequency domains of HRV and SP, indicates the reduction of PCS level and increase in SP, whereas the control group showed non-significant result. It is concluded that relaxation therapies such as MT may decrease PCS and therefore enhance SP. It is concluded that four weeks of MT has an effect on ANS by altering changes in time and frequency components of HRV and can be consider as a reliable physiological marker of PCS.

ASCI-ID: 41-1188

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