Chant: Good for BP & Stress

Gregorian chanting ‘can reduce blood pressure and stress’ reads the headline, and the story is both interesting and unsurprising:

Stress levels could be reduced simply by participating in some Gregorian chanting, researchers claimed today.

Dr Alan Watkins, a senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London, revealed that teaching people to control their breathing and applying the musical structure of chanting can help their emotional state.

He said: “We have recently carried out research that demonstrates that the regular breathing and musical structure of chanting can have a significant and positive physiological impact.”

The research involved five monks having their heart rate and blood pressure measured throughout a 24-hour period. Results showed their heart rate and blood pressure dipped to its lowest point in the day when they were chanting. Dr Watkins pointed to previous studies that also demonstrated such practices have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase performance hormone levels as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

The lecturer also runs Cardiac Coherence Ltd, a company that helps executives perform under stressful conditions. (H/T Chantblog

I wonder if this is one of those “ancient knowledge” types of things – something we intuitively understood once, but are now relearning through science? I recalled here the words of Abbess Benedict Nuss who founded the Abbey of Regina Laudis and never deviated from the monastic tradition of Chant, in the Latin, not the vernacular, saying: “I had an intuitive conviction that the Chant had the power to communicate the life of God as no other music does.”

I apologize to those who have asked; I have not been able to learn when this CD will be released in America.

A word from Denver’s Archbishop Chaput:

We need a lifelong devotion to prayer. Our spiritual life is the engine that drives the whole of our life. If we don’t pray, then we can’t claim to have a real relationship with Jesus risen from the dead. Prayer is a sign of our faith, that Jesus has not left us but is with us still.

O/T but interesting:

Vanderleun gives us an important heads up on the Tesla (I admit, I find Nikola Tesal fascinating and like seeing this car) and, more urgently, on a great downloading/viewing opportunity thanks to Maggie’s Farm:

…we’re going to be offering the terrific James Burke series The Day The Universe Changed starting this Sunday. One episode will be posted per night at 6 pm for 10 days. You can watch them at your leisure. They’ll stick around for another week, then they’re history.

Starts tonight! And for another sort of history – told via foodfighting, go here.

Last Snow of the Season? and oh, yeah, more on Ethanol.

Jeanette has the Dems in 7 seconds.

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  • Jeanette

    Thanks for the link, A, but it was actually Sue who posted it. :)

  • wannie

    Anchoress: You can pre-order from, just placed my order today. Amazon lists the album as $24.49 new, and guaranteed at no more than that price after the 5/20 release date. Just go to, search on the CD title.

  • KIA

    Gregorain chant is also known to be very effective in the relief of migrane headaches.

  • Dante Explorer

    I keep chant going all the time in my car at a low volume. Definite RRP (road rage prevention).

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