International Medical Journal Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 31 - 33 , February 2017
Study of Objective Evaluation of Effect of Psychological
Relaxation Using Classic Music
Toshihide Harada1,*), Fumiko Ishizaki2), Shoji Ito2), Satomi Aoi1),
Marina Miyaguchi1), Hiromi Ikeda1), Yumiko Nitta3), Mikako Mibu1),
Tadayuki Iida1), Chiho Chikamura1), Noriko Tamura4), Kohsaku Nitta5)
Objective: Some of classic musics make both relaxation and adequate stress. In brain cortex some classic musics make fruit-
ful concentration and attention.
Design: A clinical study.
Materials and methods: The subjects were healthy young 1 man and 19 women. We did them Tomita’s stress questionnaire.
They enjoyed classic music CD with headphone. Accelerated plethysmography (APG) was performed using a pulsimeter with
the sensor positioned on the tip of the ventral side of the index finger. Peripheral venous circulation was monitored with venous
oxygenation index (VOI) and width of peripheral vein.
Results: Tomita's stress questionnaire scores were significantly correlated with low frequency (LF) component powers (maxi-
mum entropy method (MEM) and fast fourier transform (FFT)). LF and LF/HF decreased after enjoying classic music. VOI was
significantly positive correlated with LF/HF before enjoying classic music.
Conclusions: These results suggest that APG, VOI and width of peripheral vein is useful for objective evaluation of psycho-
logical stress and relaxation.
classic music, music therapy, psychological relaxation, vessel width and venous oxygenation index of peripheral vein, spec-
tral analysis of heart-rate variability
Received on July 10, 2015 and accepted on April 22, 2016
1) Faculty of Health and Welfare, Prefectural University of Hiroshima
1-1, Gakuen-machi, Mihara, Hiroshima, 723-0053, Japan
2) Hiroshima Cosmopolitan University
5-13-18, Ujina-nishi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, 734-0014, Japan
3) Suzugamine Women's College
4-6-18, Inokuchi, Nishi-ku, Hiroshima 733-8623, Japan
4) Yasuda Women’s University,
6-13-1, Yasuhigashi, Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima, 731-0153, Japan
230 Shiraki-cho Kogoshi, Asakita-ku, Hiroshima, 739-1412, Japan
Correspondence to: Toshihide Harada
Tomita's stress questionnaire2), self-rating depression scale (SDS)
and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) have been used as evaluation
for psychological stressor4). Nevetheless these questionnaires are subjec-
tive findings of materials5). The measurement of autonomic functions is
considered to be useful as objective biomarkers of psychological stress-
or2-4,6,7). Psychological stressor decreases HF and increases LF/HF.
Peripheral vein width decreases after psychological stressor1,4,8).
Peripheral vein width negative correlated with LF/HF after psychologi-
cal stressor. Psychological stressor decreases parasympathitic nervous
function and activates sympathetic nervous function. These results sug-
gest that APG, VOI and width of peripheral vein prove useful in objec-
tive observing psychological stressor. In this study we check the psy-
chological relaxation effect of classic music on autonomic nervous sys-
tem function using APG, VOI and width of peripheral vein.
SUBJECTS AND METHOD
The subjects were healthy young 1 man and 19 women. Mean age at
C 2017 Japan Health Sciences University
& Japan International Cultural Exchange Foundation
Harada T. et al.
examination was 21.8 ± 0.4 years. The study content and method were
sufficiently explained to all subjects, and written consent was obtained
before the study. This study was conducted in accordance with the
Declaration of Helsinki.
They were given Tomita's stress questionnaire. They were measured
APG, VOI and width of peripheral vein before enjoying classic music.
They enjoyed classic music CD with head phone. Classic music was
Chopan: Nocturne, Op. 9-1, Remo Giazotto (Albinoni): Adagio and
Vivaldi: four seasons-spring Allegro. They enjoyed classic music for 2
min and 40 sec. They were measured APG, VOI and width of peripheral
vein last 2 min and 20 sec. APG was performed using a pulsimeter
(Artett C, U-Medica, Osaka, Japan) with the sensor positioned on the tip
of the ventral side of the right index finger2-4,6,7). Heart-rate variability
(HRV) was determined in all subjects using the spectral analysis2-4,6,7).
MEM and FFT LF and HF component powers and LF/HF ratio were
determined. VOI and peripheral vein width were estimated using
near-infrared spectrophotoscopy of Sysmex Astrim SU with the sensor
positioned on the left middle finger2-6). In this study, we investigated
under a controlled physical condition and living environment. The room
temperature and humidity were 26℃ and 65%. Probability values of 0.5
or lower were regarded as statistically significant in all tests. Statistical
analysis was performed using Statistical Package for the Social Science
(SPSS) 18.0J software (SPSS Japan Inc., Tokyo, Japan).
Different spectral analysis, MEM and FFT were signifficantly cor-
related, before enjoying classic music, LF; r = 0.991, p < 0.001, HF; r =
0.999, p < 0.001, LF/HF; r = 0.985, p < 0.001, after enjoying classic
music, LF; r = 0.983, p < 0.001, HF; r = 1.000, p < 0.001, LF/HF; r =
0.988, p < 0.001, respectively. HF was negatively correlated with LF/
HF before enjoying classic music (r = -0.582, p = 0.007) and after
enjoying classic music (r = -0.542, p = 0.014). VOI and width of periph-
eral vein, LF, HF and LF/HF were signifficantly correlated before
enjoying classic music (p < 0.001) and after enjoying classic music (p =
VOI and width of peripheral vein, HF increased after enjoying clas-
sic music. LF and LF/HF signifficantly decreased after enjoying classic
music (1536 ± 1054 → 741 ± 414 ms2 (p < 0.001), 2.463 ± 2.15 →
1.139 ± 1.11 (p < 0.001), respectively) (Fig. 1). Tomita's stress ques-
tionnaire scores were significantly correlated with LF (r = 0.469, p =
0.037) (Fig. 2). VOI was significantly positive correlated with LF/HF
before enjoying classic music (r = 0.555, p = 0.011) (Fig. 3). VOI was
significantly negative correlated with HF before enjoying classic music
(r = -0.595, p = 0.006).
An autoregressive approach to spectral analysis of HRV provides
non-invasive indices of the sympathetic and parasympathetic func-
tions1,2,8). LF/HF is employed as a measure of sympathetic activity1,7,8). In
our study HF significantly negative correlated with LF/HF. Our finding
agrees that HF is parasympathitic function and LF/HF is sympathitic
function. HF decreases and LF/HF increases after psychological stress-
or. Pulsimeter can determine both MEM and FFT. In this our study there
was good correlation between MEM and FFT. Then we can analysis
autonomic function with either method.
Width of peripheral vein, VOI, LF/HF and LF/HF were significantl-
ly correlated in our study. These results suggest that APG, VOI and
width of peripheral vein is useful for objective evaluation of psycholog-
ical stress and relaxation.
Mean values of width of peripheral vein, VOI and HF and LF/HF
after enjoying classic music increased in our study. These results sug-
gest that parasympathetic activities increase width of peripheral vein
and VOI after enjoying classic music.
LF and LF/HF significantlly decreased after enjoying classic music
in our study. These results suggest that sympathetic activities decreased
after enjoying classic music. After enjoying classic music psychological
stress decreases and makes relaxation effect. In next study, effect of
classic music therapy should be examined.
Tomita's stress questionnaire is the self questionnaire of 40 ques-
tions of last 2 weeks. Life stress stages are scored by the counts of "yes"
answers. Score 0 is no stress and score over 35 is illness with stress.
Figure 1. LF and LF/HF after enjoying classic music
LF and LF/HF significantly decreased after enjoying classic music
(1536 ± 1054 → 741 ± 414 ms2 (p < 0.001), 2.463 ± 2.15 → 1.139 ±
1.11 (p < 0.001), respectively).
Figure 2. Tomita's stress questionnaires scores and
Tomita's stress questionnaires scores were significant-
ly correlated with LF (r = 0.469, p = 0.037).
Figure 3. VOI and LF/HF before enjoying classic music.
VOI was significantly positive correlated with LF/HF before enjoying
classic music (r = 0.555, p = 0.011).
Objective Evaluation of Relaxation Using Classic Music 33
Tomita's stress questionnaire scores were significantly correlated with
LF. LF is used mainly as a measure of sympathetic activities6-8). Then
our results suggest that chronic psychological stress shows sympathetic
activities. And our results suggest LF is useful for objective evaluation
of chronic psychological stress.
VOI was significantly negative correlated with HF before enjoying
classic music. VOI was significantly positive correlated with LF/HF
before enjoying classic music. Our results suggest that VOI increases
with sympathetic activities and decreases with parasympathetic activi-
ties. And our results suggest sympathetic activities make activities of
peripferal venous ciculation and increase of oxygen metabolism.
These results suggest that APG, VOI and width of peripheral vein
are useful for objective evaluation of psychological stress and relax-
We express our deep gratitude to all people who cooperated in this
survey. This research was partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for
Scientists (C, 21500673) from the Japanese Ministry of Education,
Science and culture.
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