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Effects of speech therapy with poetry on heart rate rhythmicity and cardiorespiratory coordination

      Abstract

      Our objective was to study the effects of guided rhythmic speech with poetry, referred to as anthroposophical therapeutic speech (ATS), on binary differential heart rate dynamics (also called musical heart rate rhythmicity or HRR) as well as on classical spectral parameters during the 15 min after a speech exercise had ended. A total of 105 1-h sessions with speech or control exercises were performed in seven healthy subjects, with 15 sessions each. Heart rate was recorded with ambulatory solid state recorders. Sessions were divided into a 15-min baseline measurement (S1), 30 min of exercise and a 15-min effect measurement (S2). The overall binary pattern predominance (PP) as well as the frequency of predominant and cyclically recurrent cardiorespiratory phase locking patterns were calculated from HRR and their changes from S1 to S2 were compared with the changes in low and high frequency heart rate variability. The results showed that: (i) ATS provokes alterations in heart rate dynamics which are different from those after control exercises and which persist at least for 15 min following exercise; (ii) in comparison to spectral parameters of heart rate variability, pattern predominance discloses the effects of rhythmic speech exercises best; and (iii) cardiorespiratory phase locking patterns, which contribute most to the rhythm pattern predominance, are more prominent after ATS.

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