No, really. Reading Homer synchronizes heart rate and breathing.
Actually, much of poetry, from the sounds of it.
“In a new study, European researchers suggest that the rhythms of ancient poetry can synchronize the body’s heart and respiration rates. Similar positive effects have been linked to the Catholic rosary prayer and the yoga mantra …
“But the classical poetry must be read correctly to have an effect on the body, Cysarz noted. ‘If it is just mumbled, it is not helpful. But if every syllable of the half line is carefully pronounced and after each half line a quiet breath is taken, it may have some effect on heart rate.'”
Hey, it’s no worse than any number of herbal remedies out there. And probably has more research behind it. 🙂
(Link from public_health.)