Indian flavors occupy a wide range of subjects. Not only do they show diversity, but they are famed too in each of their respective fields. Music, having antiqueÂ andÂ mature roots, is something that shows off a great aroma as being indigenous.
Music inÂ IndiaÂ not only serves to entertain, but is also of vast potential in the field of therapy and cure.Â Vedic traditionsÂ dating back roughly 5000 years ago had a great intuitionÂ about the power of sound and intonation.Â It wasÂ used as a source of healing andÂ reflected the intuition that each intonation and inflection ofÂ voice could have beneficial or adverse effects.
Vedic hymns were also believed to cureÂ many commonÂ diseases. Present day music therapy practice involves use ofÂ archika, gathika andÂ samika verses to enhance focused attention and to help get into meditative and relaxed states.
Music Therapy is the use of a selected music to obtain already studied expected changes and hormonal alterations in the body to obtain a desired positive effect. Even though the patient who participates in the treatment sessions has no knowledge of music, Music Therapy shows results.Â Recent researches haveÂ shown that music has a vital influence on the functioning of human brain and this theory can be utilized in curing various diseases like mesothelioma and Asbestos Cancer.Â This branch of science is growing fast and many researchers in the field of music andÂ medicineÂ add a great deal of life toÂ it.
At some places, research is being done onÂ the integration of traditional Indian healing systems likeÂ Nadopasan, Ayurveda, Yoga, Raga Chikitsa andÂ Nada Yoga into modern music therapyÂ to bring down theÂ impacts of disease andÂ enhanceÂ treatment in clinical settings. (for the paper, go toÂ http://www.scribd.com/doc/33476046/Music-Therapy-in-India)
It is also proven that Music Therapy is especially effective in three key medical areas such asÂ Pain, anxiety and depression; Mental, emotional and physical handicaps; Mesothelioma & neurological disorders.
The working of the Magic:
There are two types of music therapies. Active and Passive.Â When a person is subject to music therapy, the genre ofÂ the specific music being played activates parts of the brain functions in a coordinated pattern and helps us to enjoy the music. The mind has the tendency to relate or to identify things in a known pattern,Â in case we know the music being played, to come to aÂ resultÂ throughÂ our expressed behavior.Â It helps in the quality of neuro transmitters secreted in brain and the behavior of the individual.Â Some music may reduce heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure in patients with coronary heart disease.Â Even if the music is unknown, the flow of sound and its pathway being usedÂ does wondersÂ with theÂ subject.Â And of course, the result varies on the functioning of the individual’s brain.
Most people experience a visceral reaction to musicÂ creating aÂ connection between music and mood. Music has also been shown to lowerÂ stress hormones andÂ increase the release of “feel-good” hormones.
Music therapists often use musicÂ asÂ aÂ language.Â Training can helpÂ the mentally and physically disabled express themselves. ItÂ is also used to instill confidence in introverts too.
“Entertainment”Â is a process used to treat stroke and neurological ill patients.Â When patients listen to rhythmic music, their muscle movements become synchronized with the beatÂ causingÂ regular and efficientÂ motor skills. Entrainment can also induce a sedative, relaxing response if the music has a slow, steady rhythm.
MusicÂ was found to reduce the pain during dental procedures.Â Playing music in the background while working reducesÂ the stress.
Music Therapy in the West
Music therapy became known a little long ago. But effective usage was notedÂ fromÂ the period of the World Wars. Works of eminent pioneers like Nordoff-Robbins, Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly, Mary Priestly and several others are noteworthy.
Several Institutes propagate the ideaÂ of music therapyÂ such as theÂ MichiganÂ StateÂ University,Â UniversityÂ ofÂ Kansas,Â TempleÂ University,Â andÂ LesleyÂ UniversityÂ and so on.
Not all peaceful or “New Age” music works for everyone. Music with no structure can be irritating or even unsettling. It results in spending time to search for the genre of music that fits an individual. We need specialÂ Music therapists and the effect of music therapy is notÂ perfectlyÂ clear.
As seen, the concept is still an infant and has a long long way to go before being established as a main therapy in hospitals.Â Several efforts have been uptaken to spread the word.Â Music Therapy courses are being conducted at certain centers likeÂ theÂ Apollo Hospitals inÂ ChennaiÂ thatÂ has a Music Therapy Department conducting courses for music therapy. This is for the first time inÂ Asia.
We can therefore look forward to the unison of music and medicine taking a huge stand in a few years.