Music can help treat a host of diseases, make life better

Music therapy
Music therapy in Ayurveda has benefits like boosting the conversational ability and coordination of physical movements, among others. Representational image. Photo: iStock

Research has proved that Carnatic music ‘ragas’ Madhyamavarthy and Sankarabharanam have a big role is calming the mind. Experts stress that the songs sung by a pregnant woman are beneficial to the growth of the foetus. These are facts highlighted at a workshop organized by Medimusictech and IMA Kochi recently.

Music has a soothing effect on listeners. In addition, it has several positive properties like improving the psychological, physical and social aptitude of differently abled children. However, not many people are aware of these aspects. In fact, music has the power to raise living standards.

Music therapy in Ayurveda has benefits like boosting the conversational ability and coordination of physical movements, among others. Music therapy can be divided into ‘Raga treatment’ and personalized Ayurvedic music therapy. Raga therapy takes into account the person’s need, zodiac sign and disease and selects a specific raga to treat the problem. The treatment is based on ‘Musical life panorama’.

Taste for music develops naturally. It is the thalamus in a person’s brain that gives rise to emotions, while cortex is the seat of language. Music is related to the sub-cortical level and amusia is a condition in which the person is unable to understand music or the different sounds in a musical composition. It may be recalled that the legendary musician Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar had suffered from this disease at one time.

Another related disease is aphasia, whereby a person becomes incapable of understanding a speech and is also unable to speak.

Either of these diseases can occur after some cells in the brain are destroyed. This is because the areas of speech and music in the brain are located close to each other. In addition to amusia and aphasia, some people may have difficulties in reading and writing as well as doing Maths.

To treat all such conditions, the brain has to be stimulated with the specific music. As the area of speech is nearby, it too would feel this positive effect. In fact, this is the principle behind the music therapy offered to differently abled children.

An infant tries to sing even before it attempts to speak. Moreover, the connection a mother can build with its child through songs is well-known. This is considered to be a conversation between an infant and its mother. A child becomes familiar with the voice and heartbeat of its mother while it is in the womb. In other words, even as a foetus. After birth, this familiarity helps the infant to recognize its mother’s voice from among the plethora of other voices it hears in the world outside the womb, giving a feeling of security.

Research into this field has also been conducted along with ‘AYUCALM’ which too has produced positive results. For instance, the severity of cerebral palsy and hyper caustic reflection has been reduced by playing the musical instrument of ‘thayambaka’. Moreover, hyperactive kids have calmed down after making them listen to the right kind of music. In addition, differently abled children were found to enjoy regular sleep after music therapy.

However, care should be taken while choosing the right kind of music for the treatment as sounds can have two different kinds of influences on a person. If the wrong tune is used for the therapy, the condition of the patient may become worse.

Meanwhile, personalized Ayurveda music therapy combines Ayurveda drugs and music. The ‘doshas’ related to a particular disease and certain ‘ragas’ related to them are taken into account and the necessary Ayurveda medicines prescribed for the treatment.

(Facts courtesy, Dr Neena Raveendran, Sanjeevanam Ayurveda Hospital, Kochi)