Music is a fundamental part of humans, and our brain is hard-wired to differentiate between noise and rhythm, and react to different tones and tunes. Sounds have an influence on brain and subsequently on body too. Hence, music is clinically used therapeutically to manage various conditions.
Although “Music Therapy” is a modern term, it can be rooted back to ancient Indian scriptures mentioning the therapeutic use of music or Ragas. Known as Raga Chikitsa or Raga Therapy, the musical rhythms in Bhajans and Kirtans were used to to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs.
What is Raga Chikitsa?
As per Indian classical music, Raga is a melodic structure, performed at specific time and season to evoke specific moods. Hence, every raga has unique effect and triggers corresponding emotions within the listener. The are sounds for five basic elements of human body are:
- Earth: Diverse and mild, Earth sounds trigger a sense of activity and movement in body. String and percussive instruments like drum, cymbals, etc. create earth sounds.
- Water: Depth, pattering sounds with tendency to produce imagination, fancy, dream, affection. The Chinese water bowls create the sounds for water.
- Fire: High-pitched, energetic sounds are related with the fire element, with a tendency to trigger sense of fear.
- Air: The wavering whispers of air usually overpowers all other sounds and creates a sense of ecstasy, and soothing the fire of heart. All wind-based instruments fall under this category, Krishna’s flute being the classical example.
- Ether: The basis of all other sounds, ether is self-contained and exists in space. Giving ecstasy, joy, restfulness and revelation, it is unheard except to those who open themselves to it by the sacred practices.
Benefits of Music Therapy
Few of the many benefits related to music therapy are:
- Improves cognitive, emotional, physical functions and abilities
- Non-invasive and medicine-free therapy
- Helps with easing pain and stress
- Management of clinically incurable disorders like autism, Alzheimer’s, etc.
- Can be used as a complimentary therapy alongside others
Where to get Music Therapy from?
With benevolent blessings of Guruji Sri K.T. Sivanandan Vaidyar, and support from the entire AMCT team, Dr. Harshit Maniar from Rajkot (Gujarat) provides professional music therapy.