Here’s how music therapy is essential for good health

By ‘Garland’ N. Rajagopalan

‘Excellent: enchanting; melodious; absorbing; creative’, murmured rhythmically my convalescing neighbour.  Glad to see him in a happy mood emerging from the chronic ailment and pain he has been suffering from, I solicitously enquired him on his ailment.

My mother punched my foot and signaled not to remind him of it which either he forgot overwhelmed by the lure of music or it had deserted hum finding that he had opted to love music more.  She later enlightened me that pains, once got over, often tend to disappear permanently too.

Santamu lekha, soukhyamu ledhu’, sang the Bard of Tiruvaiyaru. But when the scenario is distressing and frightening spoiling the happy tenor of many a household, how could one hope to gather peace of mind (Santam) and the attendant contented life (Soukhyam)?

Life depends on mental and physical health and welfare.  Sans wealth of health, life is burdensome, more often miserable.  Mens sana is corpore sano, is the guiding dictum.  Elders bless one and all to enjoy ‘wealth of health’.  But due to constant stress and tension, legacy of bad health, environmental or occupational hazards, man inherits, attracts, absorbs, subjects himself to diseases.

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People in recent decades have virtually become mentally attuned to rely entirely on pills, capsules and injections ignoring the fact that many a medicine has side or after effects.  Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani languishes neglected and ignored by the State and the public.  Patients are subjected to time consuming, varied, costly, distressing, even oppressive clinical checks.

Medical aids and medicines (of verified or unverified potency and inter se compatibility) are costly, irritating and burdensome.  If the prescribed medicine fails, the entire process is repeated ad nauseum demanding de novo tests and fresh batch of medicines.  Money, a scarce resource, spent, in consequence, is a drain.

The situation tends to take alarming proportions due to the depressing economic condition of the bulk of the population, alarming growth of slums and population, urbanization and the flood of ever-fresh, untested medicines the efficacy of which is unknown.

All is not last!!  Hopefully, there is the ideal, welcome, distress-free, refreshing, entertaining, consoling system enjoyable to young and old, poor and rich.  This unique system with potential to avert, prevent, reduce and cure much of health hazards and problems provide satisfactory protection and immunity, given faith and involvement.  It is the popular mantra.

‘Sangita Cikitsa’ – Music Therapy

 Distinguished medical prodigies of the world advocate music therapy based on experienced and experiments.  Ancient lore of India and other countries carry many a legend justifying music therapy for prevention and cure of diseases.

It is not suggested here at this stage that serious cases demanding urgent and specific calls on medical officers need depend on music therapy alone but even here that congenial, cheap, homely, exhilarating, entertaining, elevating, soothing remedy can be availed of as supportive, ancillary aid with the help of spouses, children and elders besides cassettes and CDs, if there be no music therapy clinic nearby.  Further music therapy helps to cure tension and distress to a large extent.

Music Therapy for prevention and cure is the easiest, cheapest, available method, more particularly in far-off places.  Our people are congenitally musical and can draw inspiration in the efficacy of music therapy. Morning or evening, as time admits, may people lend their ears to soothing music of their choice with faith and involvement.  As Saint Tyagaraja adiocates, ‘Raga sudha rasa, panamu jesi’.  may they drink the amrit of music.  The effect would be remarkable given faith in its efficacy.

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