Rhythm Divine : Music Therapy

“And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares that infest the day

Shall fold their tents like the Arabs

And as silently steal away.”

H.W.Longfellow , The Day Is Done

One of the most dangerous outcomes of today’s hectic lifestyle is depression. Depression can occur due to a variety of reasons and can reflect in disturbed appetite, irregular sleep pattern and a general ‘low’ feeling. Therapists claim that the number of people who approach them for treatment of depression is rising fast. At the same time, a large number of alternative therapies are coming to the fore, one of them being music therapy.

For a long time, music has been considered a stress-reliever. Experts believe that the rhythm of music has a calming effect on us even though we may not be aware of it. Now, recently concluded research proves that it is not just stress but also cases of severe depression that can gain benefit from music. In fact, if music therapy is coupled with other forms of treatment, the results are quicker.

So how does this work? Music is supposed to evoke a number of positive emotions like happiness, calmness or even excitement which control our negative feelings. It soothes our mind and relaxes the body. The body’s production of serotonin also increases. There is another theory which claims that there is a universal music that binds all of nature’s creations. We tend to forget it in our daily lives but when we listen to soothing music, we instantly connect to it. The entire human system is deeply influenced by sounds, the physical body and charka centers respond specifically to certain frequencies. Music is therefore built within us and naturally proves to be a starting point for many kinds of therapy.

Research also proves that while listening to music can be very beneficial, those who can create it have an upper hand. People who can play an instrument or sing are not just gifted with a talent we can applaud but also a wonderful mechanism which helps them overcome negative feelings and stress of every kind. How often have you heard musicians claim that their profession is their refuge? Well, they were just being honest.

At the same time, experts also insist that it is important to choose the ‘right kind of music’. Many kinds of music like hard rock and heavy metal can actually have an adverse effect on our mind and body.

It must be kept in mind that music therapy is still a new field. While there is evidence that it may help in reducing stress and depression, one does not know how beneficial it will prove to be in more complicated problems. Still, it seems to be a vast field with great potential and one that needs to be further researched.

Ipshita Ghosh

[Image Source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/flea_ef/2018883978/]