Music is a universal language. Encompassing all possible moods and forms of expression, it conveys the feelings to the heart more powerfully than any words of any language. Hindu scriptures have described the precise pronunciation of words and their effects on the temporal and astral planes. References related to the importance of music in worship and healing practices can be traced to the sacred texts of Vedas, Upanishads and Gita. In the Rug Veda and Saama Vedas references to sung and chanted mantras for healing are given. Mantras are considered words of power and as such are considered to have healing properties.
Though we have accomplished a great deal through scientific inquiry, we don’t completely understand the mystery of Music Healing. By relinquishing total power and understanding, spiritual guides act as facilitators and instruments through which the divine can interact with the individual. What is not found in the traditional Western Therapy model is the active acknowledgement of the sacred and unseen forces that act as co-healer or therapist. This difference in spiritual capacity to heal can be contrasted with Western Music therapy methods of singing to induce a change in the emotional state that makes you feel better.
As a container, music creates all atmospheres that manipulate a person’s mood. It can create both tension and relaxation. As a connector, music links us to the memories, emotions and perceptions. As a carrier, music has the ability to allow individuals to relate to certain themes in the society e.g.: birth, death and freedom and may also include feelings of happiness, frustrations, and sadness. Often people interpret themselves in relation to music. Music is a catalyst for emotional expression and physical responses.
Recent studies on music therapy indicate that music can influence endogenous opioids, a group of more than fifteen neuro hormones found to effect pain perception, neuro endocrine and immune regulation, neurotransmission, and mood (Cook, 1997, p80-81). This has wide spread application for music therapy in cancer treatment (Beck SL, 1991; Burns SJ et al, 2001) and pain management (Good M et al, 2001, Hillicke T et al 2000).
Doron Kemp Antrin says. “Psychologists have found that music does things to you, whether you like it or not. Fast tempos invariably raise your pulse rate, respiration and blood pressure, slow music lowers them”. Klitz (1970) suggested that participation in musical activities encourages better posture and proper breathing and strengthens specific muscle groups, removing frustrations and reducing emotional tensions. Slack (1970) studied the effect of music education on the slow learner pupils and found that music education had a positive psychological effect in the normalization of their pent-up emotions and developed their abilities to the full. Music has also been found to be effective in curing stammering.
Hood (1973) found that students having music lessons exhibited better social adjustment than other students. Slack (1970) working in Great Britain on the slow learners in the schools found that that Music education helped them in the normalization of their pent- up emotions and developed their abilities to the full. Graves (1947) found that adolescents who take music lesson showed less emotional conflict and they appeared to be more comfortable in their relations with their parents than otherwise. Smilansky (1953) working with the mentally retarded children found that there were significant improvements in the adjustment rating. (Lakshmi Devnath, 2003).