Music Therapy is slowly gaining ground in India, as a potential supplement for management of neurological disorders, across major hospitals.
Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas, Chairman-Emeritus, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Voluntary Health Services, during his lecture on ‘Music and Brain’, said that although the practice of healing with music may not be well entrenched in India, as it is in the west, “we are surely on the way”.
He also endorsed the recommendation of Liver Sacks, the neurologist-author of the revered “Musicophilia’, about establishing Music Therapy clinic at all major hospitals. Although the benefit of Music Therapy is more real than illusory, it would be a myth to consider it as a panacea.
Pointing out to Western studies, and to his own research on neurology patients, he reinstated the clinical utility of music. A Harvard study demonstrated that children who turned into music did better in their academic performance, while a Chennai-based study led by Dr. Srinivas himself, revealed that exposure to music prompted a set of willed actions, such as the need to be attentive, to perform specific tasks, and to exercise choice. The result is true for any form of music, which the listener finds soothing enough.
Another finding as revealed by the UK-based Journal of Clinical Nursing, suggests that Music Therapy can reduce psychological stress among pregnant women.
To prove this fact, researchers from the College of Nursing at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan, randomly assigned 116 pregnant women to a music group, while 120 pregnant women were assigned to a control group. At the end of the study period, the music group showed considerable decrease in their stress, anxiety and depression levels, within just two weeks, while the control group showed only a much smaller reduction in stress, anxiety and depression levels.
According to Prof. Chen, the study lead, pregnancy is a unique, stressful period for many expectant mothers, as they suffer anxiety and depression due to the prolonged time period involved. Hence any intervention that reduces these problems is to be welcomed.
“Our study shows that listening to suitable music is a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive way of reducing anxiety, stress and depression during pregnancy,” he added.
The value of Music Therapy is slowly being realized in several clinical settings, and Complementary and Alternative Therapies are increasingly being used, agrees Dr. Graeme D. Smith, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh.
Several potential health benefits have been gained by closely incorporating Complementary and alternative therapies into conventional health care. Even the National Health Service is including several types of Complementary/Alternative therapies that are part of its delivery of integrated services.
“Patients have felt immense benefits even by incorporating half an hour of relaxing music into their daily routine. In this world of sophisticated medical advances it feels nice to see that something as simple, and inexpensive, can be so effective,” says Prof. Chen. (by Ayurvedictalk.com)