Indian Classical Raga Therapy

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Music is a  sound or nada generating particular vibrations which moves through the medium of ether present in the atmosphere and effects the human body. Pt. Sarangdeva mentions in his Sangeet Ratnakar that ahata-nada or music is always produced by striking or Agatha by a living being on an instrument of any kind So music is a power or universal energy in the form of raga.

 We might be familiar with the word music therapy or Sound healing, which is practiced globally these days.  Raag therapy is basically Indian music therapy as the base of Indian classical music rendition is RAG. Healing through the rendition of ragas is Rag therapy. Indian classical music is recited in ragas which is the reason ragas play an important role in treatments too. The therapeutic procedures through ragas comprises of making a patient listen to tunes or a specific tonal structures and notes  in which a particular raga has been created.  In India, legend has it that Thyagaraja, the famous musician of South India, brought a dead person back to life by singing the composition “Naa Jeevan Dhara” in raga Bihari. In 1729, Richard Browne, a physician wrote the famous text ‘Medicina Musica’ which describes the use of music as medicine. Dr. Burnell has mentioned a manuscript named Raga Chikistsa in the collections of Saraswati Mahal Library in Tanjore which deals with the various ragas that can be used for curing various ailments.
 
Tunes & note-structure
 It has been proved by several Indian music therapists that ragas have an intense and prompt power to heal mental and psychologically impaired patients. The main characteristics of ragas are that they dwell in the aura of certain specific note-structure or pattern, either which denotes stability and perseverance. A raga has minimum five and maximum seven notes and the whole rendition revolves in the circumference of these notes. This systematic organization of notes from which a raga is established, imbibes soothing vibrations to mind and five senses. On this very basis of specific tonal texture of ragas, musicians and therapists have tried to authenticate that a particular raga can leave a higher impact on a particular body organ and results in healing. Repetitive audition of any particular ragas is one of the methods of treatment which leads the balancing of mental disorders by its durability. The muscles, nerves and the chakras of the affected part are contracted when one impulse is given and relaxed during the interval between two impulses. During contraction of the tissue, musical notes make the blood flow out from that particular area and there is relaxation and a state of reduced pressure is produced in these areas while intervals. Thus, the blood from the adjacent area will flow there. This process is repeated again and again and the blood flow and energy flow in that part is enhanced. This makes quick, fast healing by rejuvenating the mind and body.
 
Energy from URF (unlvarsal energy field) to HEF (human energy field) transmitted by the strokes of the different tones of raga affects the CNS (Central nervous system) because the roots of the auditory nerves are more widely distributed and have more connections than any other nerves in the body.
Rhythms and Beats
Music beats have a very close relationship with heart beats. Music having 70-75 beats per minute equivalent to the normal heart beat of 72 has a very soothing effect. Likewise rhythms which are slower than 72 beats per minute create a positive suspense on the mind and body since the mind body complex anticipates that the music will speed up and this restored vital energy gives a deep relaxation to the body. Rhythms which are faster than the heart beats excite and rejuvenate the body.

 Here are some of the examples of Ragas which are often used by therapists for healing the patients :

 
Rag Kafi imparts humid, cool, peaceful and soothing moods within patients and deals with anxiety and over-reactors. Rag Puriya dhanashri instill sweet, deep, heavy or cloudy state of mind.
Rag Mishra Mand has a very pleasing refreshing light and sweet touch while Bagashwari arouses a feeling of darkness, stability, depths and calmness. Music is considered the best tranqulliser in modern days of anxiety, tension and high blood pressure. Raga Darbari is considered very effective in easing tension. Raga Bhupali and Todi give tremendous relief to patients of high blood pressure. Raga Ahir-Bhairav is supposed to sustain chords which automatically brings down blood pressure. Raga Malkauns and Raga Asawari helps to cure low blood pressure. 
   For heart aliments, Raga Chandrakauns is considered very helpful. Raga Tilak-Kamod, Hansdhwani, Kalvati, Durga evoke a very blissful effect on the nerves. For patients suffering from insomnia and need a sonorous sleep, Rag Bihag and Bahaar is effective and revitalizing.  Rag kedar cures common cold & cough, asthma, headache.
 
Ragas also play a vital role in the mutation of attitude and temperament. It not only brings balance and patience in our overall behavior but empowers us to take appropriate decisions in day-to-day life hazards with much calmness and pragmatism.
 
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