The article written by Rupashika Ranatunga, the daughter of Dr. Amara Ranathunaga and Dayarathna Ranathunga, was sent to us by Sunil Thenabadhu, a freelance journalist based in Brisbane.
A newborn baby steps into this world hearing his/her mother’s song of love and compassion; a song that blooms out of pure motherly love that soothes and cradles the child. On the other hand, a child communicates his/her numerous needs and wants through sounds while the movements of a human being take place according to sound and rhythm both. Further, the existence of life, circulation of blood and many other related actions occur rhythmically.
Music is created when sound and rhythm are amalgamated. From ancient times, people have believed that music, which is considered a global language, amazingly contains life. Over the years, many a psychologist has proved through research that music therapy could be utilized in curing psychological as well as physical ailments. Ancient Indians believed that one could attract cosmic powers through music while history speaks of early Greeks and Egyptians who have used music to reinvigorate the health of humans. In the meantime, it was Pythagoras who first discovered the therapeutic quality contained in music (Rochelle, Paul, Virginia. M, 1958).
Apart from that, Vedic Scripture, Holy Bible, and Plato as well as Aristotle have mentioned that music influences the daily routines of humans.
In the Thirteenth Century, Arabs had used music to cure various types of sicknesses; meanwhile, the French scientists too had practiced music therapy. During World War I, music therapy was popularly used as Melotherapy. However, this usage obtained scientific permission only after World War II. In general, doctors believe that people fall sick when their physical rhythm undergoes any sort of change. The Russian physician Garber, who was of the same view, studied more extensively on music therapy and referred to it as Psycho Rhythmo Therapy. Through experiments he discovered that music could make changes in the human brain.
Even the simplest of musical instruments can change the Alpha rays created in the brain while rhythm controls one’s heartbeat and the breathing process. In 1991, a group of scientists discovered that sound waves can develop the amount of Ethanol in a human’s body, which is a key factor affecting the excitation of feelings. Infrasounds are what could be heard under normal circumstances, which excite feelings thereby making one active. While what cannot be heard are ultrasounds, can lead to laziness.
Utilizing music as a therapy can be performed in several ways:
- As a sedative or a tranquilizer that soothes away mental pressure
- As a painkiller
- As a remedy in nerve related issues
- As a stimulus in physical activities and exercising
- In exhibiting one’s moods
- For appreciation
- For mental equilibrium
- As an accessory in a treatment
As a result, music can be considered a medium that has a massive therapeutic effect. The waves released into the universe by nature amalgamate with music and the intricate messages sent by the sound waves of this amalgamation get deposited in the sensitive areas of the human brain creating excitement that leads to major changes. Accordingly, music is a universal language as well as a medium that promotes the wellbeing of human beings.
By Sangeeth Nipun Rupashika Ranatunga – Sri Lanka