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Music as a Therapy | Rupashika Ranatunga | Sri Lanka

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ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ

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:

  1. As a sedative or a tranquilizer that soothes away mental pressure
  2. As a painkiller
  3. As a remedy in nerve related issues
  4. As a stimulus in physical activities and exercising
  5. In exhibiting one’s moods
  6. For appreciation
  7. For mental equilibrium
  8. 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

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