There is the subject of preventive medicine and curative medicine. Like wise there is also remedial music. It comprises of music and musical compositions that can be listened to for a short time everyday. This ensures sound health. Every night before retiring to bed, one can listen to soft music played on a string instrument or he/she can herself play the instrument if he/she/knows to play. Songs in ragas like Kannadagaula, Kedaragaula, Dwijavanthi, Anandabhairavi, Sriraga and Madhyamavathi will have a soothing effect on the nerves. This listener will not only have a sound sleep, but will also improve the power of immunity against attacks of diseases. Music therapy is a good tranquilizer in these days of anxiety, stress, tension and high pressure living. It can be given along with the other systems of medication/treatment. Empty stomach is not conducive to music therapy and should be avoided. The best times for music therapy treatment are morning, evening and night. Short sessions of 20 minutes duration with an interval of 15 minutes may be resorted to in music therapy. Two or three sessions are advisable at a stretch.
Relaxing or soothing music can be played during labour pains. In South India, there is a tradition , that pregnant women who listen to the sweet music of Veena are assured of safe delivery. It is said that the first sense that develops in a child in the womb is the “hearing sense” and the harmonic music emanating from the strings of Veena, the divine instrument penetrates the womb and makes the child feel the divine soothing effect. Music from strings has the capacity to penetrate the skin. Music on Veena is said to be very effective since the structure of Veena is very much identical to the structure of a human body.
There are many resemblances between the human body (Daiva Veena) and man made Veena. These secrets are revealed in a book by name, “SANDHYA VANDANEEYA TATVARTHA” and “VEDA PRAKASIKE” written and published by Sri. YEDA TOREY SUBRAMANYA SARMA in Kannada language in the year 1936. Just mentioning a few similarities here to prove the point that music from Veena is nothing but truly divine.
Veena has 24 frets, 4 strings on the frets and 3 on the side (they are the tala strings). The four strings represent the Chatur Veda- Rig, Yajur, Sama and Adharva. The 24 frets represents 12 swarasthanas in two octaves (24). Just like the 24 frets of the Veena, human back bone has 24 divisions. According to the anatomy, the back bone has 7 cervicles, 12 thorasic and 5 lumbar vertibraes.
In Veena the distance between each fret is broad in the lower octaves and becomes less while proceeding towards the higher octaves.Similarly the back bone is thick at the Mooladhara (seat point of human back bone) and the distance between each ring becomes less while proceeding towards the back of the neck. The nadis Ida and Pingla in the human body represents the strings. All swaras have the variations except S and P. Sa referred as Adhara Shadjam is constant, stable and this note Shadjam represents the Shanmukha – Lord Subramania the eternal divine power and source of wisdom and knowledge which is the base of all music in the world. The human body which resembles a Veena emanates Nada through the Nabhi, Hridayam, Khandam, Tongue and Nose(represented by Sirassu -Head).
Every human being has music in them. Some are able to sing while some others are not. It doesn’t mean that those who are not able to sing, doesn’t have music in them. The inherent talent of music has to be cultivated just like we dig the earth for water. As we keep on digging slowly the flow of water deep inside can be seen. Further efforts brings out the water like a spring of river. It is the same case with music. (The relation between Veena and Human Body is itself a very exhaustive topic and shall be dealt with in a separate post.)
Coming back to the topic under discussion, quiet listening of music under relaxed conditions are absolutely essential. The patient can lie down on an easy chair or a cot completely relaxed.
Ragas to cure Sleeping Disorders
Certain Ragas like Neelambari, Anandabhairavi, Yadukulakamboji , Kalyani etc has been found very effective for sleep disorders. Sleep disorders may result in fatigue, tiredness, depression and problems in daytime functioning. Music results in decreased anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate and may have positive effects on sleep via muscle relaxation and distraction from thoughts. It is an amazing fact that all lullabies are composed in raga Neelambari in South Indian Music. Saint Tyagaraja himself rocks the lord in the Andolika Upachara( swinging the lord) with the song “Uyyala Loka” in Raga Neelambari. The saint again sings Lord to sleep with his song ” Sri Rama Rama Rama” in the same Raga ! . A musical genius like Tyagaraja himself has identified this raga for sleep and uses it in his shodasa upachara krithis and sings Lord to sleep. Want anymore evidence to prove the merit of this Raga ?
If yes, then Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology – 1998 mentions about an experiment conducted whether Neelambari has sleep promoting effects or whether it alters the sleep architecture of individuals. None of the subjects received any formal training in music nor they were able to recognize ragas. The sleep efficiency was 78.84 % for Neelambari and 82.19% for Kalyani. In the morning after the study all subjects admitted feeling refreshed.