The rhythm I hear begins to resonate in my entire being, holding my beating heart under its spell. The melody lifts my spirits high, elevates my soul, the harmony takes me on an infinite voyage of emotions. The bass adds the thrill, and the treble adds optimism to the whole experience, as I lunge for the climactic crescendo. What’s the mystery? Is it the sound, the timbre, frequencies, or patterns—or the conductor—weaving this magic?
This has been my relationship with music. While rehearsing for a performance, I remember telling an actor, “Choose the song that your heart and soul resonates with.” Music can be felt very internally, in our mind, heart and soul. One feels peaceful while listening to tranquil music playing in the background, even when the conscious mind is focused on some other activity, revealing the mysterious connection between brain and sound waves.
In Indian music, there are notes sequenced as ragas, with each scale having a unique influence on the listener’s mind. In Western music, we have major, minor, and several other scales, and harmony patterns, each with a distinct influence. It has been scientifically established that music can have a profound effect on heart rates, muscle tension, and body temperature. And these observations and experiences have always encouraged me to delve deeper into the healing aspect of sound.
Sound yoga, also known as music therapy or sound healing, is a technique in which sounds and vibrations are used to help restore, maintain, and improve one’s state of mind and body. The Sanskrit word yoga is derived from the root yuj, meaning “to yoke” or “to unite.”
The music therapist uses the power of sounds to help clients improve their health, bringing a more positive state of mind, and enhancing their quality of life. The sounds create a multidimensional energy field, and help generate specific brain waves, resulting in shift in the state of consciousness of the patient. The patient then moves to a deep and relaxed state, the communication between mind, body, and spirit is enhanced, resulting in bliss.
The healer, after diagnosis, chooses the appropriate sounds, to engender sound healing. Some healers use their voice, while others use Tibetan bowls, forks, flutes, chimes, didgeridoos, tanpura, and other instruments. Every being vibrates within a range of frequencies, and when exposed to musical notes that match with the frequencies, it resonates with the note. The healer has to bring the right frequencies, and vibrations in the vicinity of the patient, to cause the state of resonance, thus engendering the move to a state of harmony.
Music can help overcome anxiety, enhance creativity and optimism. The human brain can be guided to come into resonance with the healthy vibrations. A stronger beat can stimulate the mind, with faster tempos helping to bring more focus, and a slower tempo creating a relatively tranquil state. Music can have a lasting influence on the state of mind, even after one has stopped listening to it. The Mozart Effect refers to the fact that some of Mozart’s music has been found to cause more activity in certain areas of human brain. Sound healing is also used as a sleep aid to relieve insomnia. This is done using delta wave technique to induce restfulness and relaxation and the patient can experience deep and relaxed sleep. Similar vibrations are used in hypnosis and psychotherapy. Music is found to have profound effect on the subtle energy centers in our body called chakras. According to the studies made in Indian spiritual sciences and alternate medicine, the health of an individual can be determined by measuring the state of these seven chakras: root, hara, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakra. Every chakra has a frequency associated with it, and this frequency can be used for its balancing and healing. When I do reiki or meditation, I find the results even more amazing with tranquil sounds playing in the background, creating the appropriate sound ambience.
People love music. Music is a part and parcel of our joy and celebrations; it marks milestones of life, and provides courage and optimism, and it has always found its way into our hearts, providing that optimism, support, nourishment, thrill, warmth, love, and rhythm to our lives. And for me, what is even more fascinating to have discovered is how our universe has been endowed with a hidden gift, the inherent healing characteristic of music.
Sandeep Khurana is a spiritual/new age music composer and reiki master. He has also composed for films and documentaries. For more information, go to http://skivamusic.com.