‘Where words fail, music speaks’, – HC Anderson.
HC Anderson was a famous musician and a Danish author best known for writing children’s stories including “The Little Mermaid” and “The Ugly Duckling.” By its very nature, music is a powerful medium of communicating emotions to others as well as to oneself.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of music on the human body and mind. Recent developments in research have proved that playing and listening to music reduces chronic stress by lowering the stress hormone “Cortisol”. It also increases the neurotransmitter “Dopamine”, a feel good hormone of our body. It also stimulates brain hormone “Oxytocin”, a very important hormone in women. Oxytocin is basically a hormone which signals the contraction of the womb during labor and also facilitates lactation in new moms.
The Magic of Music
The breath, the heartbeat, the pulse: every proof of ‘being alive’, is musical. There is harmony, there is a fixed rhythm and hence there is ‘life’ and ‘energy’. That’s is perhaps the reason music/sound is referred as “Nada-Brahma” (“Nada” meaning sound/music and Brahman meaning creational/existential energy)” in our scriptures. Human body-mind is nothing but different energies at play, energy associated with joy, sadness, anxiousness, stress and so on. These emotions and many more are abundant in the human mind. While listening to music during happy times, stimulates positive vibes, listening to it during a stressful state of mind can be equally cathartic. It tranquilizes the mind and a tranquil mind is meditative.
It’s believed that music is a complete tool which activates the whole human body and mind, since it engages both, the physical body and the Meta physical mind totally, thus helping achieve a balance between the two. A balanced body mind is a treasure of positivism.
Indian music is so designed by our ancestors that the 72 main stream(Melakarta) ragas in Carnatic system of music are supposed to be associated with 72000 naadis(associated with nervous system on a physical level) of a human body. Naadis are considered those channels which carry the life energy, Praana. Certain ragas sensitize certain naadis in the body and hence are therapeutic, as far as human body-mind is concerned. The system of rhythm (tala) work on the logical part of the brain while ragas work on the emotional part of the brain. Thus music is a wholesome wellness medium which works on the entire human system.