Types of Raga Therapy
There are different types of music therapy that are used according to a patient's need. Each patient is different and assessed on an individual basis. Music therapy can be loosely divided into the following categories:
- Music therapy helps develop communication, language and intellectual development
- Music therapy as support, for people who are grieving, going through a crisis time or who are in pain
- Music therapy to lower stress and tension
- Music therapy as a motivation for rehabilitation
- Music therapy to encourage movement
- Music therapy as a means to identify with cultural and spiritual identity
- Music therapy to assist memory and imagination.
The goals of Raga therapy are dependent upon the purpose of music therapy for each individual case. Drug and alcohol centers and schools may use music therapy and behavior change may be an important goal. Whereas, nursing homes may use music therapy in more of a support role or to relieve pain.
Autism, a neurological disorder that affects normal brain functioning is usually noticed within 30 months of age. The worrisome syndrome had no treatment till now, when autism music therapy has emerged as a mode of treatment. Music therapy for autism is accepted as an intervention for autistic people since the 1950s.
Music therapy facilitates communication, both verbal and non-verbal. It helps generate creative self-expression and promotes emotional satisfaction. It helps patients’ families learn alternative ways to interact and socialize. Composers in India and abroad are writing music nowadays, specifically for healing. They borrow from the sounds of nature, which are the original music – birds’ calls, the sound of the wind, rhythms, the lapping of water.
Empirical studies have measured the effectiveness of Raga therapy in surgery, heart disease, pediatric oncology, elder care, and hospices. Physicians are increasingly recognizing it - there is calming music and energizing, happy music. Raga therapy, however, does not supplant medicine, but supports it.
More than 20 million people worldwide suffer a stroke every year. Many patients acquire brain injuries that affect their movement and language abilities, which results in significant loss of quality of life. Patients, who have suffered such disabilities, respond to music with movement, however small, and become emotionally better disposed.