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Music balm for Hamidia patients

Music is healing. That?s what a government hospital in the City is experimenting with. Enter a ward at Hamidia Hospital and don?t be surprised if the strains of ?Chham chham baaje re payalia? greet you.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2006 18:59 IST

Music is healing. That’s what a government hospital in the City is experimenting with. Enter a ward at Hamidia Hospital and don’t be surprised if the strains of ‘Chham chham baaje re payalia’ greet you.

The mellifluous voices of Mohammad Rafi, Asha and other singers blended with classical ragas are being played out for a soothing affect on the patients.

Ram Swaroop, a Piparia resident undergoing treatment at the orthopaedic ward for several months after a near-fatal mishap in which his leg was crushed, says the songs have helped him overcome intense pain.

“I feel fresh listening to the songs and time passes easily for me,” he says,  adding “otherwise you feel upset lying on the bed for months.”

The songs are aired in the morning, evening and night for sometime to lift the spirits of the patients as an experimental project on music therapy.

The project is a brainchild of superintendent Dr S C Tiwari, who came across music therapy in foreign countries as a means to cure patients of ailments through its soothing affect.

“We held discussions with eminent musicians and selected 32 film songs. They were blended with 11 ragas and played out in the ward,” says Dr Tiwari, who undertook the project with a team of doctors including Dr Padma Bhatia. Select songs are played out for specific diseases.

‘Chal ud jaa repanchhi’ is tuned in for those suffering from high blood pressure, ‘Sakhi ri mera man uljhe’ for depression, and ‘Jhanak jhanak baaje paayalia’ for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Patients say that the freshening effect of songs makes their recovery faster. It is probably the first time in the country that popular songs of classical Indian movies have been used in music.

Dr Tiwari says that they would install an indicator to check its impact on patients. The proposal will then be taken to the executive body and a sponsor would be searched for installation of the music system in all the wards.

“It also helps doctors during long hours in the operation theatre apart from relaxing the patient undergoing operation,” says surgeon Dr M P Chincholkar. The system is also being used to announce vital information and directions for patients.

How it works?
MUSIC THERAPY is considered valuable in treating patients. It is especially helpful for patients suffering from schizophrenia, personality disorder, anxiety-related disorders, organic brain syndrome and psychiatric disorders.

Computer analysis of brain activity before and during listening of music shows that it increases electric potentials in the brain. This helps reduce pain and trauma. Some of the songs and ragas selected for various ailments.