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Tansen was said to have been able to light lamps by singing Raga Deepak and invoke rainfall by singing Raga Miyan Ki Malhar. It is also said that he created Raga Darbari Kanada to soothe Emperor Akbar’s stress in the evening. To this end, if your nerves are frayed and irritability sits on the tip of your nose thanks to the stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic, set at least 10 minutes of your daily schedule aside for listening to, playing or learning classical music, says Dr. Regi Surendran, a vocal coach at a leading conservatory in Mumbai.
“There is hardly a culture in the world that does not recognize the healing power of music. ‘Music gives wings to the mind,’ proclaimed ancient Greek philosopher, Plato (428- 347 BC), as he expounded on how music played in different modes would arouse different emotions. However, the first structured use of music therapy in the Western world was only considered to be in the aftermath of World Wars I and II, when musicians would travel to hospitals, particularly in Britain, and play music for soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma,” Surendran, who teaches at the Furtados School of Music, told IANS in an email interview.
Even the ancient Indian medical science of Ayurveda has a branch that details how music can heal a variety of ailments of the body and mind. “This process of a specific application is called Raga chikitsa or Raga Vidya. Each mode and the musical note is deeply connected to corresponding subtle and gross frequencies in nature,” Surendran pointed out.
Research on different neuronal responses to pleasant and unpleasant music shows that “the brain activity for pleasant music is predominantly present in frontal lobes and for unpleasant music in temporal lobes. Tonality analysis of ragas of Indian music reveals that ragas with positive valence (calm and happy) have a greater mean frequency of occurrence of major intervals (shudha svaras) whereas ragas with negative valence (sad or tense) are characterized by an increased frequency of minor intervals (Komal svaras), she explained.
In the present scenario, Surendran said, it is all the more necessary to realize the importance of music therapy and meditation.
“In subjects listening to pleasant music, dopamine is released from the ventral striatum and in the ventral tegmental area and thus postulated to be involved in the enjoyment of music. As a result of several qualitative and quantitative research studies based on music therapy, it is already proven that the unbeatable system and different shades of ragas in Indian classical music can successfully increase the positivity and improve the mental state,” she added.
Evidence suggests that music therapy is beneficial for all individuals, both physically and mentally. Its benefits include improved heart rate, reduced anxiety, stimulation of the brain, and improved learning.
“Music therapists use their techniques to help their patients in many areas, ranging from stress relief before and after surgeries to neuropathology, such as combating Alzheimer’s disease.
“One study found that children who listened to music while having an intravenous inserted into their arms showed less distress and felt less pain than the children who did not listen to music while having an intravenous inserted,” Surendran said.
In this context, she pointed to the benefits of certain Ragas, many of which are confined to the Carnatic (C) or Hindustani (H) genres, while some are common to both styles:
* Hamsadhvani (C)/Hansdhvani (H). It promotes bright beginnings and provides energy and
* Mohanam (C)/Bhoop (H). It promotes joy and is uplifting and is present where beauty and love coexist. It filters out the effect of anger. It is also said to cure chronic headaches, indigestion, and depression.
* Sankarabharanam (C)/Bilawal (H). The power of this raga is incredible. It cures mental illness, soothes the turbulent mind, and restores peace and harmony. If rendered with total devotion for a stipulated period, it can cure mental disorders said to be beyond the scope of medical treatment. It is also said to have the power to shower wealth.
* Kalyani (C)/Yaman (H). It gives energy and removes tension and acts as a general tonic; dispels the darkness of fear, makes for comfort, and increased confidence.
* Hindolam (C)/Malkauns (H). It improves digestive power and is good for diseases related to stomach and also good for general health.
Studies on this aspect of music are still going on as it is really deep and vast.
“But, considering the truth that till now music never ever failed to implement the positive energy and vibes, one can say without any doubt that till now it is successfully connecting with the emotions of person to person. Much research and evidence have proven that listening to music every day is good for physical and mental health,” Surendran said.
Just remember: no matter how hard-pressed you are, it only takes 10 minutes of your time every day – extendable, of course, given the benefits you derive from classical music. (IANS)
By TS Kler
COVID-19 has led to complications and health risks manifold for patients with non-communicable diseases. Almost 75-80 percent of the COVID patients don't require hospitalisation and can recover at home with teleconsultation, but COVID-19 infections can leave the patient with long-term side effects. There are many instances where symptoms of COVID-19 have persisted for several months. Apart from damaging the lungs, the virus can also cause acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system.
According to research published in the European Heart Journal, Covid-19 patients who suffer cardiac arrest have a higher possibility of dying as compared to those who are not infected with it, and especially women are at an increased risk of death for the same reason. The virus may directly breach the ACE2 receptor cells, within the myocardium tissue and cause direct viral harm. COVID can result in inflammation of the heart muscles which is known as myocarditis and it can lead to heart failure over time, if not taken care of.
People with a pre-existing heart problem need to be extra cautious. A significant number of patients have suffered cardiac arrest during the recovery period, often resulting in death. Expert suggests that even though the COVID virus wanes, the immune response continues to be hyper-active and that often ends up attacking other organs. It has been observed that almost 80 per cent of these patients have had cardiac arrests 2-3 weeks after testing COVID positive.
Covid-19 patients who suffer cardiac arrest have a higher possibility of dying as compared to those who are not infected with it | Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash
We tend to ignore some of the warning signs and due to lack of awareness, sometimes, we fail to prevent certain cardiovascular issues during COVID or even after recovering from COVID. After someone has had COVID-19, if that patient is experiencing a rapid heartbeat or palpitations, it is recommended to contact the doctor immediately because even a temporary increase in heart rate can signal a lot of different things, including the aftermath of being very ill, prolonged inactivity and spending weeks convalescing in bed and even dehydration.
It is necessary to make sure that the patient is drinking enough fluids, especially if the fever persists. Sometimes, people who are recovering from COVID may show symptoms of a condition known as POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). However, the link between the development of POTS and COVID is yet to be established. Although, POTS is a neurologic problem, and it is not directly a cardiac issue. It affects the part of the nervous system and may hamper the heart rate and blood flow. The syndrome can also cause rapid heartbeats while standing up. Some of the symptoms of a rapid or irregular heart rhythm may include:
*Feeling of a rapid or irregular heartbeat in the chest (palpitations)
*Shortness of breath
*Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, especially upon standing
*Rapid ups and downs in the pulse rate
COVID-19 has led to complications and health risks manifold for patients with non-communicable diseases.| Wikimedia Commons
Several instances of cardiac arrests post COVID recovery has emphasized the importance of frequent monitoring of heart health. As per experts, cardiac tests like ECG, X-Ray Chest, and lipid profile should be repeated every six months in high-risk individuals with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and hypertension in order to understand whether there is any damage to the heart. Apart from regular monitoring, post-COVID patients must stick to a healthy diet consisting of all the essential nutrients and spicy, oily, canned, artificial sweeteners and processed flavours, or junk food should be strictly avoided. Taking out time for physical exercise, cutting down on alcohol and smoking is necessary. Even the smallest of the symptoms should be taken into consideration and should be immediately addressed by an expert doctor. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: covid, pandemic, testing, health, testing, cardiac arrest, heart
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
The festive season is a time of joy. Some people truly love it, but for many, it can trigger feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Feeling lonely is common and completely normal -- whether or not we're living through this pandemic. The social pressure to "be happy" can be relentless, but it is important to take a proactive approach to meet not only our emotional needs but also to maintain our mental stability and well-being. With the pandemic, holidays are likely to be challenging, instead, meet them head-on with a renewed dedication and a proactive mindset to avoid 'holiday blues'.
Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Well-being Coach, Founder, Let Us Talk, mentions ways to turn your loneliness into action this season:
Say yes to socializing: When we are experiencing loneliness, it can be easy to slip into the habit of saying no to social activities. Seclusion can make it challenging to feel driven and the mere thought of physically seeing people can lead to stress. Hence it is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence. Something as simple as going for a walk with a friend or chatting with your loved ones over the phone can make a huge difference.
It is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Devote your time to others: An effective way to beat loneliness amidst the holidays is by helping others who are less fortunate. The good cause will remind you of all you have to be appreciative for. This will help you to be a part of something larger, thus immersing yourself in the true spirit of the holiday season.
An effective way to beat loneliness amidst the holidays is by helping others who are less fortunate. | Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash
Make the most of technology: For those with distant loved ones, technology can prove to be an enabler in helping to keep family traditions alive. For instance, celebrate the festive cheer virtually or opening festive gifts on video calls amidst all family members. Taking a moment to network with someone, communicating about shared interests or fond memories, even if it's online, can play a major role in reminding us of the good times.
Taking a moment to network with someone, communicating about shared interests or fond memories, even if it's online, can play a major role in reminding us of the good times. | Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash
Get distracted with healthy coping strategies: Distraction can be useful when it's done with the intention of proactively giving yourself a break. For instance, it is recommended to watch a movie to take your mind off stressful thoughts instead of drinking many glasses of wine to forget aloofness. Taking a break will help prevent burnout and will enable you to deal with problems better.
Taking a break will help prevent burnout and will enable you to deal with problems better. | Photo by Johan Godínez on Unsplash
Don't be afraid to speak up: Confiding in reliable friends or relatives about how you feel can often lift the weight off your shoulders, thus making you feel less isolated. It can also be helpful to consult your counsellor if the seasonal isolation has been impacting your emotional well-being. Counselling can help in building your confidence and will facilitate you to discover coping strategies to process any issue. (IANS/ MBI)
Confiding in reliable friends or relatives about how you feel can often lift the weight off your shoulders, thus making you feel less isolated. | Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Keywords: Loneliness, action, socialise, technology, stress speak, share, friends
Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge that include the addition of tab groups. Users will be able to assemble collections of tabs to make their browser a little less chaotic.
To create a group, hold the control button and choose the tabs you want to include, then select "Add tabs to new group" from the right-click menu, Engadget reported on Friday. Users can customise the label with a different colour for each group. When users hover over a tab, they will be able to see a preview of the web page as well.
Microsoft Edge is also getting some handy shopping features, the report said. The browser can give swift access to reviews and ratings for more than 5 million products. When users are on a product page, they can click the blue tag on the address bar and see expert reviews from reliable sources, as well as the average consumer star rating from various retailers.
When they do figure out what to buy, Microsoft aims to help them complete the transaction a bit faster. The new personalised news feed called Microsoft Start is integrated into the browser. Users will see headlines and articles relevant to their interests from a range of publishers when they open a new tab. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: microsoft, edge, update, tab groups, browser, shopping, address bar