A family of four fuses the principles of psychotherapy, Tarot and Reiki with the 'healing' power of music to offer a new-age sound therapy that it claims, can relieve everything from spondylitis and schizophrenia to other assorted phobias. Sunday MiD DAY listens long and hard
If the name LouAnne Johnson doesn't ring a bell, run an Internet search for the 1995 movie Dangerous Minds, in which Michelle Pfeiffer played a teacher in a rough neighbourhood in California. Based on Johnson's real life experiences, the movie shows her using rap to make Mathematics digestible, even fun, for her students.
Harendra Khurana, a classically trained musician, administers a relaxation
technique on a client. pics/ bipin kokate
The technique's efficacy would not surprise 24 year-old Kamakshi Khurana, who tells us, "Music with regular rhythmic beats, especially 60 beats per minute (bpm) classical music, has been seen to work on the left side of the brain, which deals with logic and reasoning, to boost those abilities."
Khurana, whose father Harendra is a classical musician, has studied psychology, hypnotherapy and music. Together with mother Rajni, who reads Tarot cards, and younger sister Vishala, Khurana belongs to a family of alternate healers that offers clients, ranging from children to old persons, a bouquet of sound therapy treatments at its Napean Sea Road residence.
"We hold workshops to boost concentration. We give children worksheets with grammar and math exercises, and we have observed that 86 per cent did better at math than grammar when percussion music played in the background, while over 72 per cent performed better in grammar, when we played soft instrumental music."
Observing these reactions, the Khuranas recommend the music children should listen to while studying, in order to improve their performance. Says Vishala, "We make the children participate in various music and movement activities such as Acapella for instance, to develop their concentration." Humming is another group activity that "charges both the cerebral hemispheres." "Chanting Aum can be particularly revitalising," adds Kamakshi.
But these workshops are not just for children to help them ace their exams. The Resonance Meditation is also designed to balance chakras.
A Tarot and Sound Therapy workshop is held by Rajni, who studied the technique five years ago. "Each Tarot suit is associated with a different element and responds differently to different instruments. If one draws a cup card in Tarot, or hearts in playing cards, he or she is typically ruled by emotions," she says, pointing out, "The element for this suit is water, and such people respond well to string instruments, which generally mimic the sound of rippling water."
Aside from workshops, the family also conducts private sound therapy sessions, which we were invited to sample. Kamakshi has a list of questions for us, "answers to which will lead to other questions," she says.
"The questionnaire is meant to help one confront one's worries and insecurities to delve into the root of the problem," she tells us, explaining, "Many people are held back by fear or an inability to express themselves," she says, and adds that the therapy also works on more complicated health issues.
Harendra, a jolly-faced gentleman surrounded by musical instruments, smiles at us, as we sit before him. The classical singer starts off by brushing a mallet around the rim of a Tibetan Singing Bowl. Next, he plays a gentle chime and moves the buzzing instrument around us, so that we can literally feel the sound waves against our skin. We're asked to lie down on a mat and a quick relaxation technique is administered to us.
He instructs us to allow the vibrations of the Aum and the Beej chant to enter each Chakra. He chants the words seven times (once for each Chakra), adopting different intonations each time, and with that, concludes our cleansing ritual -- a restful experience indeed because it's just past noon, and we're ready for a nap.
The Sound Space will conduct workshops on October 8 and 9 at Studio Balance, Chowpatty and in Bandra. To register, call Kamakshi Khurana on 9819517583 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org