Manage episode 337160344 series 3365587
Music has one of the most prominent functions in Chinese culture for over 3000 years. Music has been used for all life and death situations. Confucius believed that music is the best way to teach people about social and moral ethics, such as showing appropriate social manners and being tolerant and respectful. Taoism believes that music promotes self-cultivation and self-realization, promoting people to achieve inner and outer balance.
For over 2000 years, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been using many non-traditional modalities of healing, such as music and sound therapy in order not only to diagnose and cure illnesses but also to treat soul-mind-body disorders.
Traditional Chinese music therapy
Music therapy has been widely used in China in dealing with mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the mental disorders are closely attached to emotional disorders. Music can influence emotions if the pitch, frequency, timbre, and volume are properly adjusted. Also, music can influence the flow of Qi – vital energy. In TCM, particular actions and emotions correspond and mutually affect different organs and body parts.
In ancient China, one of music’s earliest purposes was for healing. It was believed that music has the power to heal the heart, enrich the mind, and harmonize a person’s soul. Hence the age-old saying: “Music before medicine”, (Chin. 樂先藥後, yuè xiān yào hòu).
During the time of the Yellow Emperor (2698–2598 B.C.), people discovered the relationship between music, the five elements, and the human body’s five internal and five sensory organs. The Chinese character for “medicine” (藥 yào) even stems from the character for “music” (樂, yuè).
TCM Music Therapy employs the theory of five phases and pentatonic musical scale in order to analyze and treat illnesses. The pentatonic music scale was firstly defined in Chapter of Music, from the Book of Rites (Chin. LI Ji 礼记) from 51 B.C. to 21 B.C.
Chinese believe that the Pentatonic scale primary sounds are imprinted at the beginning of the universe, as that the humans and nature are the One. The music represents the bridge between the human body and the universe, and each human organ has its corresponding sound in nature. There are five scales and six characters in nature, and correspondingly in the human body exist five Zang-organs (yin in nature) and six Fu-organs (yang in nature).
Chinese believe that elements in nature are made of five substances: earth, water, fire, wood, and metal. These five elements have various corresponding aspects, such as internal body organs, seasons, musical notes, color, etc.
Chinese pentatonic music scale is composed from five notes or sounds — jiao, zhi, gong, shang, and yu — and is usually performed on classical Chinese musical instruments:
- jiao note corresponds to the wood element and influences the liver;
- zhi is linked to the fire element and is connected to heart and blood flow;
- gong belongs to the earth element and has an influence on the spleen;
- shang is linked to the metal element and nourishes the lung yin;
- yu sound is linked to the water element and is connected to the kidney yin.
In traditional Chinese medicine Shen (spirit) (Chin. 神) is the reflection of the vitality of the human body. Shen governs all psychological and physiological activities. Music is regarded as the best connection with Shen. In TCM, the psychological and physiological processes can be translated into Qi, blood, emotions and cognition.
Full script: www.podcast.igormicunovic.com