Guzhen is a traditional Chinese music instrument, and it has history for over 2000 years.
Traditional Chinese music has been used for healing and health purposes for centuries in China. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), music can help to balance the flow of Qi (life force energy) in the body and promote overall health and wellbeing. Upon the completion of a melody, ailments diminish, and individuals attain a state of tranquility. This relationship was elucidated in the book "The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor“ over 2000 years ago: "The liver corresponds to the wood element, with the associated musical note being Jue, and the governing emotion, anger; the heart corresponds to the fire element, with the associated musical note being Zhi, and the governing emotion, joy; the spleen corresponds to the earth element, with the associated musical note being Gong, and the governing emotion, contemplation; the lungs correspond to the metal element, with the associated musical note being Shang, and the governing emotion, sorrow; the kidneys correspond to the water element, with the associated musical note being Yu, and the governing emotion, fear." These five notes—Jue, Zhi, Gong, Shang, and Yu—are referred to as the "Five Celestial Elements."
Through the act of listening, music enables the melody, emotions, and vital organ energies to resonate and engage synergistically, thereby promoting blood circulation, enhancing spiritual harmony, and regulating the heart meridian. From a physiological standpoint, when the vibrational frequencies of music align with the inherent physiological vibrations of the human body (e.g., heart rate, rhythm, respiration, blood pressure, and pulse), a state of physiological resonance and harmony is achieved. This concept forms the foundation for the "Five Tones Therapy" as posited in the "The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor," emphasizing the integral role of music in fostering physical and emotional equilibrium.
Here are some types of traditional Chinese music that are commonly used for health purposes:
Chinese Bamboo Flute Music: The sound of the bamboo flute is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and body, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
Chinese Guzheng Music: The guzheng is a traditional Chinese string instrument that produces a soothing, meditative sound. Listening to guzheng music is said to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
Chinese Erhu Music: The erhu is a two-stringed Chinese instrument that is often used in traditional Chinese music. The sound of the erhu is said to have a healing effect on the liver and promote the flow of Qi.
Chinese Gong Music: The sound of the gong is believed to have a powerful healing effect on the body, helping to reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote overall health and wellbeing.
Chinese Opera Music: Chinese opera is a traditional art form that combines music, dance, and theater. The music used in Chinese opera is said to have a harmonizing effect on the body and promote the flow of Qi.
When listening to traditional Chinese music for health purposes, you can also incorporate deep breathing, visualization, or other relaxation techniques to enhance the healing effects of the music.
Each music is focus on one internal organ's functions, and also harmony whole body's Qi movement.
TCM Music for Heart
When the heart experiences issues, symptoms such as insomnia, palpitations, chest tightness, and resulting chest pain and irritability often manifest.
Heart-Nourishing Music: The primary requirement for nourishing the heart is tranquility. Therefore, the recommended piece is "Purple Bamboo Melody." This composition uniquely combines the Zhi note, associated with the fire element, and the Yu note, associated with the water element. Supplementing water helps prevent excessive heart fire, while supplementing fire prevents an overcooling of the water energy, facilitating the proper functioning of the heart.
Ideal Listening Time: 21:00 - 23:00. Taoist medicine emphasizes the importance of sleeping during the Zi and Wu hours. As such, it is essential to achieve a state of harmony and tranquility in the heart before the Zi hour commences.
TCM Music for Liver
A poorly functioning liver often results in emotional manifestations such as depression and irritability, while external signs include breast tenderness, bitter taste in the mouth, dysmenorrhea, ulcers on the sides of the tongue, dry eyes, timidity, and susceptibility to fright.
Liver-Nourishing Music: For the liver to function smoothly, it requires the proper flow of wood energy. The most suitable piece for this purpose is "Eighteen Beats of the Hujia." This composition features a slightly heavier presence of the Shang note, associated with the metal element, which effectively counteracts excessive wood energy in the body. Additionally, the piece gracefully incorporates the water-associated Yu note, which helps nourish the wood energy, rendering it supple and smooth.
Ideal Listening Time: 19:00 - 23:00. This period represents the time of day when Yin energy is most abundant. It can help restrain the vigorous liver energy, preventing excessive liver energy from transforming into fire, and utilize the prevailing Yin energy to nourish the liver, ensuring a balanced and normal state.
TCM Music for Spleen
Long-term overeating, excessive consumption of strong flavors, and overthinking can all cause discomfort in the spleen and stomach. Symptoms such as abdominal bloating, loose stools, obesity, oral ulcers, facial pallor, scanty and pale menstrual flow, fatigue, and gastric or uterine prolapse are common.
Spleen-Nourishing Composition: "Ambush from Ten Sides." The spleen energy requires a gentle approach. This piece frequently employs the Zhi and Gong notes, which effectively stimulate our spleen and stomach. Under the influence of the music, the spleen and stomach rhythmically engage in the digestion and absorption of food.
Ideal Listening Time: It is best to appreciate the music during mealtime and within an hour after eating for optimal results.
TCM Music for Lung
Smoking, excessive fatigue, respiratory diseases, kitchen fumes, automobile exhaust, misuse of medications, and improper diet can all trigger lung diseases, and even contribute to the development of cancer. Symptoms such as throat ulcer pain, coughing, nasal congestion, asthma, susceptibility to colds, and excessive sweating are indicative of compromised lung function.
Lung-Nourishing Composition: "Yang Chun Bai Xue." The lung energy requires nourishment. This piece features an uplifting melody, including the earth-associated Gong note and the fire-associated Zhi note—one promoting lung energy, the other balancing it. The addition of the metal-associated Shang note, which corresponds to the lungs, allows the music to thoroughly revitalize the lungs from the inside out.
Ideal Listening Time: 15:00 - 19:00. During this time, the sun begins to set in the west, where the metal energy is most concentrated. The body's lung energy is relatively robust at this time. With the melody, each inhalation and exhalation harmonize internally and externally, enhancing the overall effect.
TCM Music for Kidney
The kidneys are the foundation of one's congenital constitution. Frequently staying up late, experiencing excessive fatigue, and consuming alcohol or strong tea can damage the kidneys. Dark complexion, frequent urination, lower back pain, low libido, and early morning diarrhea are all signs of poor kidney function.
Kidney-Nourishing Composition: "Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme." Kidney energy requires conservation. This piece features a soothing and harmonious combination of the five musical notes, inadvertently applying the principles of the mutual generation of the Five Elements, successively and continuously delivering the generated energy to the kidneys. After listening to the piece, one feels refreshed, invigorated, and at ease.
Ideal Listening Time: 7:00 - 11:00. During this time, the temperature continues to rise throughout the day. People and nature are mutually influential. As the sun gradually ascends during this period, the body's kidney energy becomes more active, influenced by the external environment. Utilizing the metal-associated Shang note and the water-associated Yu note in harmonious compositions can promote the flourishing of essence and energy in the kidneys at this time.
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