Chinese Medicine Music is a project by Motoyuki.
Motoyuki is currently in training to become a Holistic Medicine Doctor, with emphasis in Lifestyle Advice, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine adapted to individual life stage and constitution.
Music was the original medicine; It's roots extend back to the dawn of time. In Ancient China, Sage Emperors utilized Music to bring the people Joy. It was believed that specific types of music were more suited to different kinds of seasons. The right kind of music played at the right time would help people move in harmony with (instead of fighting against) Nature. The harmony between heaven and earth, between yang and yin; this is called Dao. Humans are nourished and healed by a return to this Harmonious Dao. As we become more grounded in our individual relationship to Dao, we become more aware of the true causes of disease and illness, happiness and misery; we become more rooted in who we are and in our sense of purpose.
Whether this sense of purpose spans an individual lifetime relates to individual awareness and spiritual evolution.
As Ancient Medicine became more sophisticated, it became possible to sort people into categories that described their overall temperament, body structure and tendencies. This sophisticated system was known as 5-Element or 5-Phase diagnosis. This system posited that people could be divided into 5 basic categories, which could predict their behavior and attitude, likes, dislikes and fundamental values. Using this information, doctors were able to more efficiently treat patients; knowing their patient's elemental diagnosis helped doctors better predict the underlying needs of their patients - both from a physical and psychological perspective. Different elemental diagnoses indicated different therapies and different behavior on the part of the clinician.
The earliest historical records indicate each of these 5 elements were associated with a musical tone (the ancient Chinese had Giant bells that matched with the modern pentatonic scale). These 5 Elemental Tones were later matched to different kinds of people in Chapter 64 of the Yellow Emperor's Needle Classic (Ling Shu).
This chapter further divides the "5 types of People" into 25 subtypes, which also have their own associated notes (corresponding to the primary element, just in a different octave). This suggests (but does not prove) a special kind of targeted music therapy that takes physical, emotional and psychological dispositions into account.
Other systems of music from ancient China include the 12 "Lü", bamboo pitch pipes that were associated with different months of the year (which were also associated with different natural processes including specific organs of the the human body).
Modern researchers have taken the 5 Pentatonic Tones and the 12 Pitch Standards and transposed them onto the modern scale. These tones are believed to affect the associated systems of the body (e.g. fire tone = heart and small intestine, joy, circulation, expression, sweat); though music that includes them also tries to a) capture the nature of the Element (wood = directed, vigorous, upbeat)
b) Assist the generation and regulation of target element (e.g. Deep watery tones to generate wood, precise bright (metallic) tones to regulate wood.
How is it that specific tones can affect the organs, emotional and mental life of a person? Specifically, how is it that the key of G can affect the heart, small intestine, communication, expression and reception of joy? The ancient Chinese believed that reality was quite simple at its root.
Complexity ("the 10,000 things") evolved from a simple set of codes: Yin-Yang, The 3 Treasures (Mind-Body-Spirit), the 4 Seasons, the 5 Elemental Phases, the 8 Winds of Heaven (Trigrams), the 10 Heavenly Stems, 12 Earthly Branches. Every phenomenon could be understood as a reflection of these simple codes at the root of reality. It is in this way that the expression of Joy could be simultaneously understood as Yang-Movement, an expression of the Mind, the season of Summer and the Fire Phase and it's associated tone (G). One who understands that all phenomena are borne of the same root is able to treat it with enormous flexibility. For example, a joy-deficient person could listen to music in the key of G, moderately exercise to stimulate the heart, take time to form connections with others (and/or develop skills and energy to do so) and/or take cinnamon twig decoction (which nourishes and opens the heart). All of these nourish the fire energy, which in it's healthy expression promotes joy.
By resonating with the fundamental energies at the root of all phenomena, music is able to bring us back into harmonies balance with the forces within ourselves, our communities, the natural world and the cosmos. Our work combines many systems of information (64 Hexagram Rhythms, 5 Phase Tones, 12 Pitches, and Generating and Regulating Dynamics) to produce music that resonates with precise life situations (ranging from bio-energetic disease patterns to personal growth goals and challenges). Each piece of music is paired with library of resources that work to nourish the same energy. These resources include life skills activities, dietary or herbal recommendations, affirmations, acupressure protocols, scaffolded descriptions of mastery and pathology of particular energies, and much, much more! Each of these musical energetic resources are associated with the 60-year cycle as described by the Chinese Calendar; much like other wisdom texts, this system of medicine can be studied systematically, listening to music and working on activities that match with the energy of the year, month and/or day*.
Stay tuned for a chart that shares the musical correspondences between elements, seasons, months of the year, organs of the body, emotional, mental and spiritual processes.
*An App for iPhone and Android that automates this process is in the works!