Chinese Music Therapy is used as an alternative for neurological disorders, including stroke, aphasia, visual neglect, Parkinson's disease, dementia, autism, and pain syndrome. Music therapy triggers neuroplasticity which allows cells in the brain to compensate for the injury and facilitate the adjustment to new situations and change. This subsequently assists with the repair of brain damage, and regulates the cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of disorders.
Five Phases Music Therapy (FPMT)/ Chinese Medicine Music Therapy (CMMT)
The music theory is based on the five music scales shown below, each of them with their pitch of the tone has healing capabilities.
The model is based on fire, wood, water, metal, and earth (the foundation of Chinese Medicine). The above music scales are derived from the primary sound during the beginning of the universe. Each organ in the body is associated with a sound in the universe. This makes nature and the human body unite. Additionally, Yun-Qi theory employs five Yun: rhythm and conveys a person’s entire life (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) and six Qi: circulating life forces (wind, cold, summer, damp, dryness, fire) to analyze the climatic changes and their relationship to illness on the human body.
Figure 1: Music Scales
Five Elements Theory
Having the base of the music scales and the elements in nature, a Five elements theory is proposed for diagnosis and treatment. The theory explains the connection and interaction of each organ with the universe/nature to heal any abnormalities. Additionally, the theory also explains balance of relationship generation and support.
The Balancing Relationships of Generation and Support: As observed the five energies of the nature are in motion, likewise with the human body which is constantly functioning. Hence, nurturing with right support and growth is the main goal without which everything is going to fall apart.
Example: A mother taking care of the child growth makes sure every meal is served with right proportion of nutrients (nothing less nothing more)
As said in Figure 1, the model also makes sure all the organs are balanced with right proportion so that growth doesn’t happen too slow or too quickly.
Figure 2: Five Element Structure
Effect of Music on Immune System
Music is known to have considerable effects on the human body. Music has the ability to enhance immunity as it has great influence on human emotions. Music’s ability to alter mood, can alter autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity and balance. Alteration in NAS can in turn modulate and improves immune function. While the negative emotions like anger and hostility increases DHEA ratio which supresses the immune system on the other hand, positive emotions such as appreciation increases coherence and improves the immune system. It is believed that music with the right tone and rhythmic pattern is used to relive stress and bring in positive emotions especially in individuals with clinical conditions such as anxiety, depression, panic and chronic fatigue
A new technique called “Heart Lock-In” was designed to promote physiological coherence and sustain a positive emotional state in a human body. Researches shows that the technique was more effective when done with music. These findings indicated that it produces large, narrow peaks in frequency range which produces positive waves in respiration, blood pressure and brain.
Hence, music is known to have positive effects on the human body and has been inculcated in TCM in a different pattern to reach and give benefits to all the organs in the body.