China's Traditional Wuxing (Five Elements) Therapeutic Music - Medium Tune CDs' Titles:
- The Music of Life Yangsheng
- The Tune of Jue Wood
- The Tune of Zhi Fire
- The Tune of Gong Earth
- The Tune of Shang Metal
- The Tune of Yu Water
Music Writer: Shi Feng
Consultant in TCM: Hao Wanshan
Advisor of Qigong: Li Yan
Player: The National Central Musical College
Production and distribution authorized by Chinese Medical Audio-Video Organization of China
6 digital audio compact disc (CDs)
China's Traditional Wuxing Therapeutic Music
Recommended by Chinese Musical Therapeutic Association
According to traditional Chinese philosophy, man is the son of nature, and the changes in the activities of man's life and all things on the earth are interrelated, echoing and accompanying each other, thus the theory that "man is an integral part of nature." The sky spreads Wuxing (the five primary elements - wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), which gives birth to Wuyin (the five notes of traditional Chinese music - Jue, Zhi, Gong, Shang, and Yu, corresponding to 3, 5, 1, 2, and 6 in numbered musical notation respectively); the earth has Wuji (the five seasons of spring, summer, long summer, autumn, and winter), which corresponds to Wuhua (birth, growth, steadiness, restraint, and reserve); and man has Wuzang (the five internal organs - liver, heat, spleen, lungs, and kidney), which controls Wuzhi (the five sentiments - anger, delight, thoughtfulness, anxiety, and fear). The changes in Wuxing, Wuji and Wuhuahave a direct impact on the changes of all things on the earth and the changes in the state of vital energy and blood of man, leading to changes in man's feeling, mentality and health.
What Is Meant by Wuxing
The Xing here refers to movement, operation or change. Wuxing represents the five forms of the movement of Yin Qi, and Yang Qi, the terms for two opposite aspects of matters in nature, instead of five concrete substances or elements. In nature, the extension of the functional activities of spring is represented by the word of "wood", the rise of the functional activities of summer by the word of "fire", the steadiness of the functional activities of long summer by the word of "earth", the restraint characteristics of the functional activities of autumn by the word of "metal", and the reserve characteristics of the functional activities of winter by the word "water". It is just the five movements and changes of the Yin Qi and Yang Qi that bring into being all the things on the earth, the five seasons and the five life rhythms of plants - birth, growth, steadiness, restraint and reserve. Also because of the five movement forms of Qi (the vital energy of man according to traditional Chinese medicine), the Wuzangin the human body -the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidney corresponding to nature- produces the five emotional behavior of anger, delight, thoughtfulness, anxiety, and fear.
The Interpromotion of the Five Elements
The interpromotion of the five primary elements is in the order of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. For instance, the spread of wood in spring creates conditions for the rise of fire in summer, which is expressed as "wood promoting fire", and restraint of metal in autumn makes preparations for the drop and hiding of water in winter, which is translated into "metal promoting water".
Creation: wood -> fire -> earth -> metal -> water -> wood
The Interrestraint of the Five Elements
The interrestraint of the five primary elements is in an alternate order. For example, the spread of wood can curb the excessive steadiness of earth, which is called "wood acting on earth"; and the dropping and hiding of water can hold back the over flaring-up of fire, which is known as "water acting on fire".
Control: wood -> earth -> water -> fire -> metal -> wood
The interpromotion of the five elements prevents a certain movement form of Qi from insufficiency, while the interrestraint will keep a certain movement form of Qifrom excess.
The interpromotion and interrestraint of the five elements accompanying each other make the coordinated and stable functional activities of nature, organism and human body. As far as human body is concerned, the coordination and stability is the guarantee of healthiness, and the failure in them will provide loopholes for diseases.
Wuyin and Wuxing
There was an account of "treating diseases with Wuyin" in ancient China. According to Huangdi Nei Jing, the earliest medical classic extant in China which appeared in the period of 475-221 B.C. Jue represents the sound of wood, Zhi the sound of fire, Gong the sound of earth, Shang the sound of metal, and Yu the sound of water. This shows that Wuyin (Jue, Zhi, Gong, Shang, and Yu) corresponds to Wuxing (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and is connected with Wuzang (liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidney) and Wuzhi (anger, delight, thoughtfulness, anxiety and fear). Music to the tune of Jue, which bears the nature of wood, prevents and treats the interior restraint of Qi; music to the tune of Zhi, which has the nature of fire, is favorable to preventing and treating the drop of functional activities of Qi; music to the tune of Gong, with the nature of earth, can benefit the prevention and treatment of the disorder of Qi; music to the tune of Shang, which has the characteristics of metal, can prevent and treat the dissipation of Qi; and music to the tune of Yu, which is a reflection of water, is good to the prevention and treatment of the reverse of Qi and excessive flaring-up of internal heat. This is the why Wuxing music can affect the functional activities of Qi in human body, balance Yin and Yang (the two opposite aspects of matters in nature which are interrelated with each other), regulate Qi and blood, maintain operation of Qiand blood in human body in a state of dynamic equilibrium, keep human body in a healthy state.
The operation of Yin Qi and Yang Qi in nature and Qi and blood in human body can change with season and time. People will sustain a break in the equilibrium in the functional activities with the difference in sex, age and sentiment. These changes fall into medium and calm, excess and insufficient states. Corresponding to the changes in nature and the functional activities of Qi, Wuxing music is also divided into Zhengdiao (medium tune), Taidiao (semi-medium tune) and Shaodiao(slow tune).
Wuyin Therapeutic Music
The tune of Jue, representing the sound of spring, is mainly based on the sound of Jue (3-Mi in numbered music notation), belonging to wood, concerning birth and connected with the liver. It can help promote the rise, growth and extension of functional activities of Qi in human body, and has the functions of invigorating the liver and easing anger, nourishing Yang and the liver, heart and spleen, and removing fire from the kidney. When applied to Qigong exercise, it can promote the dredge of meridians and flow of Qi and blood through the meridians. When applied to mental work, it can help refresh the mind and keep a cool head, suitable for listening when sticking to work in tired-out state. When applied to sports activities, it can help increase excitability and improve the form of athlete, suitable for listening while making warming-up exercises. It can also be adopted to prevent and cure stagnation of the liver Qi, heart stuffiness, poor appetite and sexual desire, irregular menstruation and restlessness.
The tune of Zhi, representing the sound of summer, is mainly based on the sound of Zhi (5-So), belonging to fire, concerning growth and connected with the heart. It can help promote the rise of the functional activities of Qi and has the functions of nourishing Yang, the heart, spleen and lungs, and removing fire from the liver. When applied to Qigong exercise, it can help promote the operation of Qi and blood. When applied to mental work, it can help stimulate the spirit, improve efficiency and concentrate attention. When applied to sports activities, it can help inspire the morale and improve the form of athlete, suitable for listening at the late phase of warm-up exercises and during contest. It can also be used to prevent and cure deficiency of Qiand blood in the heart and spleen, prolapse of internal organs, fatigue and weakness, mental aberration, oppressed feeling in the Precordial region, shortness of breath, low spirit and coldness in the four limbs.
The tune of Gong, representing the sound of long summer, is mainly based on the sound of Gong (1-Do), belonging to earth, concerning steadiness and connected with the spleen. It can help promote the stability of the functional activities of human body and regulate the functional activities of the spleen and blood flow within the vessels, nourishing the spleen and strengthening the stomach, invigorating the lungs and kidney, and removing fire from the heart. When applied to Qigongexercise, it can calm down the functional activities and blood flow, and stimulate the vital essence and energy of man. When applied to mental work, it can help stabilize the mind, suitable for listening while sitting deep in thought. When applied to sports activities, it can help improve the psychological stability of athlete, suitable for events that need skills and beneficial to easing nervousness. It can also be adopted to treat weak spleen and stomach, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, magersucht and over tiredness, neurosism and shortness of breath due to deficiency of the lungs.
The tune of Shang, representing the sound of autumn, is mainly based on the sound of Shang (2-Re), belonging to metal, concerning restraint and connected with the lungs. It can help promote the restraint of the functional activities of human body and regulate those of the lungs. It is effective to nourishing Yin, the lungs, kidney and liver, as well as removing fire of deficiency type. When applied to Qigong exercise, it can help save Qi and energy. When applied to mental work, it can help calm down the nerve and keep a clear mind, suitable for those who overtax their brain or are over excited. When applied to sports activities, it helps lower excitability, suitable for relaxing and removing tiredness after activities. It can also help treat insufficiency or weakness of the lung Qi, the deficiency of both Qiand blood, spontaneous perspiration and night sweat, coughing and shortness of breath, dysphoria, dizziness and failure in self-control of sorrow.
The tune of Yu, representing the sound winter, is mainly based on the sound of Yu (6-La), belonging to water, concerning reserve and connected with the kidney. It can help promote the drop of the functional activities of human body and has the functions of nourishing Yin and the kidney so that the essence and energy can be stored without being eliminated, as well as the functions of tonifying the liver and heart, and removing fire from the lungs. When applied to Qigong exercise, it can help store energy and stimulate the essence while helping the exercisers to concentrate their mind. When applied to mental work, it can help relieve muscular spasm and tranquilize the mind, suitable for those to listen who feel the Qiand blood ascending up to the brain, suffer from headache and slight fever and can hardly fall asleep. when applied to sports activities, it can help keep being excited and has a positive role in after-activity rest, removing tiredness, reducing the consumption of energy and recovering physical strength. It can also be used to treat the flaring-up of fire of deficiency type, vexation and restlessness, headache and insomnia, lassitude in loin and legs, poor sexual desire, impotence and premature ejaculation, and difficulty in micturition.
The Interrelation of the Five Elements
The relation between two adjacent forms of movement among the five elements is called a relation between "mother and son", namely, wood (the liver, Jue) is the son of water (the kidney, Yu), while it is the mother of fire (the heart, Zhi); fire is the son of wood but is the mother of earth (the spleen, Gong); earth is the son of fire but is the mother of metal (the lungs, Shang); metal is the son of fire but is the mother of water; and water is the son of metal but the mother of wood.
Among the five primary elements, every movement form of Qi is interrelated and inter-restrained with other forms of movement. Wood (the tune of Jue) to water means excretion, and to fire means reinforcement; fire (the tune of Zhi to wood means excretion, and to earth means reinforcement; earth (the tune of Gong) to fire means excretion, and to metal means reinforcement; metal (the tune of Shang) to earth means excretion, to water means reinforcement; and water (the tune of Yu) to metal means excretion, and to wood means reinforcement.
The traditional Chinese medicine consider that the internal diseases can be divided into two types "deficiency" and "excess". In treatment, the common practice is to "reinforce the mother" or "excrete the son", that is, when there is a deficiency, it is a must to reinforce the mother; and when there comes an excess, it is imperative to excrete the son.
Because of the different main sound and the different sound waves and nature of waves arising from different melody and orchestration, the music in the five tunes has different effects on the internal organs and sentiments. For example, the music in the tune of Shangis regulative to the lungs, excretive to the spleen, tonic to the kidney and restraint to the liver. The music in other tunes has the same effects to corresponding internal organs.
The three series of the Wuxing music have their own particular focal points and aims. Zhengdiao focuses on regulation, Taidiao stresses excretion and Shaodiaoemphasizes reinforcement.
In selecting the music in the five tunes, it is necessary to follow the law of the interpromotion and interrestraint of Wuxing, that is, to choose music for listening according to differentiation of season, time, person, symptoms and signs. The choice can also be made according to what is felt the most suitable and comfortable after listening, or based on one tune with others as supplement.
Wuxing music is the melody echoing the movement of nature and the call of Mother Nature to main and all things on the earth. It makes us relax, dissolved in nature and the lovely melody. Let us follow heart and sole the melody echoing the movement of Wuxing to greet the law of nature and the four seasons, return to the embrace of Mother Nature and enjoy to our heart's content the motherly love of nature.