Music and acupuncture can have similar effects on the body, especially when it comes to mental healing, stress relief, and relaxation. In fact, music therapy is a well-respected complementary and alternative healing practice all on its own for relieving various neurological and mental health issues.
In Chinese medicine, Five Phase Music Therapy (FPMT) incorporates the five music scales or tones to identify and treat mind-body illness. Chinese medicine believes that the five scales of music connect the mind and body to the universe.
In this article, we’re going to explore the benefits of music therapy and how it can be used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance these positive effects.
How Music Has Been Used to Enhance Healing
Music has been used to enhance healing in a number of ways.
For example, music therapy is a system of healing that incorporates sound to improve emotional and physical well-being. The patient may simply listen to music, sing along, dance or move to the beat, play an instrument, or meditate while listening to music. Then, the patient talks through the experience with a trained practitioner.
The use of sound in healing is an ancient practice, much like acupuncture. Sound therapy was used in ancient Greece to treat a host of mental health issues. And throughout history, music has been used to boost mood and morale, promote productivity, and even ward off evil spirits.
Throughout history and in modern times, experts at the Yinova Center in Brooklyn tell us that music has been incorporated into acupuncture for its ability to enhance healing, promote self-awareness and relaxation, boost the immune system, and lower stress levels.
The Healing Effects of Music
Music is used in a variety of different ways, and each one has its own benefits:
Music is incorporated into meditation in the form of background music and chanting. The combined effects include stress reduction, reduced blood pressure, decreased depression and anxiety, improved focus and memory, pain reduction, and more.
Neurologic Music Therapy
Neurologic music therapy has been shown to be more effective than medication for decreasing anxiety before surgery and reducing pain after surgery. It is often used in physical rehab and as a complementary therapy for patients recovering from brain injuries.
The Bonny Method is a system of healing that incorporates guided imagery and music to promote personal growth and expand consciousness. It has been proven to be beneficial for improving psychological health.
The Nordoff-Robbins approach uses music therapy in pediatric medicine to help children with mental health issues, developmental delays, autism, and other conditions.
Tuning Fork Therapy
Tuning fork therapy involves the use of specially calibrated tuning forks to deliver specific vibrations to various points on the body. It is used to release tension, encourage emotional balance, and relieve bone and muscle pain. Tuning fork therapy works in much the same way as acupuncture but uses sound vibrations to stimulate acupuncture points rather than needles.
This method of using music for healing involves stimulating the brain with the beat of the music. Your brain waves are thought to align with the sound to enhance focus, relaxation and promote sleep. Brainwave Entrainment has been used to reduce anxiety, manage chronic pain, reduce the symptoms of PMS, and improve behavioral issues in kids.
The Role of Music in Acupuncture
As you can see, music has been incorporated into a number of therapies. Depending on the condition being treated, an acupuncturist may incorporate music into the session to enhance the following effects:
- Decrease mood swings and regulate emotions.
- Reduce overall stress and anxiety.
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Manage chronic and acute pain.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Combat insomnia and promote quality sleep.
In acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, emotions are thought to be closely related to specific organs. For example, thinking corresponds to the spleen, anger with the liver, joy with the heart, fear with the kidneys, and worry with the lungs.
Listening to music that evokes or counteracts certain emotions is thought to affect specific organs. In TCM, music is thought of as a remedy or treatment, much like herbs, bodywork, and acupuncture itself. Choosing the right music during an acupuncture session does more than enhance the effects, it’s considered part of the treatment.
Conditions That Can Benefit for Combining Music with Acupuncture
Music can be used in conjunction with acupuncture to benefit patients with a variety of conditions, including:
- Autism and cerebral palsy
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Depression and anxiety disorders
- Behavioral and psychiatric disorders in adults and children
The Take-Home Message
As you can see, music can be used in a number of ways to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and provide numerous physical and mental health benefits. At the same time, acupuncture is a proven ancient healing method with many of the same benefits. Combining the two simply enhances the effects of both therapies and makes your acupuncture sessions more enjoyable overall.