The Healing Power of Performing Arts
People will tell you how much happier and energized they feel after they have watched an incredible performance.
Chinese medicine has a theory that may explain how the performing arts can be healing and nurturing to human life.
The human body is an open system, so everything we see and hear may affect our health
Chinese medicine sees the organ system as an energetic network centered on the five major organs – the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys – which correlate to the five elements – metal, wood, fire, water and earth.
Visualized at the energetic level, the human body is an open system that constantly interacts with energy from the environment. Therefore, everything we see, hear, and feel will have an effect on the vitality of our organs, and will also influence how we think and act in our daily lives.
Music for healing
In ancient China, one of music’s earliest purposes was for healing. It was believed that music had the power to heal the heart, enrich the mind, and harmonize a person’s soul. The Chinese character for medicine 藥 is very similar to the character for music 樂.
Chinese medicine has identified five pentatonic notes in music, each one having a different impact on our organs and their functionality.
When the five pentatonic notes are composed in a smooth, balanced fashion, they positively affect the systems of our five major organs. As a result, this smooth, balanced sound composition helps to balance the energy of the body and mind.
Research also shows that listening to good music lowers blood pressure, stabilizes heart rate, relieves depression, reduces pre-treatment anxiety, enhances concentration and creativity, and lessens the need for sedatives and painkillers during and after surgery.
When Yo-Yo Ma was asked about the healing power of music, he responded simply, “Isn’t it all that music is about?”
Watching Shen Yun may heal
Meditation is an essential part of daily training for Shen Yun musicians and dancers. According to Chinese tradition, the artists who cultivate virtue celebrate the divine and nurture goodness. With each performance, Shen Yun artists emit positive energy that heals the body, elevates and refreshes mind and spirit, and inspires kindness.
This connection between music, performing arts and healing may explain why audience members who watch Shen Yun experience a healing effect from the performance.