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The interaction of musical sound waves and meridian energy: A pilot study in the development of an integrated systems model for the treatment of psychogenic stress disorders

Susan Tomkins, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The treatment effects of musical pitch and key are noticeably absent in music therapy research. The nature and patterns of the interaction between meridian energy and musical sound waves has received little or no attention in the music therapy literature and contemporary acupuncture literature. Forty-three acupuncture patients were treated with musical sound waves (329.6 Hz) on Earth points of major yin meridians when those points were clinically indicated as determined by Worsley-trained acupuncture practitioners. The musical sound wave was generated with a tuning fork, and each patient was tested and re-tested for matched-pair analysis of data. Three response categories--better, no change and worse--were compared with attention given to quantitative and qualitative differences as a function of age, CF, point, point function, meridian and the season in which treatments were received. Significant (p =.05) results indicate that treatment responses to the sound waves were not individually-specific. Significant results also indicated that therapeutic responses were more reliably accomplished on tonification points (IV$\sb3$, IX$\sb9$) and on XII$\sb3$ than they were on those points that are sedation points ($\rm I\sb7,\ V\sb7,\ VIII\sb3$). Trends in the results suggest that effectiveness of this pitch may be meridian-specific and point-specific. Trends in the data suggest that therapeutic responsivity was CF-specific with people having Water CFs showing more therapeutic response to treatment than people with other CFs. Trends suggest therapeutic response was possibly seasonally-specific with Late Summer therapeutic responses somewhat greater than those from treatments received in other seasons. Trends in the data also suggest that instrumental preferences may be used to diagnose principal energetic imbalance. Conclusions from the data are generalizable to include music of E major and E minor, but restricted to meridian energy interactions with 329.6 Hz. Findings relative to the musical sound equivalents of the Five Functional Voices in the Systems of Correspondence, the theoretical foundations of ancient Taoist medical theory, are promising. Trends in the data support the hypothesis that overtone frequency (E) 329.6 Hz is the contemporary equivalent to Kong if the fundamental is C$\sb2$.

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Recommended Citation

Tomkins, Susan, "The interaction of musical sound waves and meridian energy: A pilot study in the development of an integrated systems model for the treatment of psychogenic stress disorders" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9619448.