The Rhythm of Life and Musical Energy
All matter, living and non-living, has a natural or intrinsic frequency or rhythm. One of the most astonishing examples of this is the “resonance” phenomenon that occurs when you excite a structure at its own natural frequency.
The bible recounts the story of the crumbling walls of Jericho as a result of the Israelites marching around them for several days. Most people would consider this story apocryphal. However the explanation is definitely within the realm of classical physics.
A striking example of this is the resonance induced by the wind on the Tacoma Bridge in 1940 The bridge vibrates at frequency that causes the collapse of its structure. A medical application of this concept is the sonic vibrations shattering of kidney stones that physicians regularly use this technique called lithotripsy.
In medicine and biology, we have come to appreciate that every organ and every physiological system in our bodies has a rhythm. In some sense our bodies are like thousands of clocks all connected together. These biological clocks operate on different time and spatial scales. Women have monthly menstrual cycles; we all have daily sleep wake cycles. Our major organs also function with cycles or rhythm, consider our heart beat on cycles per second as does our intestinal track. All of our glands secrete in rhythms and cycles. Even individual cells operate in a cell cycle to reproduce and synthesize vital molecules.
Why should this be so? How did life evolve in this way? The physical world itself sets the stage. Our planets orbit our sun, the earth rotates on its axis creating and cyclical pattern of light and dark, thus setting an environment for living things to adapt and move with this rhythm.
It is therefore not surprising that music can affect us in multiple ways. We have all experienced the emotions that music can elicit. Some of these are powerful. They can inspire us, sadden us and calm us. Physically the vibrations have an effect on all parts of our bodies.
There is no doubt that there is an art and science to the application of music biologically. One of the most miraculous applications of this concept is embodied in the work of Master Shen Wu. He has captured the body of ancient Royal Chinese knowledge and has applied it to wellness and health in general. These techniques heal and soothe on multiple levels and while there is clinical work being done to confirm and fundamentally understand the methods, there is no doubt that the fundamental scientific basis for Master Wu’s musical energy is grounded and with precedent.
Danny Petrasek MD. PhD. PA
Faculty of Bioengineering and Applied and Computational Mathematics
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)