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#26 2009-03-17 02:34:16

From: Orono Maine
Registered: 2009-01-21
Posts: 43

Re: Shakuhachi as Mental Therapy

While avoiding to much detail, I'd like to say, that in my own personal expierance its a very healing.  Which is why I knew I had to learn how to play it for myself



#27 2009-05-13 02:46:11

From: Australia
Registered: 2009-04-03
Posts: 105

Re: Shakuhachi as Mental Therapy

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective.

In 'Traditional Chinese Medicine' the 2 meridians of the body that are responsible for depression (ands correspondingly the 2 that can also be treated to help a depressed person) are the Gall Bladder Meridian and the Liver Meridian. The interesting part here is that these are the 2 meridians that correlate to the 'Wood' cycle in the 5 Element System in TCM. To me the Shakuhachi is very much a 'Wood' instrument both physically and emotionally (yes I know it's not made of wood, but it's in the same 'chain' in the sense that it lives the same cycle as all plants). The climate associated with Wood is 'Wind'. We produce a sound on the Shakuhachi with our breath.

In TCM Wood signifies creation, growth, life, birth, new beginnings, development. The spirit of the Wood element is aspiration - the ability to envision one's future in the world with hope and excitement. When this spirit of aspiration is lacking or dysfunctional, depression ensues. Essentially losing impetus instead of growing. This sounds to me very much like a fairly apt definition of depression.

(Warning - technical jargon ahead)
One of the symptoms of the Wood Element being 'out of balance' can be depression. To treat a Wood phase imbalance there are a number of differing possibilities depending upon whether the Element is 'in depletion' or 'in excess'. If 'in depletion' one can treat the 'parent element' of Wood - which is Water (think about it - a parent supports a child, if the parent is sick the child stops thriving - if Water is sick, Wood stops thriving). If 'in excess' one can treat the 'grandparent' of Wood - which is Metal (Metal (an axe) will cut down excessive growth).

However another way to treat Wood is to address the Wood Element itself either in conjunction with the above mentioned treatments or alone. In other words treat the Wood deficiency/excess with the qualities that Wood already posesses - one can do this through direct treatment on the Wood Meridians (Gall Bladder/Liver), through herbs, food, environment, and basically any stimulae of Wood nature......for example.................... 'THE SHAKUHACHI' - finally got there smile. As the Shakuhachi is of Wood nature the effects from using it will also impart Wood quality (in fact their are a few modalities in which bamboo is used as a massage tool, specifically because of this factor), including the intrinsic Wood nature of its sound.

(Thanks for bearing with me here, it was actually fairly useful to write this down as I have to do a 15 minute talk on a treatment plan for a condition of my choice, for my Diploma of Remedial Therapy. I've been thinking depression might be a good one)

Each part of the body should be connected to every other part.



#28 2009-05-13 12:07:27

From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Shakuhachi as Mental Therapy

I used to play guitar and found that soothing to play. For some reason though, the shakuhachi seems to be more appealing and more of an expressive instrument. As previously noted, perhaps because it is a wood instrument it helps uplift the spirit. Though, my guitar too was made of wood. They both are very therapeutic. I feel it is great to have an instrument to let out your inner feelings in song.

I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.




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