Musical Gongs and Xiao Yao Wan Herbs May Help Liver Qi Stagnation and Spleen Qi Deficiency

As we often mention on this website, Chinese Medicine treats “patterns” not individual symptoms/conditions.  A very common set of diagnostic patterns to have, particularly in westerners, is liver qi stagnation combined with spleen qi deficiency (“LSSD” in this study).  Symptoms-wise this often arises as a range of symptoms which we usually attribute to “stress” – headaches, moodiness, wavering appetite, anxiety and can progress to more serious symptoms such as panic disorder, deeper depression, reflux, etc.

As these conditions are so commonly seen and treated within Chinese Medicine there are a host of techniques that have been used to remedy these imbalances.  A recent animal study involving researchers from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine looked at the effects of “gong-tone” music along with a widely used herbal formula for such conditions (xiao yao wan) on immunological functions when animals present with these patterns.

While it may seem strange to some, certain musical vibrations have been studied and long used to aid the health of the body, studies in particular with Tibetan “singing” bowls for example have looked at a beneficial effect on cancer among other conditions.

In this rather unique study researchers divided 25 wistar rats into 5 groups – a normal group, a control/untreated group, a xiao yao wan treatment group, a gong-tone treatment group, and a combined gong-tone and xiao yao wan treatment group.

The rats were “given” liver stagnation and spleen deficiency (LSSD) much the same way it develops in humans by irregular diet and chronic stress – in this case chronic bandaging.  Treatment was given over 21 days.

The markers used were serum gastrin levels (hormone related to proper digestive function) and igG levels (lower levels indicated susceptibility to disease).  T cell proliferation (active in autoimmune conditions, cancers, etc.) and macrophage phagocytosis (controls infections) was also evaluated.

Researchers found that all treatment groups noted significant reductions in these markers of disease with the combined treatment group having the most positive changes.  The combined group was superior to the xiao yao wan alone group.

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Chad J. Dupuis, is the founder and developer of the Yin Yang House. He is a licensed acupuncturist in Chattanooga at the Yin Yang House Acupuncture and Wellness Center. Professional details can be found on his staff page. All of his blog posts can be found on his author page, community posts can be found via his forum profile page, and more off-topic posts can be found at his personal blog on medium @yinyanghouse.

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