Friday, September 22, 2006

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Pranic Therapy by G Kumar (c) 2001

Pranic Therapy Part I - An Introduction

Pranic Therapy is an alternative system of Medicine using therapy with theUniversal Stream of Consciousness, the Cosmic Prana.

Pranic Therapy can be effectuated by proper knowledge of the psycho-physical organism, physical and mental discipline and opening all ourchannels to the Cosmic Prana.

This is normally effected in seven steps

The Seven Stages of Pranic Therapy

1. Knowledge of the Psychosomatic Machine
2. Regulation of Sleep, food & Exercise
3. Relaxation
4. Attunement to Biorythms ( Circadian Rhythms, Solar & Lunar Rhythms )
5. Removing mental blocks ( Difficult due to Repression )
6. Overcoming Prajnaparadha ( Fault of Awareness due to misuse of ourcognitive & conative functions)
7. Opening the system to the Cosmic Prana ( Opening all channels to theDivine Shakti )

Introduction

With the advent of rapid industrialization, urbanization and thebreakdown of family life after the Second World War, sociallife in the West became tense & stressful. The spread ofmaterialistic ideas and ideals and the erosion of faith in Morality& the Law Divine & the social disturbance caused by the VietnamWar brought a sense of futility & meaninglessness in the Westernpsyche.The limitations of the Western system of chemotherapy& adverse side-effects of antibiotics, sedatives and certain otherdrugs and the disillusionment with the promises of science &technology made millions turn to Oriental philosophies, divinepractices & systems of therapy.

The response from the Orient was benevolent. Favoured by thesocial revolution that swept through several countries in the Westin the 1960s, these countries, especially the US, came to beflooded with Gurus and Yogis. Yoga, TM, Reiki - all attainedworld-wide popularity.

Three Modern Movements

As a byproduct three modern movements came into being.They are Neo-humanisn, interreligious dialogue and HolisticHealth. The term 'Neo-humanism' refers to a basic changein modern man's attitude towards himself and his fellowmenwhich is characterised by

a) the recognition of the essential goodness of man
b) focus on existential problems
c) striving for higher transcendental experience.

The contribution of Ramakrishna Movement to inter-faith dialoguewas immense. Other movements like Maharshi InternationalUniversity & Self Realisation Fellowship contributed to this changein the human mindset.

Holistic

HealthHolistic Health refers to a modern movement which regards health asa dynamic state of the total human being. Although the symptoms ofa disease may be found in certain tissues or organs, health is not amere removal of such symptoms by the treatment of the affectedtissues or organs, but a state of multidimensional experience,according to this perspective. The mind, body & environment arein a state of dynamic interaction & the maintenance of this interactionin an optimum state of efficiency is what health means. In otherwords " To be healthy is to have the ability to live with fulluse of our faculties and be vigorous, alert & happy to be alive,even in old age, despite an occasional bout of illness." This" operational health" has been defined as wellness. It is a senseof all-round well-being as contrasted with illness.

The greatest aspect of holistic health is its recognition of therole played by mind in health. " Mind is omnipotent " saidFreud & he had shown that the Unconscious played a key rolein causing certain diseases which came to be described aspsychosomatic diseases. He looked upon the Unconsciouschiefly as the repository of negative emotions. His early discipleCarl Jung expanded the concept of the Unconscious to makeit include good emotions and even spiritual urges. Adler,another disciple of Freud showed that the ego could alterunconscious behaviour.

The connecting link between the body and mind was not clear. Thework of the Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye brought the muchneeded connecting link. In his classic work " The Stress of Life "Selye showed that mental stress was the root cause of several typesof common illness such as hypertension, hyperacidity etc. The'stressor' (the original source of stress ) excites the hypothalamus inthe brain. This vital organ which controls the autonomic nervous systemactivates the pituitary to secrete the stress hormone ( known as ACTH )which stimulates the secretion of several hormones and steroids(including the well known, adrenaline or epinephrine). More sugar isreleased into the blood & BP is increased as a result of these changes.According to Selye, stress is unavoidable in life. ( The emotionalcentre in the brain, when upset, stimulates the oxintic cells to secretemore hydrochloric acid in the stomach which leads to hyperacidity.)When it goes beyond a certain tolerance level ( which varies fromperson to person ) the system breaks down resulting in illness.

To the scientific picture of body-mind interrelationship given above,certain new concepts were added. One was the idea that if negativeemotions could cause illness, positive emotions can cause "wellness".The attention of medical experts & the imagination of the public wascaptured by this innovative idea when Normal Cousins, editor ofSaturday Review, published a convincing account of his recoveryfrom a debilitating & incurable disease of the connective tissue.The patient's understanding of the disease & his active participationin the recovery process was highlighted by his case.

The most difficult and controversial aspect of holistic health is anotheridea that by creating proper awareness within himself man couldexercise a certain degree of voluntary control over the healingprocesses taking place in his body. After the aftermath of Pavlov'sdemonstration of conditioned reflexes, another Russian scientistK M Bykov and his colleagues showed in 1924 that severalinvoluntary processes such as regulation of body heat, heart rhythm,production of urine, BP etc which were mediated by the autonomicnervous system could be brought under voluntary control. The abovefinding was corroborated later during experiments conducted onanimals under 'operant' (voluntary)conditioning. Hundreds of peoplefound that they could bring under control their heart rhythm, brainwaves etc with the help of the biofeedback technique. Indian Yogisin the West also demonstrated that they could alter metabolic rate,heartbeat, body temperature etc simply by their will power, withoutthe use of any biofeedback instruments.More information about Transcendental Philosophy & Yoga can behad from http://www.astrologiavedica.com/html/yogamain.htm


Holistic health practioners invaded the scene at this juncture.They showed that not only certain organs but the working of the wholesystem such as the digestive system, the respiratory system, circulatorysystem etc ( known as the Systems concept ) could be regulated simplyby changing one's life-style & affinities. It was claimed that evendiseases such as cancer could be cured or held in check be creatingstrong faith & the right type of consciousness.Despite the exaggerationand the propaganda which accompanied these claims, the basic ideathat man can consciously regulate involuntary and unseen physiolo-gical processes came to be accepted as a fact by the medicalcommunity.

Various meditation techniques like Transcendental Meditation, Zen,Yoga were becoming popular in the West in those days. Apart fromthe spiritual benefits, (In Transcendental Meditation, the existence ofa fourth major state of Consciousness called TranscendentalConsciousness was proved by Dr Keith Wallace in his Phd Thesis )practical Yoga teachers showed that Meditation also produced otherbeneficial effects such as reduction of tension, lowering of BP,relaxation of muscles, increase of concentration & work efficiency& even increase of immunological resistance to diseases. As aresult, some form of Meditation has become an essential part ofmost holistic health programmes.( Dr Harold Bloomfied says thatTM can be used as an adjunct to psychiatric practice.)

The success of Acupuncture, herbology etc which came to berecognised as ' Alternative Medicine " , lent much support tothe holistic health position. Two great discoveries strengthenedthis position. One was the discovery of 'biological clocks' innature and the existence of biorhythms in the human body. Theother discovery was that the brain produced certain neuro-modulators called endorphins which have the property ofreducing pain. The production of these natural painkillers isinfluenced by our thoughts and endorphins are produced whenour EEG brain waves are in an alpha state ( 8.5 cycles per sec).
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