Pranic Therapy by G Kumar (c) 2001
Pranic Therapy Part I - An Introduction Pranic Therapy is an alternative system of Medicine using therapy with the Universal 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 our channels 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
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 our
cognitive & conative functions)
7. Opening the system to the Cosmic Prana ( Opening all channels to the
Divine Shakti )
With the advent of rapid industrialization, urbanization and the breakdown of family life after the Second World War, social life in the West became tense & stressful. The spread of materialistic ideas and ideals and the erosion of faith in Morality & the Law Divine & the social disturbance caused by the Vietnam War brought a sense of futility & meaninglessness in the Western psyche.The limitations of the Western system of chemotherapy & adverse side-effects of antibiotics, sedatives and certain other
drugs and the disillusionment with the promises of science & technology made millions turn to Oriental philosophies, divine practices & systems of therapy.
The response from the Orient was benevolent. Favoured by the social revolution that swept through several countries in the West in the 1960s, these countries, especially the US, came to be
flooded with Gurus and Yogis. Yoga, TM, Reiki - all attained world-wide popularity.
Three Modern Movements
As a byproduct three modern movements came into being. They are Neo-humanisn, interreligious dialogue and Holistic Health. The term 'Neo-humanism' refers to a basic change in modern man's attitude towards himself and his fellowmen which 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 dialogue was immense. Other movements like Maharshi International University & Self Realisation Fellowship contributed to this change in the human mindset.
Holistic Health refers to a modern movement which regards health as a dynamic state of the total human being. Although the symptoms of a disease may be found in certain tissues or organs, health is not a mere removal of such symptoms by the treatment of the affected tissues or organs, but a state of multidimensional experience, according to this perspective. The mind, body & environment are
in a state of dynamic interaction & the maintenance of this interaction in an optimum state of efficiency is what health means. In other words " To be healthy is to have the ability to live with full use 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 sense of all-round well-being as contrasted with illness. .
The greatest aspect of holistic health is its recognition of the role played by mind in health. " Mind is omnipotent " said Freud & he had shown that the Unconscious played a key role in causing certain diseases which came to be described as psychosomatic diseases. He looked upon the Unconscious
chiefly as the repository of negative emotions. His early disciple Carl Jung expanded the concept of the Unconscious to make it include good emotions and even spiritual urges. Adler, another disciple of Freud showed that the ego could alter unconscious behaviour.
The connecting link between the body and mind was not clear. The work of the Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye brought the much needed connecting link. In his classic work " The Stress of Life " Selye showed that mental stress was the root cause of several types of common illness such as hypertension, hyperacidity etc. The 'stressor' (the original source of stress ) excites the hypothalamus in the brain. This vital organ which controls the autonomic nervous system
activates 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 is
released into the blood & BP is increased as a result of these changes. According to Selye, stress is unavoidable in life. ( The emotional centre in the brain, when upset, stimulates the oxintic cells to secrete more hydrochloric acid in the stomach which leads to hyperacidity.) When it goes beyond a certain tolerance level ( which varies from person 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 negative emotions could cause illness, positive emotions can cause "wellness". The attention of medical experts & the imagination of the public was captured by this innovative idea when Normal Cousins, editor of Saturday Review, published a convincing account of his recovery from a debilitating & incurable disease of the connective tissue. The patient's understanding of the disease & his active participation in the recovery process was highlighted by his case.
The most difficult and controversial aspect of holistic health is another idea that by creating proper awareness within himself man could exercise a certain degree of voluntary control over the healing
processes taking place in his body. After the aftermath of Pavlov's demonstration of conditioned reflexes, another Russian scientist K M Bykov and his colleagues showed in 1924 that several
involuntary processes such as regulation of body heat, heart rhythm, production of urine, BP etc which were mediated by the autonomic nervous system could be brought under voluntary control. The above
finding was corroborated later during experiments conducted on animals under 'operant' (voluntary)conditioning. Hundreds of people found that they could bring under control their heart rhythm, brain waves etc with the help of the biofeedback technique. Indian Yogis in the West also demonstrated that they could alter metabolic rate, heartbeat, body temperature etc simply by their will power, without
the use of any biofeedback instruments.
More information about Transcendental Philosophy & Yoga can be
Holistic health practioners invaded the scene at this juncture. They showed that not only certain organs but the working of the whole system such as the digestive system, the respiratory system, circulatory system etc ( known as the Systems concept ) could be regulated simply by changing one's life-style & affinities. It was claimed that even diseases such as cancer could be cured or held in check be creating strong faith & the right type of consciousness.Despite the exaggeration and the propaganda which accompanied these claims, the basic idea that man can consciously regulate involuntary and unseen physiolo-gical processes came to be accepted as a fact by the medical community.
Various meditation techniques like Transcendental Meditation, Zen, Yoga were becoming popular in the West in those days. Apart from the spiritual benefits, (In Transcendental Meditation, the existence of
a fourth major state of Consciousness called Transcendental Consciousness was proved by Dr Keith Wallace in his Phd Thesis ) practical Yoga teachers showed that Meditation also produced other
beneficial 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 a
result, some form of Meditation has become an essential part of most holistic health programmes.( Dr Harold Bloomfied says that TM can be used as an adjunct to psychiatric practice.)
The success of Acupuncture, herbology etc which came to be recognised as ' Alternative Medicine " , lent much support to the holistic health position. Two great discoveries strengthened this position. One was the discovery of 'biological clocks' in nature and the existence of biorhythms in the human body. The other discovery was that the brain produced certain neuro- modulators called endorphins which have the property of reducing pain. The production of these natural painkillers is influenced by our thoughts and endorphins are produced when our EEG brain waves are in an alpha state ( 8.5 cycles per sec).
Pranic Therapy Part II
All the four forces in the Universe - weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, electricity & magnetism -are but different manifestations of that Unitary Power which the Vedists call Prana. Using this Vital Energy to heal is called Pranic Therapy. This article is a continuation of the earlier article Pranic Therapy Part I.
Application of Chaos Theory in the field of Medicine
Another breathtaking development in medicine is the application of Chaos Theory. Chaos theory,advanced by Mendelbrot, is a mathematical theory applied to non-linear and random events. It sees order in chaos. Most of ordinary phenomena in the world such as changes of weather, the
behaviour of cancer cells, occurrence of heart attack, movement of electrons etc, do not seem to follow any regular & recurrent pattern & are unpredictable on the basis of linear mathematics . Though it
contradicts Laplace, its positive aspect is that is sees Cosmos ( order ) in Chaos.
Chaos theory of maths tries to find a more meaningful correlation & behavioural pattern in such systems. One of the most fundamental properties of an organism is Homeostasis, the maintenance of a
fixed internal milieu, especially with regard to body temperature, BP, pH etc.The earlier school of thought regarded homeostasis as health, ( Walter Cannon called it "the wisdom of the body" ) & any deviation from it was disease. But Chaos theory revolutionised this thinking & pointed out that health is the flexibility of an organism to respond to any changing environment.Our lungs, heart, liver etc are all designed to deal with frequent changes & health is the flexibility or capacity to maintain this state of chaos at the maximal level of efficiency.
Holistic health does not reject the Western system of medicine in toto. In the case of infectious diseases, nutritional & hormonal deficiencies and bodily defects which need surgical intervention, it follows the Western system. Psychosomatic diseases such as hypertension, peptic ulcer, allergic asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome etc can be treated by Holistic Medicine, it averrs. Holistic health provides a way of life which prevents the reccurrence of some of these ailments.
It is more prophylactic, preventive, curative & restorative.
Integral Life is an ancient Vedic ideal. The ancient Rishies ( Seers ) believed in the fulness of Life - 100 % materialism & 100% spirituality. They actualised the Unity of Life first - long before they realized the Unity of Consciousness. The unitary principle of life is known as Prana, the Vital Energy. Cosmic Prana is a major topic of discussion in the Upanishads. This Universal Vital Energy flows through invisible channels in the human body known as Nadis. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad describes Prana as Truth and Brahman as the Truth of Truths. It was during this period ( around 500 B C ) that India
developed the Science of Life known as Ayurveda.
An integral view of life far more comprehensive than that of any school of Vedanta was developed by Tantras which arose between the 6th & 9th centuries AD. The Ultimate Reality is conceived of as Chit-Shakti, Consciousness-Force. Matter, Mind & Self are all regarded as mani-festations of this Universal Power which is personified as the Divine Mother. All activities are carried on by the Consciousness -Force ( The Universe is the play and display of Consciousness-Force) & all we have to do is to open ourselves to Her Power through self-surrender and aspiration. This master science was revived by modern Masters like Aurobindo and Ramakrishna.
The programme for activating the body's own self-renewal processes is called holistic health programme. It may take months or years for the body to learn new patterns of response and renew itself. And this programme succeeds only when certain conditions are fulfilled.
Awakening to a New Holistic Health Awareness
Only after undergoing an inner conversion do people start on a holistic health programme. This conversion may come naturally in the fulness of time or by coming into contact with a holistic health adept or Yoga teacher. But more commonly, the inner transformation takes place only when people have reached the limits of suffering or when the shadow of some terminal illness looms large on the horizon. Fear, they say, is the beginning of wisdom.
Pain is the first born of the Inconscience And thy body's dumb original base !
Whatever way the change occurs, it takes the form of two inner processes; a new attitude towards one's body and a feeling of responsibility for one's own health.
Man's greatest enemy - Thanatos ( Death-instinct )
The notion that what a person loves most is his own body has been proved erroneous by Freud. Freud, who declared that pleasure seeking ( hedonism ) was the basic instinct in man, modified his view
later. He came to the conclusion that along with Life-instinct ( known as Eros ) man had apparently a powerful Death-instinct ( known as Thanatos ) which manifested itself as Self-hate & aggressive
behaviour. He showed that not all accidents were really accidents. The accident-proneness of the victims produced by the unconscious death wish they had cherished was the cause behind some accidents. Research has indicated enough evidence for vicious & insidious forms of self-hate in man. We can understand how self-hate operates on the level of the Unconscious if we observe the way many people abuse their own stomachs, lungs & other vital organs, and the way some people bring ruin upon themselves by yielding to drug addiction & alcoholism. This self-hate acts as an inhibiting factor for most individuals. Success can be achieved, said Dr Maxwell Maltz, if this inhibitive factor is removed from the mind. Most people are unaware of it & drift through life unaware of the self- harm they
do. Some of them wake up from this unconscious drifting and begin to have a new attitude - an attitude of love, friendliness and peace towards themselves & their brethren.It actually indicates the dawn of true love for one's higher Self known as the Atman.
Thanatos was known in Vedanta as Thamas ( the destructive element in man ). Thamas is destructive and self-destructive. By yogic sadhana alone can this Thamas or Thanatos be destroyed.
Yet till evil is slain in its own home And light invades the world's inconscient base And perished is the Adversary force He ( the Saviour ) must still labour on, his work halfdone! ( Aurobindo )