Modern science is finally starting to catch up…
|The body consists of numerous systems. Most of us are familiar with many of them like the cardiovascular system, digestive system, immune system and nervous system. But what about the parts of us that lie outside of the physical realm? Our energy? Our essence? Our soul? We can all feel it but until relatively recently modern science offered little to no insight, leaving us with only ancient eastern teachings, that for many, are hard to swallow.|
Eastern philosophy defines this intangible system as a central main channel known as the sushumnah nadi running vertically from the sacrum to the top of the head. And two smaller channels on either side called the pingala, on the right and the ida on the left which weave around the central channel at seven key places known as the chakras. These nadi /energetic pathways act like the vascular system but instead of carrying blood cells they carry our life force or energy, known by yogis as Prana. When we are out of balance at any of the seven principle chakras, where the right and left pathways cross the central channel, it restricts the flow of prana and hinders us, manifesting as stress, anxiety, aches and pains.
The practice of yoga helps to de-kink and unclog these restricted points by finding balance in each of the chakras. Eastern philosophy says that the external physical work of yoga postures effects our inner channels, through which prana (our life force) and our thoughts travel. The physical practice of yoga loosens up choke points in these inner channels, where they twine around each other and form the circular-shaped “wheels,” or chakras in tune with our emotions. Through meditation and asanas we remove any blockages within these channels allowing ourselves to access the various chakras. When energy can flow freely through our inner channels we can fully engage with all of these points and enlightenment is obtained.
For some this might sound ridiculous. Vocabulary like prana, life force and inner channels sounds like a bunch of hokey bullshit. Right? Well let me sing you the same song to a different tune….
In her revolutionary research Dr. Candace Pert discovered the use of neuropeptides and their role in controlling the body’s autonomic systems as well as memory creation and storage on the cellular level throughout the entire body.
She found that when emotions are blocked by stress, denial, trauma or repression it prevents the flow of neuropeptides and diminishes the autonomic processes that are regulated by them. This results in any number of problems with blood pressure, digestion, immunity, behavior etc.. Thus, she demonstrated the significant role our feelings play in our health, as well as our behavioral response to sensory input. A collapse in just a few simple feedback loops can upset the entire body and disrupt our health and behavior.
Now it may just be the coincidence of the millennia but when Dr. Pert mapped out the neuropeptide receptor dense areas along the spine responsible for receiving, storing and recalling emotions, it matched perfectly with those of the chakras and prana described by yoga masters for thousands of years.
I, personally, don’t believe in coincidences. and instead see it as empirical evidence corroborating a story that until now we had only circumstantial evidence for. Like detectives uncovering the smoking gun Dr. Pert has put forth the physical evidence corroborating “my clients story your honor”! Whether you call it prana or neuropeptides emotions affect/ control our health and behavior!
Two different languages, one simple Truth. The mind and body are parts of the same whole, each affecting the other in a symbiotic relationship. A process, if cultivated, we can consciously impact. Therefore…
Your health, well being and the ability to heal your body lies entirely within your control.