How Pranayam Works

      There are many scientific studies showing that Pranayam influences cognition, hypertension, acts as a stress reliever, helps in overcoming depression etc.

      Dr. Shannahoff-Khalsa and his colleagues at the University of California, Davis quoted “This yogic breathing technique may have useful application in treating psycho-physiological disorders with hemispheric imbalances and disorders with autonomic abnormalities" (International Journal of Neurosciences, 1993 Nov;73(1-2):61-8). These effects are due to the influence of the forced air  on a spot in the nostril which triggers effects in the brain.

     Another scientific aspect of Pranayam is that it brings a positive feeling in the individual which is a very important factor in healing. The more optimistic the attitude the better the healing. The atmosphere we breathe normally is full of positive and negative ions. Air conditioning, lack of ventilation, and long dry spells remove negative ions, which usually serve to latch onto airborne dirt particles and wrestle them to the floor, rendering the air purer. Roughly one-third of the population seems to be particularly sensitive to negative ion depletion. The proportion of negative ions is highest around moving water -storms, oceans, rivers and waterfalls. It's no wonder that we feel so energized at the beach! The best ratios of negative to positive ions are associated with waterfalls and the time before, during, and after storms. The worst are found in windowless rooms and closed, moving vehicles. Air purifiers work typically by emitting negative ions, which purify the room air by attaching to impurities and making them sink.

       High concentrations of negative ions are essential for high energy and a           positive mood. In fact, Marian Diamond, a professor of Neuro-Anatomy at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that levels of negative ions are inversely related to levels of serotonin in the brain. Negative ions suppress serotonin levels in much the same way that natural sunlight suppresses melatonin. Hence,the invigorating effect of fresh air and sunshine and the correspondingly depressed feelings associated with being in a closed and dark space! If you deplete the air of negative ions, you experience an increase in serotonin and its attendant drowsiness and relaxation—not exactly what you need when mental agility is demanded of you. Diamond's research, along with other information on ions, is summarized in Yepsen (1987).

Pranayam and Positivity
In an interesting twist, Josh Backon, a member of the Department of Cardiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writes in an internet posting (email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) that in order to increase left hemisphere activity (linear, language, logical), one can block the left nostril and engage in "forced unilateral nostril breathing." Likewise, to increase right hemisphere activity (creative, holistic, emotional), the right nostril should be blocked. This practice increases the supply of negative ions to a specific hemisphere. (The above information is from the Negative Ion Information center.

Pranayam and Bio Feedback Therapy
After mastering Pranayam, combine it with bio feedback therapy. When you inhale fresh air, feel that you are inhaling the air to heal yourself. When you hold the air, feel that the air is going to the region or organ of your illness and feel this air  removing all the toxins and other impurities. Feel that organ or tissue becoming healthy. Feel the love towards that organ. Feel the nurturing action, as you would nurture your sick child. Gently rub your hand externally over the region of illness with love as you would rub your child’s body when he is sick. This gives immense power to the organ to heal. We have personal experience of patients who did this and attained remarkable healing. Not only during Pranayam, this thought during  the entire Five Element Healing will intensify the process.

 

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