Background: nothing but response to external threat.

Background:

In a competitive era, every individual faces numerous stressful
conditions both at physical and mental levels. In a stressful situation, our body prepares ourselves to face such
incidences and leads to release certain hormones. Though this minimal
“fight or flight” causes a temporary relief from the stressful
condition by increasing our blood pressure, breathing and heart rate,
this also leads to weaken our body immune system and other body systems if this
condition occurs repeatedly. Numerous scientists have demonstrated that
following mind relaxation techniques leads to tackle against these stressful
conditions. Meditation effects a
lot of biochemical changes and alteration of hormone status in our body and one
such hormone is oxytocin that increases our bonding, romantic attachments and
levels of empathy.  Meditation leads to
cause the release of few happy hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin.
Oxytocin is secreted by a posterior part of pituitary gland.

 

 

Introduction:

Stress is nothing but response to external threat.  The organism feels that environmental demand
exceeds its natural capacity. Stress is what we experience when we believe that
we can’t cope up effectively with threatening situation. According to Patanjali
a person’s original state is stress-free state. 
In this state mind will be calm and relaxed and unaffected by external
events. Actually stress starts with our attachment and desires for worldly
things.  According to Bhagavat Gita,
constant thinking about objects leads to attachment with the objects,
attachment leads to lust, lust leads to anger, anger leads to delusion,
delusion leads to loss of memory, loss of memory leads to loss of intelligence
and finally one gets destroyed.

 

Understanding Stress:

            When we are in stress
our heart rate increases, blood pressure rises as more blood pumped to our
muscles and lungs. We tend to breathe more rapidly to increase the supply of
air. Liver converts glycogen into glucose to supply quick energy. Pupils dilate
to see well. These are the physical changes that happen when a person is
stressed. If we stressed once in a while it is not a problem as body itself
recovers within specific time. If this stress is a continuous one, then body
will not get enough time to recover itself.

            Stress can be acute or
relative. Acute like real threat that every person face like earthquake in
town, or natural disaster. Relative stressors are like those which effects in
certain portion of individuals and not all. Like giving presentation in front
of big audience group, gives stress only for few people but not for all. The
stressor is just event, it can be physical conditions, physiological,
psychological or social conditions or may be work place related conditions.

            When we are fight or
flight mode, our physiological system goes into high gear interpreting that
under threat, triggers the activation of Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)
axis. The Hypothalamus, a small portion of our brain located above the brain
stem stimulates the pituitary- a small gland near the base of our brain. Pituitary
releases a hormone into the blood stream called adrenocorticotropic hormone
(ACTH). When ACTH travels in the blood and reaches the adrenal gland, which are
located above the kidneys and triggers secretion of so-called stress hormones.
The two main stress hormones are glucocorticoids (Cortisol) and catecholamine’s
(adrenaline and nor adrenaline).  So whenever
we are experiencing stress, entire body undergoes a dramatic changes of
physiological changes that prepares our body for life-threatening emergency. It
was adaptive survival potential, way back when nature’s way of keeping us
alive. But now a days we do not face much life threats but still we face lot of
stress in our day to day life affecting our physiological and emotional
reactions.

 

Oxytocin- Love and Compassion
Hormone

            Oxytocin is a
polypeptide synthesized in Hypothalamus and secreted by Pituitary gland.  Oxytocin is generally produced more during
sex, intimacy, reproduction, childbirth and breast feeding. It also associated
with emotions that reduces fear and increase sense of trust with others. Recently,
oxytocin has attracted more social psychologist for its implication as it
increases empathy, trust and gaze around eye region. Oxytocin generates
positive emotions. When Stress hormones increases it leads to muscle
tightening, energy sent to limbs and increases sensitivity to pain. But
Oxytocin which is endorphin relaxes the muscles, energy sent to Uterus and
decreases the awareness to pain. Oxytocin increases through act of touch like
receiving a hug, boost the oxytocin levels relax the cardio respiratory
systems. Normally when stress hormones are released immunity decreases, but
when oxytocin released it increases the immunity.     Oxytocin hormone generates “tend and befriend” response in place
of “fight or flight” response of stress hormones. Oxytocin reduces the blood
pressure and cortisol levels there by reducing the effects of stress related
issues in body. Increased secretion of Oxytocin helps to make our mind calm and
help to increase our reaction time to the situation thereby reducing the stress.

            The neuroscientist Paul
Zak has extended the study of oxytocin in social bonding of human. “Oxytocin
release is stimulated by acts of kindness or trust by complete strangers”. The
feeling people get when their brains release oxytocin is one of empathy or
emotional connection. Till 1970s and 1980s scientists discovered the extent of
oxytocin’s involvement in behavior. Experiments have been carried out in rats,
where infusion of oxytocin stimulates maternal behavior in virgin females. When
decreased oxytocin levels block oxytocin receptor with the brain reduce
maternal behaviors.

 

 

 

Kundalini Meditation:

            Kundalini yoga is a
systematic and integrated practice for body, mind and soul. Vethathiri
Maharishi systematized this Kundalini yoga in a simplified way which is wholly safe,
one can get the Kundalini power aroused in minutes with the help of Guru.
Meditation helps to focus inside. Vethathiri Maharishi says Dive
In
to find Divine in oneself. When we start
finding the divine in one self, we tend carry the nature of divinity that is Love
and compassion.
When Love and compassion is achieved, automatically stress is reduced due to increased
secretion of Oxytocin which reduces the impact of stress hormones.  

            During meditation ones
Kundalini power is aroused from mooladhar to higher level of chakras like Agna (between
eyebrows) and Thuriyam (Crown chakra). 
At this stage the frequency of our mind reduces from Beta stage (14 to
40 cycles/sec) to Alpha stage (8 to 13 cycles/sec).  At this stage the person will be less prone
to trigger of external factors. He can focus inside and stressors will not
affect him that leads to release of stress hormones. Maharishi says that
Meditation happens when projecting mind is the world and when it retracts and
merges in the life force which is its source. When we start meditating on the
source itself we tend to get the quality of the source or divinity which leads
to stress free life.

            Baseless expectation
leads to unnecessary disappointments says Maharishi. When one does meditation
it increases the awareness. When awareness increases it increases the will
power, will power increases the power of thought, thought force activates the
physical body and eventually results are produced.

            Blessing is also one of
main practice that is done after meditation. When we bless others, first thing
that happens is that we are blessed automatically.  The good vibration of
the thought makes a positive physical, chemical and psychological change in us.
  A counter example would help us understand this. When we get angry
with someone, what happens to us? Our Blood pressure increases, eyes become red
etc. Similarly when we bless, first the positive impact will be on us. Then,
this impacts the person on whom it is directed positively etc. A portion of the
waves reflect and come back to us. A portion of the waves refract and influence
those around too. A portion of the waves keep interacting between the two and a
portion of the waves penetrate. In short, Clash, Reflection, Refraction,
Penetration and Interaction are the fivefold action. This beneficial the result
with its multifarious effects on both the sender and the receiver as well as on
others. Blessing after meditation has a strong effect and it helps for trust
and empathy around people around us. Blessings without remembering the ill
feelings only will bring results, this is possible only after meditation. Shri
Vethathiri Maharishi says ‘When you bless, Enmity will
go. When you have enmity you can’t bless’.  This is most important science for social
bonding. We get peace and harmony around us thereby reducing the release of
stress hormones.

           

Stress Management through Kundalini Meditation:

            According to Vedic
science the inner consciousness activates the physical body. Meditation
connects with the deep inner self. This correlates the scientific view of DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) in the body.  DNA
proceeds to RNA (ribonucleic acid) then to the amino acids, through which
proteins are formed. In meditation DNA starts a new cycle and provided with
whatever is needed for activities of the cell. This changes the inner self
(seat of knowledge, like DNA) provides inner peace and bliss, which removes the
accumulated stresses of life and improves overall health.

            When we meditate we
expand our mind, understand the law of nature and maintain awareness in
thought, word and deed. This leads to Harmony, happiness and peace within
oneself. Stress happens only when a person is in Beta stage where he becomes
emotional, remains incapable of realizing “Self” or the Divine State. Constant
practice takes our consciousness to even subtler levels, where it becomes one
with Super Consciousness.

            As vessels cleaned up
for next day use, meditation need to be performed daily for stress free life
and peaceful life. During meditation the frequencies of our mind waves
gradually come down from Beta level of 14-40 cycles/second, to Alpha Level of
8-13 cycles/second. This is sleep with awareness state. Meditation when
performed with full realization correct ourselves, as well as strengthen and
clean our minds for improving own selves.

 

 

Methods:

The Simplified Kundalini
Yoga (SKY) systematized by Yogiraj Vethathiri Maharishi offers holistic
approach of health by providing Meditation for Mental health, Physical exercise
for physical health and Introspection practices for social health. Though it
was observed that the following of Simplified Kundalini Yoga leads to mental
peace and happiness, there was no scientific proof for the same. To understand
the same, a pilot study was carried out in voluntary subjects who have normal
household and official stress and observed significant changes in Oxytocin
levels. The blood was collected before starting SKY practice and these
participants were taught SKY practice by respective teachers who also initiated
the participants. It is also to be noted that few participants were already following
practice. All the participants strictly followed the practice and maintained
the log for the practice. Those who followed the practice for at least 70 %
were taken for further analysis. After 3 months of regular practice, blood
samples were collected again from all the participants.

            Three types of meditation were
taught for these participants. Agna meditation between eyebrows, Shanthi
meditation on Mooladhar chakra which is at the center of the body at the end of
the tip of the tail bone and Thuriyam which is the crown chakra. These meditation
practices were performed by participants on daily basis and recorded.
Meditation was done for 20 minutes every day, 5 minutes of Agna meditation and
10 minutes of Thuriyam meditation followed by blessings. Blessings will follow,
like auto suggestion, then blessing the Life partner, then Children, brothers
and sisters, close relatives and friends, then blessing the people we are
interacting daily and finally blessing the enemies or any miscreants.

 

 

 

Results:

These blood samples
were processed to get sera samples and these samples were stored at -80 deg C
till the analysis of oxytocin which was measured by ELISA assay. We have
conducted the paired “t” test in the samples which were collected before and
after SKY practice. The analysis revealed that oxytocin was found to be
increased after the 3 months SKY practice.  The increased oxytocin levels were also
associated with the reduction in other stress parameters.

 

Conclusion:

By practicing Kundalini yoga with
Meditation in day to day life, one can achieve inner happiness and peace by
leading a healthy life and increased levels of oxytocin might be required to
achieve the same. Meditation provides relieve stress while improving the brain
function. Meditation is an experience of unity, which reduces stress and brings
increased creativity and efficiency to the functioning of inner faculty. This
is the process the mind to focus inwards, and automatically results are
achieved by controlling the mind. This process helps a person to go beyond the
mind to the deepest level of inner self. Kundalini meditation is considered to
be the oldest meditation tradition in the world, which is simplified and
provided to the common man by Yogiraj Vethathiri Maharishi. Practice of this
will help in achieving inner peace by stress free life thereby leading to
individual peace, which leads to family peace, then society peace and finally
world peace. Oxytocin being the love and kindness hormone leads to the better
and peaceful world.