Mind Stuff — The Next Frontier in your Yoga Practice
I realized this is 23 pages of mind stuff trying to teach you about the power your mind stuff … So lets break it down into 4 different areas I am approaching:
- Your nervous system and how your thoughts effect your nervous system. This is powerful alone, you can stop the stress response in a second by changing your mind!
- The power of your mind and using it in visualizations
- The power of the placebo effect
- The Power of what you believe – Quantum Physics, Biophotons, Intension, and perceptions
The other sides of Yoga
There comes a time when we’ve done enough asana! While asana will remain in a daily yoga practice, what I mean is its time to move beyond asana and stop defining your yoga by your asana!
The Inner Experience
When you take your practice inside and do your practice from the inside out — working with your nervous system, your endocrine system, your organs, and very importantly your breathing system and patterns of your attention or consciousness, you get the inner experience. This is much deeper and satisfying, you are not limited to what your muscles and bones can or can’t do.
Health entails all parts of us, we are not just physical bodies walking around, we are mental, emotional, and social. These aspects effect our health, just as much as smoking or eating vegetables impacts our health — so does our social life effect our health — if your attitude is off, your health will be too.
We all know by now that stress is bad for us, stress is a mood, an emotion, a feeling — kind of intangible yet it effects our health — well so do emotions like Joy and Happiness, and Pleasure — these effect our emotions and our health in a very positive way. Its not just the removal of stress we are looking for — its positive emotions like love and joy, and gratitude that build health and well being in our body — actually making us healthier in a similar way as exercise.
While we know stress hurts our immune function and increases our risk for heart issues, Joy actually IMPROVES IMMUNE FUNCTION, and is good for heart health!
There are so many ways to be healthy 🙂
Time to get more joy and less stress in our asana practice!
Yoga is not just for our physical bodies — yoga is really more a mental practice than a physical! It just became more physical as it moved west. We have more and more science supporting the role of how our thoughts and moods effect our health.
As I have been talking about over the past couple years — Really the main reason for all this yoga asana is its effect on our nervous system.
Our nervous systems are the key component on whether your practice or exercise is helping your health or breaking you down.
A balance in our autonomic nervous systems seems to be a primary goal of all alternative mind body medicine and exercise practices.
Almost 30 years in the yoga and exercise industry brought me to the realization that all these practices — and the Traditional Chinese Medicine physical practices as well like tai chi, qi gong, etc. are all based on shifting us to a parasympathetic nervous system dominance.
Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic
This brings me to the importance of understanding your nervous system and the balance between the different branches of our nervous system.
Most people don’t understand why the stress response is called the “sympathetic” response — I hope my explanation helps you understand why we call the stress-out side of our nervous system the sympathetic nervous system — its because our body is being sympathetic to whatever we need to get out of the stress-out situation!
Our bodies are very sympathetic, when there is any stressful thought or physical problem our body will immediately respond by increasing blood flow, neuron flow, etc. to the area — or an area that is “connected” to our thought pattern. Short term this does not pose a problem — but long term, the body is so sympathetic … it will drain itself to “fix” the situation.
For example (these examples are based on German New Medicine); as a woman if you lose a baby — we yearn to nurture that baby again … Women’s breasts are about nurturing — so our very sympathetic body hears this “need” and will send additional energy and breast tissue to the area so we can nurture.
The energy the body was sending to the breast tissue was energy that was being used elsewhere in the body for our daily maintenance, if this goes on for a short period it’s not a problem, we can handle it. If this goes on for a long period of time the other systems of the body that are now getting less energy and will start to deteriorate (as I explain with the abacus and our energy below) and lead to disease.
Before I scare everyone, realizing that we are all going to have challenges and loss in our lives at some point — I don’t want you to think that loss or heartache will result in a disease! It is important to have a mourning process — and its also important to pick yourself up and heal your hurt.
I hope I am painting a picture here of just how sympathetic our body is — and what we have to pay attention to is our thoughts! Our thoughts can drive this process for the better or the worse.
At this point in our suffering, if we can get a grip on our mind stuff and direct it in a more useful manner the body will stop being so sympathetic that it drains other systems or builds too much tissue in an area.
I lost my father very unexpectedly and tragically. How did I do this after the tragic death of my father?
- I now have pictures and little momentos from my father all around at my house reminding me of all the good he shared with me.
- I offered a one year Yoga Scholarship in his honor each year I had my yoga studio after he died.
- Talking about his accomplishments and how fun and unique he was to have as a dad. There is no other man I would have chosen for my dad — even if I could have!
YES our mind and thoughts can direct these processes in our nervous system! How?
We have two sides to our autonomic nervous system —thats the side of our nervous system that beats our heat, shines our eyes, grows our hair — actions that happen involuntarily. The two sides of our involuntary nervous system are the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides.
We try to use yoga to influence the shift to be parsympathetic — in the calming, happy side of our nervous system — and away from the sympathetic stress response.
This is MOSTLY involuntary … There are really only two ways we can control our body to consciously switch from being sympathetic dominant to parasympathetic dominant ~
I’ve spent the last couple decades educating everyone about breath and its importance and how much effect conscious breathing has on our body. It’s time to now engage our mind in this process as well. Our mind can shift our stress response in an instant — Just as quickly as changing your mind.
On the nervous systems
Our body doesn’t have unlimited energy to handle every system of the body all day long. Instead our body moves energy around to where we need it. During this process some organs and systems of the body may be deprived for a period of time — if it short, its not a problem. If there is an increased or prolonged need for energy in one particular area or system, the other systems will start to be drained.
Those of us that know plants and when to harvest understand this; early in the spring plants energies are mostly in the roots, since the plant is small and depending on climate may have had to hibernate underground for the winter the roots hold more energy. If you want the medicine from the root, you harvest in the spring.
Flowers have the energy of the plant in the early morning hours, usually flowers are harvested during the early morning hours to get more medicine from them.
Late summer and into fall the energy of the plant is going to the leaves and stems and to seeds as well, it is in the fall we harvest these parts as the plant is putting more of it’s energy there.
Just as a plant moves energy (we are so like the plants!), so does our body.
Understanding our Nervous Systems –
- PNS and SNS branches of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system has two sides to it; a calming restorative state where we want to spend most of our time (Parasympathetic) and an “emergency” state or sympathetic response where all the bodies energies shift to just a few functions to save our life in an emergency —at the detriment to the other systems and organs in the body.
- I can explain this process in two different examples … we have an abacus or we could have a bandwidth …
- Picture an abacus, see the beads on their rods — and take notice the beads and rods are all enclosed so you have a set amount of them. This is kind of like our energy on any given day — while we can over a course of time increase our energy — on any given day you have X amount for that day.
- The beads represent all your energy, and in the abacus you can move your energy around; in the abacus instead of having rows or columns of 1s, 10s, 100s, etc. you have a column that represents your digestive system, a column for your immune lymphatic function, a column for reproductive and endocrine function, a column for muscles and bones and movement energy, a column for your nervous system, your circulatory system etc. (there are 10 major systems of the body). On a good day your beads are spread out over all those columns so each area of your body has some energy.
- However your body can not handle an overload on any one of these systems without pulling energy from another system — remember your energy is limited. So if you get the flu, suddenly all the beads go to your immune system and you are so tired you can barely get out of bed ~ your beads moved your energy away from your muscles and bones, and even from your digestion to give more strength to your immune system to fight off the invaders. So the good thing is you feel this and stay in bed.
- In the stress response your energy goes to your muscles — your body needs to pull energy from your immune system, your digestion, your reproductive and endocrine system, etc. ~ all that energy is sent to your muscles and bones ~ so you feel strong and energetic, not a bad thing.The problem is if this is sustained your body breaks down because the other systems need energy to function for your health — and the bigger problem is you don’t feel this until an imbalance or disease develops. You can feel the energy shift away from your muscles when you are sick but you don’t feel the energy shift away from your immunity or digestion during stress. You don’t feel your body not breaking down B12, iron, zinc, magnesium so you can digest and utilize it. You don’t realize you are becoming deficient in these nutrients until you experience the side effects of being too low for too long. For example your muscles cramping from lack of magnesium, or depressive states from lack of B12, etc.
- Let’s Re-Iterate: Under the stress response we do not digest, detox, heal or regenerate our organs and skin. We send all our energy to think quick and run quicker …. If you are spending too much time in this fight or flight response with stress hormones you are not detoxing or healing, you are breaking down your body.
- We have tools to bring down our stress response — specifically our breathing and the and some other muscular contractions that stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system. I will share some of these shortly.
- And the problem here is: The body can’t tell if this stressor is only in our thoughts (its in all your head!) or if it is a real danger. This potentially sets us up to be in our stress response for hours every day if we are not aware of what our thoughts are creating in our body.
AND what is the best way to access control over your PNS?
YOUR BREATH and YOUR THOUGHTS
And these are also the MOST important aspect of our physical yoga practice.
Our nervous system greatly effects our health — as I explained in the abacus story of how energy moves in our body to where we need it — we don’t have enough energy to support the functioning of all ten systems, so our body moves our energy to where we need it.
Stress is a big sucker of this energy — and it shifts us to the undesirable side of our autonomic nervous system, if you have stress in you, you have less energy to heal, regenerate, be happy, go to the bathroom, and circulate all those neurons, blood, lymph, and hormones.
Yoga is really about mind control. Learning to use your mind to not put stress in your body and to help direct your energies toward healing, regenerating, digesting and other endeavors.
The power of your Mind
Your belief system is more powerful than your genes, more powerful than any medication you put in your mouth, and even more powerful than eating 9 cups of vegetables per day. Our mind is strong and can influence our body greatly.
Through biofeedback we now know what the yogis said about ‘where your thoughts go energy flows’ is true. When you think about a certain organ in your body, you increase not only blood flow to that area but lymphatic and neural flow, etc. as well. Because of this there is now a renewed interest in looking at the power of visualizations.
And on the other side of that we also have proof of the “Issues being in the tissues”!
Dr. Pert discovered the role certain neuropeptides play in carrying the emotional chemicals that get released when we feel emotions.
- This is interesting; emotions are not tangible, yet they release into our blood stream as tangible chemicals that we can trace. Something intangible becomes tangible = matter into energy!
These chemicals attach to receptors in our cells blocking the flow of information and hormones into the cells. Literally our old traumatic events alter the flow of information in our bodies.
These neuropeptides can be released through deep breathing exercises.
The science is there, “THE ISSUES ARE IN THE TISSUES” What you think becomes imbedded in your physical body.
We can harness the power of our mind and direct it to good use for ourselves. When you put your mind into what you are doing it is more effective.
- for example, gyms that have TVs by the aerobic devices, while exercise is good no matter how you can get it (for the most part) if you put your mind into your exercise it will be even more beneficial instead of zoning out on the tv. For example feel your breath rate, work with nasal breathing (this takes awareness to not slip into mouth breathing while exercising), feel your muscles responding 🙂 Exercising this way has the potential for even more benefit than zoning out while you work out.
Use your mind to heal your body.
Mind body medicine is defined as using the mind to effect the body, most likely through the nervous system effect. Due to the placebo effect we also have a good deal of science backing the power of your mind to heal your body from disease. And the good news is there are many different mind body medicine techniques available that are effective. Today I want to talk about imagery and visualizations as a mind body medicine.
This is not new knowledge. We have a history of research by Albert Ellis in how our beliefs effect the consequences of what happened to us — again restated — It is not what happens to us that effects us, it is how we think about what happened to us that effects us. He calls it Emotional behaviors consequences, and it is in line with other studies in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Cognitive behavior meaning “how you think”.
More recently I can across an interview Dr. Mercola did with Dr. Martin Rossman on worry and how worrying may effect our health more than bad food, smoking, and/or lack of exercise! Dr. Rossman has a long-standing interest in the practical importance of attitudes, beliefs and emotions in mind-body medicine and is a big fan of the Power of Visualization. He has a book out called “The Worry Solution” which includes a CD set of visualizations you can listen to. According to Dr. Rossman:
“Imagery, which seems so invisible and ethereal and airy-fairy, is one of the most powerful faculties we have as human beings for not only changing our behaviors, but changing our minds, which changes our physiology. It changes our body. It changes our health.”
This is what I was referring to when I said your beliefs are more powerful than your genes.
We can use our imagination to improve our job, relationships, and our happiness or mood by developing a deeper self-awareness about what we are thinking and constantly saying to ourselves. Many successful people be it actors, business people, or athletes have learned how to incorporate visualizations — some of them on purpose and some through intuition.
Another tidbit I got from this interview is the idea of “What if your body could speak to you?” For example if you are having heart trouble, imagine your heart could speak to you — what would it say? What does it want? If you have chronic headaches, imagine your head or brain telling you what it needs in order to not hurt. You may get some very useful insights. Try it and see.
Your mind is a powerful tool! It can enhance anything we are trying to accomplish — or lead us down wrong paths . . . You can use the power of your mind to increase healing, boost your immune system, improve strength and coordination in your physical body, and help to achieve your dreams.
For example, using the power of your mind to improve strength; here is a study done on mind only exercises vs. using resistance training for muscle strength for the same exercises (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14998709 ).
In this study they tested elbow flexion and pinky abduction with what they called “mental contractions” — Only doing the exercises in the mind without any physical exercise being done; they tested the same exercises being done with real weights, and had a control group. The results . . . the “mental contraction” group had a 35% increase in muscle strength, the group who used real weights had a 53% increase in strength and the control group stayed the same — simply focusing and imagining doing the exercise increased muscle strength! This study concluded “The mental training employed by this study enhances the cortical output signal, which drives the muscles to a higher activation level and increases strength.”
I would classify this as a Neuro-Muscular improvement — improving how our brains and muscles communicate. Before you move a muscle, the brain has to signal it to move, mental contractions send the signal to the muscles even though we voluntarily do not move them — this communication between brain and muscle enhances strength and performance even without movement.
Imagery is a type of mind body medicine that works like a placebo. Guided imagery reduces stress, and improves immune function by increasing white blood cells and lymphocytes. If you are ill, have disease, or planning a surgery you can use guided imagery to improve your healing response.
Training the mind is just as important as training the body
I have read studies of Olympic skiers rehearsing the course in their head and gaining more consistent improved performance — As in this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/sports/olympics/olympians-use-imagery-as-mental-training.html?_r=0
We can also use imagery to improve artistic performance, here is a study where participants who Mentally Practiced on an imaginary piano had the same neurological changes (and reductions in some mistakes) as the participants who Physically Practiced. While the group that physically practiced improved overall performance slightly better — there were measurable gains in improvement in the Mental Practice group. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3747442/
This type of mental practice is especially beneficial to prevent overuse injuries — or in the case of athletes who may get inured; mental imagery allows them to “practice” while they are off for recovery.
How does mental practice enhance performance? Before our muscles move our brain has to engage to tell them to move, this is the corticol output signal. Imagery or rehearsing in your mind stimulates the corticol output signal driving muscles to a higher level of performance or coordination. As stated in the piano study “Some have suggested that mental practice activates the same brain regions as physical practice, and may even lead to the same changes in neural structure and synaptic connectivity.”
To get the most of your visualizations, pull in as many senses as possible; as Emily Cook (a U.S. freestyle aerials Olympian) in the NY Times link above says, she goes beyond “visualization” in her training. “You have to smell it,” she said. “You have to hear it. You have to feel it, everything.” For example she talks of feeling the wind on her face, hearing the crowd, feeling her muscles work as she does the imagery.
I did some research on using the power of your mind, here is what I found:
To use your mind power, you have to know how to employ it — the best way to do that is to know what it is you want to do and to think it often;
- The thoughts you think most often are more likely to happen
- If you put your mental energy into the same thoughts day after day they become stronger — and eventually affect your health, attitude, and behavior.
- Not every thought turns into reality, a thought not only has to be repeated but believed to carry power.
- Doubts, fears and worries tend to destroy what you build with the power of your mind. It is helpful to clear your mind of negative thoughts and doubts.
Your daily exercise or yoga practice is a good place to put your thoughts into the healing of your inner body, in this way every day when you practice you are using the power of your mind to keep your body healthy. This is why I feel it is so important to share where we are working internally in yoga postures and the benefits of exercises.
You too can harness the power of imagery
We can use mental imagery to heal our body, improve how we do our job, find the way to change to our “dream life”, or toward any area in life we want to rise to a higher level.
All that is required is a little meditation time — and with the science we now have backing the power of meditation it is a win win time expense. In just 5m-20 minutes a day you can start to use the power of your mind to improve health and well being, and anything you are striving for in your life.
Your Gut Instinct — Trust it — Our mind power starts in our gut
Even though I am talking about the power of our mind — there is an inherent intelligence in the power of our gut as well. All those microbes give us some pretty powerful feedback.
Our gut talks to our brain! All of our lives we have used terms such as gut instinct, butterflies in your stomach, listen to your gut, — or as kids sometimes we’d say something like “I hate his guts” — why did we say guts as kids and not something like heart or brain?
OUR GUTS INFORM OUR BRAIN!
Via the vagus nerve, and it turns out 80% of the communication is gut to brain and only 20% is brain to gut. Truly our gut informs our brain. The power starts in the gut.
And this is true for the heart as well! The heart sends more signals to the brain (telling the brain how to respond) than the brain sends to the heart.
Through the work of HeartMath they discovered our eyes communicate what they see to our heart and gut first, and then to our brain. They determined this by hooking test subjects up to biofeedback devices, then showing them a horrible picture or a beautiful picture (car crashes vs. flowers) and noting what areas of their body reacted to the scene first.
And I experienced this myself when a nice big cane spider came to visit me and decided to hang out on my knee … by the time I realized it was a cane spider on my knee I was already standing up and washing him down the tub as his 100 cute little beady eyes were pleading with me 🙁 It was gut instinct — or I should say my guts setting my actions in motion before my brain even had a chance to react.
The Placebo Effect
Take the power of your mind to medicine … Placebos are getting some exciting attention, it seems among Americans the placebo effect is increasing.
Pharmaceutical companies are having a harder time proving their pills over placebos. To receive FDA approval a pharmaceutical company has to prove their chemical concoction can outperform a placebo. This is getting harder and harder to do.
What the pharmaceutical companies look at as a hassle we can use to our advantage!
Sham or placebo surgeries?
Even sham surgeries work! We have studies of sham surgeries done on knees with great results. Here is an study on Arthroscopic surgeries where they made incisions but never operated — the sham surgery had as high of a success rate as the real surgery. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24369076) This could be called the pre-cebo effect.
There was also another study I came across (and I can not find it now, but when I do I will add it here) involving people on long term anti-depressant use, they told a group in the study they were going to give them a sugar pill but they did not — they kept giving them their same anti-depressant …. the majority of the group experienced withdrawal symptoms even though there were still getting their antidepressant. This could be called the nocebo effect, where the mind created harm that was not really being done.
There was some research done on placebos vs. pain meds, surgery, or other pain management therapies. Some placebo treatments works better than others. Placebo means “to please you” by the way. That’s a nice thought Here is what the study found :
- Placebo surgery worked better than placebo injections
- Placebo injections worked better than placebo pills
- Color and size of the placebo pill makes a difference
- Sham acupuncture works better than a placebo pill
- The more expensive the more effective the placebo, and the more administered the more effective
- Telling the patient “this will relieve your pain” is better than saying “this might help”.
Clearly our beliefs have a powerful effect on our body and healing. Scrutinize the quality of your thoughts.
In addition to placebo, we also have:
- pre-cebo = your perception will effect the outcome
- nocebo = I will harm! Most pharmaceutical meds have a nocebo effect due to their side effects.
A word about Rumination
Rumination aka re-hatching — the worst thing you can do! Rumination is directly linked to depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
(Tartakovsky, M. (2018). Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to Stop. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-ruminating-is-unhealthy-and-how-to-stop/)
When you are faced with an unpleasant situation or find yourself very mad or upset at something someone did — STOP YOURSELF FROM RUMINATING ON IT.
To continue to hash in out in your mind will harm you way more than it will harm the person you are mad at. Rumination aka bad worry has been known to lead to digestive issues due to its impact on our stress levels.
Instead try to paint a positive picture of the best possible outcome from this situation. Every time you start to worry, train your mind to go back to the positive painting.
If you need to worry about something — say to plan a better response; Pick a “worry time” each day (if you are a worrier) — for about 15 minutes when you are calm and relaxed and can look at the situation from a higher perspective. Save all your worries for this time of day!
Be careful what you are spinning in the back of your mind.
What is your Belief System?
Power of what we believe
*Is our intelligence fixed or can it grow? It depends on what you believe!
100 7th graders were given this question, then tracked for two years through math grades. Those with fixed mindset showed a decrease in math grades.
Those with a growth mindset steadily increased their grades over the 2 years.
(I have read similar studies by Positive Psychology experts.)
*They then took another (different) 100 7th graders all doing poorly in math and randomly assigned them to two different workshops. One workshop was on how to study, the other workshop taught about the expanding nature of intelligence and the brain — how it can grow and change shape as we learn something new, and about how neurons wire together to create pathways of learning and skills.
By the end of the semester, the group who had been taught that the brain can grow smarter, had significantly better grades than the group taught how to study better.
Who’s your teacher? Beware of who you choose to learn from.
What are you believing? What beliefs are holding you back?
You can change your DNA by your perception Your belief system has the ability to turn certain genes on and to turn certain genes off. Our feelings and our thoughts effect our gene expression and our health.
Side lesson — don’t carry your cell phone on your person!
EMFs can change our DNA too — data shows EMFs can turn on certain genes and turn off other genes effecting health negatively.
Human consciousness also effects our DNA. When a person is feeling gratitude, love, and appreciation the DNA relaxes and opens, it becomes longer.
When you feel anger, fear, frustration, or stress the DNA became shorter, tighten up, and switch off. You don’t want to stay in this state very long.
Our perception of love or fear will also effect our DNA in the same way.
If we are getting tweaked emotionally it is so expensive to every cell in your body — even you are just in a rush and not as conscious, the same effect happens.
Energy has a physical effect. Your thoughts effect your physical body.
What is going on inside your skin? What is your thought process? Your DNA is eaves dropping on what you are thinking!
Wake up excited about your day and genes turn on for learning and growth. Wake up bummed about your day — ugh another day of work … and disease promoting genes turn on.
Mind Power & Intentions
Intention, Quantum Physics & Albert Einstein’s “spooky effect from a distance”.
Quantum physics is the study of the behavior of matter and energy at the molecular, atomic, nuclear, and even smaller microscopic levels. It seems the laws that govern macroscopic objects that we can see and hold do not function the same on microscopic molecules.
The next step down from a molecule is an atom. The next step down from an atom are subatomic particles which consist of Photons, Leptons, Electrons, Neutrons, Quarks, etc. Of concern right now are photons— specifically biophontos.
Photons are quantum particles that can be expressed as particles or electromagnetic waves — depending upon what you are looking for!
If you are looking for a particle it will behave as a particle.
If you are looking for a wave, it will behave as a wave.
Mind power? Intention?
Biophotons are photons that emit a very weak light that all living beings have, they are classified as UPEs or ultra weak photon emissions.
Biophotons are stored and concentrated in our DNA
Biophotons act as communicators in our body (and possibly outside of our body!). They are connected to vitality as biophotons helps our cells and organs communicate wirelessly and very fast — kinda like wifi. As I mentioned before; normally information and nutrients get in a cell only in a lock and key method — the receptors act as a lock and certain nutrient’s molecular form acts as a key that allow only that molecular form to enter a cell. Biophotons bypass this and directly and faster communicate information and nutrients into the cell! We want biophotons in our body.
There are some different theories about how we get biophotons, one is through digestion processes — which might be connected to “light in food”. Another theory is that we absorb these biophotons from the sun through our skin, eyes/pineal gland, and from food we eat.
Plants also collect these biophotons, when you eat fresh vegetables from your garden they are loaded with biophotons, once those vegetables are in the fridge the “light” in them or biophotons start to fade. The longer the vegetables is out of the sunlight the less “light” it carries. Another reason to eat local fresh organic produce!
Interestingly damaged DNA can not hold onto biophotons either, and leaks about 20% of their biophotons resulting in higher oxidation and free radicals. Yoga and meditation have been found to reduce the leaking of the damaged DNA — and even help the DNA repair itself and reduce free radicals and the loss of biophotons. Yay for yoga and meditation.
For your reference:
Taken from this study in PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4267444/ : He (Fritz-Albert Popp (1938- ), German biophysicist and cancer radiotherapist) concluded that biophotons appear to communicate with all the cells of the body instantaneously in a synchronous wave of informational energy (Popp et al. 1988). Overall, there is a relatively large amount of literature about DNA and its ability to create photons in a coherent state (Laager 2008; Conference 2013).
Another excerpt from a study in PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433113/ By Division of Yoga and Physical Sciences, Swami Vivekananda
In one experiment, photomultiplier tubes were used along with a charge-coupled camera. Any stress to the skin in the form of exposure to ultraviolet radiation or cigarette smoke enhances the emission of biophotons while topical application of ascorbic acid or antioxidant solutions reduces such radiation. It is thought that studies of spontaneous ultraweak photon emission could be used for assessing aging in humans as well as for determining oxidative processes in humans.
It is known further, that after practice of meditation, biophoton emissions from the body decrease; this could be due to reduced free radicals in meditating subjects. Communication and control are two required activities within and between cells to maintain homeostasis. Normally, it is thought that both these functions are achieved through biochemical and neurological means. The coherent light source is now thought to be another arm through which both control and communication are achieved. This may be true especially in long-range communications in the body.
Prana, Chi, and Biophotons
It has been theorized by Swami Vivekananda and other Yogis and Chinese Doctors that biophotons are akin to prana and chi.
Interestingly many alternative medicines such as Ayurveda, German New Medicine, and TCM view disease in the body as junction between mind and body — or matter & consciousness. Biophotons are somewhere between energy and matter (they are matter that emits energy), and prana is understood to be between mind and body helping to synchronize body and mind.
Spooky Action at a Distance
A strange or spooky aspect of quantum physics is entanglement of photons: when two photons become entangled you can observe a particle in one place, another particle—even one light-years away—will instantly change its properties, as if the two are connected by a mysterious communication channel — that can communicate faster than the speed of light. Scientists have observed this phenomenon in tiny objects such as photons, atoms, and electrons. But what makes them entangled?? Maybe the don’t have to get entangled if they are biophotons — instead they emit.
I have been following some of the research by Dr. John Douillard and by Kevin Spellman on this and our intensions or thoughts, and how they effect our biology, and even how thought can effect matter.
This took me into a research rabbit hole on quantum physics and Albert Einstein’s spooky action at a distance theory — It seems photons that are entangled can communicate wirelessly at very fast rates over great distances. What gives them this ability? It goes against other theories about not being able to travel faster than the speed of light. The answer seems to be in this new understanding of biophotons — that can travel even faster than the speed of light.
Biophotons as I explained, help our body and its cells communicate — now researchers are starting to describe a phenomenon where not only cells in an individual body communicate via biophotons— it seems whole animals communicate with each other through emission and reception of biophotons; and even from species to species communication happens energetically through emissions of the low level light coming from our biophotons.
In one study a healthy rodent was put in a cage for 48 hours with a rodent that had a single dose of brain radiation. The unradiated rat had similar (or even greater) health effects as measured in the radiated rat. This study was also duplicated with human brain tissue. This has been dubbed the ‘Bystander Phenomenon’.
*The following studies below were taken from a lecture by Kevin Spelman at the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. I did not look up these studies and include links to the studies — he knows way more than I do about reading scientific studies and I trust his opinion.
*In another study: white blood cells were taken from a woman who had been through trauma, and put in a different room. The woman then told her story of the traumatic event — while she was speaking of the story, her white blood cells (the leukocytes) – which had been removed from her – responded to her retelling her event.
They replicated this study with the same woman retelling an amorous event … the leukocytes in her white blood cells responded accordingly!
*This study was repeated again with cheek cells and violent movies. This time the researchers took the cheek cells of the participants 50 miles away (thinking just in the other room could be a “local” communication) — at the moment of violence in the film the cheek cells responded simultaneously even 50 miles away.
What researchers are figuring out is that biophtons communicate in a wave of synchronous information at the speed of light. It seems biophotons can manipulate or change matter — physiological changes, and these photons can interact and carry information over vast distances faster than the speed of light.
A particle or a wave = matter or energy
Einstein had figured out the photons and biophotons can be both a wave and a particle —
A particle is matter
A wave is energy
Actually better stated is that It depends whether Photons will be a wave or particle … depending on the consciousness of who’s asking the question.
If you ask a particle question we get a particle answer.
If you ask a wave question (energy) you get a wave answer,
So it is dependent on our perception. Just thinking the photon is matter made it matter — and just thinking photons were energy made them energy. Our perception is so powerful we can change the reality of the photon to be matter or energy.
Another way I read Einstein’s spooky action explained as: Observation eliciting a change in what is observed instantly and over extremely large distances.
Mediation may do the same thing — change or heal the body simply because we are self-observing it with a positive intention.
- This puts biophotons at the junction between physical and non physical — physical representing the particle and the wave representing the non physical.
Taking this a step further it seems biophotons can carry intention. Bokkon’s Hypothesis looked at this and tried to put science to it — this is beyond the scope of where I was going, but I did learn something cool:
Biophotons are responsible for our visualizations! Biophotons create what we see in our mind’s eye.
- Interestingly what I also learned from this study is the images you see when you rub your eyes or put pressure on your eyes — you know those fluorescent orbs floating behind my eyes I used to get into creating and watching in my mind’s eye as a child … are a result of the biophotons in our eye. Remember the eye is one of the areas on the body with the most biophotons.
At the beginning of this blog I spoke about the power of visualizations and they effect they have on our healing capacity; these mental images are created in our brains by biophotons!
These biophotons create biophysical images in our brains — and further it seems they get charged with the intention of what we are imagining. It seems biophotons can manipulate or change matter — physiological changes
I heard Bruce Lipton, PhD in a podcast talking about his book “The Biology of Belief”, he was talking about the power of our thoughts, he explained mental images — aka biophysical images — in our brain are actually get “painted by hormones and chemicals” in our body.
Like a paint by numbers in reverse; you create the image in your mind (with biophotons), your body and brain turns the image into “colors of chemicals” — and your body behaves ‘as a canvas’ and becomes the image.
Here is a link from another little piece regarding biophotons and mental images, its called Bokkon’s Hypothesis, I found this whilst searching for studies on biophotons and mental images:
However, if it can be proved that perception of cortical induced phosphene lights is due to biophotons; intrinsic regulated biophotons in the brain may serve as a natural biophysical (redox molecular) substrate of visual perception and imagery.
In other words, intrinsic biophysical visual virtual reality may emerge from feedback and feedforward iterative operation processes and biophotons in early retinotopic V1 and V2 areas. Kosslyn’s reality simulation principle  states that mental imagery mimics the corresponding events in the world.
However, our concept of intrinsic biophysical visual virtual reality (by iterative processes) in retinotopic areas may be nothing else than a possible biophysical basis of the reality simulation principle in the case of visual imagery.
BÓKKON, SALARI, TUSZYNSKI. EMERGENCE OF INTRINSIC REPRESENTATIONS OF IMAGES BY FEEDFORWARD AND FEEDBACK PROCESSES AND BIOLUMINESCENT PHOTONS IN EARLY RETINOTOPIC AREAS Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, Vol. 10, No. 1 (2011) 47–64
And interestingly I came across this study posted by Funnel of Love following up on Bokkon’s Hypothesis:
If you think hard about a bright light whilst sitting in a dark room, will your head emit photons? Recent research from B.T. Dotta, K.S. Saroka and M.A. Persinger at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada, suggests the answer maybe yes. The team has, for the first time, found that “increased photon emission from the head while imagining light in the dark is correlated with changes in electroencephalographic power.”
Experimental subjects sat blindfolded in a darkened room, whilst they tried to imagine either a bright light, or a control scenario called ‘casual thinking’. An extremely sensitive photomultiplier was positioned so that it could register any photons which might be emitted from the subjects’ brains.
The tests : “…demonstrated significant increases in ultraweak photon emissions (UPEs) or biophotons equivalent to about 5 × 10−11 W/m2 from the right sides of volunteer’s heads when they imagined light in a very dark environment compared to when they did not.”
This is pointing toward our mental images effecting reality.
Pulling this all together, Quantum physics on a particle level — The small particles make up a whole and while changing a few small particles does not change the whole, it can start to change the whole … at some point so many particles will change that it does change the whole!
While you may not see immediate change in your total physical body, at a cellular level healing is happening that you are not even aware of.
Our thoughts will start the cells moving in the direction of healing or mutating. One or two mutated cells our body can handle, if the disease causing stressor is not figured out cells will continue to mutate until you have an autoimmune disease, or cancer. or lyme disease or whatever your weak point is.
Our thoughts effect our cells — keep your thoughts positive and prevent disease at a cellular level.
Although this may be particle thinking … changing one particle at a time to effect the whole will take time. Wave thinking could change the whole in the split second …
More on wave thinking and connecting to the wave later.
Your mind and emotions are just as important to your overall health as keeping your physical body healthy.
To summarize, I was speaking about using the power of your mind and learning how your thoughts affect your body, start to pay attention to your “back talk” ~ meaning the dialog that is running in your back mind as you move throughout your day.
Part of the work of yoga is to teach us to pay attention to our mind and its thoughts, and direct them in a positive, productive direction. Most of us beat ourselves up with our mind talk and think very negatively about situations around us. Now that we know negative back talk slowly eats away at our health its time to catch yourself with your thoughts and paint positive pictures in your mind.
See your body healing, regenerating. See the YOU that is really in there. When you find yourself worrying about something, your best option is to dream up the the best possible scenario in your mind of how it can turn out.
If you worry about the negative results of something challenging …. you are giving those results more power to manifest.
Pay attention to your back thoughts! What are you telling yourself?
As we sit for a moment for meditation, is there something troubling in your life? Use this time to sit and dream up the best scenario for that situation. Send your energetic thoughts to manifesting a positive outcome.