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Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive and emotional dysfunction

Posted on January 21, 2023 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)



Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive and emotional dysfunction


Cheryl F. Harding,a,b,* Carolyn L. Pytte,b,c Kimberly G. Page,b Kelly J. Ryberg,a Edna Normand,d,e Gregory J. Remigio,a Richard A. DeStefano,e,f David B. Morris,d Julia Voronina,f Ariel Lopez,c Lauren A. Stalbow,c,e Erin P. Williams,c,e and Nohely Abreuc


Abstract

Individuals living or working in moldy buildings complain of a variety of health problems including pain, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, and cognitive deficits. The ability of mold to cause such symptoms is controversial since no published research has examined the effects of controlled mold exposure on brain function or proposed a plausible mechanism of action. Patient symptoms following mold exposure are indistinguishable from those caused by innate immune activation following bacterial or viral exposure. We tested the hypothesis that repeated, quantified doses of both toxic and nontoxic mold stimuli would cause innate immune activation with concomitant neural effects and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. We intranasally administered either 1) intact, toxic Stachybotrys spores; 2) extracted, nontoxic Stachybotrys spores; or 3) saline vehicle to mice. As predicted, intact spores increased interleukin-1β immunoreactivity in the hippocampus. Both spore types decreased neurogenesis and caused striking contextual memory deficits in young mice, while decreasing pain thresholds and enhancing auditory-cued memory in older mice. Nontoxic spores also increased anxiety-like behavior. Levels of hippocampal immune activation correlated with decreased neurogenesis, contextual memory deficits, and/or enhanced auditory-cued fear memory. Innate-immune activation may explain how both toxic mold and nontoxic mold skeletal elements caused cognitive and emotional dysfunction........


Indexed for NIH PubMed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure

Posted on January 21, 2023 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)



Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure

L D Empting 


PMID: 19854819 DOI: 10.1177/0748233709348393


Abstract

Human exposure to molds, mycotoxins, and water-damaged buildings can cause neurologic and neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms. Many of these clinical features can partly mimic or be similar to classic neurologic disorders including pain syndromes, movement disorders, delirium, dementia, and disorders of balance and coordination. In this article, the author delineates the signs and symptoms of a syndrome precipitated by mold and mycotoxin exposure and contrasts and separates these findings neurodiagnostically from known neurologic diseases. This clinical process is designed to further the scientific exploration of the underlying neuropathophysiologic processes and to promote better understanding of effects of mold/mycotoxin/water-damaged buildings on the human nervous system and diseases of the nervous system. It is clear that mycotoxins can affect sensitive individuals, and possibly accelerate underlying neurologic/pathologic processes, but it is crucial to separate known neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders from mycotoxin effects in order to study it properly.

Indexed for NIH PubMed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Mycotoxins, fungus and 'electrohypersensitivity'

Posted on January 21, 2023 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)




Mycotoxins, fungus and 'electrohypersensitivity'

K Anttila 


PMID: 10985910 DOI: 10.1054/mehy.1999.1045

 


Abstract


'Electrohypersensitivity' is often explained as a psychological syndrome. Our modern environment contains a lot of different substances and some of them are toxic. Mycotoxins are types of toxins that are biologically very active and that affect living organisms. Mycotoxins and fungi capable of producing toxins have been detected in ventilation systems, water damage and in foodstuff. Many of those displaying symptoms caused by electromagnetic fields have fungus infections or have been living in fungus-contaminated environments for long periods. In animal studies mycotoxins have shown the same effects as those seen in the 'electrohypersensitivity' syndrome. Phototoxic reactions are well known in veterinary medicine and in medical science, so the question is whether the 'electrohypersensitivity' syndrome is caused by 'phototoxic' reactions?


Index for NIH PubMed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10985910/

Detection of mycotoxins in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Posted on January 21, 2023 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)



Detection of mycotoxins in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Joseph H Brewer, Jack D Thrasher, David C Straus, Roberta A Madison, Dennis Hooper

PMID: 23580077 PMCID: PMC3705282 DOI: 10.3390/toxins5040605


Abstract

Over the past 20 years, exposure to mycotoxin producing mold has been recognized as a significant health risk. Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB). This study was conducted to determine if selected mycotoxins could be identified in human urine from patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Patients (n = 112) with a prior diagnosis of CFS were evaluated for mold exposure and the presence of mycotoxins in their urine. Urine was tested for aflatoxins (AT), ochratoxin A (OTA) and macrocyclic trichothecenes (MT) using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). Urine specimens from 104 of 112 patients (93%) were positive for at least one mycotoxin (one in the equivocal range). Almost 30% of the cases had more than one mycotoxin present. OTA was the most prevalent mycotoxin detected (83%) with MT as the next most common (44%). Exposure histories indicated current and/or past exposure to WDB in over 90% of cases. Environmental testing was performed in the WDB from a subset of these patients. This testing revealed the presence of potentially mycotoxin producing mold species and mycotoxins in the environment of the WDB. Prior testing in a healthy control population with no history of exposure to a WDB or moldy environment (n = 55) by the same laboratory, utilizing the same methods, revealed no positive cases at the limits of detection.


Indexed for NIH PubMed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

Association between obesity and helicobacter pylori infection

Posted on January 15, 2023 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Association between obesity and helicobacter pylori infection



Abstract

Objectives

The relationship between obesity and helicobacter pylori infection has been extensively reported; however, evidence from existing literature showing conflicting data. This current meta-analysis sought to assess the association between obesity and the risk of helicobacter pylori infection by summarizing all available data.

Methods

PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane databases were screened to identify relevant literature that assessed the association between obesity and helicobacter pylori infection in participants before the end of May, 2022. Data extraction and quality assessment were performed. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were used to estimate the association between obesity and helicobacter pylori infection by using a random-effects model. In addition, sensitivity analysis and publication bias were conducted.

Results

A total of twenty-one studies with 307,462 participants were included in this meta-analysis. Pooled estimates showed that obesity is associated with an increased risk of helicobacter pylori infection compared to non-obese counterparts (21 studies; OR:1.34; 95% CI: 1.17–1.52; I2 = 91%). We also conducted subgroup analysis according to sex and study design, respectively. We found that males were more likely to have helicobacter pylori infection than females (OR: 1.59; 95% CI: 1.28–1.97; I2 = 94.7% for male percent > 50%; OR:1.14; 95% CI: 0.94–1.38; I2 = 75.2% for male percent < 50%). Furthermore, pooled studies of case-control study (OR: 1.20; 95% CI:1.05, 1.37; I2 = 82.4%) showed that the people with obesity had a significantly higher prevalence of helicobacter pylori infection.

Conclusion

This comprehensive quantitative analysis provides an affirmation that obesity is associated with an increased risk of helicobacter pylori infection. From this point of view, the prevention of obesity is important in the treatment of helicobacter pylori infection.

Indexed for Science Direct Elsevier by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


Yoga improves mitochondrial health and reduces severity of autoimmune inflammatory arthritis: A randomized controlled trial

Posted on December 20, 2022 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Abstract
Background
Oxidative stress (OS) and mitochondrial alterations have been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Various environmental triggers like air pollutants, smoking, unhealthy social habits and sedentary lifestyle induce OS, which may compromise mitochondrial integrity. This trial was designed to explore the effect of 8-weeks yoga practice on mitochondrial health and disease severity in an active RA group compared with a usual-care control group.

Methods
A total of 70 subjects were randomized into two groups: yoga group and non-yoga group. Mitochondrial health was assessed by calculation of mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN), OS markers, mitochondrial activity, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), circadian rhythm markers and transcripts associated with mitochondrial integrity: AMPK, TIMP-1, KLOTHO, SIRT-1, and TFAM. Parameters of disease activity and disability quotient were also assessed by disease activity score – erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) and health assessment questionnaire-disability index (HAQ-DI), respectively.

Results
In yoga group, there was a significant upregulation of mtDNA-CN, mitochondrial activity markers, ΔΨm, and transcripts that maintain mitochondrial integrity after 8-weeks of yoga. There was optimization of OS markers, and circadian rhythm markers post 8-weeks practice of yoga. Yoga group participants showed significant improvements in DAS28-ESR (p < 0.05) and HAQ-DI (p < 0.05) over the non-yoga group.

Conclusion
Adoption of yoga by RA patients holds the key to enhance mitochondrial health, improve circadian rhythm markers, OS marker regulation, upregulation of transcripts that maintain mitochondrial integrity, reduce disease activity and its associated consequences on health outcome and hence can be beneficial as an adjunct therapy.

Introduction........

Indexed for Science Direct Elsevier by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Not All Meditation Is The Same: Vedic Meditation is associated with Alpha Brainwaves, Mindfulness with Theta/Gamma Brainwaves.

Posted on December 19, 2022 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Originating thousands of years ago in ancient India, meditation has long been practiced to aid in the discovery of wisdom, peace, spirituality and self-enlightenment. But today, as it is practiced more for its stress-relieving effects, the term ‘meditation’ is often confused with a similar, yet separate practice: mindfulness.

“Nowadays, the term ‘meditation’ is used to refer to many different techniques that bring about calmness, including focusing, concentrating, contemplating, observing and listening to relaxing music or nature sounds,” says Hari Sharma, MD, an Integrative Medicine specialist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

“Some of these techniques are difficult to do and further aggravate an already overactive mind.”

A technique like mindfulness is relaxing but still involves use of the mind, so a more accurate description of these is ‘relaxation techniques.’

“Relaxation is helpful for reducing stress and promoting health, but should not be confused with the deep experience of meditation that results in a wide array of benefits for health and well-being,” Dr. Sharma says.

So what really is the difference between meditation and other relaxation techniques like mindfulness? Dr. Sharma has the answer to that and other common meditation questions.

1. What is meditation?
Common thinking of meditation is of sitting in a quiet place focusing on breathing. Dr. Sharma says that the practice of meditation is actually much simpler and less controlled than that.

“The type of meditation that originated in the ancient times of India is an easy and effortless process that takes you beyond the mind, to the source of the mind deep inside,” he says. “It does not involve concentration, focus or any type of control or manipulation of the mind.”

According to Dr. Sharma, the mind is a collection of thoughts that continue to flow freely, except during deep sleep.

“Thoughts are moving and give direction to our lives,” he says. “Anything that moves needs energy, and anything that gives direction to life needs intelligence and creativity. Thus, we have a source of energy and intelligence deep within us.”

This area deep within us is peaceful and blissful. We experience this peace and bliss in deep sleep, when the mind is at rest and not active. This is why you wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

 

2. What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?
Vedic meditation is an effortless process that doesn’t require you to try to control your mind. The brain waves that are predominant in this type of meditation are alpha waves, which are associated with deep relaxation.

On the other hand, mindfulness practices generally involve a certain degree of control of the mind. One practice involves keeping attention on the breath and bringing the attention back to the breath if it strays.

“Mindfulness practices function on the level of the mind and do not go to the deeper levels that are beyond the mind,” Dr. Sharma explains. “As such, they do not access that area deep within us that is full of peace, bliss, energy, intelligence and creativity.”

According to Dr. Sharma, theta and gamma brain waves are predominant during these practices, which are associated with monitoring inner processes, focus and concentration. These brain waves, however, are not associated with deep relaxation.

“Being mindful in all aspects of your life – thoughts, speech, action, use of senses – is beneficial,” Dr. Sharma says. “But with time, this type of awareness starts happening automatically when you practice Vedic meditation.”

3. What is the best way to meditate?
Dr. Sharma recommends meditation be done twice a day for twenty minutes, before breakfast and prior to dinner:

Morning meditation prepares us to be energetic and efficient in the day ahead.
Evening meditation relieves the stresses of the day and prepares us for a relaxing evening.
The easiest and best way to meditate is to learn from an experienced and trained instructor.

“The natural tendency of the mind is to go to an area of increasing charm and bliss, which is deep inside us,” Dr. Sharma says. “So meditation is not difficult when learned from a trained instructor.”

The effects of meditation can be immediate, and accumulate the more it is practiced.

“Once you properly learn the technique, you are able to do it on your own and can utilize it for the rest of your life,” Dr. Sharma says.

 

4. What are the health benefits of meditation?
When we connect with our deep inner source of peace through meditation – according to Dr. Sharma – we will experience better health and wellness on many different levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Health benefits of meditation:

Decreases inflammation and reduces stress
Normalizes blood pressure
Reduces anxiety and depression (helpful for post-traumatic stress disorder) and improves sleep
Improves brain function, as demonstrated by an EEG test, by synchronizing the functions of both sides of the brain and increasing its neuroplasticity, which improves learning and memory
Increases levels of the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), associated with increased longevity and youthfulness
Improves chronic disorders such as asthma, epilepsy, hypertension, heart disease, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia and chronic pain, premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms
“Meditation quiets the fluctuations of the mind and takes you to a higher level of consciousness,” Dr. Sharma says. “Your creativity and intelligence increase, your intuition increases and you become more sensitive and discerning. You experience a sense of connectedness, or unity, with everything and everyone around you.”

Aberrant cellular oscillatory patterning is associated with severe disease.

Posted on December 19, 2022 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Mar; 3(2): 40–55.

Published online 2014 Mar 1. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2014.008

PMCID: PMC4010966

PMID: 24808981

Life Rhythm as a Symphony of Oscillatory Patterns: Electromagnetic Energy and Sound Vibration Modulates Gene Expression for Biological Signaling and Healing

David Muehsam, PhDcorresponding author and Carlo Ventura, MD, PhD




INTRODUCTION—BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS: MUSIC MEETING SCIENCE


All life exists within a sea of vibration, and rhythm is fundamental to all of life. Diurnal, seasonal, lunar, and solar cycles, and the resonant electromagnetic field (EMF) oscillations of our planet make up the symphony of rhythms in which life on Earth exists. As life evolved amidst these natural rhythms, they were integrated into many basic human biological responses, which coincide with diurnal and seasonal cycles1 and the many aspects of human and animal behavior and physiology that are correlated with the phases of the moon.2 From the basic activities of daily life to our relationship with the animals on Earth,3 human society is structured around the moon's rhythm, and deeply rooted monthly circadian rhythms govern human sleep patterns, persisting even in isolation from our conscious awareness of the lunar phase.4 Our lives contain a seeming infinity of rhythms, with vibrations at the atomic and molecular levels and within biochemical reaction rates. The physiological correlates of the rhythms of the breath, heartbeat, and brain have been extensively studied and shown to be intimately related to our emotions, thoughts, and psychospiritual state. For example, respiratory output is coupled to a complex interaction between the brainstem and higher centers connecting the limbic system and cortical structures, thus creating a basic link between breathing and the emotions.5 A substantial body of research has demonstrated the fundamental interconnectedness of mind and emotion, brain and heart rhythms,6 variations in circadian heart rhythms have been shown to correlate with psychiatric disorders,7 an emerging language for interpreting brainwave electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms is now allowing a deeper understanding of the relationships between EEG rhythms, cognition and neuropsychiatric disease,8 and pulsa-tile dynamics in genetic circuits is essential for the temporal organization of cellular stress response, signaling, and development.9 The thread that connects these various studies is the impact of rhythm and the notion that rhythms can communicate bio-information that governs a wide variety of functions, including that of guiding living beings towards health and well-being.

 

Rhythm is the fundamental characteristic of music. In frequencies, timbres, and the passage of beats through time to form rhythms, music is an apt metaphor for this carrier of life-information. And the notion that music can touch the core of our being and is as old as human consciousness. Plato grappled with the powers of music in The Republic, stating that the various Greek modes convey specific qualities: “Then beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity—I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character.”10 And though Shakespeare has been famously quoted as referring to music as the “food of love,” he went much further, writing that music has the power to create: “Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves, when he did sing,” and the power to destroy life: “In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart, Fall asleep, or hearing, die.”11

 

Music has been shown to modulate several cardiac and neurological functions and to trigger measurable stress-reducing pathways,12 to modulate blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, EEG measurements, body temperature and galvanic skin response; alter immune and endocrine function; and ameliorate pain, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, and depression.13 Significant correspondence has been found between specific musical tones played to the skin through speakers and traditional Chinese descriptions musical tones associated with the acupuncture meridians.14 The notion that one “hears” sounds not only through the ears but rather through the whole body is echoed in the words of the Sufi musician, healer and mystic, Hazrat Inayat Khan:

 

A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism.15

 

Here, Khan reinforces the notion of a deep relationship between music and neurobiology, indicating that further understanding of how music can modify nervous system activity could have implications for developing mind-body-spirit therapies that are effective not only as adjuncts, but as central treatment modalities in rehabilitation and therapy.16

 

Rhythms show up in many aspects of life. They affect the way we feel day by day or throughout the seasons. They affect our moods and attitudes deeply, even on a personal basis, so that some activities and personal disciplines “click” with us while others don't. Even the language we use to communicate with each other is able to deliver multiple, between-the-lines, meanings according to the fine tuning of the sound of voice. In our daily activities, we may sometimes find deep satisfaction while at other times we are simply engaged in a boring routine, perhaps without realizing that at one time our activities are in tune with our natural life rhythm, and at another time we may be forced to adapt to a different rhythm for reasons that may not be fully natural.

 

In this review, we will provide evidence that, from the cellular level to the whole organism, every signaling event is fashioned by rhythms—as vibratory patterns—and that synchronization of coupled oscillators and dynamical systems is a crucial issue in the orchestration of essential processes of life. We will show that changes in the rhythms and modes of interaction of subcellular oscillators can result in remarkable modulation of gene expression and cellular dynamics, playing an essential role in states of wellness and disease. Within this context, we will discuss the use of EMFs and sound energy as tools for restoring healthy cellular dynamics, reprogramming DNA structure, and eliciting self-healing mechanisms. We will highlight how EMFs and sound energies can “sing” with stem cells, and even with non-stem-adult somatic cells to reprogram cell gene expression and fate, activate natural repairing abilities, and counteract cellular aging processes, paving the way toward unprecedented strategies of regenerative medicine. Particular emphasis will be placed on the large body of evidence demonstrating that cytoskeletal structures are dynamic modulators of subcellular, cellular, and intercellular information that coordinate biological regulation across the atomic/molecular to organismic levels, giving rise to the notion of a field of dynamic bio-information or “biofield.” While molecular and gene expression rhythms affect the entire individual, it has been shown that the reverse also occurs. To this end, we will summarize how recent advances in neurobiology, psychosocial genomics, and research on yoga, meditation, and other mind-body disciplines have shown that emotional states, cognition, states of stress or relaxation and psychosocial factors can strongly affect genome function. This deep-seated bidirectional flow of information, branching between the atomic/molecular, organismic, and psychosocial levels, thus produces a dynamic, holistic biofield wherein our consciousness, emotional expression, and social behavior are intimately interwoven with our molecular and gene expression patterning.

 


BIOLOGICAL CLOCKS: SETTING LIFE'S RHYTHMS

The synchronization of multiple rhythms is an essential manifestation of living processes. While it is well known that biological clocks located in the central nervous system drive our circadian rhythms, there is now compelling evidence that the central nervous system also acts as a merging/integration point of biorhythms emerging from self-sustaining cellular and subcellular oscillators. For example, it has been shown that the regulation of metabolism and energy production of the entire organism across the daily cycles of fasting and feeding is orchestrated by subcellular transcriptional oscillations (clocks) controlling the basic dynamics of substrate biosyn-thesis and energy production (adenosine triphosphate, ATP) at the mitochondria.17

 

Another basic type of biological clock is made up of the mechanisms governing essential biological processes such as embryonic development, neuronal plasticity, cell memory, and differentiation of various types of stem cells. For these processes, calcium (Ca2+) ions act as important messengers, for which intracellular sequestration of Ca2+ by specific agents has been shown to modulate the above pathways. It is striking that experimental evidence indicates that transient changes in intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, rather than occurring in a manner corresponding to diffusion and passive transport (ie, increasing from a baseline to a stable long-lasting plateau and then declining again), is orchestrated in real-time by subcellular pacemaker sites producing Ca2+ waves and oscillations.18 Accordingly, the rhythmic beating of stem cell–derived cardiac cells is governed by dynamic coupling of cellular electrophysiology and cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations.19 Thus, Nature chose to create subcellular clocks to guarantee an exquisite regulation of the Ca2+ dynamics essential for many processes.

 

Cellular oscillators also play a crucial role in orchestrating embryogenesis and the patterning of differentiation in stem cells, which relies on the timely proliferation of progenitor cells and their subsequent differentiation into the multiple lineages that form different parts of the embryo. Modulation and orchestration of the timing of cell differentiation and cell fate choice are key issues for making organs of the right size, shape, and cell composition. To this end, both during embryogenesis and throughout adult life, the composition of secreted proteins that determine the overall rhythmicity of multiple-cell networks has been shown to be dependent upon cell crowding.20 Starting from a single fertilized oocyte, up to the level of the entire organism, cell proliferation and differentiation are antagonistically regulated by multiple activator and repressor genes, whose activity is fashioned according to specific oscillatory patterns in gene transcription.21,22 There is compelling evidence that during embryonic development, during somite segmentation, for example, specific genes function as biological clocks, acting through both short and long lived oscillatory pathways often involving tonic feed-forward and feedback mechanisms.23–30 The biomedical implications of this are extremely important, as the impairment of these biological clocks leads to premature or aberrant stem cell differentiation, or depletion of certain stem cell pools, resulting in dysmorphic brain and heart structures incompatible with post-natal survival. 27,31–35

 

In general, aberrant cellular oscillatory patterning is associated with severe disease. For example, genetic defects in the assembly or rhythmic function of primary cilia, which are oscillatory sensory organelles, give rise to developmental defects and diseases in mammals. One of these genetic disorders, known as primary ciliary dyskinesia, most commonly arises from loss of molecular motors that power ciliary beating.36 The disease involves abnormal lung development and function, infertility, and in some cases a condition called situs inversus, in which the internal organs (for example, the heart, stomach, spleen, liver, and gall-bladder) are in opposite positions from where they would normally be located. In mice, embryos bearing a mutation associated with lack of primary cilia develop a severe cardiac disease, including ventricular dilation, decreased myocardial trabeculation, and an abnormal outflow tract.37 It is clear that impairment of the molecular mechanisms that govern the circadian clock at cellular level also play a central role in the so-called “metabolic syndrome” that represents a spectrum of disorders whose incidence continues to increase across the industrialized world. Comprised of several metabolic abnormalities, including central (intraabdominal) obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hyper-tension,38 this syndrome has become a major public health challenge worldwide, with an estimated 25% to 40% of the population between 25 and 64 years of age affected. An essential distinctive trait of the syndrome is the disruption of the fine tuning of cellular oscillators that compose the “mammalian circadian clock.”38 This clock consists of a series of interlocking transcription/translation feedback loops, involving the synchronization of the availability of transcription factors that activate the expression of downstream clock target genes. Recent evidence also indicates that disruption of circadian rhythms may play a pivotal role in cognitive disorders associated with schizophrenia.39 In this disease, impairment may occur not only in the circadian master clock in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei that is responsible for controlling circa-dian rhythms but also at the level of local semi-autonomous oscillators capable of generating self-sustained circadian oscillations in individual cells in a number of brain tissues, including the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and cerebellum.39

 

Underlying all of the above reported findings one may see that the coupling of intrinsic oscillatory rhythms originating at the molecular and single cell level is intimately related to higher-level structure, function, and the generation of a wide range of biological rhythms. At the cellular and subcellular levels, oscillatory behaviors have been shown to emerge as a direct result of simple negative feedback loops and coupled positive and negative feedback loops,40 and rhythms arise from stochastic, nonlinear biological mechanisms interacting with a fluctuating environment41, indicating that oscillations are a natural outcome of a variety of essential cellular biochemical interactions. Another concept central to the study of biological rhythms is the existence of coupling between oscillators giving rise to collective behaviors such as phase synchronization.41 An extremely large body of research has examined the conditions under which periodic behaviors, stochastic resonance (coherent entrainment due to noisy signals), and chaotic behaviors can occur in dynamical systems and systems of coupled oscillators, and the results have been applied to nearly every level of biological function, from the subcellular to the organismic.41 For example, it has been clearly demonstrated that the generation of circa-dian rhythms at the suprachiasmatic nucleus is the result of the coupling of oscillators across the cellular and multicellular levels,42 and a general framework for the emergence of synchronization in circadian cooperative systems employs non-linear coupled oscillators, resulting in phase-synchrony across large numbers of cells,43 In neuronal networks, large scale simulations typically employ electrically phase-coupled systems that give rise to cooperative behaviors across large numbers of neurons.44 Systems of genetic oscillators governing the synchronization of cells mediated by intercellular communication exhibit synchronous behaviors in spite of intrinsic parameter fluctuations and the presence of extrinsic noise.45 Several novel behaviors have been noted, including phase synchronization within a system of weakly coupled self-sustained chaotic oscillators, suggesting that even under chaotic conditions, phases between individual oscillators can tend toward synchrony,45 and there has recently been interest in the existence of “chimera states” in networks of coupled oscillators wherein a wide spectrum of complex states emerge from the underlying dynamics of a system of weakly coupled oscillators containing both synchronous and asynchronous elements.46 Thus, the progression toward rhythmicity and complex behavior is a natural outcome of multi-part, dynamically interlinked systems.

 

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BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS

All life exists in a sea of EMFs. In the modern world, we are constantly immersed in both natural and human-made fields, including the geomagnetic field, globally propagating waves in the earth-ionosphere cavity (Schumann resonances), the many EMFs produced by power transmission lines, microwave communication relays, and fields from a wide variety of commonly used devices, including mobile telephones and radiofrequency Wi-Fi stations. Because life on Earth evolved in the ambient geomagnetic environment, of particular interest to the question of possible coupling with natural geomagnetism are weak EMFs, ie, those with strength on the order of the Earth's 50 μT field. The existence of bioeffects for EMF signals of this strength has been firmly established, and the mechanisms by which constant and extremely low frequency (ELF) μT-range magnetic fields can directly influence biological processes have now been more clearly elucidated.47–50 In addition to a significant amount of literature on bioeffects due to geomagnetic-range field strengths,51 a growing body of evidence has shown that effects can also occur at much lower field strengths, on the order of nanoTesla, including effects on development in chick embryos,52,53 in vitro breast cancer cell proliferation,54 in vivo tumor growth,55–57 planarian fission and regeneration58,59; allergic encephalomyelitis in rats60; gravitropism of plants,61 MCF-7 breast cancer cell growth,62 and an Alzheimer's model in mice.63 A significant aspect of these extremely weak EMF bioeffects is that the energies of interaction are substantially lower than the average random thermal energy due to Brownian motion,48 suggesting the existence of a more subtle level of bioinformation transduction operating at extremely low energies.

 


RESONANCES OBSERVED FOR WEAK EMF BIOEFFECTS

Resonance produces enhanced effects when the frequency and/or amplitude of an applied EMF matches specific values for which cells or tissues have increased or decreased sensitivity. In recent years, it has been firmly established that amplitude and frequency resonances can occur for μT-range EMF exposures in a variety of in vitro and in vivo systems, such as brainwaves and neuronal calcium efflux,64 membrane transport,65 45Ca incorporation in human lymphocytes,66 calcium flux in bone cells,67 liposome permeability,68 calcium signal transduction in the lymphocytes,69 neurite outgrowth in PC-12 cells,70,71 myosin phosphorylation,72 calcium efflux though lipid vesicles,73 glutamic acid currents in aqueous solution,74–78 IGF-II expression for human osteosarcoma bone cells,79 survival curve for mice infected with Ascites Ehrlich carcinoma,80 and cytokine release from osteoblasts in response to different intensities of EMF stimulation.81 In addition, recent experiments have shown that specific combinations and temporal sequences of weak subthreshold EMFs can alter neurological activity.82–84 For these experiments, the EMF amplitudes and frequencies were below the thresholds required to evoke nerve firing, suggesting that the specific rhythms and patterning of weak EMFs are detectable by the nervous system at this more subtle sub-threshold level. The above evidence for weak EMF resonances has been supported by theoretical modeling, with the results of current models corresponding well with experimental data.49,50,68,85,86 Both theory and this experimental evidence show that resonances in this amplitude range often occur at frequencies at or near integral multiples of the Larmor and cyclotron frequencies,49,50,85,86 which lie in the 5 Hz to 50 Hz range for the most common biological ions in μT-range fields.50,86 Interestingly, the constant component of Earth's magnetic field averages approximately 50 μT worldwide, and the time varying components in the pT-nT range due to the Schumann resonances constitute the principal components of the natural background of the EMF spectrum in a similar frequency range from 6 Hz to 50 Hz.87 Because of the ambient-range amplitudes employed, the above results suggest the possibility of functional interactions between living creatures and Earth's magnetic field. In addition to the substantial literature on animal navigation via Earth's magnetic field,88 recent experiments report a functional role for the ambient geomagnetic field in a variety of biological processes. Bioeffects have been reported due to attenuation or shielding from the Earth's magnetic field, including modulation of neuronal spike frequencies,89,90 reduction in stress-induced analgesia,91,92 induction of amnesia in mice,93,94 inhibition of tumor cell growth,95 reduction in ability to survive ionizing radiation in drosophila,96 and an increase in pain threshold in humans.97


 


SOLAR-GEOMAGNETIC RHYTHMS AND LIFE ON EARTH....... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010966/


Indexed for Global Advances In Health and Medicine/ NIH PubMed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

Beyond Chemical Triggers: Evidence for Sound-Evoked Physiological Reactions in Plants

Posted on December 19, 2022 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Abstract

Sound is ubiquitous in nature. Recent evidence supports the notion that naturally occurring and artificially generated sound waves contribute to plant robustness. New information is emerging about the responses of plants to sound and the associated downstream signaling pathways. Here, beyond chemical triggers which can improve plant health by enhancing plant growth and resistance, we provide an overview of the latest findings, limitations, and potential applications of sound wave treatment as a physical trigger to modulate physiological traits and to confer an adaptive advantage in plants. We believe that sound wave treatment is a new trigger to help protect plants against unfavorable conditions and to maintain plant fitness.......

Indexed for Frontiers In Plant Science/NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

Measuring effects of music, noise, and healing energy using a seed germination bioassay

Posted on December 19, 2022 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Measuring effects of music, noise, and healing energy using a seed germination bioassay


By Katherine Creath, Gary E Schwartz

PMID: 15025885 DOI: 10.1089/107555304322849039

Abstract

Objective: To measure biologic effects of music, noise, and healing energy without human preferences or placebo effects using seed germination as an objective biomarker.

Methods: A series of five experiments were performed utilizing okra and zucchini seeds germinated in acoustically shielded, thermally insulated, dark, humid growth chambers. Conditions compared were an untreated control, musical sound, pink noise, and healing energy. Healing energy was administered for 15-20 minutes every 12 hours with the intention that the treated seeds would germinate faster than the untreated seeds. The objective marker was the number of seeds sprouted out of groups of 25 seeds counted at 12-hour intervals over a 72-hour growing period. Temperature and relative humidity were monitored every 15 minutes inside the seed germination containers. A total of 14 trials were run testing a total of 4600 seeds.

Results: Musical sound had a highly statistically significant effect on the number of seeds sprouted compared to the untreated control over all five experiments for the main condition (p < 0.002) and over time (p < 0.000002). This effect was independent of temperature, seed type, position in room, specific petri dish, and person doing the scoring. Musical sound had a significant effect compared to noise and an untreated control as a function of time (p < 0.03) while there was no significant difference between seeds exposed to noise and an untreated control. Healing energy also had a significant effect compared to an untreated control (main condition, p < 0.0006) and over time (p < 0.0001) with a magnitude of effect comparable to that of musical sound.

Conclusion: This study suggests that sound vibrations (music and noise) as well as biofields (bioelectromagnetic and healing intention) both directly affect living biologic systems, and that a seed germination bioassay has the sensitivity to enable detection of effects caused by various applied energetic conditions.

Indexed for NIH PubMed / National Library of Medicine by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


 

Is That Movie Avatar Really Our Herstory/History?

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The Significance of Initiation

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Evidence for a connection between coronavirus disease-19 and exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless communications including 5G

Posted on December 16, 2022 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)




By Beverly Rubik and Robert R. Brown 


Abstract

Background and Aim:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health policy has focused on the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus and its effects on human health while environmental factors have been largely ignored. In considering the epidemiological triad (agent-host-environment) applicable to all disease, we investigated a possible environmental factor in the COVID-19 pandemic: ambient radiofrequency radiation from wireless communication systems including microwaves and millimeter waves. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, surfaced in Wuhan, China shortly after the implementation of city-wide (fifth generation [5G] of wireless communications radiation [WCR]), and rapidly spread globally, initially demonstrating a statistical correlation to international communities with recently established 5G networks. In this study, we examined the peer-reviewed scientific literature on the detrimental bioeffects of WCR and identified several mechanisms by which WCR may have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic as a toxic environmental cofactor. By crossing boundaries between the disciplines of biophysics and pathophysiology, we present evidence that WCR may: (1) cause morphologic changes in erythrocytes including echinocyte and rouleaux formation that can contribute to hypercoagulation; (2) impair microcirculation and reduce erythrocyte and hemoglobin levels exacerbating hypoxia; (3) amplify immune system dysfunction, including immunosuppression, autoimmunity, and hyperinflammation; (4) increase cellular oxidative stress and the production of free radicals resulting in vascular injury and organ damage; (5) increase intracellular Ca2+ essential for viral entry, replication, and release, in addition to promoting pro-inflammatory pathways; and (6) worsen heart arrhythmias and cardiac disorders.

 

Relevance for Patients:

In short, WCR has become a ubiquitous environmental stressor that we propose may have contributed to adverse health outcomes of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and increased the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we recommend that all people, particularly those suffering from SARS-CoV-2 infection, reduce their exposure to WCR as much as reasonably achievable until further research better clarifies the systemic health effects associated with chronic WCR exposure.

 

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome, coronavirus 2, electromagnetic stress, electromagnetic fields, environmental factor, microwave, millimeter wave, pandemic, public health, radio frequency, radiofrequency, wireless........


Indexed for Journal of Clinical and Translational Research 


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8580522/

Mobile phones represent a pathway for microbial transmission: A scoping review

Posted on December 16, 2022 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract

Background

Mobile phones have become an integral part of modern society. As possible breeding grounds for microbial organisms, these constitute a potential global public health risk for microbial transmission.

 

Objective

Scoping review of literature examining microbial's presence on mobile phones in both health care (HC) and community settings.

 

Methods

A search (PubMed&GoogleScholar) was conducted from January 2005–December 2019 to identify English language studies. Studies were included if samples from mobile phones were tested for bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses; and if the sampling was carried out in any HC setting, and/or within the general community. Any other studies exploring mobile phones that did not identify specific microorganisms were excluded.

 

Results

A total of 56 studies were included (from 24 countries). Most studies identified the presence of bacteria (54/56), while 16 studies reported the presence of fungi. One study focused solely on RNA viruses. Staphylococcus aureus, and Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci were the most numerous identified organisms present on mobile phones. These two species and Escherichia coli were present in over a third of studies both in HC and community samples. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Acinetobacter sp., and Bacillus sp. were present in over a third of the studies in HC settings.

 

Conclusions

While this scoping review of literature regarding microbial identification on mobile phones in HC and community settings did not directly address the issue of SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19, this work exposes the possible role of mobile phones as a ‘Trojan horse’ contributing to the transmission of microbial infections in epidemics and pandemics.....


Indexed for Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection & NIH


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7187827/

Citizen's choice of preferred system of healthcare as a fundamental human right

Posted on December 2, 2022 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Abstract

Fundamental rights are preconditions for any human to act with sufficient freedom and to be allowed sufficient choice to realize their potential. The right to indigenous medicine must be recognized as a fundamental human right for indigenous peoples. In accordance with the principles of Evidence-Based Medicine, every citizen should be allowed to benefit from the placebo effect. It constitutes an essential aspect of treatment, which is rightfully theirs on the basis of payment for health care - regardless of whether the payment is made out of pocket, or from public finance. It then follows that, the right of citizens to access the medical system of their choice should be formally acknowledged. That choice should be regarded as a Fundamental Human Right, which should under no circumstance be denied them - not for reasons of scientific prejudice, nor commercial ambition.

 

Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine; Human rights; UN declaration of indigenous people's medical rights; citizen's rights.

 

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Indexed for NIH PubMed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21829297/

Turiya - The God State: Beyond Kundalini, Kriya Yoga & all Spirituality (Real Yoga)

Posted on November 24, 2022 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)


Turiya - The God State: Beyond Kundalini, Kriya Yoga & all Spirituality (Real Yoga)

The Vedas: The Samhitas of the Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva [single volume, unabridged] Paperback

Posted on November 24, 2022 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)


The Vedas: The Samhitas of the Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva [single volume, unabridged] Paperback – 

The present volume is an unabridged compilation of all four Vedas (Rig, White and Black Yajur, Sama and Atharva). Four of the translations are from Ralph Griffith, with the remaining (black yajur) from Arthur Keith. The texts have been proofed and all Sanskrit terms updated and synced between versions. An Index-Dictionary of Sanskrit terms has been published as a second volume: ISBN: 978-1541304079. From the foreword: The Vedas (from the root vid, “to know,” or “divine knowledge”) are the most ancient of all the Hindu scriptures. There were originally three Vedas—the Laws of Manu always speaks of the three, as do the oldest (Mukhya) Upanishads—but a later work called the Atharvaveda has been added to these, to now constitute the fourth. The name Rigveda signifies “Veda of verses,” from rig, a spoken stanza; Samaveda, the “Veda of chants,” from saman, a song or chant; Yajurveda, the “Veda of sacrificial formulas,” from yajus, a sacrificial text. The Atharvaveda derives its name from the sage Atharvan, who is represented as a Prajapati, the edlest son of Brahma, and who is said to have been the first to institute the fire-sacrifices. The complex nature of the Vedas and the array of texts associated with them may be briefly outlined as follows: “The Rig-Veda is the original work, the Yajur-Veda and Sama-Veda in their mantric portions are different arrangements of its hymns for special purposes. The Vedas are divided into two parts, the Mantra and Brahmana. The Mantra part is composed of suktas (hymns in verse); the Brahmana part consists of liturgical, ritualistic, exegetical, and mystic treatises in prose. The Mantra or verse portion is considered more ancient than the prose works; and the books in which the hymns are collected are called samhitas (collections). More or less closely connected with the Brahmanans (and in a few exceptional cases with the Mantra part) are two classes of treatises in prose and verse called Aranyaka and Upanishad. The Vedic writings are again divided into two great divisions, exoteric and esoteric, the former called the karma-kanda (the section of works) and the latter the jnana-kanda (section of wisdom).” (Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary) The great antiquity of the Vedas is sufficiently proven by the fact that they are written in such an ancient form of Sanskrit, so different from the Sanskrit now used, that there is no other work like them in the literature of this “eldest sister” of all the known languages, as Prof. Max Muller calls it. Only the most learned of the Brahman Pundits can read the Vedas in their original. Furthermore, the Vedas cannot be viewed as singular works by singular authors, but rather as compilations, assembled over a great and unknown period of time. “Almost every hymn or division of a Veda is ascribed to various authors. It is generally believed that these subdivisions were revealed orally to the rishis or sages whose respective names they bear; hence the body of the Veda is known as sruti (what was heard) or divine revelation. The very names of these Vedic sages, such as Vasishtha, Visvamitra, and Narada, all of which belong to men born in far distant ages, shows that millennia must have elapsed between the different dates of their composition.” (Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary) It is generally agreed that the Vedas were finally arranged and compiled around fourteen centuries before our era; but this interferes in no way with their great antiquity, as they are acknowledged to have been long taught and passed down orally, perhaps for thousands of years, perhaps for far longer, before being finally compiled and recorded (the latter is traditionally said to have occurred on the shores of Lake Manasarovara, beyond the Himalayas).

Yoga and Kama are not said in same breath in India today. But it should

Posted on November 24, 2022 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Yoga and Kama are not said in same breath in India today. But it should

In ‘Yoga and Kama’, art historian Alka Pande writes about the connection between yoga and sex in Hinduism.
ALKA PANDE
7 August, 2022 11:54 am IST



In India today, yoga and kama are not mentioned in the same breath, because the former is thought to be about spirituality and asceticism and the latter about psychological and physical pleasure, and never the twain shall meet. This false dichotomy is the unfortunate result of a twisted Indian modernity which has internalized— and indeed, made holy—the terrible Victorian prudery that was imposed in the colonial era on the remarkably liberal and life-affirming ideas of Hinduism. Ideas that were also at the heart of Bhakti and Sufi mysticism, in which the yearning for union with God is expressed in the language of pure eroticism.

Lord Șhiva is Aadi Purusha—Ishwara, the Supreme Consciousness—before he is Aadi Yogi, or indeed any of his various forms. And as Aadi Purusha—or just Purusha—he describes 112 ways to enter into the ultimate, transcendental state of consciousness. These include breath awareness and control, concentration on various centres (chakras) in the body, non-dual awareness, chanting the primal sound, training of the body in balance and mindfulness through intricate postures, and contemplation through each of the senses. Shiva is believed to have taught Parvati, his first and ideal student, all of this through 84 asanas of yoga (of which only a very few could be apprehended by mortals, and just about five are described
in the classical texts). But if Shiva is Purusha, the embodiment of supreme consciousness, Parvati is not merely his student; she is Aadi Shakti, or Prakriti, the embodiment of supreme knowledge—which is consciousness in action. Without her, there would be no creation. All that exists in the universe—in fact, the universe itself—results from the union of Purusha and Prakriti. In other words, it results from from kama. And kama began with yoga.

Also Read: Emotions in West Bengal boiled over in 1950. Media was ‘inciting’, so was Hindu Mahasabha


Yoga, which is equally about the mind, the body and the soul, is the science of ultimate balance—between dharma (duty, or ‘right living’), artha (economic well-being), kama (erotic desire) and moksha (enlightenment or liberation), which are the four goals of life in classical Hinduism. Sexual satisfaction is thus essential for a full and healthy experience of life. The most visible manifestations of yoga are physical poses or asanas and these were the easiest to depict. Hence the profusion in India’s pre-modern sculpture and art of
people engaged in a variety of sexual acts, the positions inspired directly by yoga asanas.

Sometimes, especially in miniatures produced from the 16th or 17th century CE
onwards, these positions seem utterly improbable and beyond the capacity of any
human being. These over-the-top acrobatics are not to be taken literally; they are
about uninhibited play and delight. But their root also lies in the same philosophy of
celebration and a balanced, pragmatic life that is the essence of yoga.

Also Read: ‘Unpleasant eyesores’ – Sleek and modern Bangalore is ashamed of its sex workers

Scholars and aesthetes have offered other explanations for the fevered, exaggerated and improbable love-making that is seen on the outer walls of many Hindu temples and in folk paintings and artefacts which were sold near temples (in some places they still are—the pattachitra scrolls in Puri, for instance). One theory is that all the images of sexual excess overwhelm and then cleanse the senses as we approach the inner shrine and the sanctum sanctorum; our minds and hearts are sated and purged of desire, and thus fertile soil for divine grace.

Another theory, which would apply more to miniatures and similar erotic art, is that
the fevered
sexuality might have been caused by the strain on sexual freedom in medieval
India—thus, sex, condemned in real life, came to be celebrated wildly in art.


Man with a woman in the camel pose. Carving from a wooden chariot, Tamil Nadu, 19th century. Collection of Beroze and Michel Sabatier, La Rochelle.
Either way—disciplined and intricate yogic poses, or eye-popping contortions and
acrobatics—the aim is to wholeheartedly accept a great gift of life and immerse one’s
senses in erotic bliss. Just as one must also immerse oneself in worldly knowledge
at the appropriate time, and then in spiritual and transcendental knowledge.

Both kama and yoga are central to the Kamasutra, the mother of all the kama
shastras (erotic texts) of India. The Western world, and even many Indians—including those who are ashamed of our traditions of erotica and also those who are not—view the Kamasutra as only a book about sexual gymnastics, aphrodisiacs, love bites and so on. It is in fact a remarkable guide to pleasurable living, aesthetics, grooming, patience in indulgence, and sexual etiquette.

Also Read: Even thinking of Menopause made 40-year-old Mona fall apart—until she found Dr Rosy

One of the first Indian sages to reflect on kama was Shvetaketu, son of Uddalaka, who recorded a summary of the sacred bull Nandi’s descriptions of Shiva and Parvati’s coupling. Nandi, Shiva’s vahana (vehicle) and doorkeeper, is believed to have witnessed the epic love rituals of his master and mistress and in stunned enlightenment, he later whispered them to Shvetaketu. Over centuries, other sages—Swayambhu, Manu, Brihaspati and others— interpreted and expanded Nandi’s and Shvetaketu’s revelations. Until finally, sometime in the 3rd century CE, a celibate yogi, Vatsyayana, refined and collated all their work to produce the Kamasutra. There are also versions of this myth which say that Nandi revealed the secrets of divine love-making directly to Vatsyayana.

The Kamasutra became the iconic book for a pleasurable life to be led by men and
women. In premodern India, the study of the erotic was an extremely significant and
substantial part of Indian philosophy and literature. Vatsyayana’s masterpiece inspired several Sanskrit scholars, poets and writers who established a distinct genre of writing which came to be known as the Kama shastra.

The Kamasutra was also a defining influence on premodern sculpture and art. And in the evolved spirit of living that came from liberal Hinduism, the Kamasutra and other kama shastras inspired art in the service of the divine. We see this in the exquisite erotic sculptures on the walls of the temples in Khajuraho, Konarak, Hampi and Modhera, among other sites, where men and women are shown in states of mithuna (intimacy) and maithuna (sexual acts). In the advait or non-dual philosophy of Hinduism, this is the union of atma (soul) with paramatma (God) expressed in the metaphor of sexual union. Therefore, nothing is prohibited, nothing is sullied by shame, and we see remarkable depictions of frankly sexual yogic poses and acrobatics.


Devangana Desai writes in her book Erotic Sculpture of India: ‘In sculptural art, there
are some postures which do involve Hatha Yoga techniques. These are seen in the head down poses of Khajuraho, Padhavli, Belur…Hatha yogic techniques can also be seen in some of the intricate sitting and sleeping poses of Bhubaneswar, Lingaraja and Konarak.’ Alex Comfort, writing on India’s kama shastras, observes: ‘One complete sequence of bandhas from Vatsyayana on appears to derive directly from yogic exercises, and this sequence becomes longer and more complicated in the latter erotic treaties, until it includes really exorbitant tours de force, such as coition with the woman head down in sirshasana.’

Evidence of ‘sexo-yogic’ positions is also found in Tantric Buddhist traditions. One such is Tantric Sadhana for the immobilization of the three jewels, i.e., thought, breath and semen. The Yab-Yum image of Tantric Buddhism is symbolic of delayed ejaculation or coitus reservatus for the purpose of heightened consciousness.

The interesting point to note is that it is usually the women—slim, svelte and
athletic—and not the men, who are shown in intricate yogic asanas. Probably they
were the facilitators for kayasadhana (body discipline). Or they were courtesans
whom male patrons turned to for help when their libido was flagging.

Indexed for The Print India by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

https://theprint.in/pageturner/excerpt/yoga-and-kama-are-not-said-in-same-breath-in-india-today-but-it-should/1070660/