Miraculous Effect of Sudarshan Kriya
Research Summary-Improved Brain Function: To study the long-term effects of SK&P on brain function, EEG (electroencephalogram) changes were recorded in 19 SK&P practitioners outside of the practice of SK&P, and compared with EEG patterns of 16 controls(doctors and researchers who did not practice SK&P, yoga, or meditation). Significant increases in beta activity were observed in the left frontal, occipital, and midline regions of the brain in the SK&P practitioners, as compared to controls (p<0.05). These results are interpreted by neurologists as indicative of increased
EEG activity was also studied during the practice of SK&P in five females of similar age, socioeconomic, and educational backgrounds. This study found an increase in EEG alpha activity, with interspersed persistence of beta activity. This indicates a state of relaxation co-existing with heightened alertness.
Effect on Cortisol, the “Stress Hormone”:
Several studies have demonstrated significant falls in cortisol levels. In one study, blood cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” was measured in 21 individuals, 35–50 years of age. Regular SK&P practitioners (Group 1) were compared with beginning practitioners (Group 2) during their SK&P sessions. The beginning practitioners were also measured before learning SK&P, while listening to classical music (Group 3). Among beginners, the fall in cortisol levels was significantly greater during SK&P than when listening to classical music, suggesting that SK&P produces a better relaxation response.
Regular SK&P practitioners had significantly lower blood cortisol levels at baseline than beginning practitioners, indicating that they experienced less physiological stress under the demands of daily living. The significant further fall in serum cortisol levels, during and following SK&P, among beginning and regular practitioners, suggests that regular practice of SK&P progressively develops greater levels of both relaxation and resilience to stress.
Effect on Blood Lactate:
Blood lactate is another biochemical measure of stress. Participants in police training constitute a highly stressed group.
They undergo intense physical and emotional training daily. Blood lactate was measured in 10 such individuals, both before learning SK&P and after the first session. There was a significant fall in lactate levels after SK&P, suggesting that it induces a state of relaxation.
Effect on Immune Function:
The immune system protects us from disease. Natural killer (NK) cells are the surveillance cells of the immune system and are capable of destroying tumor cells as well as infected cells. NK cells were significantly higher (p<0.001) in the SK&P group than in either non-practicing individuals or in cancer patients in remission. The cancer patients then learned SK&P. After 3–6 months of regular practice, there was a significant increase in the cancer patients’ NK cell count. This is particularly encouraging, since cancer survivors have abnormally low levels of NK cells, and NK cells are believed to be important in the body’s defense against new and recurring cancers.
Effect on Antioxidant Enzymes:
The body is repeatedly exposed to environmental pollutants, and its cells continuously produce normal metabolic byproducts. Both of these factors can result in the formation of free radicals. These react with oxygen and cause oxidant damage, contributing to many diseases, including cancer and such cardiovascular diseases as heart disease and stroke. To counteract these free radicals, the human body has a defense system in the form of antioxidant enzymes. A study was conducted to assess the effect of SK&P on antioxidant enzymes.
Levels of three major antioxidant enzymes— superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione—were all found to be significantly higher in SK&P practitioners than in the matched control group. These data suggest that people who practice SK&P have an improved antioxidant status and an enhanced defense against oxidant damage.
Effect on Blood Cholesterol:
Psychosocial stress is a major contributor to hypertension and coronary heart disease (CHD). In CHD, deposits of LDL cholesterol, fat, and other substances on the arterial walls slow or block the flow of blood, resulting in heart malfunction. A study was conducted to assess the cholesterol levels of individuals before they learned SK&P, as well as after 7 and 45 days of regular practice.
Significant drops in total cholesterol and LDL (harmful) cholesterol, as well as increases in HDL (beneficial) cholesterol were observed. These findings suggest that SK&P improves the blood cholesterol profile,
Effect on Depression: SK&P has been shown to have a 68%–73% success rate in the treatment of depression, regardless of severity. Relief from depression, determined by psychiatric evaluation and standard psychiatric measures (Beck Depression Inventory, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and others), was experienced within three weeks. At the threemonth follow-ups, patients remained stable and in remission. Published studies further suggest that SK&P normalises patients’ brainwave patterns, increases serum prolactin (a “well-being” hormone), and is as effective as standard anti-depressant drug regimens. Yet it is safe, free of unwanted side-effects, cost-effective, and self-empowering.
Conclusions: The subjective reports of increased health, vitality, wellbeing, and peace of mind by thousands of SK&P practitioners are consistent with research findings to date, which suggest an overall strengthening of the mind/body system. EEG, blood cortisol, and lactate levels reflect a state of relaxation, yet alertness. Significant increases in NK cells and antioxidant enzymes suggest that regular practice may help prevent many serious diseases. Decreases in cholesterol may prevent cardiac disease, and depression is quickly alleviated in a high percentage of individuals. Thus, even though further studies are needed, these findings point to the powerful health restoration and promotion effects of these time-honored practices.