By James Hall
Can Yoga help energetic alignment? As the aging process becomes demystified and the boundaries of modern healthcare continue to expand with treatment modalities and investigations, the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for routine investigations has grown exponentially. From joint / organ specific scans to the whole body this is deemed the safest option of choice compared to Ct Scans and the high amounts of Ionizing radiation produced. Physicians continue to inform the public that these interventions are very safe but as with any intervention the devil is in the detail and individuals can have side effects from MRI scans.
Yoga practitioners already understand that the body is more than the sum of its components and at a level of the physical laws of the universe there is a complex interaction between Gravity, Electromagnetism, and Nuclear forces. The auric field is viewed as an etheric energy grid due to the electro-magnetic forces at play and the complex network of various Chakras and Nadis at the subtle level. The actions of Anna-Maya Kosha and Prana-Maya Kosha are vital to the functioning of this field. Energetically and physiologically this is the Gunas at play through the physical energy sheaths.
During our lifetime, primarily due to our hectic pace of life and the constant and prolonged bombardment of Electromagnetic fields the body can become fatigued, diseased and predominantly Tamasic. EMF bombardment may be viewed as the “elephant in the room” and little thought is given to the way that this may affect the Autonomic nervous system and subsequent hormone production. Types of pollution can include Motors, Transformers, Modern lights, TV, Video and cell phones, the latter of which people frequently sleep with next to their heads. These fields tend to be weakest in front of a device and have stronger fields omitting at right angles from the weaker ones.
The eyes and the Pineal gland are particularly sensitive to EMF, and as the Pineal gland regulates hormonal secretions particularly melatonin. Any prolonged exposure can effect sleep cycles and the circadian rhythms leading to chronic fatigue and stress within the immune system, which could affect Auto immune responses. This theory can be tested by spending time in nature away from artificial fields where we tend to become refreshed; less stressed and sleep better. Indeed prolonged chronic stress can increase the Tamasic mind/body complex and result in chronic co -morbidities.
Magnetic exposure has been known to stress the limbic brain causing an increase in the sympathetic nervous system activity. This can directly affect the adrenal glands and corresponding endocrinal responses. Currently not enough research has been undertaken to quantify and qualify the results of a concentrated magnetic field on both chakras and Nadis and if the affects would be beneficial or negative. One school of thought particularly in the Yogic circles is that all disease is caused by a disruption of the pranic distribution, which is seen as not Psychosomatic but actually Somato-Psychic. This was touched upon by the work of Dr Sheldon in his book (Oxygen breakthrough – 30 days to an illness free life).
So returning to modern diagnostic tools an MRI may be an invaluable way of screening and planning further treatment, however we may need to be more aware of the risks and side effects particularly for energy sensitive individuals. Quantum Physics informs us that the body after all, and the whole of reality is ultimately holographic. It can be affected by electrons and photons, which can exhibit both coherent and incoherent effects on, and within the body. This in Yogic terms is the effect of Prakriti and the subtle dance and interactions as expressed through the Gunas namely Tamas, Rajas and Sattvas.
As the use of MRI has grown exponentially and is not monitored at a national level we would do well to look at some of those historical substitutes that were routinely used and in hindsight are now considered as bio hazards. An amalgam filling is a prime example once considered safe and now classified as a level II biohazard by the FDA.
A 2009 study on the “biological effects and safety in MRI” (ncbi. nlm.gov) indicated that it would be prudent to avoid unnecessary examinations according to the precautionary principle. The study went on to highlight a previous paper by (Bonassi et al 2009) that EMF’s generated during MRI seem to have Geno toxic effects on the cells in relation to micro nuclei induction. As with all research, studies can be contradictory and it may appear that not enough research has been undertaken as to the effects of intensive magnetic exposure within the body. Remember an MRI produces three simultaneous fields within the body, Static MF, Gradient MF and RF fields.
An MRI works by a strong magnetic field being created by passing an electric current through the wire loops. While this is happening, other coils in the magnet send and receive radio waves. This triggers protons in the body to align themselves. Once aligned, radio waves are absorbed by the protons, which stimulate spinning. Energy is released after “exciting” the molecules, which in turn emits energy signals that are picked up by the coil. This information is then sent to a computer, which processes all the signals and generates it into an image. The final product is a 3-D image representation of the area being examined.
This is not a natural process for the body and can be thought of sub atomically as if hitting the brain against the Cranium it will shock the cells and tissues albeit briefly. This has been indicated in papers such as (Ali MA. Magnetic resonance imaging and associated alteration in some biophysical properties of blood. Rom. J. Biophys. 2007;17:277–286) – where the paper concluded that erythrocytes decreased as did ESR during MRI, however after the procedure there was a rapid return to normal conditions.
As the technology advances it is hoped that better evaluation tools will be developed to assess short, medium and long-term affects to health. However the scan is only half of the story. Enter the Contrast Agent AKA Gadolinium the proverbial “Serpent in the room” This agent is known to be both Nephrotoxic and Hepatotoxic and side effects from these dyes can include:
Reactions such as rashes and in rare cases necrosis
For individuals with sensitivities to heavy metals and dyes this may be a big no-no and often patients do not realise that these dyes can be refused. They only add a contrast to what is a very thorough scan.
Considerations for Yoga Therapy post MRI
If you have opted for a contrast agent then rest must be observed if any symptoms occur. For rare reactions such as increasing headaches or necrosis, the medical attention must be sought. For stabilising the body through Yoga the following interventions may prove beneficial.
1 – Gentle physical Yoga that can be followed to affect an energetic change in the Gunas and the energy fields. Restorative poses will add an extra beneficial effect and include: supported Sukhasana, Viparita Karani, Supported Setu Bandha Saravangasana and Savasana. Try to avoid stimulating Yoga postures that may Stimulate Adrenal processes. Adrenal hormones tend to be catabolic and can tire the body. Encourage anabolic hormones if at all possible. Avoid caffeine and localised EMP fields prior to sleep. This will help recovery
2 – The Practices of Yoga Nidra and Meditation will help recharge the body/ Mind complex. Remember in a lot of chronic illness, the energy is Tamasic and a change in the energetic state through body sensing and sense withdrawal can have a profound effect on the autonomic nervous system.
3 – Nadi Shodhana for Sympathetic / Parasympathetic nervous balance and the balancing of Ida / Pingala.
4 – Trataka to focus the mind and desensitize the Pituitary gland, which can be affected by intense magnetic fields.
5 – Prana Vidya, by drawing Prana from Mulhadara and storing at Ajna chakra with a combination of the Ujjayi breath and awareness co-location. The stored prana can then be taken to any affected body part or the whole auric field and used with intention and attention to rebalance the major pranas. By commencing at Manipura with an in breath and descending to Mulhadara before ascending to Ajna. On the outbreath, breathe back to Manipura and the Prana and Apana become united.
6 – Meditation on the Pancha Koshas. This is done in order as the Koshas are both conceptualised and concentric.
AnnaMaya Kosha is a closed system and includes Mulhadara, swadisthana and Manipura Chakra’s. It includes the elements Earth (Prithvi), Water (Jala) and Tejas (fire)
PranaMaya Kosha is an open system of interaction and includes Anaharta and Vishuddi chakras. It includes the elements Air (Vayu) and Ether (Akasha)
ManaMaya Kosha includes Ajna Chakra. The mind conceptualises the experience.
The trick is to remember that Mind and Prana are not separate. Think of the energy and it will go and diffuse where directed.
Vijnanamaya Kosha offers the power of differentiation. By increasing differentiation, this leads to increased integration
AnandaMaya Kosha or the blissful sheath can be accessed through positive thoughts, Mantras and Bhakti yoga.
Indeed a meditation and series of Yoga postures when combined together can be very powerful when practiced in their own right.
AnnaMaya Kosha can be practiced by body awareness and combined with breath and postures to integrate PranaMaya Kosha and help balance the 5 major Pranas.
ManaMaya Kosha can be practiced with Trataka and Chakra Bedan.
Vijnanamaya Kosha can be deeply practiced with Yoga Nidra, Mantras and Tattwa Shuddi. This is of particular relevance as concentration of the chakras and the various elemental processes integral to the sheaths can affect a profound healing. This is explained more in Laya Yoga.
AnandaMaya Kosha can be practiced with devotional Music and chanting with the witness identified on completion of earlier practices.
These various techniques and strategies can be combined to decrease the chance of energetic imbalance or a magnetic induced insult to the Koshas and electromagnetic field following MRI. They in addition may help with recovery from morbidities for which the initial investigations took place.
I am of no doubt that MRI’s are here to stay however the purpose of this article is to draw attention to the fact that in health “all that glitters is not always gold”, if investigations are needed and; post investigation you feel out of sorts or that something energetically is wrong it may be due to the investigation itself and not the pre-existing condition. The Yoga plan for aftercare may work for you in its entirety or be adapted to suit your own individual circumstances.
I conclude by quoting a New York Times article of 2007, which states that what makes Americans sick, is an “epidemic of diagnoses” that lead to an epidemic of treatments which turn ordinary people into patients. Education and information is the key to provide a road map for an accountable growth in the health sector.
James Hall is a certified Yoga teacher. He is teaching Yoga classes in the Adelaide, South Australia area.
© Copyright 2015 – James Hall / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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Thank you James. This gives all of us a lot to think about. I didn’t know about the side-effects of MRIs. This is valuable knowledge and I appreciate your research and insight. Aum Shanti, Bhavan
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