Many persons feel relaxed after a visit to the racecourse, or after a long session of bridge, of course, with stakes or after a session of chanting and kirtan. Why is it so? When gambling, you put all of your mind to work on the game. You have thus diverted your mind from your day-to-day worries. A good session of kirtan will make you feel the same. If you participate in a kirtan with a rhythmic, melodious voice and with faith, you will feel relaxed. You will feel as if your mind and body are sinking in Bhakti Rasa (nectar of devotion) and you will come out of it rejuvenated. You will be invigorated and the mind will be cool calm and tranquil.
The system of concentration and meditation practised by the yogis of India may well be the answer to complaints that the medical science has not been able to help. A sensitive machine called biofeedback has been invented not long back to help people to learn relaxation. It interprets and translates into a screen the state of relaxation of the body. As we relax the sound waves becomes milder indicating that we are heading in the right direction. This helps us to become acquainted with the ways of relaxation. Later when we have mastered the technique, we can discard the machine and carry on with the relaxation exercise.
There was a time when. British doctors in colonial India sent reports around that yoga masters would perform amazing feats like stopping heart beats, and walking on burning embers with no apparent injury. The reason was that the yogis had obtained extraordinary control over their bodies especially the autonomic nervous system which operates without conscious control. All the involuntary movement like that of the heart and the peristaltic movement of intestine are controlled by it.
My hands are warm
In 1910, the German hypnotist Johann Schultz found that when he taught patients self-hypnosis by talking themselves into a relaxed state, he had surprising results. For instance, when they repeated the phrase “my hands are warm,” their hands did in fact grow warmer.
In 1964 American doctors also confirmed Schultz’s experiment wiring up volunteer housewives to an instrument which monitored skin temperature. The wives were then asked to relax and feel that their hands were getting warmer. The instrument registered increased heat in their hands.
A doctor recently has been experimenting on this same principle and helping patients of tension headaches and peptic ulcers by asking them to concentrate on their hands and feel them getting warmer. This technique takes time to be learnt. When it is mastered at the time of tension headaches or pain in the abdomen the patient can concentrate on the palms, and get relief in their headache or abdomen pain. This occurs as the blood rushes to the palm, and as a result the head or the abdomen get rid of the excessive blood.
An experiment was conducted with asthmatics. They are generally sensitive to such irritants as dust pollens and fumes, but a lot of their trouble stems from nervous tension. An asthmatic patient is treated in a soundproof room and wired to Biofeedback machine. If he is relaxed, he only hears a slow clicking. He is then told to visualise dust, flowers or whatever possibly causes asthmatic attacks. Usually he grows tense at the very thought of these items.
The machine clicks faster. The patient is aware that he is on the verge of a full scale attack. All caused by tension. When he learn that tension is his enemy he can learn to control it by listening to the clicks and trying to slow them down. Biofeedback helps to master the technique of self-relaxation. Later the patient can dispense with the machine altogether. By then he would have learnt to relax and by his own efforts be able to lead a fuller and happier life.