呼吸法背後的科學 The Science behind Pranayama
1. Sloan, R. P., et al. 2007. RR interval variability is inversely related to inflammatory markers: The CARDIA study. Mol Med 13 (3-4):178-84 2. Pavlov, V.A., and K.J. Tracey. 2005. The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Brain Behav Immun 19 (6):493-99. 3. Theise, N.D., and R. Harris. 2006. Postmodern biology:(adult) (stem) cells are plastic, stochastic, complex, and uncertain. Handb Exp Pharmacol (174):389-408.
After receiving and experience the amazing effects of Pranayama, I cannot help but doing some research on the scientific basis of the mystic ancient art of Yoga. Pranayama is one of the 8 limbs of Yoga. Unfortunately many gravitate toward the Asanas (yoga posture) or mediation but missing the Pranayama which is said to be the bridge between mind and body. Too bad in the modern classroom, the time is limited and it’s not likely to spend half of the time doing Pranayama. Also the way of the practice is not likely the same for everyone. However, I will start to introduce it as much as I can when I am back to Taiwan. Remember, Pranayama is better practiced immediately after the Asanas.
Your body stress hormone is controlled by autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS has two components that balance each other, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). • The SNS turns up your nervous system. It helps us handle what we perceive to be emergencies and is in charge of the flight-or-fight response. • The PNS turns down the nervous system and helps us to be calm. It promotes relaxation, rest, sleep, and drowsiness by slowing our heart rate, slowing our breathing, constricts the pupils of our eyes, increases the production of saliva in our mouth, and so forth. The Vagus nerve is the nerve that comes from the brain and controls the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your relaxation response. It is a very long nerve running from the hypothalamus area of your brain, chest, diaphragm, and to your intestines. It wraps around your heart and core area . And this nervous system uses the neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine. When the Vagus Nerve is stimulated,(ex. Deep slow breathing by inflating your diaphragm) your parasympathetic nervous system is activated. Therefore, it triggers the relaxation response in our body. What is not known is the Acetylcholine is responsible for many important functions which are not wildly known: • Acetylcholine is responsible for learning and memory *1 • New research has found that acetylcholine is a major brake on inflammation in the body . In other words, stimulating your vagus nerve sends acetylcholine throughout your body, not only relaxing you but also turning down the fires of inflammation which is related to the negative effects from stress *2 • Research found stems cells are directly connected to the vagus nerve. Activating the vagus nerve can stimulate stem cells to produce new cells and repair and rebuild your own organs. *3 • Research has linked the vagus nerve to improved neurogenesis (creation of new brain or neuronal cells), and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) factor. BDNF is like a fabulous super-food for your brain cells. It helps with repair of brain tissue, actual regeneration throughout the whole body *3 • As your Vagus system is stimulated, your muscles will relax, dropping your worries and anxieties. The oxygen supply to your body's cells increases and this helps produce endorphins, the body's feel-good hormones • Once you turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, your cortisol levels are reduced, and your brain heals. Cortisol is also linked to obesity to several studies. 1. Sloan, R. P., et al. 2007. RR interval variability is inversely related to inflammatory markers: The CARDIA study. Mol Med 13 (3-4):178-84 2. Pavlov, V.A., and K.J. Tracey. 2005. The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Brain Behav Immun 19 (6):493-99. 3. Theise, N.D., and R. Harris. 2006. Postmodern biology:(adult) (stem) cells are plastic, stochastic, complex, and uncertain. Handb Exp Pharmacol (174):389-408.