Consciousness and Neurobiology

The Development of Brain’s Defenses against
Psychological & Physiological Stress
Associate Professor & Unit Head
Post Graduate Dept. of Internal Medicine
Mahatma Gandhi Mission Medical College & Hospitals
Incharge : Division of DM; Endo ; Metabolism
Hon. Director Research and Development
Int. S Y Research and Health Centre, Mumbai, India
DR. SANDEEP RAI
A Working Definition Of Stress
A Working Definition Of Stress
The natural response of the body to any The natural response of the body to any
demand placed upon it. demand placed upon it.” ”
-- --Hans Hans Selye Selye, M.D., 1946 , M.D., 1946
“ “Mental, emotional, or physical strain, Mental, emotional, or physical strain,
tension or distress. tension or distress.” ”
-- -- Webster Webster’ ’s New Riverside s New Riverside Dictionary Dictionary
DID YOU KNOW ?
DID YOU KNOW ?
* 13 billion doses of tranquilizers are prescribed yearly * 13 billion doses of tranquilizers are prescribed yearly
for stress related psychological problems. for stress related psychological problems.
* Chronic stress is 6 times more predictive of heart * Chronic stress is 6 times more predictive of heart
disease and cancer than smoking, high cholesterol, disease and cancer than smoking, high cholesterol,
high BP. high BP.
* In U.K. over half a million people suffer from stress, * In U.K. over half a million people suffer from stress,
more than 59% elderly people complain of stress more than 59% elderly people complain of stress
related disorders more than once a month. related disorders more than once a month.
* There are estimated 50 thousand stress related suicide * There are estimated 50 thousand stress related suicide
cases each year. cases each year.
STRESS – DID YOU KNOW?
* Stress is recognized as the number one killer today
* According to the AMA, stress is the cause of 80 to 85 %
of all human illness and disease
* Each week, 9.5 million Americans suffer from some
stress related symptoms for which they take
medication
* American businesses lose an estimated $200-$300
billion per year to stress related productivity loss
Anatomy of Stress
Anatomy of Stress
Stress
Eustress Distress
Good stress, could be a motivator. Good stress, could be a motivator. Too much to bear becomes distress. Too much to bear becomes distress.
Sources of Stress
Sources of Stress
The Good
The Good
Get married
Have children
Buy a new home
Go on vacation
New Job
Promotion
The Bad
The Bad
Break a leg
Spouse loses
job
Kid let in
trouble
Lose wallet
In-laws coming
The Ugly
The Ugly
Nasty car accident
Bankruptcy
Divorce
Loved one dying
Stressful Life Events
Stressful Life Events
Catastrophes Catastrophes
– – unpredictable, large unpredictable, large- -scale events scale events
– – e.g., war, earthquake e.g., war, earthquake
– – can have significant health consequences can have significant health consequences
Life Changes Life Changes
– – e.g., death, marriage, divorce, loss of job e.g., death, marriage, divorce, loss of job
– – make person more vulnerable to disease make person more vulnerable to disease
Daily Hassles Daily Hassles
– – annoying events in everyday life annoying events in everyday life
– – e.g., rush hour traffic, roommates e.g., rush hour traffic, roommates
– – cumulative effect on health cumulative effect on health
The Stress Response is the
The Stress Response is the
Body
Body


s
s
911
911
System
System
General Adaptation Syndrome
General Adaptation Syndrome
Three stages: Three stages:
1. 1. Alarm stage Alarm stage
- - Emergency reaction (fight Emergency reaction (fight- -or or- -flight) flight)
2. 2. Resistance stage Resistance stage
- - Coping and fighting Coping and fighting
3. 3. Exhaustion stage Exhaustion stage
- - Termination of stress response Termination of stress response
and onset of stress pathology and onset of stress pathology
(more accurate is prolonged (more accurate is prolonged
activation of stress response) activation of stress response)
BIOLOGY OF STRESS RESPONSE BIOLOGY OF STRESS RESPONSE
Hypothalamus activates sympathetic nervous Hypothalamus activates sympathetic nervous
system system
The HPA axis releases stress
The HPA axis releases stress
hormones
hormones
Activation of the Activation of the HPA axis HPA axis initiates initiates
cascade of hormone release cascade of hormone release that that
ultimately ultimately increases increases the amount of the amount of
cortisol cortisol & epinephrine in blood & epinephrine in blood
Physiological Effects of ¹ Thoughtless Awareness'
{ 8ahaja 8tate } { 8ahaja 8tate } { 8ahaja 8tate } { 8ahaja 8tate } on Human Body
A Unique 8tate of Human Consciousness
Dept. of Physiology:Lady Hardinge Medical College &
Associated Hospitals New Delhi, India
20 Healthy 8ubjects.age 35 to 50 years divided in 2 groups
• Gr. I: 10 Subjects trained to achieve ‘Thoughtless Awareness
(Sahaja State)’ for 12 Weeks
• Gr. II: 10 Subjects already trained in achieving ‘Thoughtless
Awareness (Sahaja State)’ ( 2 to 6 years )
* Each Individual acted as his own control.
Readings were taken at 4, 8 & 12 weeks.
* Parameters Studies, HR, RR, BP, GSR Urinary
VMA,Blood Lactic Acid
Gr. I: HR at 0 weeks
before & after ‘Sahaja
State’
77.5 --------------76.3
HR after 12weeks
before & after ‘Sahaja
State’
73.2---------------66.3
Statistically significant
Results &
Discussions
Those subjects already
practicing ‘Sahaja State’
Mean Heart Rate/min
before & after Sahaja
State
72.9-------------------65.4
Statistically significant
Results &
Discussions
74
72
70
68
66
64
62
0
0 5 10 15 20 25
=
Heart rate of group II subjects
5 Mins before
Sahaja Yoga
20 Mins during
Sahaja Yoga
5 Mins after
Sahaja Yoga
H
e
a
r
t

r
a
t
e

/

m
i
n
Sahaja State Sahaja State Sahaja State
Systolic Blood
Pressure
Gr. I: Systolic BP at 0
weeks before and after
‘Sahaja State’
121.7----------------119
Systolic BP at 12 weeks
before and after ‘Sahaja
State’
115-------------------104
Statistically significant
124
122
120
118
116
114
112
110
108
106
104
0
0 5 10 15 20 25
=
Systolic blood pressure in group I
subjects after Sahaja yoga Training
5 Mins before
Sahaja Yoga
20 Mins during
Sahaja Yoga
5 Mins after
Sahaja Yoga
control
4 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
S
y
s
t
o
l
i
c

B
l
o
o
d

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

i
n

m
m

o
f

H
g
Sahaja State Sahaja State Sahaja State
Systolic Blood pressure in group I
Subjects after Sahaja State training
Diastolic Blood
Pressure
Gr. I: Diastolic BP at 0
weeks before and after
‘Sahaja State’
83.7----------------83
Diastolic BP at 12 weeks
before and after ‘Sahaja
State’
76-------------------72
Statistically not significant
84
82
80
78
76
74
72
70
0
0 5 10 15 20 25
=
Diastolic blood pressure in group I
subjects after Sahaja yoga Training
5 Mins before
Sahaja Yoga
20 Mins during
Sahaja Yoga
5 Mins after
Sahaja Yoga
control
4 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
D
i
a
s
t
o
l
i
c

B
l
o
o
d

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

i
n

m
m

o
f

H
g
Sahaja State Sahaja State Sahaja State
Diastolic blood pressure in group I
Subjects after Sahaja State training
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
0
0 5 10 15 20 25
=
5 Mins before
Sahaja Yoga
20 Mins during
Sahaja Yoga
5 Mins after
Sahaja Yoga
control
4 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks
B
r
e
a
t
h
s
/
m
i
n
Respiratory rate in group I subjects Sahaja
Respiratory
Rate/min
Gr. I: Respiratory rate at 0
weeks before and after
‘Sahaja State’
20.75----------------19.12
Respiratory rate at 12 weeks
before and after ‘Sahaja
State’
17.5-------------------12.25
Statistically significant
Gr. II: Mean RR ↓ ↓↓ ↓
13.8--------------------10.3
Statistically significant
Sahaja State Sahaja State Sahaja State
Respiratory rate in group I Subjects in Sahaja State
Gr I – Control of 43
Kohm increased to 104
Kohm and further
Increased to 121.7
Kohm during 20
minutes of ‘Sahaja
State’
Gr. II – 130 Kohm
Starting which
increased to 181.85
Kohm
During 20 minutes.
GSR in subjects
Already practicing
‘Sahaja State’
• Decrease in sympathetic activity causes decrease in
sweating in palms and leads to increased GSR.
In short, ‘Sahaja State’ knocks off the over active
Sympathetic Nervous System, which is often seen as
a Cardinal manifestation of Stress.
GALVANIC SKIN RESISTANCE
• Changes in Skin Resistance are measure of Sweat
gland activity.
• Inactive sweat glands offer increased resistance.
• It is well known that Sweat gland activity is controlled by
Sympathetic Nervous System.
This Cooling sensation is objectively also
recorded during ‘Sahaja State’
• Gr I – There was
0.4 degree C drop in
palmar skin temp.
after 12 weeks
• Gr II – There was
approx 0.75 degree
C drop in palmar
Skin Temp.
Statistically significant
Group II
Group I
STRESS: BAD MOLECULES !!
Blood Lactic Acid Concentrations
• Blood Lactic acid levels drop in both groups significantly
• Blood lactate levels have been shown to increase in anxiety neurosis patients
and indeed Pitts (1967) has shown that infusion of lactate ions can produce
anxiety symptoms in predisposed individuals
15141312110Blood lactic acid mg% Control 8weeks12we eks *p<0.05 **p< 0.01 8.8 8.6 8.4 8.2 8.0 0Blood lactic acid mg% BeforeSahajaYog a AfterSahaja Yoga ***p<0. 001
STRESS : BAD MOLECULES !!
URINARY VMA
• Gr I – Initial Value 5.72/24 hrs dropped to 4.15 mg/24 hrs.
• Gr II – Value dropped from 3.74 mg/24 hrs to 3.17/24 hrs.
• Both results statistically significant.
Subjects already
practicing
‘Sahaja State’
1. These physiological parameters studied are the
parameters influenced during stress.
2. Various studies have shown that in stress there is
increase in HR,RR,BP, U.VMA & blood lactate
levels.
Hence Sahaja State a Unique state of
Consciousness (Thoughtless Awareness or Mental
Silence State) causes a de-stressing effect on the
body and helps the Development of Brain’s
defenses against Psychological and Physiological
Stress.
Physiological changes during ‘Sahaja State’
EEG and
EEG and


Thoughtless Awareness
Thoughtless Awareness


Aftanas LI, et al. 2001
variable impact of stress on immune system variable impact of stress on immune system
(Adapted from Robert Sapolsky in Nerson, 2001)
STRESS and IMMUNE Function
STRESS and IMMUNE Function
Links Between the Neuroendocrine
and Immune Systems
* Role of Sahaja Meditation in prevention and treatment of cancer. S Rai - IJCP 1995
Conducted At:
INTERNATIONAL SAHAJA YOGA REASEARCH & HEALTH CENTER, MUMBAI,
INDIA
STUDY : Effect of Alteration of Consciousness
“Thoughtless Awareness” on Psychological Health
Conducted By:
MEDICINE & PSYCHIATRY DEPT. OF MAHATMA GANDHI MISSION
MEDICAL COLLEGE & HOSPITALS, MUMBAI, INDIA
Investigators :
* Dr.Sandeep Rai Dr.Shaunak Ajinkya Dr.Madhur Rai
Dr.Shilpa Tatpare
Participants:
* Total of 178 subjects were recruited in the study.
* 80 male & 98 female.
* Age ranging from 18 to 66 years.
* Study population represented
a cross section of people all over
the world.
* Study period : One year
Methods:
Central theme – ‘Thoughtless Awareness’ or ‘Sahaja State’ by Sahaja
Meditation
STUDY : Effect of Alteration of Consciousness
“Thoughtless Awareness” on Psychological Health
Methods:
* Self reporting questionnaire GHQ was given to all before and after
the study period
* Based on the scores two groups were made
* First group – ‘Apparently normal mental health’
* Second group – Psychological problems
* CAS and BDI were additionally given to second group
Results:
STUDY : Effect of Alteration of Consciousness
“Thoughtless Awareness” on Psychological Health
GROUP 1 : ‘Apparently normal mental health’
* Mean GHQ scores decreased from 52 to 40 (p < 0.001) Significant change
GROUP 2 :
* Mean GHQ scores decreased from 72 to 46 (p<0.001)
* Mean CAS scores decreased from 11 to 4.5 (p<0.001) Significant change
* Mean BDI scores decreased from 9 to 3 (p<0.001)
No significant difference with regard to Sex, Marital status, Education
Analysis :
* Psychological health significantly improved in both groups(p<0.001)
* First group – ‘Apparently normal mental health’ significant
improvement (p<0.001)
* Second group – Psychological problems
* CAS and BDI were significantly improved (p<0.001)
* No difference sex, marital status, education
STUDY : Effect of Alteration of Consciousness
“Thoughtless Awareness” on Psychological Health
* IMPROVES PSYCOLOGICAL HEALTH IN SUBJECTS WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL
PROBLEMS
* IMPROVES PSYCOLOGICAL HEALTH IN ‘APPARENTLY NORMAL MENTAL
HEALTH’
* TECHNIQUE UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY,
AGE, SEX, MARITAL STATUS, EDUCATION
Psychological Stress :
Risk Factor for many diseases makes this result seen in present study
significant factor in primary prevention of stress related disorders.
No problem can be solved from the same level
of consciousness that created it
Albert Einstein
THANK YOU l