Ancient Science of Life

SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year
: 2016  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3--5

Effect of a Single Musical Cakra Activation Manoeuvre on Body Temperature: An Exploratory Study


Sundar Sumathy1, Parin N Parmar2,  
1 Center for Music Therapy Education and Research, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Puducherry, India
2 Research Associate and Faculty, Chennai School of Music Therapy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Parin N Parmar
“Niraj,” 1/4, Jyotinagar, Kalawad Road, Rajkot - 360 005, Gujarat
India

Abstract

Cakra activation/balancing and music therapy are part of the traditional Indian healing system. Little is known about effect of musical (vocal) technique of cakra activation on body temperature. We conducted a single-session exploratory study to evaluate effects of a single musical (vocal) cakra activation manoeuvre on body temperature in controlled settings. Seven healthy adults performed a single musical (vocal) cakra activation manoeuvre for approximately 12 minutes in controlled environmental conditions. Pre- and post-manoeuvre body temperatures were recorded with a clinical mercury thermometer. After a single manoeuvre, increase in body temperature was recorded in all seven subjects. The range of increase in body temperature was from 0.2×F to 1.4×F; with mean temperature rise being 0.5×F and median temperature rise being 0.4×F. We conclude that a single session of musical (vocal) technique of cakra activation elevated body temperatures in all 7 subjects. Further research is required to study effects of various cakra activation techniques on body temperature and other physiological parameters.



How to cite this article:
Sumathy S, Parmar PN. Effect of a Single Musical Cakra Activation Manoeuvre on Body Temperature: An Exploratory Study.Ancient Sci Life 2016;36:3-5


How to cite this URL:
Sumathy S, Parmar PN. Effect of a Single Musical Cakra Activation Manoeuvre on Body Temperature: An Exploratory Study. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Jul 21 ];36:3-5
Available from: http://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2016/36/1/3/195414


Full Text

 Introduction



The concept of cakras and kundalinī energy has been described in Yoga, Ayurveda and other ancient Indian and eastern traditional medicine systems.[1],[2]Cakras are considered to be part of the human energy body. Kundalinī is a dormant energy which can be activated using various techniques; spontaneous activation is also possible. Different healing methods such as yoga, meditation, qi-gong, music therapy, reiki, acupuncture, etc., are believed to work with energy systems of the body as one of several mechanisms.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Various cakra activation and cakra balancing techniques have been described in ancient literature including certain types of Yogāsanas (postures), breathing techniques, meditation techniques, etc., Such traditions might have been developed due to safety concerns as kundalinī awakening has been associated with mystical and frightening experiences.[4]

Although some researchers have explored Human Energy Field or Aura recently,[6],[7],[8] scientific studies exploring effects of cakras on human physiology are limited in number. We conducted this study as an exploratory study to evaluate effect of vocal cakra activation technique on body temperature.

 Subjects and Methods



The study was conducted as a single-session exploratory study. Seven healthy adult subjects trained in Indian Classical music (1 male and 6 females, age ranging from 18 years to 60 years) were included in the study after taking informed consent. All seven subjects were explained and demonstrated the technique of cakra activation on the day before the study.

The study was conducted under controlled indoor environment. The room wherein subjects performed the manoeuvres was air-conditioned (28°C) and was free from external noise, movements and interference. The subjects entered the room 1 hour before the scheduled time for the study to ensure acclimatization with room temperature and environment.

Pre-manoeuvre oral temperature was measured by placing a clinical mercury thermometer under the tongue for 3 minutes and was recorded in Fahrenheit. No food or liquid was allowed 30 minutes prior to the temperature measurement.

All seven subjects performed the cakra activation manoeuvre for approximately 12 minutes. Immediately after completion of the manoeuvre, post–manoeuvre body temperatures were measured and recorded with the same thermometer. The results were analyzed with descriptive statistics and sign test.

Cakra activation manoeuvre for our study used vocal technique as follows: A single manoeuvre consisted of 6 cycles. Each cycle consisted of singing ascending notes “S”, “R”, “G”, “M”, “P”, “D”, “N”, “S” (higher) followed by descending notes “N”, “D”, “P”, “M”, “G”, “R”, “S”. The subjects were allowed to pause for inhalation in between. The notes were with microtones relating to rāga Māyāmālavagaula. Last 3 cycles consisted of singing “Om” (a traditional devotional chant) instead of the notes in the same ascending and descending order. The manoeuvre lasted for approximately 12 minutes. The manoeuvre required that every subject would sing comfortably without any strain or extra effort.

We did not come across any literature on the specific pitch to be used for the cakra activation manoeuvre in both Carnatic music and Hindustani music. Other eastern traditions using western music for cakra activation use C as the pitch for the manoeuvre. In this study, a pitch and the rāga were chosen which were comfortable for both male and female participants. Both the pitch and the rāga were the same for all participants. The common pitch chosen was F sharp. The cakra activation manoeuvre was constructed by us, based on science of effects of music on energy body described in ancient scripts.

 Results



Results of our study, as pre-manoeuvre and post-manoeuvre body temperatures, are shown in [Table 1].{Table 1}

After a single session of vocal cakra activation manoeuvre, body temperature was elevated in all 7 subjects. The range of rise in body temperature was from 0.2°F to 1.4°F. The mean pre-manoeuvre temperature was 98.6°F (SD 0.373) and the mean post-manoeuvre temperature was 99.1°F (SD 0.709). The mean temperature rise was 0.5°F and the median temperature rise was 0.4°F. There were 7 positive differences and 0 negative differences; the difference being statistically significant using the sign test (P = 0.016, P < 0.05).

 Discussion



According to the ancient literature, cakras are part of subtle or energy body of human being. Seven major cakras are considered to be located vertically along the spine from the base of the spine up to the crown area [Table 2]. These cakras are believed to regulate flow of energy within the energy body. For complete physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of an individual, all seven cakras need to be balanced. Any imbalance in one or more cakra/s is said to be associated with psychological or physical disturbances or disorders. In addition to seven cakras, a few minor cakras have also been described.[9]{Table 2}

Cakra activation/balancing is one of the ancient healing practices described in the ancient literature, which aims to balance energy levels associated with different cakras in the body.[10],[11] The role of music in healing is well known in Indian literature and vibrations generated by different musical notes are believed to have effects on the energy system of the body.[10],[11] In Indian classical music, there are seven main notes (S, R, G, M, P, D, N) and 22 microtones as per ancient texts. Each of the seven cakras is believed to be associated with specific one of the seven main notes [10] as mentioned in [Table 2]. In our study, we used a vocal technique which required singing each of the seven notes in ascending and descending manner during exhalation for 6 repetitions. For singing, we have used notes of rāga Māyaāmālavagaula, considered an auspicious rāga in Carnatic Music. The microtones for the rāga are S, R1, G3, M1, P, D1 and N3. It is also considered to be a basic rāga and is relatively easy for beginners to learn.

In modern times, the concepts of cakra system and energy (Kundalinī) have been explored by many researchers, including CG Jung, the eminent psychologist and founder of many concepts of modern psychology.[12] A recent study conducted in India [13] used Gas Discharge Visualization (GDV) using a Kirlian camera to measure subtle energy levels in human subjects. Some researchers have correlated cakra with germ cell system.[14] Efforts have also been made to correlate cakra energy system and meridian system (basis for acupuncture) and to propose a unified basis of cakra system and meridian system.[14]

Temperature regulation in the human physiology is very complex. It requires highly coordinated interactions between thermosensors, thermoeffectors and thermoregulatory system to maintain normal body temperature in various healthy and diseased conditions.[15] Interestingly, the spinal cord plays an important role in thermoregulation;[16] the location of the cakras is also said to be along the spine.

We considered a remote possibility that approximately 12 minutes of singing could be considered a “vocal exercise” and might cause slight elevation in body temperature. However, two of seven subjects showed more than 0.5°F (1.4°F and 0.8°F respectively) rise in body temperature immediately after the manoeuvre, which could not be expected from simple “vocal exercise.” Hence we believe that the observed increases in body temperature in our subjects has related to changes in body energy triggered by the cakra activation manoeuvre.

All the subjects were trained in Indian classical music singing, which was important for our study because singing with correct pitch and microtones is not easy without proper training and regular practice. This strength could be a limitation also, as the current study cannot be generalized to untrained populations. Recording and analysis of each individual note produced by each of the subjects was not done. Important limitations of the study were the small sample size and absence of a control group. As the study design was that of a pilot study, a small sample size may be justified. To increase accuracy and repeatability, future studies may be planned with improvements such as experimental study designs, increased number of subjects, repeated observations on same subjects, and analysis of notes produced by individuals will be helpful to know the effect of cakra activation manoeuvre on the body temperature.

 Conclusion



We report an exploratory study that showed elevation of body temperature after a single session of musical (vocal) technique of cakra activation in all subjects. Further research is required to study effects of various cakra activation techniques on body temperature and other physiological parameters. Scientific research in the field of energy medicine systems, based on ancient wisdom and knowledge, seems to hold promise for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of human beings. Of course, more studies from institutions dedicated to scientific research into ancient traditions and concepts will definitely add to what is already known in this field.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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