Did you know that you can access your inner pharmacy on demand? Until recently, we were absolutely certain that the autonomic nervous system could not be consciously controlled. Things like heart beat, pupil dilation, digestion, and arousal were considered automatic processes only.
However, there are ancient Yogic techniques and modern scientific research that tells us otherwise. It is totally possible to have control over our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and our immune response (Kox et al., 2014)!
This is what I call your Inner Pharmacy.
Ancient Yogic Techniques to Access Your Inner Pharmacy
It is possible, by using the Mula Bandha, to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system (Malshe, 2017).
Another Yogic technique for activating the SNS is Asvini Mudra: the repeated contraction and relaxation of the anal sphincter.
There is research to show that contracting the external sphincter can increase your heart rate significantly more than if you contracted a much larger muscle in the body like your bicep or glutei. Contracting the sphincter is also linked to increased blood pressure and dilation of the pupils (Malshe, 2017).
Possible uses for activating the nervous system include:
- Unblocking the nose
Contracting the external anal sphincter causes nasal mucous to dry up. With repeated practice, wheezing caused by excess mucous also clears up.
- Voluntary activation of the immune system
When you activate the SNS, there is a higher production of adrenaline (epinephrine), which leads to increased production of anti-inflammatory cells (Kox et al., 2014).
- Voluntary control over penis erection and ejaculation
Practising the Mula Bandha daily could help with control over penis erection and ejaculation.
Modern Research to Acces Your Inner Pharmacy
Wim Hof is well known for doing sports in extreme weather conditions. He has run marathons in temperatures of roughly -20°C in the arctic circle and also in temperatures of up to 40°C in the Namib Desert. Once, he stayed submerged in ice for almost 2 hours, and his core body temperature stayed the same. He has been quoted as saying that he controls his body temperature, hormone regulation, and nervous systems with his breath and his mind alone. It is thanks to Wim Hof and his research that we are able to rediscover our innate ability to control our nervous systems for improved health.
In 2014, research was published to show that a number of people successfully controlled their response to E. Coli bacteria after learning Wim Hof’s methods which included meditation, breathwork techniques that created brief intermittent periods of respiratory alkalosis and hypoxia, and also cold water exposure (Kox et al., 2014).
Their research found that by consciously activating the SNS, it produces adrenaline and cortisol, which play parts in the healing process and in the activation of the immune system for recovery.
So there you have it! It is possible to activate your inner pharmacy and recover from illness, reduce or remove symptoms of chronic illness, and of course prevent illness just by harnessing the power of your breath!