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TOPIC: Physical Effects of Practice

Physical Effects of Practice 24 Dec 2013 18:58 #17595

I'm sure there is a thread about this somewhere and I'm just too lazy to look. But I want to know if anyone has some insight into the effects of this practice on one's body.

In my case, one thing I've noticed for certain is that my hands are warm a lot of the time, even very warm. This has been true for a number of months now. In the past they would easily get cold.

Second, last winter I had one miserable bout of bronchitis after another. This year, I have hardly had a sniffle, with exactly one instance of coughing brought on by dryness. I have been in close contact with people who've had colds. (I will admit to a flu shot, but I have had influenza once in my entire life, so it hasn't been something to which I'm susceptible.)

Third, I do experience inflammation, and in fact had a bad flareup of fibromyalgia a couple of days ago in the hospital, most likely precipitated by the surgery. I still have to be careful not to overdo. But I made it through the semester with a hip joint and surrounding tissue that was progressively more and more torn up, and my recovery from surgery five days ago has been pretty amazing. I also had major added stress leading up to the surgery, but managed to do what was necessary. My mother is settling into her new living arrangement very nicely, my grades will be turned in on time, and all feels well. I gather that a lot of people find recovery from hip surgery to be much easier than knee or shoulder surgery, but I'm able to do short distances without a walker or cane (although I usually have a walker) and am doing stairs. Pain levels are generally low.

In the hospital, at one point I felt a bout of kriyas come on as I was lying there with a nurse close by. I didn't try to explain anything to her, although she did notice my non-surgical side jumping around a bit. Later when she tried to track my breathing she thought I must have been holding my breath because it was impossible to see. I was at that point in a state of deep relaxation above and beyond the effect of the painkillers.

I am somewhat cherry-picking the evidence here, omitting accounts of chest pains, depression, and that gripping feeling of overwhelm. I really suspect some cycling going on. I don't know what pattern may be here, if any. If anyone else has noticed changes, I'd appreciate hearing about them.
Last Edit: 24 Dec 2013 19:00 by Laurel Carrington.
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Physical Effects of Practice 25 Dec 2013 07:49 #17602

I have had many, but the most recent one was when I had extreme diarrhea after feeling the untying of a knot in my stomach. There was a letting-go thought preceding that event.

Another most memorable one was on retreat a couple years back when I had severe shoulder pain since the beginning of the weeklong retreat. I was stubborn enough to not ask or tell any teachers about it. 4 days into the retreat I could not stand it anymore, and asked my yoga teacher to find out that all I have to do was to pull my shoulder forward a little. I never had that kind of severe shoulder pain again.
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Physical Effects of Practice 25 Dec 2013 14:05 #17603

I saw an article the other day on the NY times or some rival publication about the emergence of probiotics in a psychiatric capacity, being prescribed for treating anxiety, ADHD, and OCD.

So evidently the stuff going on in our guts is pretty connected to our mindstates.
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Physical Effects of Practice 25 Dec 2013 15:19 #17604

I haven't really experienced this, except inasmuch as I've noticed energy movements in my body which seem to coincide with a rising of kundalini energy from the stomach - where it sat as depression, anxiety, and fear - to the chest - but one thing I find interesting especially in relation to Limbic's post aboeve is the gut as the 'second brain' (e.g. 95% of serotonin is in the gut)

Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being
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Physical Effects of Practice 28 Dec 2013 17:16 #17669

Has anyone ever read Dhamma Therapy by Mahasi Sayadaw?

"Skillfully written book which deals with miraculous healing of sicknesses through vipassana."

I haven't read it and frankly never heard it mentioned. Just saw it on a list of his works.
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Physical Effects of Practice 29 Dec 2013 14:40 #17688

Dan wrote:
Has anyone ever read Dhamma Therapy by Mahasi Sayadaw?

"Skillfully written book which deals with miraculous healing of sicknesses through vipassana."

I haven't read it and frankly never heard it mentioned. Just saw it on a list of his works.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for bringing this up. I'd be interested in checking it out, but I can't seem to locate a copy. Do you know where I can download/purchase this?

Thanks!

-Tina
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Physical Effects of Practice 29 Dec 2013 14:46 #17690

Last Edit: 29 Dec 2013 14:48 by Chris Marti.
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Physical Effects of Practice 29 Dec 2013 14:54 #17691

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Physical Effects of Practice 29 Dec 2013 14:56 #17692

Thank Google. 'Twasn't me.
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Physical Effects of Practice 29 Dec 2013 15:21 #17693

Thanks Chris. I meant to include that "online book shop" link.

Tina, if you buy the book please report back.
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Physical Effects of Practice 29 Dec 2013 15:44 #17695

Less tension and anxiety seems to impact things like aches and pains and minor illnesses (which seem aggravated by stress or tension). I think that accounts for a good deal of it. I am less prone to long-lasting aches and pains (ie after a long trip I might have back pain, but it shakes out in a few days rather than setting in for months). I am less prone to colds and other minor ailments. But I also don't care much if I have minor aches or ailments - I just take care of them as possible (bandaids, tea, etc.) and go about my business. The "Oh my God I have a belly ache I'm going to die" freak-out response seems to have gone away. Thank God. We really do so much drama don't we!
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Physical Effects of Practice 30 Dec 2013 03:46 #17705

A lot of the Mahasi books I read had many stories of people with very serious illnesses which were cured by vipassana, which I think may be related to 'dhamma therapy.' I was dubious - not that such a thing can happen, I certainly believe there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Western medicine's philosophy, but that in general the curing of serious organic illnesses is a common side-effect of intensive vipassana. From memory, it was also related to the nanas - I think it might have been in EQ, which, as we'll remember, in Mahasi is a serious business of sitting happily for three hours at a stretch, that these things were said to occur). Of course, even the line between 'organic' and other types of physical problem, is a highly fungible one...
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Physical Effects of Practice 30 Dec 2013 21:02 #17771

The most striking physical effect for me is that around 2nd path my life-long trouble with seasickness/travelsickness went (almost) away.
And more generally, things that made me nauseous don't anymore.

OTOH I can right now recognize physical sensations that could be associated with nausea. Hmmm...

Same thing could be said about headaches, but to a lesser degree.
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Physical Effects of Practice 30 Dec 2013 22:08 #17772

I had one effect where beforehand, all life long I could get squeamish about possible picking something up in the wrong way and pinching the bones of my thumb against the skin, and last year all of a sudden I felt a very strong and specific vibration in my left thumb and it was accompanied with a lot of macabre imagery, and it stayed that way for a week while slowly palliating. Now I don't have any hesitancy in that area like I did before
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