PRANAYAMA AND PSYCHOSOMATIC DISORDERS
Psychosomatic Disorders are conditions involving the occurrence of physical symptoms without an actual physical source. For example Pain Disorder, Hypochondriasis, Conversion disorder, Somatization disorder, etc. In each of these disorders, there is the presence of physical symptoms however they are manifested physically due to the disturbance of the mind. These issues are also seen in medical conditions like PCOS, gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension headaches, pelvic pain, impotence, frigidity, dermatitis, and ulcers. Hence, these physical symptoms are manifestations of a disturbed mind. Pranayama is a practice of gaining control over one’s breathing. Through the practice of Pranayama, one can regulate or gain mastery over the Pranayama Kosha. By having control over one’s Vital Energy, one can also gain control over the Annamaya Kosha and Manomaya Kosha. Annamaya Kosha is where the body exhibits the physical manifestations. Through controlled breathing such as yogic breathing, the human body activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is vital for restoring equilibrium in the body. It directly affects the Annamaya Kosha as well as the 5 major pranas (Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana). The movement of energy in the body is in control of the individual through the practice of pranayama. By focusing this energy on different pranas brings different benefits eventually leading to a more settled physiological process. Furthermore, when an individual is faced with stress their breathing gets disrupted leading to disruptions in the flow of energy in pranas. Through pranayama, the breathing is controlled, and the flow of energy is directed in an adequate way. Finally, the mastery of Pranayama Kosha leads to strengthening the Manomaya Kosha. The disruptions of the mind, memories, perspective, and intellect. Pranayama helps in grounding and centering one’s attention and awareness to breathing. Momentarily, if the individual is mindful, the disruptions can reduce. This reduction in the fluctuations or disruptions can further weaken the possibility of physical manifestation of stress. Gradually, as the individual gains more and more control over this, and becomes more mindful, the vulnerability reduces even further.
Courtesy To: Shrutika Mishra, RYT – 200 Hour