Our whole body structure is in rhythmical breath motion. Each breath stimulates an electromagnetic field across the upper body, which modulates the transfer of signals that continually communicate up and down the intricate spinal column. The central nervous system and the body's cellular structure are sensitive to internally-generated and external electromagnetic signals. The living cells are detectors of weak, periodic electric fields.
Earth and solar-system extremely low frequencies (ELF) are absorbed within the cell's structure and supply the energy to do the work of the cellular functioning. Your breath rate sets the body rhythm; the music of the Earth seems to control this biologic functioning. The heart muscles resonate at a fundamental node frequency within the spectrum associated with the planetary circumference. The heart muscle crystals serve as sensory receivers and energy transducers. The blood acts as an important carrier of bio-information throughout the body.
We move and live within a vast spectrum of electromagnetic vibrations which continually communicate with our life structure. All of the planets and most of their moons have fundamental frequencies which align exactly within our spectrum of prominent brain-wave rhythms. The body reverberates with the wind of electromagnetic Light; every cell listens to the drumbeat and sings its own unique chord, inducing resonant vibrations throughout the quivering cellular molecules. Your conscious attention watches the swinging gate of breath and selects the cohering rhythm to align your bio-system.
A rhythm of alternating cerebral dominance exists in humans. This rhythm is tightly coupled with the nasal cycle, which shifts in airflow through the left and right nostrils. Greater EEG amplitudes of one brain hemisphere correspond to predominant airflow in the opposite nostril. The nasal cycle is known to be regulated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Forced nostril breathing in one nostril produces a relative increase in the EEG amplitude in the opposite hemisphere.
A number of different research laboratories have reported evidence of the existence of a natural rhythm with ultradian periodicity of alternating dominance between the two cerebral hemispheres in awake humans. EEG experiments have also provided evidence for rhythms of alternating cerebral cortical activity during sleep, which are coupled to the phases of REM (rapid eye movement) and nonREM sleep cycles. This rhythm of the Central Nervous System (CNS) demonstrates a tight coupling of the brain to the nasal cycle, where greater EEG amplitudes correspond to enhanced airflow in the opposite nostril.
The nasal cycle describes an ultradian rhythm of the relative efficiency of breathing in the left and right nares with an average period during waking of 2-3 hours. The ancient yogic literature also describes this alternating breathing rhythm with suggested period alignment with the external planetary and cosmic cycles.
The nasal cycle is regulated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS. Unilateral sympathetic dominance produces vasoconstriction and decongestion in one nare, while a simultaneous parasympathetic dominance exists in the other, producing a vasodilation and congestion of that nare, thereby reducing airflow.
Recent studies of the nasal cycle comparing plasma levels in the venous circulation demonstrate alternating levels of norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine on the two sides of the body with the rhythm of the sympathetic activity in the nose. In addition, the observation of color change in newborn babies has been confirmed to be in rhythm with nasal alternations.
The hypothalamus may be responsible for regulating the cyclical changes in nasal resistance. Experimental evidence shows that the hypothalamus does directly influence the sympathetic innervation of the nasal mucosa. A lateralized vasoconstriction on one side of the brain and the relative dilation of blood vessels on the other may be the means by which a central mechanism regulates the alternating dominance of the cerebral hemispheres.
The endogenous rhythm of alternating cerebral dominance is tightly coupled to the nasal cycle; this suggests that unilateral, forced nostril breathing does selectively alter the pattern of cortical dominance as exhibited by EEG amplitude activity. Enhanced cognitive performance was correlated with forced breathing through the opposite nostril, and forced nostril breathing exercises produce a shift in the dominance of the EEG amplitudes in the two hemispheres. An untrained individual can use unilateral forced nostril breathing to alter their cerebral activity. The increased EEG amplitudes reflect enhanced mental activity.
The testing of performance efficiencies of verbal and spatial tasks during both phases of the nasal cycle resulted in demonstrating that verbal efficiency is greater while the subjects were breathing primarily in the right nostril and that spatial skills were enhanced during left nostril dominance. The experiments with unilateral forced nostril breathing help to further define the relationship between the nasal cycle and the alternating of EEG activity on the two sides of the brain. This inter-hemispheric association has been proposed to determine a given individual's mental perspective at any given moment.
The nasal mucosa is one of the most abundant tissues that is innervated by both the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Greater airflow or decongestion in one nostril is regulated by greater sympathetic activity in the nasal mucosa of that side. Congestion or diminished airflow is maintained by enhanced parasympathetic dominance.
Enhanced sympathetic dominance in the nasal mucosa would correspond to greater sympathetic tone in the ipsilateral hemisphere, and therefore, lesser blood flow and mental activity. Experiments were performed to investigate the possible effects of altering the natural phase of the nasal cycle on the pattern of EEG activity in the two hemispheres. The results indicate that forced nostril breathing through one side can generate a relative increase in the EEG activity of the opposite hemisphere. The effect appeared to be generalized across the entire hemisphere. The effects of the breathing exercises produced almost immediate changes in the EEG activity.
Experiments have shown the activating effect of hyperventilation through the nose (as opposed to oral breathing) on EEG activity in the cortex in human and nonhuman species. This suggests that the EEG activity is produced by a neural reflex mechanism in the superior nasal meatus. This activating effect could be elicited by air insufflation into the upper nasal cavity without pulmonary exercise. Researchers did find activation of cortical activity by deep nasal and /or uninostril breathing as opposed to oral breathing.
The consistent and selective effect of forced uninostril breathing in normal subjects on the general pattern of EEG activity in the hemispheres suggests the possibility of therapeutic approaches to states where hemispheric dysfunction has been shown to occur. Schizophrenia is associated with greater left cerebral hemisphere dysfunction and depression and other affective disorders are associated with greater right hemisphere dysfunction. Cases of acute personality shift was also accompanied by an immediate shift in nasal dominance.
The data from these studies clearly suggest that individual conscious awareness and control of the breathing rhythms offer a means of synchronizing ones attention with the body vibrations, the cellular rhythms and the mental activity. In addition, this cyclical awareness offers a means of selecting types of mental activity and enhancing its probable output efficiency.
Alternating Cerebral Hemispheric Activity. Werntz, Bickford, Bloom, Shannahoff-Khalsa; Human Neurobiology (1983) 2:39-43
Alternating Lateralization of Plasma Catechcolamines and Nasal Patency in Humans. Kennedy, Ziegler, Shannahoff-Khalsa; Life Sciences, Vol.38, pp,1203-1214.1986
Nasal Airflow Assymmetries and Human Performance. Klein, Pilon, Prosser, Shannahoff-Khalsa; Biological Psychology 23 (1986)
Selective Hemispheric Stimulation by Unilaterial Forced Nostril Breathing;. Werntz, Bickford, Shannahoff-Khalsa; Human Neurobiology (1987) 6:165-171.
Nature's Finer Forces; Rama Prasad; Theosophical Pub.House; Madras, India; 1947.
Rhythms of Being; E. E. Richards; The Third International Keely Conference, Phil., Pa.1990.