Surely, there must be some benefits of
living our lives the modern way like we
do these days: maybe more luxury, greater
pleasures, social recognition, feeling safe or
even simply meeting our basic needs.
Intriguing and biglife questions appear
when we try to make sense to ourselves
about equation of what we get and what it
costs us. What are my options to be happy
in this life? How can I benchmark
my doing? What is out there to help me
improving the quality of my life?
Questions of this magnitude have troubled human kind for ages. Science, art, religion all have their views on these topics. How this is all connected to living our lives and taking care of ourselves? This article shares some ancient insights about balancing our senses, calming the mind and being happy. This knowledge has withstood the test of time for over 5000 years and proved to be remarkably effective yet surprisingly simple, now introducing tanmatra healing to you.
The five elements (space, air, fire, water & earth) manifest in the
functioning of the five senses (hearing, touch, sight, taste and
smell) as well as in certain functions of human physiology. Tan
means subtle and matra means elements. Tanmatra is a Sanskrit
word which means – rudimentary or subtle element, merely that
or mere essence. There are five sense perceptions – hearing,
touch, sight, taste and smell, and there are the five tanmatras
corresponding to the five sense perceptions and five sense-organs.
The tanmatras combine and re-combine in different ways
to produce the gross elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether,
which make up the gross universe perceived by the senses. The
senses play their part by coming into contact with the objects,
and carry impressions of them to the manas which receives and
arranges them into a precept.
So the tanmatras, the subtle elements, are the objects of the five senses. The five tanmatras are sound, touch, form, taste, and odor or smell; the five senses are hearing, tactile perception, vision, taste, and smell. The tanmatras are the ways in which the objective world is sensed. The five elements have functional integrity with the five sensory organs, which allows us to perceive the external environment. Their presence is the reason for the existence of the senses themselves.”
Our senses are the pathways in which we perceive the world. They are the most powerful perceptions. If even one of them is disabled or disfunctioning the other automatically gets empowered-this is natural. Our body, mind and consciousness are all affected by our senses. We experience the external world through the processes of listening, touching, looking, tasting and smelling. Our experiences with the external world affect the health of our inner world. Tanmatra Healing is the process of healing and balancing the body, mind and consciousness through the five senses (panchatanmatra) – the doorways of perception. This is a worldwide phenomenon that when a person receives healthy impressions we experiences harmony and good health and on the other side of the same coin if unhealthy impressions are perceived we experiences disharmony and are more prone to develop diseases. Just like consuming junk food creates disease in the physical body, the intake of low quality things such as loud music, violent movies and negative conversations directly affect our mental and emotional states. Tanmatra Chikitsa helps restoring the health of body, mind and consciousness by perceiving positive impressions of sound, touch, images, food and aromas. According to Dr. David Frawley, director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, “The mind is very sensitive to impressions. Our impressions feed our life-force and motivate our actions.” So it is very important to take in positive impressions. Positive impressions balance the three basic types of energies Vata (principle of movement), Pitta (principle of transformation) and Kapha (principle of stability) that are present in everyone and in everything. These three energies are called dosha’s and they originate from the five elements: ether, wind, fire, water and earth. At the time of our conception our body and mind type are determined - this state of being is natural for us, and if we deviate from this state we feel out of luck, out of energy and out of flow. Moreover if our doshic equilibrium is disturbed too much for too long time, this unbalanced state initiates the disease process. The doshas can be rebalanced through the subtle therapy of subtle elements healing (TanmatraChikitsa) , as well as other Ayurvedic therapies such as Panchakarma, massage, diet, yoga, pranayama and meditation. So what can we actually do in our daily lives to improve our wellbeing? Tanmatra Chikitsa is all about applying different sounds, sights, smells, tastes and touch to energize and promote a healthy body, mind and consciousness.
Veda’s date as much as 8000 years back and represent the most ancient scriptures of our human civilization. They reveal the insight that the word sound or vibration is the originating source of all life. Human beings have always been affected by different sounds waves in their lives whether heart, drum, vocal or instrumental music. Sound can provide a foundation for working with all the other senses, including intuition. Sounds clear out emotional blocks and stuck energies. Traditionally Veda’s prescribe the use of different mantras, each helping the mind travelling to the desired destination. There are mantras working on body, mind and consciousness. It is believed that the appropriate way of repeating specific mantra creates such an impression on the mind that it actually changes its state. During the 1950s and 1960s sound wave therapy was developed in Europe. A machine was developed at that time that treated patients with healing vibrations. The machine was placed on the area to be treated and a frequency was set to match the cells of a healthy body. It is believed that this vibrationaltherapy makes the cell of the body vibrate at healthy resonance.Sound therapy is effective in treating conditions such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure,depression and autism. Sound therapy is used to restore the functions of the brain. Physical conditions like arthritis, back pain, sports injuries, soft tissue damage and cancer can also be treated by sound therapy. Music therapy helps in synchronizing the functioning of left and right brainhemispheres. Sound waves activate the flow of stored memory across the corpus callosum which brings Harmony. Since music is nonverbal by nature, it will trigger the right hemisphere. When used in a therapeutic nature, the verbalization of words will trigger the logical left brain at the same time. Therefore, music therapy allows communication between the left and right brain. Music stimulates creativity by enhancing the production of alpha and theta waves in the brain. Creative people have different pattern of brain waves than normal or non-creative individuals. Greater production of alpha brain waves induces more creativity.
Synesthesia happens when perception in one sense activates a perception in another sense. A person who experiences musical synesthesia may see a color, smell something, experience a taste, or even feel a change in temperature due to the music they are listing to.
Good smell can uplift the mood of any person. A quick example
– a person having low or no appetite will start feeling hungry
after smelling good food. Fragrance is one of our most primal
senses. The input channels from our sense ofsmell are hardwired
into the limbic centers of our brains where emotion
registers. Therefore, we have a strong emotional response to
smells, and they have the power to elicit both memory and
arousal. A sense of smell plays a very important role in body
mind connection. Like a complete loss of the sense of smell
often leads to depression and also people with severe depression
have less sensitivity to odors.It is scientifically proved that
a decline in the ability to smell may be an early signal of neurological
disorders such as Parkinson’s disorder, Alzheimer’s and
Huntington's diseases. The sense of smell can help to improve
pain tolerance. Any pleasant smell can act as a distraction and
uplift the mood, especially sweet smells. "Sweet tastes reduce
pain by activating opioid systems in the brain and the odorcomes
to activate the same systems. Sense of smell gives instant
relaxation. Different kinds of aromas are used in different meditating
techniques for getting positive attitudes. Aromas have
different effects on everyone, but these natural fragrances are
the known to work similarly upon all of us.
Peppermint is generally invigorating
"Peppermint scent increases activity in the brain area that wakes us up in the morning," says Bryan Raudenbush, a psychologist at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. His research has shown that exercisers run faster and do more push-ups when exposed to the scent. Try a few drops of peppermint oil on a wristband.
Jasmine is a sleep aid.
"Our research has shown that the scent of jasmine in your bedroom leads to a more restful night of sleep and a greater level of alertness the following day," Raudenbush says. Other labs have found that the scent increases the brain waves associated with deep sleep. Put some jasmine oil in a bedside aroma diffuser or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow.
Lavender is generally relaxing
Exposure to lavender scent can decrease heart rate. Use the scent for unwinding at bedtime, suggests Avery Gilbert, a sensory psychologist in Montclair, New Jersey. Or take several whiffs to recharge yourself during work breaks. Japanese researchers find that the practice helps prevent an afternoon slump inconcentration.
Vanilla abets weight loss.
Herz finds that it works as a replacement for the pleasure that you would get from eating sweets—but without the calories. "This is not a scent you would use if you had an empty stomach, because it's likely to just make you hungrier," she says. But if you've had a healthy lunch, it can help curb the craving for a candy bar afterward.
From our first swallow of mother’s milk, we come awake in our sense of taste. It is a difficult fact of modern life that many of us are in a conflict with this very essential sense. We are unsure of that what we take in through our mouths is really good for us—and sometimes we even know beforehand that it isn’t. One way to engage with your sense of taste for the sake of growth is to prepare a ritual meal. It can be ultra simple or deliciously rich, but be sure that you feel good about every ingredient. It’s good to clean your kitchen space before you start and take time to enjoy every step of the preparation. The beauty of the meal is part of the elevating effect. Add music, candles, flowers or other sensory elements as desired, and then feed yourself as if you were feeding a queen or lord. This is a banquet honoring the progress you are making in your life. Receive every bite with pleasure and self-love. What we eat is directly affecting our body, mind and consciousness. In Ayurveda food is divided into Rajasic, Tamsic and Sattwic based upon the qualities of the food, consumption way and time of consumption. Sattwic is simple, timely and adequate eating and thinking. Tamsic is eating heavy, oily, over eating so body and mind become dull and non active. Rajasic is eating non vegetarian and spices so body and mind gives aggravated energy.
From the gentle touch of a compassionate helper to the fiery embrace of tantric love, your state can clearly be enhanced through your sense of touch. Ayurvedic massage gives plenty of attention to the skin, our touch organ. Nourishing medicated oils replenish the moistness of the skin, feed the muscles and even penetrate the bones giving necessary nutrients and medicines to build our body tissues. On the other hand, various dry massages are used to take away excess of fat tissue/ mucus in a gentle rubbing way with dry herbs or sand in sacks. Craniosacral Therapy is based on the principle that the cranial bones, the vertebrae and sacrum share an intrinsic rhythm with the ligaments, muscles and fascia that surrounds them. This rhythm, when synchronized, facilitates smooth movement and circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid. This in turn maintains good lubrication within the intervertebral and facet joints of the spine, and contributes to good health and functionality of the spine and other body systems. This rhythm is termed as the “Breath of Life” and is similar to the concept of “Prana” in Eastern medicine. What craniosacral therapists aim to do is “read” or tap into this rhythm and move their hands in sync with the body to normalize the system. Certain key points on the body –- such as the base of the skull, the area over the sacrum and diaphragm are given special importance to release the soft tissue or bony blocks, so that movement and flow are optimized
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