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   Table of Contents - Current issue
July-December 2023
Volume 11 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 77-127

Online since Monday, August 28, 2023

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Conscious experience of self: An ever enchanting phenomenon p. 77
Bindu M Kutty, PN Ravindra
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Kundalini Shakti: The Psychobiological Arousal a Neuroscientific Perspective p. 79
Vinod D Deshmukh
Kundalini Shakti is an ancient Sanskrit word for the psychobiological energy or arousal. Kundalini means coiled up, spiral, circular, or cyclic. Shakti means energy or arousal. Both Indian and European authors have written extensively on this dormant energy and the seven energy circuits or chakras with their symbolic meanings. After reviewing the literature on Kundalini, and briefly summarizing the modern neuroscience of conscious arousal and awareness, it is hypothesized that the lower two Kundalini Chakras, Muladhara and Swadhisthana, are functionally related to the Medullary Reticular Formation; the middle two Chakras, Manipura and Anahata, are functionally related to the Pontine Reticular Formation, and the upper three Kundalini Chakras, Vishudhi, Ajna, and Sahasrara, are functionally related to the Midbrain Reticular Formation and its ascending-activating and descending-deactivating circuits including the Reticular-Limbic, and the Reticular-Thalamic-Cortical-Striatal circuits. In the final section, a brief review of the current literature on the relatively new scientific field of Neuro-Psychobiology and its recent development is provided. There are five major neural networks in the cerebral cortex. They are the Default Mode Network, the fronto-parietal Executive network, the cingulo-opercular salience network, and the Dorsal and Ventral Attention networks. The Salience network senses and appraises the present situation that an organism is facing, and makes an instantaneous decision whether to engage or disengage from the situation actively. Engagement occurs through the Fronto-Parietal network, and disengagement occurs through the Default Mode Network. The Ventral Attention network processes the object that is present, and the Dorsal Attention network maps the experiential space-time, where the object is in relation to the conscious observer, the witness, or the agent of action. Thus, the main function of the Brain-Mind-Self is to adapt to the ongoing self-situation. It is crucial for survival, growth, and flourishing.
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Effect of yoga-based interventions on intraocular pressure: A narrative review p. 85
Jayvindra Singh, VK Katiyar, Daya Shankar Singh, Niranjan Kala
Chronic increase of intraocular pressure (IOP) is highly associated with the development of retinal ganglion cell death and exists as a primary risk factor for various eye disorders, including glaucoma, which is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. In recent years, an increased interest in using complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga has been seen for the treatment of glaucoma. This review is aimed at evaluating and understanding the studies on yoga-based exercises on IOP. Three databases, i.e. PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were searched, and 10 articles were included that met the criteria for inclusion. These studies involved different yoga-based practices such as trataka and eye movements, breathing exercises or pranayama, yoga postures, and meditation. The studies suggested that yoga practices were able to influence IOP levels in both healthy and clinical populations. Yoga postures were associated with an increase in IOP levels, whereas other yoga practices, i.e. eye exercises, pranayama, and meditation, reduced the IOP levels. Yoga-based eye exercises, such as palming, trataka, and eye movement and relaxation, appeared to have the most persistent effects. Yoga practices could decrease IOP levels; however, yoga postures should be contraindicated with patients with glaucoma and higher IOP levels.
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Addressing Intersectionality through Medical Pluralism: Role of Indigenous Healing Systems in Mental Health p. 91
Mahi Singh
As the world experiences rapid industrialization and we stray away from deeper aspects of being, there is an alarming increase in problems related to mental health. A paucity of mental health professionals burdens health-care systems worldwide, and this problem has become more evident postpandemic. Such a situation indicates a gap that indigenous healing systems can bridge. This article aims to recognize the role of indigenous healing systems in mental health promotion. We also focus on how alternative medicine addresses cultural differences in mental health. After a brief comparison between conventional and alternative medicine, we explore possibilities for collaboration between the two. Findings suggest that individuals in emerging and low-income countries widely resorted to alternative medicine. It has a comprehensive set of benefits but also has its limitations as it is a loosely regulated field. Alternative practices remain a popular healthcare choice in emerging countries, and combining them with conventional medicine opens up new possibilities for holistic healing and decolonizing narratives in mental health.
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Effect of Mindfulness-based Interventions on Mental Health of Women with Infertility: A Narrative Review p. 98
Smarika Dalal
Background: By instinct, human beings have desire to propagate their genes. Infertility can be very painful for the individuals. The men and women with this medical condition are not just battling physiological problems but also dealing with psychological, emotional, and social battles, including low self-esteem, stress, depression, frustration, hopelessness, anxiety, feeling of guilt and worthlessness, insecurity in marital relationship, marital discords and lesser marital satisfaction. Women population is more vulnerable to the psycho-social consequences of infertility. Though many research studies have been conducted to investigate the psycho-social impact of infertility on women, the research literature on the combative role of mindfulness-based interventions on mental health of women have been limited. Mindfulness as a psycho-therapeutic intervention has been shown to be effective in chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, anxiety, depression and pain. The mindfulness-based interventions in individuals with chronic conditions can assist them to accept the condition and overcome the psychological issues that arise due to the physical health conditions. Infertility is a physical health condition that has strong psychological consequences. Thus, there is a need to study the impact of these interventions on women population suffering from infertility. The purpose of the present study is to explore the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on the mental health of the women with infertility. Objective: In light of the foregoing history, the current review's research question is “Are mindfulness-based interventions effective in improving mental health of women with infertility?” Methods: This is a narrative review guided by systematic approach to searching. Prominent research databases were used to locate empirical articles reporting on the efficacy of mindfulness-based therapies on mental health of infertile women between 2000 and 2020. There were no restrictions on participant demographics including age, sex, geography, socioeconomic status, or year of publication. Only empirical studies which investigated mindfulness-based interventions on mental health (anxiety, stress, depression, quality of life and psychological well-being) of infertile women were included in the review. Results: Seventeen papers were considered in the review which involved 983 females. Depression, anxiety, stress, quality of life and psychological well-being were taken as measures of mental health of infertile women. The studies have confirmed that the mindfulness-based interventions are highly helpful for women with infertility. The interventions have successfully reduced stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms among the participants as well as enhanced their quality of life and psychological well-being.
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Effectiveness of self-reflection enhancement strategy on self-concept and skill of coping with stress among upper primary school students p. 106
M N. Mohamedunni Alias Musthafa, Manoj Kumar Dewtwal, Rini E Stephen
Introduction: Swami Vivekananda is the symbol of the self-concept who has propagated the Indian Knowledge System in western countries. His life philosophy become more relevant during the pandemic period when people are distressed due to various adversities. In the present study, a strategy was developed based on the philosophy and methodology of Swami Vivekananda to improve the self-concept and skill of coping with stress among upper primary school students. Materials and Methods: 240 sixth-standard students were selected as the sample. Students were allotted four classes and two classes were randomly assigned as the experimental group and two as the control group. Assessments were done using the Self-Concept Rating Scale (SCRS) and The Pandemic Stress Coping Scale (PSCS). The experiment group was treated with the Self-Reflection Enhancement Strategy (SRES) for one month. Discussion: The experimental groups have improved their self-concept P =0.05) and stress coping skills (P =0.05) compared to the control group. Conclusion: The Self-Reflection Enhancement Strategy is found to be very much effective in enhancing the self-concept and coping skills among students.
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New quantum spin perspective and space-time of mind-stuff p. 112
Rakshit P Vyas, Mihir J Joshi
The fundamental building block of the loop quantum gravity (LQG) is the spin network which is used to quantize the physical space-time in the LQG. Recently, the novel quantum spin is proposed using the basic concepts of the spin network. This perspective redefines the notion of the quantum spin and also introduces the novel definition of the reduced Planck constant. Implications of this perspective are not only limited to the quantum gravity, but also found in the quantum mechanics. Using this perspective, we propose the quantization of the space-time of the mind-stuff. Similarity between the physical space-time and the space-time of the mind-stuff provides novel notions to study the space-time scientifically as well philosophically. The comparative study between the physical-space-time and the space-time of the mind-stuff is also given.
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Intraocular pressure variation in response to yoga ocular exercises p. 120
Satish Kumar Gupta, S Aparna
Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) beyond the normal range (10–21 mmHg) plays a major role in optic nerve damage in long run, leading to glaucoma. This report describes a case of an individual with raised IOP (baseline), i.e., 25 mmHg in the right eye (RE) and 24 mmHg in the left eye (LE). Optical coherence tomography reported a mild optic disc cupping in both eyes with the cup: disc ratio of 0.68:1 in RE and 0.54:1 in LE. The anterior chamber angle and visual fields were normal in both eyes. The clinical findings revealed a diagnosis of “non-glaucomatous optic disc cupping” in both eyes. The patient was advised to practice yoga ocular exercises for 30 min/day for 5 days a week for upto 6 weeks. The IOP was measured for both eyes at the end of each week for upto 6 weeks, and then, the patient was followed up after 1 month, 2 months, and 10 months. The baseline IOP significantly reduced to 16 mmHg in RE and 15 mmHg in LE after 6 weeks, which suddenly elevated to 22 mmHg in RE and 21 mmHg in LE after 1 month of exercises cessation. All other ocular parameters were stable at 10 months follow-up. The yoga ocular exercises exhibit a significant reduction in IOP until they are practiced and demonstrate a rebound effect as well. Hence, it can be considered an adjunct therapy for the treatment and management of various ocular diseases associated with ocular hypertension such as glaucoma.
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Yoga and self-reflection p. 126
Vinod Kumar, Pooja More, Mariamma Phillip, Naren P Rao, BN Gangadhar
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