Mental, Emotional and Psychological Healing and Restoration With Yoga Nidra
The Four Phases of Stress Disorders
In a recent study, Dr. K.N. Udupa of the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, has proposed the following four phases of stress disorders.
- Psychic phase
Here the individual develops the first root cause of stress illness on the psychological level as a result from excessive tension, stress and trauma. An inability to adapt to changes in the environment causes the central nervous system to become overactive. The person becomes irritable and tense the more that the stress is prolonged. This affects their sleep patterns, leading to less restorative rest and increased anxiousness throughout the day, which only compounds the psychological stress and tension. They appear frustrated and may dwell on impending disasters, which often leads to elevated blood pressure. This phase can extend from a few days to a few months, depending on the type and severity of the underlying stress, and on the type of body constitution and personality.
- Psychosomatic phase
If the psychic phase of stress and tension is prolonged then certain physical manifestations become evident such as palpitations, tremors, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, raised blood pressure and rapid pulse. The psychological stress is now manifesting as measurable behavioral symptoms.
- Somatic phase
If the psychosomatic phase of stress and tension is prolonged then there is increased stress on the various organs. The stress begins to overwhelm a particular organ, depending on a person’s hereditary background and environmental factors. One individual will develop a hyperthyroid state, another an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure, another elevated acid levels in the stomach, and so on.
- Organic phase
If the somatic phase of stress and tension is prolonged then it begins to manifest as illness and/or disease, which has now fully settles down into a particular organ. The earlier psychosomatic and somatic excessive functions lead to chronic inflammation and actual organ destruction begins. The individual develops the signs of measurable clinical conditions. The end result is decreased immune function, the person becomes prone to viral and bacterial infections, and begins to develop the various well-known diseases and illnesses.
The various diseases and illnesses we know so well are the end result of this process, which started off as psychological stress, tension and trauma. If we are able to root out the source of the stress in the psyche before it develops into psychosomatic illness, then later illness and disease can be avoided. Perhaps the best methods for achieving this relief on the causal level of disease is prayer, chanting mantras, kirtan and meditation. Meditation is the greatest form of self therapy, and in particular yoga nidra as it is a form of meditation anyone can do, even if bedridden.
By the time the disease has manifested on the physical dimension during the organic phase, allopathic medicine is prescribed in the form of medication and sometimes even surgery. To address the somatic and psychosomatic phase the less invasive homeopathic remedies can be utilized. However, to achieve relief on the causal level of stress within the psyche we turn to relaxation exercises such as yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra not only provides deeper relaxation than even normal sleep, but it increases self-awareness so you are able to identify the source of stress and nervous tension within the mental processes. By remaining a detached witness and allowing all repressed emotions and disturbing thoughts to come to the surface they can be expressed and divested of their pranic charge. In other words, it takes a certain amount of prana to keep thoughts, emotions and traumatic memories suppressed beneath the surface of consciousness. Once you allow that prana to manifest in the form of facing these repressed thought forms and impressions, while remaining a detached witness, then it loses it’s momentum in the psyche and can no longer be a cause of psychological tension.
This is why it is so important to do yoga nidra on a regular basis. You are literally diffusing diseases and illnesses at their psychic root, preventing them from further developing into psychosomatic, somatic and eventually organic (or physical) illnesses. In this way yoga nidra maintains physical and psychological health and homeostasis.