Control and Refinement of Hormones
At a superficial level, it appears that some chemical processing of the food intakes generates blood, and that the flow of blood is the source of heat and energy in the body. However, deeper analysis has shown that there is a separate mechanism at the root of all functions inside the body, which gives rise to the formation of blood and maintenance of body-energy. The auto-regulatory system of the neurons and the influence of the conscious and unconscious mind on it are also now regarded as a manifestation of some subtler processes. The hormone secreting endocrine glands constitute this subtle system, which is now found to be the basic controller of all functions, qualities, abilities or disabilities of the bodily and mental functions.
The thyroid gland secrets a hormone called thyroxin, which enters the blood stream and reaches different parts of the body. Deficiency of this hormone reduces the absorption rate of oxygen, which often results in disruption of metabolic functions, excessive fatigue, loss of memory and bluntness of mind. Also, the skin and hair become dry, lips and eyelids become lose and appear as pulled downwards. The body fattens and its plumpness is such that pressing a finger makes a groove (depression) in the swollen part. One is unable to bear chill and feels tired because of the reduced level of this hormone. Growth of the thyroid gland results in a swollen, protuberant throat and gives rise to the diseases like goiter. The reasons for abnormal shrinkage or growth of this gland are not fully understood. It may malfunction even if one’s diet is balanced and the daily routine is also maintained at a level, which is normally prescribed for a healthy person...
So far, the deficiency of iodine in food is found to be a major cause of disturbing the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. The doctors recommend that the daily meals should contain at least 20 micrograms of iodine. Seawater, natural salt, sea grass and fishes are rich in iodine contents. However, in many cases even the desired intake of iodine and iodine based medicines do not help control the abnormal functioning of this red colored, butterfly shaped tiny gland whose two 'wings’ in leaf shaped structures cover the upper end of the respiratory canal. The discovery of a yellow protein colloid in the deep core of this gland had raised hopes that this colloid might be the source of thyroxin secretion. Further research annulled this possibility.
Experiments on controlling the deficiencies of thyroxin by injecting the extract of thyroid of other animals have not been successful because of lack of biocompatibility. Drs. E. C. Kendall, Harrington and Berger of Britain had synthesized thyroxin in the laboratory by taking appropriate combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and iodine. Although this artificial substance resembles thyroxin in chemical structure, its injection in the patient’ body could not substitute for the deficiency of the latter. Use of iodized salt is regarded as a preventive measure; however it has not been successful in permanent prevention of the thyroid related problems.
Excessive secretion of this hormone also causes a variety of problems: the ‘engine’ –– source of energy of the body gets ‘over-charged’ and, as a result, different metabolic and biochemical reactions and physiological functions are accelerated untimely. This often gives rise to increase in pulse rate, professed perspiration, high blood pressure, excitation, hypersensitivity, mental restlessness and irritation etc. Throat swallows due to which the neck also fattens. At present, radium based X-ray therapy and radioactive iodine, calcium etc are being experimented as the possible remedies against an over-active thyroid gland.
From the medical experts like Dr. Eimley to the chemical scientists like Dr. Collins of Canada, efforts of many researchers have been dedicated since long time to finding methods of controlling the thyroid gland. Role of the tiny parathyroid glands in influencing the thyroid functions has also been investigated in several laboratories. However, the secrets of these glands still remain unfolded –– hidden behind iron curtains.
The chemical processing of extraction of energy from the food constituents begins as soon as it reaches in the stomach. Starch and sugar are converted into glucose. Part of this glucose goes in the blood stream and helps energize the body and maintain temperature.... The remaining quantity of glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen, making a stock for future energy-requirements. In diabetic patients, the sugar level in the blood increases and the corresponding shortage of energy supplied by glucose gradually weakens the body. This disorder in blood sugar arises due to the deficiency of insulin –– a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Dr. Fredrick Vytating had done remarkable work on this hormone, which was earlier known as ‘igelitine’. He and Dr. Mac Lloyd had received the Nobel Prize for their research work on insulin.
In healthy blood, the normal level of sugar is about one sixtieth ounce per liter. This small amount is the fuel (source of energy) that keeps the cellular and muscular machinery warm and active. Insulin along with another hormone adrenaline helps regulate this function.
Growth of the body is maintained by the pineal gland in the brain. Drastic changes in one’s growth –– especially of height, are caused by the disorderly functioning of this small ‘dot’ sized endocrine gland. Dr. Harve Cusching, a surgeon at the Harvard University medical school had removed the pineal gland of a puppy in an experiment. The growth of this dog had stopped after this operation and it remained a puppy there after... In some other experiments of this kind, the growth of some young rats was arrested since their pineal glands were cut out. In spite of being fed with ideal nutritious diet in controlled conditions, these rats neither grew in size nor gained any weight. They appeared like baby rats throughout their lives. In another case, surgeon Philip Smith had fixed the pineal gland of one rat into the brain of another normal rat. The latter, because of two such glands, grew at exceptionally fast rate and became a giant--almost three times bigger than the normal rats, ever found in that family of rats.
Imbalance of the endocrine glands creates amazing disorders in natural living system. The pair of a 25 inches ‘tall’ man, Tomthumb and a 24-inched lady, Lebonia is counted among the great wonders of nature in the human society. However, the experts know that such wonders are results of slight disorders in the endocrine system. Tomthumb weighed 9 pounds 2 ounce at the time of birth; but, due to some deficiency in hormonal secretions, his body-weight remained the same. His body had become a source of earning for him through jugglery. He had married a matching dwarf woman and enhanced his business through their joint shows. The other extreme of hormonal imbalance leads to uncontrolled growth of height and/or weight. Robert Widelio’s height of 8 ft 11 inches was a live example of this effect. He used to look like a moving Palm Tree. A 7 ft tall man Tilwar lives like a ‘show piece’ for the people of Palamou in Bihar (India).
Czar Peter of Russia was very tall. He used to like tall people. When one of his favorite, exceptionally tall Sargent died, the Czar had ordered to preserve his skeleton in the Kuntzkare museum. This specimen was about 200 years old when some scientists tried to investigate the cause of its abnormal height with the help of X-rays. The analysis carried out by them identified excessive secretions through the pituitary gland as the cause of this exceptional growth.
Alfred Lenzvan of Detramat, Michigan (USA) had a peculiar ability to breath through the eyes instead of the nostrils. During test experiments he used to quench candles by staring at them while his nose and mouth were covered. Fed Patgel’s voice was so loud that it could be heard from a distance of over 3 miles whenever he spoke at high pitch with force.
The above examples present a small sample of the varieties of abnormalities in the body-functions that could be caused by the imbalance in the endocrine secretions.
Renowned psychoanalyst, Dr. Edgar has conducted research on effects of hormones on behavior and attitude. His results indicate that many individuals, despite having excellent physique and charming appearance, do not have the natural masculine (or feminine) tendencies because of the abnormal levels of certain hormones. Impotency is also attributed to hormonal disorders in general.
The importance of hormones in regulating the defense mechanism of the immune system in the body is well known. Whenever the germs and viruses or any substance, which is ‘foreign’ or ‘toxic’ to its normal functioning, invades the body, some of the hormones secreted by the endocrine glands react instantaneously. These stimulate the B-cells in the blood to recognize the antigens and harmful microphages and produce specific antibodies to eliminate the invaders. The hormones also participate in the struggle of the body to fight the infections/diseases during this defensive activity. This struggle of hormones induces psychological effects that are manifested as –– restlessness, irritation, anger and anguish in the diseased persons.
As stated earlier, the endocrine glands are affected by internal state of the mind and emotions and accordingly generate the feelings of joy, enthusiasm, courage and alacrity, or that of dole, dullness, despair and apprehension etc. Modern scientists are actively engaged in finding hormone-based therapies to control one’s physical and mental health. Partial success has been gained in the cases where major cause of hormonal imbalance is identified as deficiency of certain chemicals as a result of some disease or known physiological disorder…. ’
Scientific investigations have revealed that hormonal secretions do not have any direct relationship with the quantity and quality of the food intakes and physical activities in general. Neither the geneticists have been able to establish any correlation between driven functions and hormonal regulation, nor any psychological study has yet confirmed any correlation model between specific functions of the endocrine system and the state of the conscious mind, which could be regarded as a universal model. Possibilities of some inherent tendencies of the subconscious and unconscious mind influencing the hormonal secretions do not find ground because of the lack of coherence. Then a natural question arises –– what is the reason of variation in the levels and types of hormonal secretions from the endocrine glands? We will have to look into the deeper depths of the subtle levels of human consciousness in order to find possible answers....
A human being is an ensemble of three systems: one is physical –– made up of panca tatvas, which is known as the physical or the gross body. Food, atmosphere and physical activities affect this system. Disorder or malfunctioning of this system is treated with the help of medicines and external devices.
The other component of a human is the subtle body consisting of the conscious and the unconscious faculties of mind. Thoughts and intellectual levels of environment influence this system. Logical analysis, thought provoking discussions and studies, training of discreet planning and decision making, etc are used as the means for healthy development of this body. Intoxication and steroids affect the brain-functions and thereby exert an effect on the system of the subtle body also to some extent. Ambiance of life, quality of work, mental tasks, habits and deeds affect and are affected by the status of this system. Epistemology, Psychology, Parapsychology and allied branches of neuroscience and philosophy of mind deal with orderly maintenance and refinement of this subtle component of a human being.
The third and the innermost component of human consciousness is the astral body which is also known as –– the causal body, the eternal emotional core of the heart, the inner self, the abode of soul, etc. The natural beliefs, faith, inner emotions, intrinsic instincts and desires, and ascetic appetence etc emanate from this center. The feeling of ego, haecceity and afflatus also have their roots in this innermost core of human consciousness. The inherent characteristics –– the reflections of the sins (papa) and the virtuous, pious, altruist deeds (puñya) of an individual are manifested in these expressions of the inner self. The intrinsic state, purity and spiritual level of these reflections are found to affect the activities of the endocrine system. Thus, the hormonal secretions appear to be subtly controlled by the prarabdha –– destiny formed according to the collection of the papa and puñya of the previous births. Reactions of the papa and puñya of the present birth also get accumulated in the stock of prarabdha and play an important role in respectively deteriorating and ameliorating the order and efficiency of the endocrine system and thereby influencing the physical and subtle bodies too.
The treatment of the disorder or abnormalities in hormonal secretions would be most effective if it is focused at refining and arousing the subliminal causal body. One can regulate the hormonal levels in a desired manner by purifying the intrinsic characteristics (sanskars) of the inner self and controlling the emotions, faiths and aspirations assimilated in its core. This cannot be achieved by gross level treatments based on nutritious diets, physical exercises and medicines etc. Intellectual activities and creative methods of mental elevation are also ineffective in reaching the causal body. The endeavors (sadhana) of spiritual refinement appear to be the only solutions. Ascetic practices of these sadhanas offer multiple benefits of regulating the endocrine system and thus helping –– harmonious functioning of the physical body, avoiding hormone driven disturbances in mental fluctuations and creating enchanting effects on the subtle and causal bodies. These sadhanas have the potential to culminate the individual self up to the divine heights.