Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian, PhD, a research assistant professor in the Department of Radioation Oncology at the Medical University of South Carolina and Pure Action council member, shares the results from his work on lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease with yogic breathing in a TED Talk in Charleston!
He tells the audience how he blends his modern biochemistry background with the ancient traditions he learned growing up in India, learning from his father and other relatives.
Watch his presentation here.
He has the crowd take a deep breath and hum, one of the simplest techniques. The packed auditorium at the Charleston Music Hall fills with a chorus of oms. “Now, you’ve learned one yogic breathing technique, and you’re one step closer to your better health.”
Balasubramanian knows this because he measures compounds found in saliva of those who practice it and has seen how the breathing potentially increases anti-inflammatory biomarkers.
“It is not just a digestive fluid. It has proteins, hormones and growth factor – and so on. One of them was nerve growth factor, which is a protein that helps the nerve cells, neurons, to grow, withstand stress and live longer.”
Yogic breathing has another benefit. Minding the breath helps control the mind. “We all want to control our minds, but controlling the mind is not easy. As the Eastern philosophy puts it, ‘Mind is a monkey.’ It’s not a normal monkey. It’s crazy. It’s like a drunken monkey, stung by a scorpion.”
The crowd laughs, and some participants tweet the comment. This is one reason Balasubramanian and others take the time to do this. The TEDx platform, which posts videos of its speakers, offers an international platform to spread a message.
If something so simple as yogic breathing can enhance health, he wants people to know about it. It’s why he makes time for community outreach programs, and he jumped at the chance to do the TEDx talk, he says. “These activities are as important as scientific meetings and conferences.”
Researchers can communicate their ideas and key messages to the general public, not only for potential funding support, but to raise health and scientific literacy.