My experiments with pyramid model
Assistant Professor in Biochemistry,
Melaka Manipal Medical College,
My experiments with pyramid model
Huge square based structures tapering from sandy vastness towards the infinite sky, with tremendous powers being preserved from a time beyond understanding- these are the pyramids of Egypt, the oldest and largest standing constructions of man. Pyramids, modelled after the great pyramid of Giza, are being used all over the world as an anti-stressor, meditation centre and a wound healing promoter. Claims of ‘pyramid energy’ promoting relaxation gain a lot of significance in this age of civilization and modernization, where stress, the word seems to rule the tongues and thoughts of all classes and ages of people in todays world! Students are stressed by exams, graduates by the mad race for jobs, employees are stressed by frustrating work situations, parents by childrens’ unending demands and the aged are stressed by relationship difficulties. Although optimal levels of stress and oxidative stress are necessary for normal functioning of the body, prolonged stress can cause regulatory disturbances and pathological changes in the body.
My interest for pyramids mainly developed through already ongoing pyramid research studies in our institute, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus), Manipal, India. My colleague, Dr.Bharathi, in the department of Physiology, under the guidance of Dr.Dilip Murthy, Professor in Physiology in our institute at that time, was getting encouraging results in her experiments involving housing of mice in wooden pyramids to study the effects of the same on learning and behaviour. Significant findings were also being reported by our other colleague, Dr.Surekha R Kamath, also in the department of Physiology, working with rats to study the effects of housing in pyramids on wound healing, under the guidance of Dr.S Gurumadhva Rao, who was then a Professor in Pharmacology in our institute and also Registrar of our university, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, a deemed university. Earlier in 1997, Dr. B G Subba Rao, Department of Physiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, had published a paper reporting improved wound healing when rats were housed in pyramids. All the above individuals and the initiative taken by them in pyramid research, inspired me to study the effects of pyramid exposure on parameters of Biochemistry, which was my specialization. With further encouragement by Dr.Nandini H K and Dr.Shashikala, my senior colleagues, I finally took up pyramid research. The research work was conducted under the guidance of Dr. P Gopalakrishna Bhat, Professor in Biochemistry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal and the co-guidance of Dr. K Dilip Murthy. Also involved in the work right till the end was my co-worker, Dr.Guruprasad Rao, my colleague in Biochemistry.
We made an attempt to SCIENTIFICALLY assess whether housing in the pyramid alters the status of stress and oxidative stress in rats in their home cages as well as in wire mesh restrainers. We used plasma cortisol as an indicator of neuroendocrine stress, erythrocyte TBARS as an indicator of lipid peroxidation and erythrocyte GSH levels as well as erythrocyte GSH-Px and SOD activities as indicators of antioxidant defence. A square box of similar dimensions as the pyramid was also used in the study to determine if the shape of the pyramid was responsible for its beneficial effects.
Results of the study:
We have arrived at the following conclusions from our studies:
Duration of pyramid exposure is an important factor to be considered during experiments.
The north-south alignment of the pyramid is crucial for its expected effects and a shift in this alignment does affect the results as reported by pyramidologists.
Housing caged rats in pyramids decreases neuroendocrine as well as oxidative stress in young and old rats of both genders. However, gender specific variations are seen in these beneficial effects of the pyramid. While pyramid exposure lowers basal levels of plasma cortisol to a greater extent in male rats than in females, oxidative stress is lowered to a greater extent in female rats.
Pyramid exposure causes significantly more body weight gain in adult and old female rats but not in male rats.
Housing in pyramids during chronic restraint attenuates stress induced increase in neuroendocrine and oxidative stress in the adults. Thus, pyramid acts as an effective anti-stressor during stress.
Pyramid is more effective in decreasing neuroendocrine stress and lipid peroxidation in the cool season than in the hot season. Pyramid housing is more effective in increasing antioxidant enzyme activity in the hot season than in the cool season. Body weight gain is significant following pyramid exposure in both seasons, the significance being more in the cool season.
The shape of the pyramid, and not mere enclosure, is responsible for the above mentioned beneficial effects of housing rats in the pyramid, since similar beneficial effects have not been observed in a square box of similar dimensions.
Significance of the study
Sitting under a pyramid can be an effective technique for stress management. Pyramid shaped rooms can be built in residences or recreation centres as a relaxation area.
Pyramids can be used for non invasive treatment of diseases in which the role of free radicals and reactive oxygen species has been implicated. Many pyramidologists have already claimed that they have cured many such diseases. This study is a scientific support to their claim.
Preliminary studies in this work suggest that duration of pyramid exposure is an important factor, and that ‘uneasiness’ claimed by subjects due to ‘over exposure’ has to be kept in mind during pyramid therapy.
According to Hans Selye, stress is essentially reflected by the rate of all the wear and tear caused by life. Although we cannot avoid stress as long as we live, we can learn a great deal about how to keep its damaging side effects, distress, to a minimum. To those who choose to derive the claimed and proven benefits of pyramid exposure, the pyramid offers some promise of serving to minimize distress. The small replicas of the timeless, huge square based structures towering towards infinity on the sandy lands of Egypt, seem to assure us that they can rule over our stress, that which is ruling the tongues and thoughts of people of all ages and all regions of the world, in this age of civilization and modernization!
Surekha Bhat, Guruprasad Rao, K. Dilip Murthy, P Gopalakrishna Bhat. Effect of housing rats within a pyramid on stress parameters. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 2003; 41: 1289-1293 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed
Surekha Bhat, Guruprasad Rao, K. Dilip Murthy, P Gopalakrishna Bhat. Housing in pyramid counteracts neuroendocrine and oxidative stress caused by chronic restraint in rats. Evidence Based Contemporary and Alternative Medicine 2006