Mantras have become a key therapeutic in my Integrative Medical practice. Most of my clients experience some degree of mental discomfort in the form of anxiety, fear, worry, chronic physical pain, depression, grief or anger. In an attempt to reduce the number of prescriptions for pain and psychiatric medications, I started giving my patients prescriptions for mantra. Mantras have been practiced in healing for thousands of years in nearly every culture. Charaka, an Ayurvedic physician from 800BC, discusses the importance of Daiva Vyapashraya Chikitsa, spiritually healing treatments, when healing the human psyche. Incorporating mantra into my medical practice has proven to be very effective. Mantras are sounds or phrases capable of transforming mental patterns and brain chemistry. In the Sanskrit language “MAN” or “Manas” means mind, and “TRA” means wave. The practice of mantra transforms negative mental patterns that are responsible for creating mental and emotional suffering, chakra imbalances and physical disease. Mantras are more than just positive affirmations, they are medicine for the mind, body and soul.
Sacred healing mantras are grounded in science and are shown to balance the mind and body through vibrational energy. Correct pronunciation vibrates specific parts of the roof of the mouth where there are 84 meridian energy points. Activation of these meridian points stimulates the hypothalamus and pineal gland deep in the brain. Studies show significant brain changes while chanting mantra. While studying the brain on functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) significant deactivation has been documented and seen in the deep brain structures (amygdala, anterior cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus and thalamus) while chanting OM or AUM. Chanting mantras has been shown to have many scientifically based health benefits.
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce the effects of stress
- Enhances relaxation neurotransmitters in the brain
- Balances alpha, gamma and delta brain waves
- Normalizes heart rate
- Stabilizes blood pressure
- Balances sleep patterns
- Reduces muscle tension
- Increases creativity
- Activates chakra energy centers
- Deepens breathing and increases prana
- Interrupts negative looping thought patterns
- Assists in recovery from addictions
- Balances the glandular endocrine system
- Reduces the effects of post traumatic stress disorder
- Enhances memory and concentration
- Redirect the mind toward goals such as peace, love, healing or spiritual contentedness.
- Increases mental wellbeing and moksha, liberation from suffering
As part of my Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine training I was prescribed daily mantra by my teacher, Dr. Jayagopala Parla. At first I found mantra practice difficult. Some days I even cried through my mantra practice. None of my other classmates had this reaction. When I consulted my teacher, he told me to chant more. I persisted and I had no idea how much mantra practice would revolutionize my own personal well being and medical practice. I dedicated my first mantra album “Sacred Healing Mantras” to my teacher and designed it for use in my medical practice. Try a mantra today. Sit quietly for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your third eye region between your eyebrows. Breath slowly and naturally, chant one AUM per exhale. Feel the A vibrate at your heart center. Notice the U sound vibrate your throat center. Lastly, feel the stimulation at your third eye with pronunciation of the M. Bathe in the vibrational waves and enjoy the mental stillness.
To listen to and learn about mantras or meditation by Dr. Christie Smirl click the albums below 👇🏽
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Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.
1 Kalyani BG, Venkatasubramanian G, Arasappa R, et al. Neurohemodynamic correlates of “OM” chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study. International Journal of Yoga. 2011;4(1):3-6. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.78171