Experiments in India on "voluntary" control of the heart and pulse

Wenger, M. A. ; Bagchi, B. K. ; Anand, B. K. (1961) Experiments in India on "voluntary" control of the heart and pulse Circulation, 24 . pp. 1319-1325. ISSN 0009-7322

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/24/6/1319....


Prominent among the many claims of unusual bodily control that emanate from practitioners of Yoga is the ability to stop the heart and radial pulse. Such claims often have been authenticated by physicians, and one "experiment" employed a loud-speaker system so that a large crowd could hear the heart sounds before and after their disappearance. To our knowledge, however, only one investigator had published electrocardiographic results before the work now reported. In 1935 a French cardiologist, Dr. Therese Brosse, took portable apparatus to India and obtained measurements from at least one person who claimed the ability to stop the heart. A published excerpt from her data4 involving one electrocardiographic lead, a pneumogram,and a pulse wave recording from the radial artery, shows the heart potentials and pulse wave decreasing in magnitude approximately to zero, where they stayed for several seconds before they returned to their normal magnitude. The data were held to support the claim that the heart was voluntarily controlled to a point of approximate cessation of contraction. During our investigations in India wve searched for persons who claimed to stop the heart or pulse, and were cordially assisted by many individuals including the Indian press. We found four. Another claimed only to slow the heart. Of the four, only three consented to serve as subjects, and one of these claimed he was too old to demonstrate heart stopping without a month or so of reparatory practice.Since he was the subject studied by Dr. Brosse in 1935 we were particularly anxious to gain his cooperation and, after considerable persuasion, he consented to demonstrate for us the method he had employed in "stopping the heart" for Dr. Brosse.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Heart Association.
ID Code:2042
Deposited On:08 Oct 2010 12:29
Last Modified:12 May 2011 06:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page