I received this email from a gentleman in Croatia which raises an interesting point:
..."I started practicing 5 Tibetans a couple of months ago, but I don't feel that I have more energy (although I do 21 repetitions of every rite) and my improvement seems to be very, very slow. Is there anything I can do in order to have more benefit?"...
There is so much hype about the anti-aging benefits of The Five Tibetans (due to some internet marketers pitching the whole 'get rid of all your wrinkles; become a teenager again' message) - that it is no wonder people have huge expectations. You can read what benefits can realistically be achieved in my article The Five Tibetan Rite's Benefits - The Truth versus the Claims
In addition, the original booklet written by Peter Kelder called "The Eye of Revelation" (download free here) - reveals its 'mystical secrets' using the simple and glowing language of the time (1930's). It would be easy to be convinced that the Rites are a cure-all for every ailment and aging.
For example, I found the whole concept of grey hair becoming dark again (mentioned in the book above) rather far fetched; until Stuart attended one of my workshops and told me that this sideburns had turned brown again. I have since heard other people report the same benefit.
I believe that the physical, emotional and mental benefits are all achieved on a scale. Some achieve those results at the lowest end of the scale - whilst others achieve them at varying degrees right to the highest level.
The monks attribute these benefits to the increased flow of life-energy. Like acupuncture and electricity - we know life energy (Qi) exists even though we can't see or measure it precisely.
Here's what the monks had to say:
..."The body has seven centers, which, in English, could be called Vortexes. These are kind of magnetic centers. They revolve at great speed in the healthy body, but when slowed down - well that is just another name for old age, ill-health, and senility.
These spinning centers of activity extend beyond the flesh of healthy individuals, but in the old, weak, senile person, they hardly reach the surface, except in the knees. The quickest way to regain health, youth and vitality is to start these magnetic centers spinning again. There are but five practices that will do this. Any one of them will be helpful, but all five are required to get glowing results."...
The Five Tibetan Rites are part of the vast lineage of yoga. Looking at them from this perspective - there are numerous studies that prove the benefits of a regular yoga practice, and its impact on health and wellbeing. This article from Yoga Journal says in part:
..."During the past 80 years, health professionals in India and the West have begun to investigate the therapeutic potential of yoga. To date, thousands of research studies have been undertaken and have shown that with the practice of yoga a person can, indeed, learn to control such physiologic parameters as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory function, metabolic rate, skin resistance, brain waves, body temperature, and many other bodily functions." ...
..."Though it's difficult to find most of these studies; some current, accessible research reports significant results for challenging medical conditions:"...
In the same article, Patrick Randolph, Ph.D., in Texas says
..."The asanas help increase circulation to the limbs while the resultant relaxation addresses anxiety. "What many people report from doing yoga is that rather than being an exercise that takes energy away, it actually energizes."...
Yoga Journal continues:
..."And Yoga's most ephemeral benefits, such as the opening of energy channels, are even more difficult to define and evaluate in a research setting. Dr. Brandeis believes it will take more scientists with a much greater experiential knowledge of yoga to begin measuring what might be classified as energetic changes.
Probably in the future [research will] try to translate energetic effects into concrete medicine, but right now there aren't enough practitioners with enough knowledge to generate that kind of interest,"... he says. This article can be found online at Yoga Journal.
My own experience & that of teaching so many people the Rites is that people do indeed achieve a wide range of benefits from minor to outstanding. Testimonials from qualified health professionals, fitness professionals including the general public all point to similar benefits and are documented on the T5T Website
We Don't Live In a One-Sided World
Some people have a problem with this concept for they believe that their experience of the Rites is only beneficial - so bear with me on this!
It is important to remember the yin/yang duality of everything. In other words, we cannot have all the benefits without some of the negatives!
If people only focus on what amazing benefits they can achieve from the Rites without taking into account that they will need to set aside 10 - 15 mins per day to practice them - they may find them lacking.
Perhaps it's too cold and they don't want to get out of bed earlier than usual. Or they are too exhausted to do any exercise. And so on..
In the beginning it is exciting because they have a goal to achieve - building up to the required 21 repetitions. When this target is achieved it can be anti-climatical for some people. The benefits they received in the early stages are now 'just part of their life' - & nothing miraculous happens at 21 except a sense of self-satisfaction.
This exercise was inspired from the work of Dr John Demartini - a teacher featured in "The Secret" movie:
Divide a sheet of paper in two and put this title in the first column, "What am I giving up to do the Rites?" In the 2nd column write "What am I gaining by doing the Rites?"
Fill each column with as big a list as you can 25 - 50 points. Make certain you have the same number of points representing both sides of the spectrum. The goal is to get yourself into a stage of balance, where you are not in fantasy about the benefits of the Rites - or resentful of practicing them. Keep filling the columns until you feel you can simply relax and enjoy them.
Then make a commitment to doing them and when you will do them each day - and in those famous words "just do it!"
For me, I came to an understanding that aging doesn't get better! I've got a lot of things I want to do in my life, and I need to keep as healthy and vital for as long as I can. Doing T5T is part of my anti-aging strategy.
I don't need to think about it anymore, I just do it. I know it works. I know it will work in the long term and no more thought needs to be applied to it. That's my secret!
The Power of Belief
Having said it is important to have realistic expectations, the power of belief (or faith) is still a vital force.
Colonel Bradford himself says that the monks told him that you need to invest a strong amount of faith and belief in the Rites to maximize their benefit. If you think old, you become old. He suggests people stride instead of hobble for example.
I've heard of two 80+ year old men who have been doing the Rites for 20 years. One of their sons recently told me his father is getting younger every time he sees him! Clearly that isn't true, but his father believes the Rites are the reason for his physical strength and wellbeing - & acts accordingly. Who is to dispute him?
For some people, the benefits are less dramatic than they are for others. Generally, we have found people fall into one of the four groups below:
- Those who notice significant changes in their first two weeks of practice. We often teach people in three lessons over two weeks; and it is amazing to learn that so many people do notice big changes in this short period of time.
- Others notice changes that become obvious after a month of continuous practice.
- Some just 'know' they need to do them but cannot pin down specific changes, other than they just feel better. It would be a rare person for example who can ingest a vitamin pill and notice immediate changes. These changes occur over time and are often very subtle. For example they may get ill less often - but will only notice this after say, a year of practice when they realise they haven't caught a cold during a period where they normally would have.
- Finally there is a large group of people who do many things to keep healthy & the Rites are a very important part of that belief and practice. These people tend to be committed to health and wellbeing on a physical, mental and spiritual level. There changes may be subtle or not - it varies. However, people in this group are most likely to maintain a life-long practice of The Five Tibetans simply because they know they work.
Regardless of the above. At the most basic level, these movements will increase strength & flexibility. For example: If you are doing the T5T® method you cannot fail to develop and notice the improvement to your core muscle strength.
Perhaps you may not have realised that the calmness and greater positivity you are experiencing is due to your 5 Tibetans practice. Or that you get ill less often - & when you do the symptoms are less pronounced? Are you by any chance sleeping more; having vivid dreams, or needing less sleep?
Try and be much more present (not thinking of the past or future events or of things you need to do ) when doing the Rites. Yoga and the Rites are meditation in motion. Practice the ability to train the 'monkey mind' to be still, by focusing on balance, precision, control, alignment, sensation, lack of sensation and of course the breath!
Often the best way to find out if you are getting any benefits is to stop doing them for a month at least! If you find you don't want to stop - then take notice! Your body knows it wants to keep doing them, even though you are not feeling any major changes.
Perhaps you should miss a couple of days and let your body have a rest. Then do your 21 repetitions and notice if there is a difference. Do you notice a change immediately after doing the Rites?
To further improve the benefits of the Rites you may want to consider incorporating the T5T® method which includes natural full breathing to increase vitality & well being - and the addition of core stability to protect the spine.
- A number of clinical studies have shown that how well you breathe literally dictates your lifespan. Three deeply satisfying "Energy Breaths" (a specialized breathing technique) are taken between each Rite.
- Core muscles (deep abdominal), wrap around and protect the spine like a natural weight belt preventing back strain or injury. Strong core muscles provide us with a sense of balance and strength. They help counteract the effects of gravity on the elimination organs as well as stimulate the reproductive glands.
To find out how good your breathing is try these Free Breathing Tests. Michael Grant White; the developer of these tests was a consultant to T5T.
To Download "The Eye of Revelation" Free - Click Here
To Learn T5T - and get your chakras spinning more rapidly - Click Here
If you wish to publish this article on your website you may do so, provided that you assign copyright to the author exactly as written below: A pdf is available on request.
Copyright (c) 2005 Carolinda Witt - author T5T - The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin/Lantern 2005) and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House/Three Rivers Press 2007)