Through tapas (heat) the ascetic becomes clairvoyant and even incarnates the Gods.
By discovering why kundalini flow through the nerves
creates heat we can begin to work out just how the function of the
nervous system is altered during transmutation. The heat from kundalini
is not caused by "friction" as kundalini moves through blockages, as is
traditionally thought. Kundalini is purifying in that it uses whatever
state of perfection or dross it finds, but purification is not its
purpose or goal. Kundalini is the fire of transmutation and the heat
from the nervous system we experience is the heat of transmutation.
However, we cannot yet say exactly "what" transmutation is, but there
are many mechanisms of possible heating in the body that we might look
Kundalini heat is generated by the nervous system. It is felt mostly in
the pelvis, and up the spine, especially on the
left side of the body, but the entire body temperature is raised a
little as well. The majority of the heat produced during kundalini
occurs in the sacral and lumbar spine, and I assume that there is more
gray matter of the spinal column in these areas than elsewhere in the
nervous system. Gray matter of course has larger numbers of
mitochondria, organelles that produce both energy (ATP) and heat. To
find the cause of heat we might focus on the activity of the
mitochondria of the cell bodies of the neurons, especially in the gray
matter of the spinal cord and in the brain itself.
Action potentials along nerves cause heat but the significant heat
generated by kundalini is not just an "increase" in action potentials,
it is a different type of expression of nerve energy altogether. This
altered nerve energy generation generates heat, bliss, tingles
and the other kundalini symptoms. The origin of the heat can be found
through heat-imaging of the body during kundalini compared to normal
metabolism. I think we will find that the heat is mostly concentrated
in areas of the body with the highest mitochondria levels.
The pelvic and spinal nerve heat is always associated with bliss and
heart expansion. When there is heat there is bliss. The heat is most
pronounced in the pelvic bowl (kunda). One plausible theory to the
generation of the nerve-heat is free radical damage the cell membrane
of the mitochondrias in the nerve-bodies leading to less ATP being
converted from glucose and more heat being generated...thus inefficient
glycolysis might generate the nerve heat. This is the most
straightforward theory since free radicals go up during kundalini, the
oxidation to the membranes would interfere with the
electron-transport-system of ATP conversion. The heat would continue as
long as the body's antioxidant capacity is overwhelmed by the
concentration of free radicals. Such radicals might include those of
Nitric Oxide and its nitrogen metabolites. Since Nitric Oxide is a
vasodilator and the heat always occurs along with heart expansion and
bliss, it just might be that increased levels of glutamate and nitric
oxide is the cause of the heat by creating mitochondria membrane damage
and sloppy glycolysis. Also if the hyperactivated body is scavenging
energy out of the calcium bonds of the bones and tissues, this might
generate heat as well as ATP.
Inefficient glycolysis and lower cellular energy would mean the
cell has a greater demand for glucose to burn. When a neuron
doesn't get adequate glucose, or when ATP production falls it switches
to glutamate excitation. Thus for the duration of a kundalini awakening
we may be experiencing sloppy glycolysis, cellular glucose hunger,
coupled with glutamate excitation. This along with extra free radical
and metabolite production and the consequences of increased cell death
and recycling of tissues goes along way to explaining the symptoms and
sensations of awakening; and the cyclical nature of activation,
detoxification, dissolution and transformation.
The heat generated by kundalini alters the spectrum of hormones,
enzymes, neurotransmitters, receptors, gene expression and protein
synthesis. Thus there is a "kindled fire" aspect to the process, in
that an increase in transmutation occurs, which in turn perpetuates the
heat, which furthers an increase in transmutation. The heat and
oxidative stress could help to prune the neurons, for restructuring and
maturation of the nervous system. The extra heat shock proteins
increase the rate of self-organization and offer protection from
The heat of kundalini is not like hot flushes, it sticks around for
months or years, coming and going a little with the annual solar and
lunar cycle—and being most pronounced in July (summer solstice).
Kundalini itself is triggered by hormonal changes but the heat
doesn't have the temporary periodacy of a hot flush. Some people sweat
with kundalini, but I don't. The heat is not produced through increased
blood flow to the skin surface; it's very much a nerve-heat, skeletal
muscle and bone heat. Although some people probably do go through
heat-flush type periods associated with sex hormone release in the
initial stages of kundalini. During peak kundalini flow the heat is
most pronounced...and thereafter it seems the body might be permanently
slightly hotter than it was prior to awakening...so some of this
residual chemistry remains.
OTHER POSSIBLE MECHANISMS FOR KUNDALINI HEAT
- Over excitation of the nerves by having excess glutamate in the
synapses or overactive receptors picking up too much glutamate and
thereby overexciting the cell.
- Stressed/overexcited nerves may stimulate histamine and
prostaglandin release in the surrounding tissue. Although because there
are no allergenic or immune reactions associated with the nerve heating
itself, I assume that release of these stress hormones is not the cause
of the heat.
- Oxidation by free radicals: a scary thought which I don't like to
think about. Can free radicals produce the kind of excessive heat that
Kundalini in the spine produces?
- Free radical threat to myelination of fibers producing release of
histamine and acetylcholine in order to stimulate remyelination.
- Microwave generation by activated spine. According to Robert
Jacobs, scalar waves are capable of acting on living organisms at a
- Increased nerve flow increases the body's electromagnetic field
and this may facilitate cellular changes that generate more nerve heat.
I don't know whether simply increasing the flow of ions into and out of
the neuron as occurs in the "action potential" would create heat.
- Another theory which I can't find yet in any medical literature is
that normally astrocytes (glial cells) do the first part of glycolysis
and feed the neurons lactate for a more rapid conversion to ATP, but
during the hyper-adrenalized state of kundalini there might be such a
demand for energy by the nerves that the conversion enzymes are
insufficient so the astrocytes give the neurons glucose instead. Thus
another fueling mechanism is set up where the first part of glycolysis
(conversion to lactate) is aborted or not complete in the astrocycles
and this could mean that glycolysis in the neurons themselves might be
less efficient since they normally do not perform the entire glycolysis
process, and this inefficiency would result in less ATP and more heat.
But since the body is in hyperfuel mode there is more glucose available
to convert...so the outcome would be both more energy (ATP) generated,
increased firing of action potentials, plus increased heat due to the
inefficient conversion to ATP.
- Compounds with thermogenic activity are substances which foster
the production of heat relative to the production of ATP. The main
thermogenic compound is the thyroid hormone, thyroxin (T4). Thyroxin
has the ability "uncouple" oxidative phosphorylation (less ATP
production and more heat production) by enhancing the activity of
glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme.
- Kundalini heat is not exclusively caused by thermogenesis in brown
fat, because otherwise the heat would be centered between the shoulder
blades and around the kidneys etc... Although the extra adrenaline of
sympathetic activation will increase brown fat energy production and
increase lipolysis...one of the reasons we lose weight during our first
- DHEA enhances the activity of three thermogenic enzymes:
glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme and fatty acetyl CoA
Mitochondria are the organelles sometimes called the "powerhouses"
of the cell, where oxygen respiration occurs. As the energy powerhouses
of the eukaryotic cell mitochondria dutifully serve as the efficient
source of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for cell function. ATP is an
energy-rich molecule used throughout cells for a variety of processes,
and is largely produced in mitochondria by the breakdown of energy-rich
nutrients such as glucose. Mitochondria are responsible for creating
more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and
support growth. ATP is the "energy currency" of the cell and is used to
drive all energy requiring reactions including the synthesis of
proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also causes muscles to contract
and nerves to conduct.
Mitochondria are found in high concentrations in high-energy
producing organs--such as the nerves, heart, liver, adrenals, GI tract,
brain, muscles and endocrine glands. Although some ATP is produced
directly in a chemical reaction, most ATP is synthesized by electron
transport in the mitochondrion.
Nerve cells obtain ATP only through glucose catabolism in the
presence of oxygen. The mitochondria in the brain and the rest of the
CNS uses glucose as its fuel, the rest of the body's mitochondria can
use either glucose or fatty acids for energy. The brain uses 25% of the
energy of the body but constitutes only 2% of the mass. The production
of energy from glucose and fatty acids occurs at the cellular level
with glycolysis (glucose metabolism) occurring in the cytosol of the
cell, while fatty acid oxidation in the mitochondria of the cell and
most cells involved with fatty acid metabolism are in the liver.
When a cell's need for energy production increases, a mitochondria
can simply pinch into two. The two halves increase in size, thereby
increasing the ability to produce ATP. The dependence of cells on the
energy provided by mitochondrial oxidative metabolism of glucose,
especially through critical organs such as the heart and brain, is
underlined by the fatal consequences when toxins interfere with the
mitochondrial electron transport system. If the mitochondrial theory of
aging is correct, then the root cause of aging is damage to
mitochondrial DNA by free radical leakage from adjacent respiratory
There are three interlinked energy production cycles:
- The glycolytic (sugar burning).
- The Krebs' citric acid cycles (aminos and fats are "burned" through the Krebs' cycle).
- The electron transport side chain.
The electron "sparks" released from the step by step slow "burning"
that occurs in the Krebs' cycle provide the fuel used by the electron
transport side chain to generate much of the ATP bioenergy that
literally powers our life. Heat is produced in all animals by the
breakdown of ATP and as a by-product of other biochemical reactions. In
brown fat cells, a special protein called uncoupling protein is
produced. This protein disrupts the creation of the proton gradient by
making the inner mitochondrial membrane "leaky." As a result, the cells
make less ATP and release more energy in the form of heat. Similar
uncoupling proteins are found in skeletal muscle. In this way brown
adipose tissue and skeletal muscle produces abundant heat by uncoupling
the production of ATP from the electron transport chain.
Any food not utilized for energy is subsequently stored for use
later, and mostly as fat since it is the most efficient energy storage
form at 9 kcal/gm. ATP, while a good energy packet, is not a good fuel
storage molecule, as it is used quickly after being formed. Better
storage forms of energy are glycogen and triglycerides. Glycogen is
broken down to glucose and triglycerides are broken down to fatty
acids, both of which are readily utilized for energy. The synthesis of
triglycerides requires glycerol (from carbohydrates), fatty acids and
energy from ATP. Co-enzyme A, derived from pantothenic acid
(B5) activates the fatty acids and glucose in the Krebs Cycle performed
within the mitochondria. The Krebs cycle is a system of removing H2 from foodstuffs which are then combusted to water and the free energy obtained is used to form the higher energy compound ATP.
Oxidative phosphorylation: In the inner membrane of the mitochondria are large molecules capable of rapidly alternating oxidation and reduction...the electron transport system.
Mitochondria take in small organic molecules-like pyruvate (formed by
the partial breakdown of sugars) or fatty acids (formed by the partial
breakdown of fats) and break them down. Acetyl CoA, an
essential substrate for energy production, is an end product of both
glycolysis and fatty acid metabolism. Acetyl CoA, as a substrate in the
Krebs cycle, produces NADH, NADPH and FADH2, which are reducing agents
that supply hydrogen atoms or electrons in chemical reactions and are
used for ATP production in the mitochondria via a process called
NADH is the reduced (electron-energy rich) coenzyme form of vitamin
B3. NADH is involved in all of these different cycles, as well as in
the conversion of the glycolytic cycle end product "pyruvate" into the
beginning fuel of the Krebs' citric acid cycle. The energy from the
broken chemical bonds is carried by the reducing agents (electron
donors NADH and FADH2) to the electron transport chain. Electrons are
passed from one protein to another in the electron transport chain,
releasing energy at each step. Some of the proteins in the electron
transport chain use this energy to pump protons (H+) across the inner
mitochondrial membrane. This creates an electrochemical gradient, or
potential. The energy contained in this gradient is used by an enzyme
called ATP-synthetase to produce ATP.
Thermogenic utilization of NADH: The oxidation of fatty acids
also produces NADH and FADH2. Each mole of NADH produces 3 ATP's within
the confines of the mitochondria. NADH is also produced in the cytosol
cell medium (outside of the mitochondria) but needs to be transported
into the mitochondria in order to be converted to energy. This
transport mechanism is called the "glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle" and
requires the enzyme glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase to catalyze the
reaction. This "shuttle" requires energy and the end result is that
cytosolic NADH is only able to produce 2 ATP's per mole and the rest of
the energy is released as heat.
Another possible source of metabolic heat is generated in the
reaction which converts malic acid (a Krebs cycle intermediate) to
pyruvate and NADPH. This conversion occurs in the cell cytosol and
requires an enzyme called malic enzyme. This reaction is important
since it not only produces cytosolic NADPH but also produces heat.
(see also: The Neurology Index)
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