I received this email from a man in Croatia that 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 Truth versus the Claims. These are compiled from the feedback forms of students who have attended T5T workshops.
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 his sideburns had turned brown again. However, it is highly likely that this information was added to The Eye of Revelation by the publisher Harry Gardener. Read more ...
From what I have seen, the physical, emotional, and mental benefits are all achieved on a scale. Some achieve those results at the lowest end of the scale - while others achieve them at varying degrees right up 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. What we can do is measure its effects by the results we achieve, and when they are lacking, it is normal to believe it isn't working.
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 well-being. This article from Yoga Journal says in part:
..."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, PhD., 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.
We Don't Live In a One-Sided World - Yin/Yang
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-climatic for some people. The benefits they received in the early stages are now 'just part of their life' - and nothing miraculous happens at 21 repetitions except a sense of self-satisfaction.
Try this simple exercise
The following exercise was inspired by the work of Dr John Demartini, who is considered one of the world's leading authorities on human behavior and personal development.
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 state of balance, where you are not in a fantasy about the benefits of the Rites - or resentful of practicing them. Keep filling in the columns until you feel you can simply relax and enjoy practising 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, from The Eye of Revelation, 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 when walking instead of hobbling or shuffling, for example.
I've heard of two eighty plus older men who have been doing the Rites for twenty 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 well-being - and acts accordingly.
Generally, we have found people fall into one of the four groups below:
- Significant changes in their first two weeks of practice. In T5T, we often teach people in three lessons over two weeks, and it often amazes me how many people do notice big changes in this short period of time.
- Some people notice changes that only become obvious after a month of continuous practice.
- Others just 'know' they need to do them but cannot pin down any 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 realize 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 and the Rites are an essential part of that belief and practice. These people tend to be committed to health and well-being on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Their 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.
At the most basic level, the 5 Rites will increase strength and flexibility. I'm sure you have noticed that (unless you are very fit already.) If you are doing the T5T® method, you cannot fail to have noticed the improvement to your core muscle strength.
Perhaps you may not have realized that the calmness and greater positivity you are experiencing is due to your 5 Tibetans practice. Or that you get ill less often - and when you do, the symptoms are less pronounced? Are you sleeping more, having vivid dreams, or needing less sleep?
Try These Tips
Mindfulness. Try to 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!
Affirmations. Add these affirmations to your practice to enhance your benefits.
Stop! One of the best ways of finding 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?
Add. Further improve the benefits of the Rites by 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.
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In “The Eye of Revelation,” COL Bradford is quoted as stating the following: “One thing I must caution you against: you must never take a shower, tub, or wet towel bath which is cold enough to chill you even slightly internally. If you do, you will have
undone all the good you have gained from performing the Five Rites.” Do you have any thoughts about this? Do you think it is really necessary to forego cold showers or baths so as not to undo the benefits of the Five Rites? Thank you very much, Eric
Hi Eric.No, I really don’t think so. The Rites are alleged to be over 2,500 years old according to The Eye of Revelation. The monks would surely only have cold water to bathe in back then and as for showers – I somewhat doubt they had them then.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the benefits of the Rites but I also believe as did my friend, antiquarian bookseller and collector, Jerry Watt, that the publisher of The Eye of Revelation’ may (highly likely) have added some of his own material. Please read this article on my website which explains why – https://t5t.com/the-influence-of-others-on-the-five-tibetans
Thank you very much for your thoughtful response. I can’t imagine what would have motivated the publisher to add this bit about avoiding cold baths and showers. Perhaps he had a side business selling hot water heaters :). At any rate, I am reassured by your observations and will continue with my daily practice of the Five Rites and my invigorating cold showers.
Hi Eric. I agree.
Many people agree with the benefit of cold showers, but I’ll never be a proponent! I avoid cold water after years of swimming training in extremely cold pools. It put me off forever.
Have fun learning and practicing.
Best wishes. Carolinda