Prof. Sergey N. Tereshkin, PhD, Grand PhD

Grand Ph.D in Psychology

Full Professor of IUFS

UNESCO Contest Laureate




 Yoga of Psychic Heat (gTum-mo) Research Techniques and Results


     The purpose of this paper is to describe new results discovered by the author in the course of ethnomedicine practices investigations, namely,work with elements energiesThe subject of the investigation is Tummo practice Yoga of psychic heat. The object of the investigation is human body and influence of the above mentioned practice upon it.

     This paper is an extension of the investigation of the practices which, according to the classic ethnomedicine tractates, contribute to rejuvenation of the body, the results of which are published in [1], [2], [3].

     In present it is assumed that the process of human body ageing is not reversible, though, there are known cases where processes which have been considered as not reversible for a long time prove themselves to be actually reversible. For example, S. Carnot proved reversibility of certain thermodynamic processes in 1924 that resulted in creation of the internal combustion engine. Moreover, I. Prigogin in his paperModern Thermodynamics. From Heat Engines to Dissipative Structuresproved existence of the conditions under which some irreversible processes could become reversible [4].

     Let us shape a controversy: on the one hand it is assumed that the ageing process is irreversible, on the other hand, there are some historical sources considered as reputable tractates in modern oriental studies which contain not only abundant evidence of age-related changes reverse possibility but also certain evidences of age-related processes reversibility solutionsAccording to local and international researchers (E.P.Ostrovskaya, V.I. Rudoy, Radhakrishnan and others), such reputable sources are Sutras, Upanishads, Samhitas, and Tantras known as classic texts. Analyzing classic Yoga texts. Its easy to notice that they often contain certain information which could be interpreted as focused on ethnomedicine, health preservation and rejuvenation of body.

    The Upanishads of Yoga and Tantra contains eleven Upanishads. Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad and Yoga-Tattva Upanishad represent ethnomedicine-related informationThe collection of the ancient Indian texts published as Shivas Path contains translations of nine tractates. Some of them, particularly, Geranda Samhita, Hatha-Yoga Pradipika, and Shiva Samhita describe exercises contributing to body rejuvenation.

     The ancient Chinese medicine reveals information of body rejuvenation in The Yellow Emeror's Tractate about the Inner [7] considered as one of the most ancient medicine tractate created in the time of Huang Di emperor reign.The same is for the tractate Baopu-zi [8] written by Ge Hong in about 320 AD.

     The Tibetan medicine shows information about body rejuvenation in the tractate Amrita Essence - The Secret Oral Teaching on the Eight Branches of the Science of Healing, shortly called Gyu-zhi [9].The preface to translation into Russian reads that partially the tractate contents is taken from the ancient Indian and ancient Chinese sources.

     Below please find some fragments from the classical texts relating to body rejuvenation.

     “… the lock called Jalandhara Bandha is like the lion for the elephant of death".[5. С.109]

     “Wrinkles and grey hair will certainly disappear” [5. С.140].

     "Uddiyana is the lion who conquers the elephant of death. The one who practices Uddiyana as his Guru teaches him becomes young even if he is an old man” [6.С.58].

     “Wrinkles and grey hair disappear in six months. The one who practices it three hours each day wins death” [6.С.59].

     “Yogi who sends Prana down and Apana up becomes like 16-years old youth even if he is an old man”. [6.С.52].

     “If a person follows dao-path, in spite of age, his body shape preserves in full, and even if he is very old he can have children”. [7.С.25]. 

     “An old man will become young so he couldn’t be recognized and a young man will never become old” [8.С.78].

     “The life of the one who takes this substance will be longer, hundred of diseases will be cured, seams and scars will disappear, grey hair will become black again, lost teeth will grow again”[8.С.176].  

     “The elixir of all nine will save from nine discontinuing life diseases, eliminate signs of coming age, return youthfulness of 16 years to the body, return grace of tiger, might of bull, brightness of peacock, speed of horse and will make life as long as the life of the Sun and the Moon” [9.С.542].

     Appreciable amount of recommendations related to body rejuvenation given in classical texts is indicative of the fact that the ancient Yogi and healers of different cultures attempted to solve the problem of biological processes reversibility

     We consider one of the specific ethnomedicine practices known as Yoga of Inner Fire or Tummo Yoga in Tibet.

     Travellers and investigators of Tibet of mid-20thcentury A. David-Neel [10], W.J. Evans-Wentz [11], J. Tucci [12] described Tummo practice during which Tibetan lamas dried wet blankets on their bodies at subzero temperature. "One of the evidence of yogi perfection is extraordinary empire over elements revealed, for example, in Tummo practiceTummo is one of Hatha Yoga exercises mostly based on control over respiration”. [12. p.98].

     Technique of inner fire awakening is described in Yoga Kundalini Upanishad as follows: “When Apana on its way up reaches the place of fire then fire awaken by the wind inflates and grows. Then Prana itself ignites with the came fire and then fire overwhelms all body with continuous burning” [5. С.134].

     Some meditative and respiratory exercises awakening heat in the body are presented in [10] and [11] . “The word Tummo is translated as “heat”, “warmth” but in Tibetan language it means not quite ordinary heat", wrote A. David-Neel. And she added that the attempts to describe that mysterious heat were based on the utmost incredible prejudices and inventions of the Tibetans about human body physiology [10. С. 276].   

     We formulate another contradictory situation within the frames of investigation of the Yoga of psychic heat.

     On one hand, Yoga classic texts describe some meditative and respiratory practices resulting in feeling of the heat in the body. Awakening of heat is in the base of Tummo yoga and allows to dry wet blankets on the back under subzero temperature. But notions about these processes which take place in the organism during these practices could be qualified as protoscientific ones.

     On the other hand, there is no such notion as Tummo in modern scientific papers relating to physiology and medicine. Though, physiological processes revealed during this practice find their fair place within the frames of the known notions of the modern physiology. In the 50-ies of the 20th century K.S. Trincher, the physiologist, proved it and published his monograph Heat-Generating Function and Alkalinity of Pulmonary Tissue Response [13] in which he stated that under some conditions human lungs could perform not only respiratory but also non-respiratory functions. In particular, non-fermentative blood lipids peroxidation could take place in lungs. Energy releasing reaction of aerobic lipids peroxidation results in significant alteration of thermodynamic characteristics of the body. In particular, it is positive excess entropy together with preservation of total homeostasis. In the course of it the reflexes observed are the same as with Tummo Yoga practice

     We are of the opinion that the same pulmonary tissue properties were noticed by the ancient Yogi and described in the texts which today are recognized as the classic ones.

     K.S. Trincher proved that heat production is possible through awakening of certain reflexes, and such heat is revealed as a result of direct lipids peroxidation in pulmonary blood.  Description of the phenomena discovered by K.S.Trincher totally corresponds to the description of the phenomena identified in Yoga as inner heat awakening during Tummo practice.

     Experimental works by K.S.Trincher related to non-respiratory pulmonary functions allowed defining the basic conditions under which reflex of lipids peroxidation in pulmonary blood takes place. Cold ambient air is the important condition. As is obvious from ethnographic sources and travellers' recollections, such phenomenal powers as drying wet blankets on the body are demonstrated by Tibetan lamas in the cold air conditions in Tibet and not by Yogi in the hot climate of India.

     Thanks to the available descriptions of meditative and respiratory exercises as well as to modern approach to understanding of the Yoga of inner heat we managed to repeat Tummo Yoga and check out the effect of lipids burning reflex empirically.

     First experiment was taken in March, 2004. During experiment venous blood sampling was taken after which Tummo was practiced during 10 minutes. Then repeated venous blood sampling was taken. Blood was analyzed for blood lipids. The analyses revealed cholesterol, lipoproteins and triglycerides quantity reduction. It was found that the author’s total cholesterol was 6.54 mmole/l before practice and 6.14 mmole/l after practice (N 3.6 – 5.2).

     The analyses results revealed that ten minutes' Tummo practice resulted in total cholesterol reduction. At the same time, all cholesterol indices were found above normal level. During the period from 2005 till 2007 of Tummo practice the author practically succeeded to restore normal cholesterol level: Blood sampling in November 2005 demonstrated total cholesterol reduction up to 5.4 mmole/l, and blood sampling taken in April 2007 showed normal index 5.1 mmole/l. In addition, cholesterol reduction up to normal level in all indices (HDL, LDL, VLDL) was registered.

     Besides physiological blood composition analysis, professor K.G. Korotkov and the author undertook Tummo practice investigations by means of bioelectrogarphy method in March, 2007. During experiment six serial measurements in the initial state and 8 measurements of 10 fingers during Tummo practice were taken. Measurements were taken in three minutes interval.  In total, Tummo practice during which a wet blanket was dried took 20 minutes. Values of all chakras were calculated with the help of GDV Chakra software. It was revealed that Manipura chakra became the most activated during Tummo practice [14. С.137]. And it was not by occasion.Fire energy which is activated during Tummo practice is connected with Manipura chakra.


     Summarizing the results:

1. Application of non-fermentative lipid peroxidation reflex discovered by K.S. Trincher allows introducing Tummo practice into the field of modern natural science.

2. The results of blood test for lipids reveal the fact that Tummo Yoga practice contributes to cholesterol reduction in blood and could be quite useful as preventive measure and non-drug treatment of atherosclerosis.

3. The revealed result - total blood cholesterol reduction up to normal level – confirms possibility of biological processes reversibility.

4. Application of bioelectrography method to Tummo practice studies permitted to record significant body energy potential increase.

     In our opinion, Tummo technique could be useful for practicing persons whose professional activity is connected with extreme ambient conditions. For example, it could be useful for training of the members of scientific and research expeditions working in Arctic and Antarctic regions, for professional mine climbers and mine rescue workers. Also it could be useful for special training of personnel of some armed forces subdivisions.



1. A.I. Ivanov, S.N. Tereshkin. New Approach to Ethnomedicine Texts AnalysisTask of Biological Processes Reversibility / Ethnophilological Text Analysis: Problems and Solutions. Collection of Scientific Articles. Edited by G.I. Banshchikova, G.S. Skorospelkina. – SPb.: “Nauka”, “SAGA”, 2007, pp. 129 – 136.

2. S.N. Tereshkin, R.S. Minvaleev, A,I, Ivanov. New Approach to Heat – Cold Paradigm in the Ethnomedical Texts / Ethnophilological Text Analysis:Problems and Solutions.Collection of Scientific Articles.Edited by G.I. Banshchikova, G.S. Skorospelkina. – SPb.:“Nauka”, “SAGA”, 2007, pp. 136 – 146.

3. A.I. Ivanov, S.N. Tereshkin.  Ethnomedicine:Mantras as “Kundalini Awakening” Control System / Ethnolingvoculturology:Problems and Solutions.Collection of Scientific Articles.Edited by G.S. Skorospelkina. – SPb.:Nauka”, “SAGA”, 2004, pp. 216 – 223.

4. I. Prigogin, D. Kondepudi. Modern Thermodynamics. From Heat Engines to Dissipative Structures: Translation from English by Y.A. Danilov and V.V. Bely M.: Mir, 2002 – 461 p. - (the best foreign textbook).

5. Upanishads of Yoga and Tantra. Translation from Sanskrit and compilation by B.V.Martynova. – M.:  Aleteya, 1999. – 256 p.:pictures.

6. Shiva’s Path (Anthology of Ancient Indian Classic Texts). Translation from Sanskrit by A. Rigina. - K.: Exlibris, 1994.

7. The Yellow Emeror's Tractate about the Inner. M.: “CHITRA”, 2002 – 288 p.

8. Ge Hong. Baopu-zi- Translation from Chinese, comments and foreword by E.A. Torchinova. SPb.: Petersburg Oriental Studies, 1999. – 384 p.

9. Gyu-zhi: Canon of Tibetan Medicine. Translation from Tibetan, foreword, comments, indices by D.B. Dashiev. – M.:Publishing Company “Oriental Literature” RAS, 2001. – 766 p.

10. David-Neel Alexandra. Magic and Mystery in Tibet. Translation from English by V.Kovalchuk. – K.:“Sofia”; M.:PH Gelios, 2003. – 400 p.

11. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Teachings. Edition, foreword and comments by W.J.Evans-Wentz / Translation from English by O.T. Tumanova. – M.:FAIR-PRESS, 2001. – 480

12. G. Tucci Santi e Briganti nel Tibet Ignoto: Diario della Spedizione nei Tibet Occidentale. 1935 / Translation from Italian, foreword and comments by A.A. Makygin. – SPb.:Aleteya, 2004. – 174 p.: pictures. - (Oriental Studies: textbooks, sources, investigations).

13. K.S. Trincher. Heat-Generating Function and Alkalinity of Pulmonary Tissue Response. Executive editor – P.A. Korzhuev, doctor of Biological Science. M. USSR Academy press, 1960 – 107 p. 1960. – 107 p.

14. S.N. Tereshkin, K.G. Korotkov, A,K. Korotkova. Alteration of Chakra Energies during Tummo Yoga Practice / XI International Science Congress - GDV Bioelectrography.Science. Information, Spirit. Proceedings. – St.Petersburg, 2007, pp.136-137.