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Old 11-06-02, 09:57 AM   #1
Hawkphoto
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Psychological Effects of Cadence and Breathing Induced Meditation

Hey,

I'm writing a research paper on an interesting subject, and I need your help!

My thesis goes something like this:

Cycling reaps the psychological and physiological effects of meditation, self-hypnosis, and self induced trance through rhythmic cadence and regulated breathing during prolonged physical exertion.

I'm most interested in the Alpha Waves and Beta Waves that mimic meditative states of mind and altered states of consciousness. I want to approach the subject very scientifically and delve into EEG's and Neurological Effects as well as what exactly happens in the body, during endurance type excercises (cycling) that lets the mind self medicate...

I'm having trouble finding sources and I know that you all are the saviest cyclists in the world, and someone out there can point me in the right direction!

Thank You in Advance,

Fellow Cyclist,

Mike
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Old 11-06-02, 07:13 PM   #2
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Get an ambulatory EEG, find some victims, I mean subjects and get crank'n.
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Old 11-06-02, 07:29 PM   #3
Pete Clark
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hawkphoto
My thesis goes something like this:

Cycling reaps the psychological and physiological effects of meditation, self-hypnosis, and self induced trance through rhythmic cadence and regulated breathing during prolonged physical exertion.


Cycling is not the only thing that fits this description.
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Old 11-06-02, 09:02 PM   #4
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I don't know that it's a trance.. but I know that riding helps me sort things out when I'm frustrated. perhaps it is a meditation, perhaps it is just that there is nothing to distract me from thinking, or perhaps my sheer anger is taken out by mashing the pedals up a climb, whatever the reason I always feel good mentally after riding. As for alpha and beta waves, I think alpha comes when you are completely in a state of focus and so good cyclists who are focused on their objective will probably show this. just a guess though
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Old 11-06-02, 11:14 PM   #5
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all 'exertional' exercise produces a stress on your body. i'm not talking about just the physical stress, but the mental stress that comes with a release of 'stress hormones' these 'stressors' act in a sequence that mimics a cascade that then effects other hormones that regulate everything from serotonin (sleep) to specific hormones that guide metabolism, mood, etc.

if you are a cyclist that pushes oneself to get better due to a training situation, that is very different than tooling around.

that being said, i find that i do my best biking (and most enjoyable biking) when i am in a rythmic zone, weather i am combating a headwind or not. in a safe ~65-70% 'recovery' heart rate, a trained athlete can and should feel the calm - as evidenced by the low resting heart rate and the resulting 'zone' that you can get in.

i find a parallel between the mental benefits gotten from my yoga classes and my biking. i have biked 70-90 miles and been so focused on nothing much of anything and suddenly find myself at the end of my ride.

i'd look into the EEG results of wind tunnel tests done with the olympic training in colorado. there must be EEG results on file with those athletes, no?
what about articles written by RAAM athletes?
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Old 11-07-02, 04:17 AM   #6
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Hawkphoto - a few weeks ago I was chatting to a colleague at work who told me about a ride he was doing some months back. He'd been out for a few hours, and he came to a steep climb and as he rode over the crest, he got his breath back for the downhill. He said everyting was going just fine, he was picking up speed, got his riding line nicely planned, and he was 'getting' into it. For some reason, though fully conscious, he 'lost' his awareness of what was going on around him, and he slammed into a tree in excess of 25mph! His bike was utterly wrecked. It knocked the wind out of his sails, as you can imagine, and though he felt little pain, he made his way to the local hospital where they removed a sharp piece of the tree that had passed through his arm. He showed me the scar, it is ragged, and he had to have surgery to remove it. He said he still does not know how it happened.

I think it was in the same category as a runner I read about, who supposedly got so wrapped up in the run, that he apparently ran over a cliff, and was killed. Could be an urban legend, I don't know?
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Old 11-07-02, 08:44 AM   #7
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Quote:

My thesis goes something like this:

Cycling reaps the psychological and physiological effects of meditation, self-hypnosis, and self induced trance through rhythmic cadence and regulated breathing during prolonged physical exertion.



I think you are going to have some trouble with this thesis. What you describe is the effect not the cause, and as was mentioned earlier, cycling is just one of many activities that exhibit these effects:

Grand Master Remy Presas (founder of Modern Arnis, one of the martial arts of the Phillipines) called this "the Flow".

Bhuddist monks have been doing this for centuries while sitting still, with no physical exertion at all.

Have you ever had an evening of shooting billiards or playing chess where you just could not be beat ? It is the same phenomena.

All of this has nothing to do with physical activity, cadence, breathing, or any kind of a trance. What all of these things have in common is that for a short period of time you are really paying attention to what is happening around you. Training (if any) has become internalized to such a point that it can drop away. For example a carpenter using a saw is thinking about the work, not the saw. The tools just sort of disappear.

What you are describing is nothing more than authentically experiencing the world. Most of us (myself included) spend too much time buzzing around, preoccupied with ourselves and our concerns, to slow down and really experience creation.

regards
Dan
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