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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Scientists Search for Medical Secrets in Himalayas

June 18, 2008

By Ali Nassor
Special to The St. Petersburg Times (Russia)
June 17, 2008

Rinad Minvaleyev (r) practising Tum-Mo yoga in the Himalayan
Mountains during a recent expedition to discover its secrets.

A group of St. Petersburg scientists have returned from the Himalayan
Mountains after learning the secrets of an almost-extinct form of
Tibetan yoga that they hope can be used to cure diseases in the West.

The scientists have recently completed a two-month mission to find
traces of Tum-Mo, a form of Tibetan Buddhist yoga that preserves body
temperatures through excessive production of internal heat despite
the body's exposure to extremely cold mountain climates.

The technique could be applied in areas with extreme cold climates,
such as Russia, to prevent and treat heart disease, cancer,
tuberculosis, pneumonia and influenza if developed, Rinad Minvaleyev,
a physiologist, mathematician and the team's senior researcher, said.

"In fact, Tum-Mo is about the human being's adaptation to low
temperatures where thermo-dynamic functioning of a human liver is
activated to further regulate the heating process," said Minvaleyev,
referring to a mathematical formula he co-established last year.

Irina Arkhipova, a yoga specialist, who was head of the mission and
architect of St. Petersburg's Search for Lost Knowledge Program,
which holds annual mountaineering events aimed at promoting medical
science, said that although "there were considerable breakthroughs in
our mission, it would be immature to reveal the exact outcomes with
accuracy, pending the ongoing laboratory examinations."

Arkhipova, who is also a director of St. Petersburg's Pharaoh
Historical Movie Studio, led a team of 45 experts including 14
medical doctors, physicists and yoga enthusiasts to the snow-capped,
4,000-meter high Indian Himalayan province of Himachal Pradesh.

The team paid visits to Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in search of
Tum-Mo's medical secrets, currently on the verge of being lost to
posterity because "the last lama who practiced Tum-Mo in that part of
the Himalayan Mountains died last year," leaving scant oral traces of
the ancient tradition, Arkhipova said.

However, after visits to about 40 monasteries, monks showed
Arkhipova's team a route across the Kully Gorge, reputed for its
unpredictably harsh weather, to the top of the Rotang ridge, one of
the rare spots where until recently Tum-Mo was practiced.

However the team did not reach the Rotang because of snow in the
middle of the Kully Gorge, blocking the way.

"We resorted to practicing yoga on the ice surfaces beneath the
waterfalls in the Rotang Valley, and everything was fantastic even
for those who were on such a mission for the first time," she said

Determined to reach the home of Tum-Mo on the top of Rotang, the
adventurers have vowed to return next year.

The team said it had gathered enough material on the technique during
the recent trip to warrant continued research.

In 2002 research into the medical benefits of Tum-Mo was carried out
by Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at the Harvard
Medical School and president of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind
Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, U.S.,
reported the Harvard Gazette.

Benson was quoted as saying that studying advanced forms of
meditation such as Tum-mo "can uncover capacities that will help us
to better treat stress-related illnesses" but that more research into
the technique was required.

Benson has been researching Tum-Mo since 1979 when the Dalai Lama
gave his blessing on a trip to Harvard University, reported the
Harvard Gazette.
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