IAS officer blows conch at Science Congress, extols benefits

Mysuru, Jan 6 (IANS) Contending blowing a conch was ideal for fitness and wellness, a senior IAS officer blew the ivory-coloured seashell horn thrice at the 103rd Indian Science Congress here.

“Conch (shankh), if blown in a correct and proper manner, has positive effect on our physical and mental health,” Rajeev Sharma, who is currently additional divisional commissioner of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, told IANS after demonstrating to delegates the virtues of a conch found in the Indian Ocean.

Conches, which are of varying sizes, weight and usually oblong or conically shaped, have protuberances in middle and taper off at both ends, with the upper portion, or the mouth, corkscrew shaped while other end is tapering and twisted.

“Modern medicines treat only body and not mind though root cause of all ailments is psycho or mental. Only an indigenous device like conch can treat both body and mind,” Sharma said after presenting a paper on ‘Blowing of shank (conch) – an indigenous tradition for fitness and wellness’ at a plenary session in University of Mysore campus on the penultimate of the five-day science fair here on Wednesday.

He noted that since time immemorial, the conch has been used by Hindu kings and warriors as a sign of their presence in the battlefield and bravery, as well as by devotees.

Seated on a dais in a yogic posture (padmasan), the bureaucrat also demonstrated to other delegates’ vibrations that power body and mind by blowing the conch correctly.

“Blowing of a conch is a unique exercise of human body and mind, activating other parts such as prostrate, urinary tract, diaphragm and chest and neck muscles. Sound emanating from conch has specific wave length and frequency. It relaxes and sooths mind and facilitate dhyan (meditate) and reduce mental tension,” Sharma said.

Asserting that blowing a conch daily was a healthy exercise for all irrespective of age and gender, he said it had also had spiritual powers if blown correctly under training and guidance of an experienced instructor.

“To blow a conch correctly, sit comfortably with legs in folded posture (padmasan) and spinal cord and neck straight. Inhale as much air as you can and retain it for a while and then exhale. Do it for two-three times. Then put mouth of conch between lips, slights on right side and slowly blow air inside it. Do it as many times as you can though you may not be able create sound in first attempt,” he said.

Explaining the science behind the exercise, he said when conch was blown, the user inhales air and retains it in lungs and stomach while the navel region is pushed inside and lower abdominal muscles along with rectal muscles contract and stretched.

“The rectal muscles are pushed inside and stretched upward. Then, muscles get released as we exhale and navel region expands. At time of blowing, blood start gushing into the head region and brain,” Sharma noted.

“Conch blowing is an excellent exercise for urinary bladder and urinary tract and diaphragm muscles. Lungs get expanded with their aerial capacity improved. Air retention by body also improves,” he added.

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