Jul 15, 1977

Psychophysiologic processes in pyrovasy (fire walking) (author's transl)

Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten
C XenakisT Ballis


1. Using the model of pyrovasy (fire walking) we investigated human psychophysiologic processes, possible 'paranormal' human efficiency, and the scientific principles connected with the latter. The introduction is a field study description of the historical background and the cultic character of pyrovasy as a religious rite of invulnerability. 2. The psychophysical process during the ceremony of fire walking was investigated neurologically and psychiatrically with polygraphic recordings from four Greek fire walkers in a Greek village. 3. We did not find any pathognostically relevant results. The conditions of pyrovasy were also simulated in a thermophysical laboratory experiment. All results of the investigation support the hypothesis that fire walking lies within the scope of human efficiency. 4. The hypalgesia experienced during pyrovasy has, among other things, a psychologic component with specific effects on the physical regulation of temperature, and is also partly due to a special technique of walking.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Mind-Body Relations (Physiology)
Cultural Characteristics
Heat Loss

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