Lots of people have been sharing first-hand reports of their personal experience of the so-called "Kundalini awakening". The following are a few illustrative anecdotes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, taken from YouTube and the subreddit on Kundalini.

Marjorie Woollacott, PhD and professor of Neuroscience and Human Physiology at the University of Oregon, has devoted part of her time to the research of the "Kundalini awakening" phenomenon. In her recent paper titled Investigation of the phenomenology, physiology and impact of spiritually transformative experiences - kundalini awakening (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32753262/), she makes the following claim:

The rationale for this study was that though there are many scientific articles published on stress reduction and increased mental function related to meditation, yoga and other tools that come from spiritual traditions, peer-reviewed research on energetic or kundalini awakenings is rare. This may be due to the phenomenology of this awakening, which does not easily fit into the current materialist scientific paradigm. Nor is it easily amenable to traditional means of scientific experimentation and measurement.

To understand why Woollacott claims this, let's look at the typical symptoms of the "Kundalini awakening" syndrome.

The most frequent and distinctive one appears to be the feeling of an "energy" or "electric current" moving up the spine toward the crown of the head. Here is a quote about this from Woollacott's paper:

Energetic awakenings are often accompanied by physiological experiences. Historical texts [6,7] and modern research [22] concur that as part of the awakening and transformative process, many individuals feel energy moving up the spine toward the crown of the head, or centered in the heart. This is frequently associated with inner sounds or an experience of radiant light, a sense of joy, or a sense of deep interconnectedness with others.

The Wikipedia article on Kundalini seconds this:

The Kuṇḍalinī experience is frequently reported to be a distinct feeling of electric current running along the spine.[8][9][10]

Other symptoms and results of the "Kundalini awakening" syndrome are summarized in the following tables and figures from the paper:


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Other people holding reputable credentials who acknowledge the "Kundalini awakening" as a real phenomenon are Boonie Greenwell (PhD) and Lawrence Edwards (PhD). Here are a couple of interviews with them: 1, 2.

Also, here is an interview Marjorie Woollacott gave to Jeffrey Mishlove, in which they discuss different aspects of the Kundalini awakening and the main conclusions of Woollacott's paper.

QUESTION: What is a scientific explanation for the symptoms of the "Kundalini awakening" syndrome, such as the feeling of an "energy" moving up along the spine, vibrations, electric currents, heat, euphoria / bliss, among others?

  • $\begingroup$ May I ask why the downvote? Isn't this a legitimate question about a commonly reported phenomenon? If something is wrong with the question, please let me know by commenting below. I'm open to constructive criticism. $\endgroup$ – Spirit Realm Investigator Nov 7 at 3:35
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    $\begingroup$ I am not the downvoter, but I fear that even with well sourced questions, the research you study is going to attract a lot of downvotes in a scientific stack like this. Pretty much most of the "spirit realm" is considered pseudoscientific. There may be real phenomena which cannot be explained by science as of yet, but the hard scientific minds of some here will dismiss any possibility of it being real until it is able to be observed scientifically. As Kundalini has its roots in Hinduism, maybe Hinduism.SE is the best site for this question? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Nov 7 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ Having said that, looking into the issue, questions under the tag spirituality are on-topic as the tag is for questions relating to spirituality within the fields of Cognitive Science of Religion and Neurotheology/Spiritual Neuroscience $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Nov 7 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds a bit like non-epileptic pseudo seizures (PNES). $\endgroup$ – Mike Borden Dec 2 at 0:14

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