Posted by: callighan | 3 August 2009

Biorhythm’s Sloppy Seconds…

After my last post which generally describes what Biorhythm is, I would now continue my inquiry into the second question which I posed in my previous post; is Biorhythm hypothetical?

Let’s start off by defining our foothold. In the previous post, I have asserted that there are several cycles which generally pertains to a person’s well-being. Peculiarly, I’ve only described what these cycles do and not what these cycles are. And in order to know what those cycles are, we need to look back into their origins. So come this way and step into my deviously spacious Tardis (it’s a time vessel for those of you not in the know) and jot a course for the early 1900s.

The story of Biosho… I mean, Biorhythm starts with two esteemed intelligentsia in Europe; Dr. Hermann Swoboda of the University of Vienna (nice place, bytheway), and Wilhelm Fliess, M.D. a Berlin physician. Allerdings!

Both of these men came up with the theory that human daily life is significantly affected by rhythmic cycles. An interesting fact is that these men were not in contact with each other and both came to the same conclusion through separate, albeit similar observations.

Fliess

Wilhelm Fliess, M.D.

It was Herr Fliess who came to his conclusion first. Fliess was intrigued that some children who were exposed to contagious diseases would remain immune for days, only to succumb on a periodic day. His intrigue led to him tracing through records of illnesses, fever outbreaks, deaths and births. Through this rummage, he discovered and postulated that there are 23-day physical and 28-day emotional cycles that affect humans. Fliess dubbed the 23-day cycle as “male” and the 28-day cycle as “female” with the latter being influenced by menstruation.

Swoboda

Dr. Hermann Swoboda

Herr Swoboda came to the same conclusion as Fliess some years later. And he claimed to have done so on his own. As a professor of psychology, Swoboda’s research had come to the intrigue of whether a person’s feelings, actions, and dispositions are somehow cyclical and thus, regular in nature. In a research between 1897 and 1902, he recorded the recurrence of pain and the swelling of tissues such as is experienced in insect bites. Through these records, Swoboda discovers periodicities pertaining to fevers, illness outbreaks and heart attacks. This led to his discovery of a 23-day physical cycle and a 28-day emotional cycle in man. It is important to note that Swoboda’s main concern was psychology and that his main interests was to find out whether a man’ action and feelings (not medical health) were influenced by certain cycles and more importantly, whether these cycles could be pre-calculated. Swoboda then endeavored to verify that most major events in life such as birth, illness, and death, fall on periodic days and involve family relationships.

The Xerox conclusion of both these men are dubbed as the classical theory in biorhythm. And that the classical theory in biorhythm pertains to the conditions of physical fitness and emotional well-being. So now that we have the body and the emotion, what is missing from the mix?

Ah yes, the mind.

Here's what you're missing.

Ah yes, the mind.

The mind cycle is also the result of two separate researches. Albeit, one of those researches is done by two people.

On one side of the Atlantic ocean, Alfred Teltseher (in some sources, written as Teltscher) discovered a 33-day intellectual cycle in the 1920s, after observing periods in which a student could easily eat up new knowledge unto the papyrus that’s called his head and periods in which the same person’s thinking capacity is akin to that of the village idiot.

Lo and behold, in 1928, Dr. Rexford Hersey (a psychologist working at the University of Pennsylvania, mind you) and Dr. Michael J. Bennett conducted similar research and observation on human guinea pigs railroad workers. Their findings were a bit similar to that of Teltseher’s; there’s a 33-day cycle that regulates the sharpness of a person’s mind. And in some cases, that cycle extends to 35 days.Being in the land of fame and fortube, they published their findings which eventually got reprinted in the August 1935 edition of Reader’s Digest.

Coming to the infinitely small and inconsequential point of the present time, we find a new finding. A finding which can only be found with a peering, finding eye. Does biorhythm matter? And is it reliable to calculate productivity?

If you think that the works of five (two is off, and one is too small a number, while seven is unsubstantiated, and twenty is right out), yes, five different leading scholars on the subject are proof enough that biorhythm is scientific and ergo, richtig, you absolutely have the right to believe that.

Nietzsche prophesied many years back of a breed of phillosophers; the philosophers of the dangerous “perhaps“. And as a “perhapsian” myself, I’m inclined to seek out more memes on this. Be it archaic, extinct or existing.

And it came to be that the tale of the moonstruck scientists came unto my lap (or rather, eyes, as I read it on a kindle laptop on my desk).

The tale tells of scientists of Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque who arrived at remarkable findings in 1972.

These scientists found that

the possibility of a heightened accident susceptibility for people during the phase similar to that in which they were born, and for the lunar phase which is 180Β° away from that in which they were born“.

And further, these scientists note that

these accidents tended to peak in cycles of the new moon in apogee, the point at which the moon is farthest from the earth“.

The caveat of this find is that the evidence in their findings are “somewhat skimpy“.

Mm... skimpy.

On a brighter note, here’s an interesting fact I pulled from a 1972 Time Magazine article:

In Japan, the Ohmi Railway Co. has stored in a computer the biorhythms of each of its 500 bus drivers. At the beginning of each shift, drivers scheduled to have “bad” days are given a card reminding them to be extra careful. In their first biorhythmic year, 1969, Ohmi’s drivers achieved a 50% drop in accidents, a downward trend that continued last year.

* Based on scientifically unproven 23-, 28-and 33-day biological cycles.

So now do I believe in Biorhythm?

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

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Responses

  1. wow, i just realize πŸ˜† that your articles about biorythm (this one and the last one) are very interesting, especially that, i wonder, using this method, somebody can calculate to determines a “bad day or good day” for him/her (scientifically???)

    very interesting post so that makes me want to make a translation of this article to put on my blog, hahaha…. πŸ˜†

    .

  2. I haven’t checked it on me yet.
    I’ve been writing these articles with a degree of skepticism.

    You’re welcomed to make a translation of these articles and place them in your blog. But do credit me.

    Eine shoenes wochenende, ZonS!

  3. I like this article because it accompanied by the history which wikipedia isn’t.
    Until now, i still haven’t good moment to write biorhytim in my blog.

  4. Webpages worth checking out…

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