Need infor. on Kavadi and other Indian body piercing rituals (FWD)

Noel Salmond nsalmond at CCS.CARLETON.CA
Thu Mar 30 16:30:44 UTC 2000

Dr. Raymond Prince and a team of medical researchers from Montreal at the
McGill University Dept. of Psychiatry (Institute of Cross-Cultural
Psychiatry) did a study of kaavadi bearing by Tamil Hindus in Kuala Lumpur
(I think this was back in the early 80's). They were investigating the role
of endorphins with the hypothesis that the trance states induced by the
religious preceptors generated these natural pain inhibitors. Dr.Prince is
retired but someone at the institute might be able to put you on to the
paper describing the results of the tests conducted in this study.

Noel Salmond
Carleton University
Ottawa, Canada

At 05:11 PM 3/30/00 +0100, you wrote:
>Hello there:
>I am doing a film for the Discovery Channel on various religious practices
>involving the body and am interested in the rituals done in Tamil
>Nadu or elsewhere in India involving piercing the flesh or kaavadi bearing. I
>want to know how I could find out more. I have had a hard time getting
>information on this. Thanks
>My e mail is Terni at
>Thanks in advance for any tips.
>Heidi Ewing

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