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Saralyn Mark, MD Meditation
Meditation may help to increase core body temperatures in cold climates. It would also be interesting to study if meditation can decrease temperature during menopause when one may have hot flashes. Meditation impacts the brain and our hormones and can increase neurotransmitters that send a signal of well-being.
Apr. 8, 2013 — A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences showed, for the first time, that it is possible for core body temperature to be controlled by the brain. The scientists found that core body temperature increases can be achieved using certain meditation techniques (g-tummo) which could help in boosting immunity to fight infectious diseases or immunodeficiency.
Published in science journal PLOS ONE in March 2013, the study documented reliable core body temperature increases for the first time in Tibetan nuns practising g-tummo meditation. Previous studies on g-tummo meditators showed only increases in peripheral body temperature in the fingers and toes. The g-tummo meditative practice controls “inner energy” and is considered by Tibetan practitioners as one of the most sacred spiritual practices in the region. Monasteries maintaining g-tummo traditions are very rare and are mostly located in the remote areas of eastern Tibet.
The researchers collected data during the unique ceremony in Tibet, where nuns were able to raise their core body temperature and dry up wet sheets wrapped around their bodies in the cold Himalayan weather (-25 degree Celsius) while meditating. Using electroencephalography (EEG) recordings and temperature measures, the team observed increases in core body temperature up to 38.3 degree Celsius. A second study was conducted with Western participants who used a breathing technique of the g-tummo meditative practice and they were also able to increase their core body temperature, within limits.
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- Maria Kozhevnikov, James Elliott, Jennifer Shephard, Klaus Gramann. Neurocognitive and Somatic Components of Temperature Increases during g-Tummo Meditation: Legend and Reality. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (3): e58244 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058244
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