Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Philosophy Wire: Internal temperature, mind, meditation...

3045996598_434293e02bPhilosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2013-04-10]:

A team of researchers at the National University of Singapore showed for the first time that g-tummo meditation has been used by Tibetan nuns to increase their core body temperature.
The researchers, who published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE, collected data during a unique ceremony in Tibet in which nuns raised their core body temperature and dried wet sheets which were wrapped around their bodies in -25 degree Celsius temperatures.

journal.pone.0058244.g004

The nuns used two techniques: Vase breath and concentrative visualization. ‘Vase breath’ is a specific breathing technique which causes thermogenesis, which is a process of heat production. The other technique, concentrative visualization, involves focusing on a mental image of flames along the spinal cord in order to prevent heat losses. Using electroencephalography (EEG) recordings and temperature measures, the team observed increases in core body temperature up to 38.3 degree Celsius - normal body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius. [web news]

This is an impressive result, given that the hippocampus which controls human body temperature is not believed to be controlled consciously. Mind over body? Or just an unknown power of the brain?


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