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Feeling cold? Why not try meditating?

Scientists prove you can use your brain to increase your core body temperature
Tibetan nuns increase their body temperatures using g-tummo meditation Use breathing and mental imagery to increase it to more than 38 degrees The technique could be used by people trying to function in very cold places
By Emma Innes PUBLISHED: 12:23 GMT, 9 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:23 GMT, 9 April 2013

Meditating can make you warmer, researchers studying ancient Tibetan techniques have found. Scientists in Singapore say the discovery means core body temperature can be controlled by the brain - and could have major implications for people working in extreme environmentsd The researchers have discovered that core body temperature can be increased by using certain meditation techniques. They believe that meditation could, therefore, also be used to help people to function in very cold environments.

Tibetan nuns are able to use meditation techniques to increase their core body temperature

The 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. Previous research has only shown that g-tummo meditators are able to increase the peripheral body temperature in their fingers and toes. 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. 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. A second study was then 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. The findings from this study showed that specific aspects of the meditation techniques can be used by non-meditators to regulate their body temperature through breathing and mental imagery.

WHAT IS G-TUMMO MEDITATION?


G-tummo is a form of yoga found in Tibetan teachings. Its purpose is to gain control over the body's processes. It uses a system of visualisations and breathing techniques including 'vase breathing'. Vase breathing involves breathing into the abdomen and then not releasing all of the air from the belly before taking another breath. This form of yoga is most commonly found in the Himalayas. It can enable people to increase the temperature of their extremities and can also be used to change metabolism rates. This could allow them to adapt to, and function in, cold environments and could reduce performance problems associated with decreased body temperature. The two aspects of g-tummo meditation that lead to temperature increases are vase breath and concentrative visualisation. Vase breath is a specific breathing technique which causes thermogenesis, which is a process of heat production. The other technique, concentrative visualisation, involves focusing on a mental image of flames along the spinal cord in order to prevent heat losses. Both techniques work in conjunction leading to elevated temperatures up to the level of moderate fever. Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, said: Practicing vase breathing alone is a safe technique to regulate core body temperature in a normal range.

A second study using Western participants showed that they were also able to increase their core body temperature using breathing and mental imagery

The participants whom I taught this technique to were able to elevate their body temperature, within limits, and reported feeling more energised and focused. With further research, non-Tibetan meditators could use vase breathing to improve their health and regulate cognitive performance. Monasteries maintaining g-tummo traditions are very rare and are mostly located in the remote areas of eastern Tibet.

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Comments (6)
Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated View all Of course the fact that this amazing 'discovery' was made in Singapore - where the average temperature at this time of the year is about 30 degrees Celsius - and not at the University of Anchorage - where it's currently minus 8 degrees Celsius - could have something to do with it? - Not Him Again , Soon to be, Western Sahara, 10/4/2013 09:20 Click to rate Report abuse I like the study of mental energy, and eventually you'll see me gathering it in my palms. "Hadouken!" - userpete86 , Irvine, United States, 09/4/2013 20:54 Click to rate Report abuse Have to go in the garden and give it a go. If the news reports a handsome bloke dead in his garden in his PJ's tomorrow, then that'll be me and it didn't work! - Dude , Small Plot Of Land, 09/4/2013 20:51 Click to rate Report abuse Interesting article explaining some of the many wonders of meditaton. - Geoff Wall-Davis1 , Birmingham, United Kingdom, 09/4/2013 20:22 Rating 6 Rating 2 Rating 2

Click to rate Report abuse

Rating 6

Failing that just turn on the central heating - Peggy , Leicester, UK, 09/4/2013 18:25 Click to rate Report abuse If it was that cold, why didn't the sheets freeze, too? I'm not buying any of this crap. - lindyevans , springfield-il, 09/4/2013 18:21 Click to rate Report abuse The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Today's headlines Most Read Dazzling pictures of Orion Nebula captured from a back garden in Germany Scientists baffled by see-through 'ice fish' with transparent BLOOD Now chocolate can be one of your five-a-day: Scientists create bars without the fat that are made from fruit juice Workers send and receive 10,000 emails a year - but has it made us any more productive? 'Give me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating through the air': Transcript reveals the toilet trials of the Apollo astronauts Fracking causes as much seismic activity as 'jumping off a ladder': Controversial method for extracting gas is 'extremely unlikely to trigger an earthquake we would feel' Bright lights, traveling through a tunnel and the sensation of leaving your own body: How recollections of near-death experiences are 'more real than real' Feeling cold? Why not try meditating? Scientists prove you can use your brain to increase your core body temperature No map? It's no problem for monarch butterflies: Researchers find insects migrate using JUST an internal compass Adele tops all-time download chart as UK buys a BILLION digital singles (legally) How Mars lost its atmosphere: Curiosity confirms 'space leak' - but finds there are still dust storms and whirlwinds on the red planet Get ready for bumpier flights from London to New York: Climate change set to increase chances of hitting strong air turbulence Microsoft and Nokia go to war with Google over 'trojan horse' Android phone software Rhino DNA database will allow police to trace ANY horn they find on sale EE set to double Britain's superfast 4G speeds in bid to beat rivals Through the Google Glass: Revealed, the secrets of how search giant's eyewear really works Violent images in movies, TV or computer games CAN act as triggers for aggression, says new report Terrifying condom slingshot hoping to win 65,000 from Bill Gates (but would YOU try it?) Could lip-smacking noises made by monkeys be the start of human speech? Exhaled breath is as 'individual as a fingerprint': Groundbreaking discovery could help spot illness and even replace dope tests for athletes MORE HEADLINES Through the Google Glass: Revealed, the secrets of how search giant's eyewear really works Terrifying condom slingshot hoping to win 65,000 from Bill Gates (but would YOU try it?) Bright lights, traveling through a tunnel and the sensation of leaving your own body: How recollections of near-death experiences are 'more real than real' Now chocolate can be one of your five-a-day: Scientists create bars without the fat that are made from fruit juice 'Give me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating through the air': Transcript reveals the toilet trials of the Apollo astronauts Fracking causes as much seismic activity as 'jumping off a ladder': Controversial method for extracting gas is 'extremely unlikely to trigger an earthquake we would feel' Adele tops all-time download chart as UK buys a BILLION digital singles (legally) Microsoft and Nokia go to war with Google over 'trojan horse' Android phone software Get ready for bumpier flights from London to New York: Climate change set to increase chances of hitting strong air turbulence Rating 9 Rating 1

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