Study: Brain can raise body temp

April 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM
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SINGAPORE, April 8 (UPI) -- Scientists in Singapore say studies have shown, for the first time, that it is possible for a person's body core temperature to be raised by their brain.

Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore reported they found core body temperature increases can be achieved using certain meditation techniques which could help in boosting immunity to fight infectious diseases or immunodeficiency.

The researchers documented reliable core body temperature increases for the first time in Tibetan nuns practicing a technique known as g-tummo meditation.

Considered by Tibetan practitioners one of the most sacred spiritual practices in the region, g-tummo meditation is very rare, practiced at only a few monasteries in the remote areas of eastern Tibet, a university release said.

Using electroencephalography recordings while monitoring temperatures, the researchers said they observed increases in core body temperature among the nuns up to 100.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

A second study with Western participants who used a breathing technique of the g-tummo meditative practice known as vase breathing found they were also able to increase their core body temperature, within limits.

"Vase breath" is a specific breathing technique that causes thermogenesis, a process of heat production, the researchers said.

"The participants whom I taught this technique to were able to elevate their body temperature, within limits, and reported feeling more energized and focused," researcher Maria Kozhevnikov said. "With further research, non-Tibetan meditators could use vase breathing to improve their health and regulate cognitive performance."

The study has been published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

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