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Meditation changes temperatures: Mind controls body


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#1 prander

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:40 PM

Hi all.

I would love to primarily hear any skeptical explanations, opinions, reactions, etc. to this. Though, anyone else feel free to reply, just as well.

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Meditation changes temperatures: Mind controls body in extreme experiments
By William J. Cromie
Issue: Apr. 18, 2002
http://www.hno.harva...8/09-tummo.html

In a monastery in northern India, thinly clad Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room where the temperature was a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a yoga technique known as g Tum-mo, they entered a state of deep meditation. Other monks soaked 3-by-6-foot sheets in cold water (49 degrees) and placed them over the meditators' shoulders. For untrained people, such frigid wrappings would produce uncontrolled shivering.

If body temperatures continue to drop under these conditions, death can result. But it was not long before steam began rising from the sheets. As a result of body heat produced by the monks during meditation, the sheets dried in about an hour.

Attendants removed the sheets, then covered the meditators with a second chilled, wet wrapping. Each monk was required to dry three sheets over a period of several hours.

Why would anyone do this? Herbert Benson, who has been studying g Tum-mo for 20 years, answers that "Buddhists feel the reality we live in is not the ultimate one. There's another reality we can tap into that's unaffected by our emotions, by our everyday world. Buddhists believe this state of mind can be achieved by doing good for others and by meditation. The heat they generate during the process is just a by-product of g Tum-mo meditation."

Benson is an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He firmly believes that studying advanced forms of meditation "can uncover capacities that will help us to better treat stress-related illnesses."

Benson developed the "relaxation response," which he describes as "a physiological state opposite to stress." It is characterized by decreases in metabolism, breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. He and others have amassed evidence that it can help those suffering from illnesses caused or exacerbated by stress. Benson and colleagues use it to treat anxiety, mild and moderate depression, high blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, excessive anger, insomnia, and even infertility. His team also uses this type of simple meditation to calm those who have been traumatized by the deaths of others, or by diagnoses of cancer or other painful, life-threatening illnesses.

"More than 60 percent of visits to physicians in the United States are due to stress-related problems, most of which are poorly treated by drugs, surgery, or other medical procedures," Benson maintains.

The Mind/Body Medical Institute is now training people to use the relaxation response to help people working at Ground Zero in New York City, where two airplanes toppled the World Trade Center Towers last Sept. 11. Facilities have been set up at nearby St. Paul's Chapel to aid people still working on clearing wreckage and bodies. Anyone else who feels stressed by those terrible events can also obtain help at the chapel. "We are training the trainers who work there," Benson says.

The relaxation response involves repeating a word, sound, phrase, or short prayer while disregarding intrusive thoughts. "If such an easy-to-master practice can bring about the remarkable changes we observe," Benson notes. "I want to investigate what advanced forms of meditation can do to help the mind control physical processes once thought to be uncontrollable."

Full Text ...


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I can't seem to edit the title of this thread... Can someone change "ody" to "Body"?

Edited by prander, 06 February 2008 - 10:44 PM.


#2 prander

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:18 PM

I need to get used to this software... If a staff member would be so kind, could s/he capitalize the entire title? I meant to do that, but had a computer fart.

"Meditation Changes Temperatures: Mind Controls Body" would be what I originally meant to have.

Thanks much.

#3 Puti

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:41 PM

prander, welcome to Ghost Village.
I'm not one of the skeptics. I truly believe this.
I also believe that when a person has an illness, that is serving them well, they will not attempt meditation.
"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#4 prander

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:20 AM

prander, welcome to Ghost Village.

Thanks, Puti.

I'm not one of the skeptics. I truly believe this.

Yes, I'm finding it compelling. Thus I'm asking for arguments and whatnot against it.

#5 Puti

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:37 AM

There are none! LOL
If one does not believe this, there is a way to find out for sure. Go there. There's plenty of scientific study on this subject.

Edited by Puti, 07 February 2008 - 12:39 AM.

"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#6 prander

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:19 AM

I guess I'll throw these out... Some related articles I've come across.

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Science Explores Meditation's Effect on the Brain
July 26, 2005
http://www.npr.org/t...storyId=4770779

People who meditate say it induces well-being and emotional balance. In recent years, a group of neuroscientists has begun investigating the practice, dubbed "mindfulness." As NPR's Allison Aubrey reports, they are exploring the hypothesis that meditation can actually change the way the brain works.

Web Extra: Mindfulness for the Masses

Scientists are taking advantage of new technologies to see exactly what goes on inside the brains of Buddhist monks and other so-called "Olympian" meditators -- individuals who meditate intensively and regularly. The neuroscientists hypothesize that regular meditation actually alters the way the brain is wired, and that these changes could be at the heart of claims that meditation can improve health and well-being.

But the rigors of the scientific method might never have been applied to studying the practice of meditation if it weren't for a vocal population of scientist-meditators. For decades, several of these individuals have been spreading the word about the beneficial effects of this traditional Eastern practice to the Western world.

In 1998, Dr. James Austin, a neurologist, wrote the book Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness. Several mindfulness researchers cite his book as a reason they became interested in the field. In it, Austin examines consciousness by intertwining his personal experiences with Zen meditation with explanations backed up by hard science. When he describes how meditation can "sculpt" the brain, he means it literally and figuratively.

Full Text ...

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Meditation changes what monks see
June 7, 2005
http://abc.net.au/sc...es/s1383179.htm

Meditation can literally change the way Buddhist monks see the world, reports a new study.

It leads monks to interpret images in a positive way and expert meditators tend to linger on these 'happy' images the longest.

Professor Jack Pettigrew, an Australian neuroscientist from the University of Queensland, and colleagues report their research with Himalayan monks in the latest issue of the journal Current Biology.

Pettigrew and team investigated how monks process 'perceptual rivalry'.

This is what happens when someone is presented with an image that can be seen two different ways.

The classic example of such an image is one that can be seen as two faces in profile facing each other on a white background, or a single vase on a black background.

The average person flicks back and forth between the two ways of seeing the image within seconds.

Pettigrew and team spent a month studying 76 Tibetan Buddhist monks who had practiced mediation from five to 54 years in the Himalaya, Zanskar and the Ladakhi Ranges of India.

Full Text ...

#7 dnor28

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 10:34 AM

I also believe that when a person has an illness, that is serving them well, they will not attempt meditation.



Hi Puti! I was just curious what you meant by that? I have some illnesses that is plaguing my body right now and I am trying to do some self healing by meditation, positive thoughts, etc. I have never meditated before and I am learning how to do so, so I was wondering if the reason I am having such a hard time with getting my mind to clear when I am meditating is because of my illnesses. I would love to hear more about it and what others think on this.

#8 Puti

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:06 AM

First off, everything I spout off about is my own personal opinion, based on my own experiences and lots of reading and talking to people.
Anyone with any kind of illness should certainly be seeing their doctor. That's why we have them.
Meditation and visualization (of being well and whole) has been practiced in other cultures easily because it is familiar to them. They always believed that way. Not so in our western culture. It's just in the last few years that a person's insurance will pay for acupunture or hypnosis for addictions etc. I do believe that we can heal ourselves with our own minds. Depok Chopra (sp) was the first one I heard many years ago who brought his training from India. Louise Hay in her book, "You Can Heal Your Life".

Now, that snappy statement I made (really sarcastic) about people who have an illness that "serves them well" and won't even try meditation.....I've seen a couple of people who just won't even consider that this MAY be true. And what ever their illness, most of the time they have a chronic illness, that even though they deny it, they rather like the attention it gives them. They have something to "share" with others of the same condition, join support groups etc and get waited on.
If we haven't heard by now, that what we dwell on, we attract to our lives, we must be living in a cave somewhere. All a person would have to do if they thought that was all BS, without telling anyone, just try it.
Even in our prayers, to continue to mention our illness over and over is to keep bringing it up and dwelling on it.
dnor, you're off to a good start with your meditating. just keep it up.
"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#9 Puti

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:14 AM

Thank you prander for starting this very interesting thread. I didn't mean to be so blabby. I agree with what you're saying here.
There's one on this board who might bring up the "intention experiment". Mighty interesting stuff!
"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#10 GiaCat21

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 04:06 PM

I used to do biofeedback for pain managment and part of it was warming up my body temperature through breathing excercises... Because I have a disturbance in my autonomic system my body temp tends to hover around 96* (and has been recorded as low as 95*)... During bio the goal would be to get my temp up to a more normal one... Then I would wear these temperature dots throughout the day (kinda like a mood ring)... IDK. I think that you can control your body temp through meditation...
Love life.

#11 dnor28

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 05:11 PM

First off, everything I spout off about is my own personal opinion, based on my own experiences and lots of reading and talking to people.
Anyone with any kind of illness should certainly be seeing their doctor. That's why we have them.
Meditation and visualization (of being well and whole) has been practiced in other cultures easily because it is familiar to them. They always believed that way. Not so in our western culture. It's just in the last few years that a person's insurance will pay for acupunture or hypnosis for addictions etc. I do believe that we can heal ourselves with our own minds. Depok Chopra (sp) was the first one I heard many years ago who brought his training from India. Louise Hay in her book, "You Can Heal Your Life".

Now, that snappy statement I made (really sarcastic) about people who have an illness that "serves them well" and won't even try meditation.....I've seen a couple of people who just won't even consider that this MAY be true. And what ever their illness, most of the time they have a chronic illness, that even though they deny it, they rather like the attention it gives them. They have something to "share" with others of the same condition, join support groups etc and get waited on.
If we haven't heard by now, that what we dwell on, we attract to our lives, we must be living in a cave somewhere. All a person would have to do if they thought that was all BS, without telling anyone, just try it.
Even in our prayers, to continue to mention our illness over and over is to keep bringing it up and dwelling on it.
dnor, you're off to a good start with your meditating. just keep it up.



Thanks for reply Puti! I so agree with you 100%. Thank you for the encouragement :)

#12 ryan002

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 08:08 PM

I'm a believer but I look at everything with a scientific approach. But this is amazing and I have not idea how the monks could do all that. :)
Ryan"If the Dead can't rest in peace, how on Earth can the living?"

#13 GiaCat21

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 09:58 PM

I'm a believer but I look at everything with a scientific approach. But this is amazing and I have not idea how the monks could do all that. :)

I agree... And seeing that temperature is an AUTONOMIC function it's hard to believe that it can be easily controlled... But as I learned from doing biofeedback a couple of years ago it is very possible if you work at it for long enough... It's amazing how closely mind and body are connected... That's how I would warm my temp is picturing my hands warming up and deep breathing...
Love life.




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