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A trick of the trade to help you beat hunger pangs
You’ve committed to eat less, maybe even fast….
The trouble is, every time you try, your resolve is sabotaged by hunger.
Your stomach, sends wave after wave of displeasure. You do your best to “fight” it, but twinges of discontent, eventually erode your good intentions. You pop, something into your mouth…………..
How do the “professionals” do it ?
Religious fasting made easy
Well, it turns out, Chinese monks don’t only reach out, to a higher power, to stave off, the desire to EAT, they have a secret weapon.
It’s called Yuchan fanlang gong.
Translated into English, it means a frog making waves.
Basically, it’s a breathing technique – it is not particularly flattering, hence the reference to a frog, making waves, but it does work.
Traditionally, monks would “assume” the position, before a scheduled meal. They would flap around on the floor, alternating chest and belly, contractions.
- On the inhale : the chest would be expanded and the belly, depressed.
- On the exhale : the chest would be allowed to collapse and the belly to bulge.
40 – 60 breaths, later, all sense of hunger would be gone.
It is part of the Chinese Qigong tradition, but it’s not a special spiritual technique, it’s biological hack, anyone can use.
What makes you hungry ?
Some would say, the hormone, ghrelin, but the clutchy feeling, associated with BEING HUNGRY, is actually a reflection of pressure changes in the stomach and intestinal walls.
Ghrelin helps to precipitate these changes.
But, the pressure changes, are what makes you uncomfortable………..
Aka HUNGRY !
Giving the stomach a stretch
So if you can stretch the stomach wall, you can cause the sense of hunger to disappear.
This is what a plateful of food does.
At a pinch, a litre of water or two, will do it too, but the effect is short lived and necessitates, more bathroom visitations, than usual.
Hacking the stretch
It can be hacked…………
In fact this is the principle behind using an intra-gastic balloon. When the balloon is inflated, it stretches the stomach walls, inhibiting feeding behaviour.
The problem with this……….. it INVASIVE. And semi-permanent.
Which brings us to “frog making waves” breathing……….
It’s UNDEMANDING, but still hard to sell the idea of lying on the floor, with your legs in the air, for 40-60 breaths.
Yuchan fanlang gong for millenials
A group of researchers, decided to see if they could give the ancient breathing practice, a bit of a modern twist and make it, a little bit more user friendly.
Holding fast to the physio-anatomical principle of STRETCHING THE STOMACH, they, were able to transform it, into a standing up, practice, which could be implemented, in 10 breaths, by someone sporting, a bit of a belly.
The new improved practice involved :
- On the inhalation, the belly, being pulled in, and then the breath, being held for 3-4 seconds, while the abdominal muscles contract.
- On the exhalation, everything relaxes.
And, it does produce, physiological changes in both stomach pH and intestinal pressure.
It works for monks and mortals
They tested out the new practice on two groups of heavy weight (BMI > 25 kg/m2) wanna-be fasters.
30 learned the technique, 30 learned square breathing.
All of them arrived at the lab hungry i.e. they had undergone a 24 hour fast and then, they were locked in a room, without food and told to “deal” with their hunger, by engaging in breathing.
The level of discomfort, of the group doing the hunger busting breathing, was decided less.
NOTE : They had NO IDEA, the technique might actually lessen the hunger, they were under the impression, the purpose of the breathing, was to serve as a distraction.
The benefits of hunger busting breathing
Lasted one to several hours.
For this group of “dieters”, it empowered many of them, to undertake a more long term fast, which brought many benefits…..one of the benefits of fasting, is increased autophagy. Click here to learn more.
So if you would like to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY through fasting, try a little frog breathing, it might just help take the edge off those hunger pangs.
NOTE : It only works when you’re HUNGRY and YOU MUST hold your breath for 3-4 seconds, just crunching up your belly, is NOT enough, to produce the effect.
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