In the U.S., over 300,000 deaths per year are caused by obesity. However, that number could be higher, considering that many complications are due to obesity. Some common complications include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Many treatments have been suggested to treat obesity. The most common are dietary therapy and physical activity, which aim to improve high-caloric intake and sedentary lifestyle, respectively. Aside from these, conventional treatments also include pharmacotherapy and surgery, which work by suppressing hunger.
Many people blame hunger for their unhealthy eating habits, so to prevent them from excessive eating, surgical and pharmaceutical approaches were developed to suppress it. These treatments work either by altering the body's biochemistry or by relieving pressure on the stomach and intestines. Although suppressing hunger is a promising way of treating obesity, surgical and chemical methods are not recommended since they are associated with a lot of risks and potential side effects.
Qigong is a practice in traditional Chinese medicine that treats obesity by suppressing hunger. This exercise involves a series of movements that aim to stretch the body and increase blood flow throughout the body. One specific exercise from Qigong is the “yuchan fanlang gong” or “frog making waves.” This breathing exercise mimics a frog's breathing and is commonly used by monks to suppress hunger during a fast.
In this study, the researchers modified the Qigong breathing exercise so instead of doing it while lying down, it was done while standing. By introducing this modification, the researchers wanted to increase the potential change in colon pressure. The effects of the exercise were then determined through a clinical trial with 60 participants. The participants abstained from food for 24 hours and the breathing exercise was performed every time hunger was felt. The parameters used to determine the effects of the breathing exercise include a sense of hunger, stomach acidity, and pressure in the colon.
Results of the study showed that the Qigong breathing exercise effectively reduced hunger felts by the participants. Aside from this, the researchers also observed that performing the exercise reduced stomach acidity and pressure in the colon. From these observations, researchers determined that suppression of hunger is attributed mainly to changes in colon pressure and partially to reduced stomach acidity.
Overall, these results prove that the modified Qigong breathing exercise is an effective way of suppressing hunger since it could reduce colon pressure and stomach acidity. For best results, the researchers recommend doing the exercise when feeling hungry since consuming food before doing the exercise can reduce its effectiveness. The integration of this exercise with therapeutic weight loss programs could make them more effective for treating obesity. (Related: Weight loss programs to heal obesity naturally.)
Unlike the typical Qigong breathing exercise, the modified version is performed in a standing position instead of lying down. While standing, the feet should be shoulder-width apart and the hands placed either on the abdomen or at the sides of the body. The next step is to take a deep breath while simultaneously squaring the shoulders and pulling in the belly. Hold it for three to four seconds then exhale, allowing the muscles to relax and to go back to the initial position. Repeat these steps 10 times whenever hunger is felt to reduce food intake.
Learn more about the other benefits of Qigong breathing exercises by visiting ChineseMedicine.news today.