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Shaolin Dan Tian Breathing Fosters Relaxed and Attentive mind
Nov 22, 2010 - Shaolin is the name of a Buddhist monastery in Henan province of China. Established over 1,000 years ago, it has built its world-wide fame for its martial arts, which is called Shaolin Kung Fu.

Five researchers from the Department of Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong performed a study to investigate whether the Shaolin Dan Tian Breathing (DTB) technique, which consists of the Passive and Active subtypes and can be considered as a relaxation exercise and Qigong, would induce both relaxed and attentive states.
Twenty-two adults and 22 controls received training on the Shaolin DTB (experimental group) and the progressive muscle relaxation respectively for one month. Eyes-closed resting EEG data before and immediately after each type of breathing were obtained individually at baseline and after one-month training.
EEG, the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain, was used as a measurement in the study. At baseline, the EEG changes after the Shaolin DTB between both groups were comparable. After one-month training, participants in the experimental, but not the control, group showed enhanced temporal alpha asymmetry (an index of relaxation and positive mood) after performing the Passive DTB for five minutes, and enhanced intra- and inter-hemispheric theta coherence (an index of attention and alertness) after performing the Active DTB.
The present findings suggested a positive effect of the Shaolin DTB technique on enhancing human neural activity and connectivity, which may possibly enhance mood state and cognitive functions.
This study will be published by Evidence-Based Complement Alternative Medicine in 2011.




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