“Doc, does the parasympathetic nervous system (SLUDD) use fat as fuel? Is it a stretch?
To conclude that relaxation, such as meditation uses or operates in the
parasympathetic nervous system?
If so, then does meditation burn fat?” -Peter M.
Hi, Peter. Always nice to hear from you! Remember that fat is the primary fuel for all activities except the short burst high intensity stuff… so technically sleeping burns fat!
The autonomic (automatic) nervous system consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic, which generally oppose each other in action. Most people in Western Societies have too much sympathetic tone, however, and this imbalance is a source of emotional mood and anxiety issues amongst others. Meditation invokes a higher parasymp. tone at least for a time so it is really part of the relaxation response. Keep an eye out for my book this January (I am working with the publisher to get some advanced copies), which tells how meditation can lengthen your telomeres.
In terms of fat burning (and inches you’ll loose to pounds), you’d want more energy expenditure (actually more energy wasted!) for maximum fat burning. This is why thermogenics, appetite suppressants and calorie burners generally work on the sympathetic end of things and generally give people more energy if used correctly.
By the way, the book is called The Immortality Edge and is co–authored with some famous people (far more famous than me!) who also know lots about staying young, vital and healthy … Actress Greta Blackburn (The movie “48 Hours” the TV series “V” and many others) and anti-aging guru Mike Fossel and will be available in January 2011. It will be the first and only book of its kind on real longevity with telomere biology front and center.
Published by John Wiley and Sons, this is not a self-published book by phony experts; it’s the real deal!