Scientists discover 'second brain' in the stomach
Scientists are claiming to have discovered a second brain - in the human stomach.
The breakthrough, involving experts in the US and Germany, is believed to play a major part in the way people behave.
This 'second brain' is made up of a knot of brain nerves in the digestive tract. It is thought to involve around 100 billion nerve cells - more than held in the spinal cord.
Researchers believe this belly brain may save information on physical reactions to mental processes and give out signals to influence later decisions. It may also be responsible in the creation of reactions such as joy or sadness.
The research is outlined in the latest issue of German science magazine, Geo, in which Professor Wolfgang Prinz, of the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich, says the discovery could give a new twist on the old phrase "gut reaction".
I have always believed the breath trains the belly and the belly trains the body and mind. I thought this as a child when I first experienced the effects of my Mother telling me to "take a few deeps breaths and calm down" it worked. It always worked. Not until much later in my life did I realize that some cultures have, for centuries, been systemically using belly control to train themselves in all manner of life from love to war. I look forward to more research on the belly brain. If true it begins to make more since from a physiological standpoint and takes a lot of the mysticism out of it.