Ever thought about why fasting is most effective after 40 days? Modern neuroscience is confirming the positive effects of “the magical 40” which is a special number in ancient biblical traditions.
The “40” symbolized in many instances a time of trial, testing and probation.
Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He led the people of Israel through the desert for 40 years. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert to fight the temptations of Satan. Many of the Jewish kings ruled for an epoch of 40 years.
So, is it surprising that positive habit forming rituals like starting a healthy new diet, an exercise sequence or the practising of a personal mantra, really starts to manifest in a life-changing way after 40 days.
This is also one reason why most New Year Resolutions don’t work. People give up too easily. They don’t stick it through for an uninterrupted period of 40 days!
Modern Neuroscience is once again confirming what ancient masters learned through observation and practise.
Martin Dresler at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of 23 of the top 50 athletes and compared the scans with those of untrained people. The team then used a technique popular among memory athletes to train the control group daily over 40 days. The researchers found that those in the control group roughly doubled the number of words they could recall, remembering up to 60 from a list of 72 — nearly matching the performance of some athletes.
Changes in brain connectivity patterns in the control group before and after training looked similar to the differences between untrained volunteers and memory champions.
The conclusion reached is that connections in the brain grow stronger between key areas of the cortex involved in learning, memory processing and the linking of new and old knowledge when practised over an uninterrupted period of 40 days.
Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters
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