Excess fat around your belly can be hazardous to your health. It increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia. Visceral fat is the fat that wraps around your inner organs. If you have a large belly, you have visceral fat. It's pretty well established that good health is under attack with each additional inch we add to our girth.
But sometimes visceral fat is hidden by an athletic body.
When I was competing in tournaments in the late 90's I was a lithe middleweight. I felt pretty good. I ate whatever I wanted as much as I wanted and was usually a workout or two away from my playing weight. But after I retired from competition, things changed. I added 15-20 pounds after age 50 and my belly started to get rounder. I didn't worry much about it since it didn't seem to be "fat"--it was hard to the touch, not soft like the adipose tissue I saw on other people. I could even strike it with my knuckles and produce a loud thump as if I were hitting a basketball. I didn't like the look of it, but it seemed harmless. I had several friends with similar bodies and we'd laugh about our "ch'i bellies".
It wasn't until much later that I found that I was adding layers of fat around my internal organs. It was hidden by abdominal muscles. Something else changed--it was surprisingly resistant to my efforts to pare it down. My metabolism had changed with my age and my reduced workouts. Even when my overall weight went down, my belly stayed round--like an anaconda that swallowed a watermelon.
My round belly wasn't the real problem, merely a symptom of greater one: my limbic system wasn't detoxifying my body the way it had in my more active years. My liver was overworked and dumped fat in my belly. (Some reports indicate this is true for about half the population over fifty).
Then someone suggested "castor-cize"and referred me to the website of Dr. Majid Ali (http://www.majidali.com/castor-cise.htm), a pathologist in New Jersey. He had specialized in pathology and surgery for decades before turning his attention to preventive medicine. He is famous for his effective cancer therapies that integrate allopathic and complementary care.
Dr. Ali has a comprehensive workout that incorporates applying warmed castor oil to parts of the body and then exercising. (His workout also includes breathing exercises and a type of meditation.) Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids. The molecule is very small and can easily be absorbed into the skin. Almost 90 percent of its fatty acid content consists of ricinoleic acid, which has been shown to be effective in preventing the growth of numerous species of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds. It enhances the functioning of your lymphatic system and your immune system, especially your thymus.
Castor oil speeds up the lymphatic flow, which assists in removing toxins from the cells. This improves organ functioning and lifts the spirits.
Sounded good to me. I didn't go through Dr. Ali's whole procedure. (I have my own methods of breathing and meditation.) I just warmed some castor oil in my hands and rubbed it into my abdominal area before exercise. The results were impressive. I dropped a few pounds, but more important I lost that round, hard belly. I felt more energetic.
After a while I got out of the habit of doing this and lost some of the ground I'd gained. So I'm doing it again, this time daily for two weeks to see it's effect.
Warning: Don't wear your favorite t-shirt when castor-cizing. It stains. I clean up afterward with peppermint oil soap.
Any belly fat lost is an indicator that my body is less toxic and therefore healthier. Sounds good to me...again.
Please let me know if you try this and your results.