Balu is a 32-year-old Indian snake -charmer. his pet cobras dance and sway, kiss his?
BALU WITH COBRAS; X-RAY TECHNICIANS; BALU SWALLOWING SNAKES; X-RAY FILM OF STOMACH; BALU REGURGITATING SNAKES; CHILDREN WATCHING.
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Background: Balu is a 32-year-old Indian snake -charmer. his pet cobras dance and sway, kiss his nose and out their heads in his mouth in traditional style. But Balu has another act -- he cant swallow ten to fifteen snakes, each measuring up to three feet (one metre), and an equal number of frogs, and return them to the outside world unharmed.
This act was recently investigated by medical scientists at Vellore University in southern Indian. They fed the snakes with a barium meal so that they could study the snakes by X-ray inside Balu's stomach and the extraordinary control which enables him to bring them back one out of his mouth.
Balu drinks a quantity of water to dilute the gastric juices and give the snakes and frogs in which they can live. He folds the snakes in three before swallowing them. The X-Ray camera showed them moving freely inside his stomach.
Then he contracts his stomach muscles sharply, the cardia (the valve between the stomach and oesophagus, or food-pipe) opens at the same travel upwards. The scientists found that, at its height, the pressure Balu produced noticeably compressed hid heart.
They found nothing abnormal in the structure of his stomach. There were spasms of the pylorus (the exit of the stomach) when he first swallowed the snake, and later, when he regurgitated them, the peristalses, the contractions which transmit the food through the stomach, were momentarily reversed.
But really, what they studied was a remarkable example of extreme and mind over body.
Balu, the roadside performer, amy have a further contribution to make a medical science. Dr Chandrahasan Johnson, who conducted the experiments at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, told a medical congress in Melbourne, Australia, that he believed swallowing a snake alive could prevent acidity and thus help to cure stomach ulcers. And he took along his film of Balu to show sit was done.