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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ayurveda and the Heart


Healthy heart is the key to a healthy life because heart is the seat of vital energy (Ojus/prana). Prevention is the best method in the fight against heart diseases as the complete repair of the damaged cardiac tissues is next to impossible. The heart is the basis of life and we have to take care of it. Persons with Vata and Pita body constitutions are more susceptible to ischemic heart diseases and hypertensive heart diseases.
Ayurveda suggests a series of therapies to keep the heart healthy. Sodhana (purification therapy), Samana (pacification therapy), rasayana (rejuvenation) and lifestyle modifications.
Sodhana helps to eliminate toxins from the body and thereby creating the equilibrium of the imbalanced
doshas. There are five purificatory therapies:
  • Vamana (emisis)
  • Virechana (medically induced purgation)
  • Nasya (nasal medication)
  • Vasti (medivated enema)
  • Raktamokshana (blood letting)
Of these Vamana and Virechana has to be done on people with a history of heart diseases only if necessary and with caution. The vasti's Sneha vasti (oil enema) and Kashaya vasti (decoction enema) help normalize vata and eliminate toxins.


Abhyangam (oil bath) with oils rejuvenates the system, improves digestion, improves blood circulation and pacifies vata.
Udvartanam (powder massage) mobilizes fat and reduces kapha dosha and hence reduces the chance of atherosclerosis and protects heart. It is highly effective in obese persons.
Nourishing therapies like shastika pinda sweda are also done if needed.
Samana therapy pacifies the doshas. The samana drugs have various actions such as cardiac stimulant, vasodilator, lipolytic and relaxant. The very commonly used drug is Terminalia arjuna which strengthens the heart muscles and lowers high blood pressure.
Rasayana therapy reblances, detoxifies and invigorates the system and corrects the nutritional deficiencies. Rasayana drugs such as Chavanaprasa and Brahma rasayana may be administered as per the scientific procedure.


Healthy Heart Diet and Life Style Modification

Eating all the right things and avoiding all the wrong things is an effective way to avoid heart and heart related problems.
Wheat, green gram, spinach, oatmeal, salmon, soy protein, horse gram, old sali rice, diluted milk, butter milk, seasonal fruits(especially sour fruits), meat soup made up of non-fatty meat and added with spices like pepper and dry ginger, honey, hot water, garlic, coriander, cumin seeds, rock salt etc are good.
Egg, junk foods, fatty foods, black gram, sweat fruits, refined sugar, tea, alcohol, flatulence producing pulses, drinking more quantity of water, excess salt intake etc are not good.
  • Do mild to moderate exercise.
  • Avoid sedentary life style
  • Aerobic exercises are more suitable in rainy season.
  • Seed the mind with positive thoughts to invigorate the heart.
  • Yoga practices like Savasana, Kapalbhati, Sasankasana, breathing exercises and meditation are useful to relax the mind.
  • Taking bath is a good tonic to heart. Better use lukewarm water boiled with the root of bala or amalaki.
Ayurvedic Drugs Used for Heart Treatment

Medicines like Arjuna ksheerapaka, lasuna ksheerapaka, vidari ksheerapaka, dasamoola kashaya, decoction of hraswa panchamoola, hridya mahakashya, aswagandharista, parthadyarista and various guggulu preparations are used according to the condition.

Brush Your Teeth to Smile With Confidence

Dentists advise people to clean their teeth by brushing after every meal and by using dental floss once a day. Dental floss is a thin thread that comes in a roll. It is used to clean the areas between teeth and under the gum line. Brushing and flossing remove trapped food particles, and plaque from the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that consists of saliva, food particles, and bacteria. The bacteria digest certain foods, particularly sugars, and form an enamel-dissolving acid.

To brush the teeth, you should use a small, soft toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluorides. There are several methods of brushing. You should use the one recommended by your dentist. One commonly recommended method is to place the brush against the teeth at a slight angle, with the bristles pointed toward the gums. Brush the upper teeth with a downward, sweeping motion. Brush the lower teeth with an upward, sweeping motion. Clean both the outside and the inside surfaces of the teeth in this way. Use a scrubbing motion to clean the biting surfaces of the premolars and molars. Lastly, brush the tongue to remove food particles and bacteria, which contribute to bad mouth odours. Then rinse the mouth thoroughly with water or a mouthwash.

To floss the teeth, cut a piece of floss about 45 centimetres long from the roll. Wrap one end of the floss around each middle finger. Using the index fingers and thumbs, gently guide the floss between two teeth. Then pull the floss up and down, cleaning the sides of both teeth and the areas around the gum line.

Some people use disclosing tablets to see if any areas of the teeth remain unclean after brushing and flossing. Disclosing tablets contain a red or purple dye. When you chew a tablet, the dye sticks to unclean areas of the teeth. You can then re brush and re floss these spots.



Outside surfaces of upper teeth: Use a downward, sweeping motion.
Inside surfaces of upper teeth: Use a downward, sweeping motion.
Outside surfaces of lower teeth: Use an upward, sweeping motion.
Inside surfaces of lower teeth: Use an upward, sweeping motion.
Biting surfaces of premolars and molars: Scrub back and forth.
The tongue: Brush to remove food particles and bacteria.


Most cases of tooth decay and gum disease could be prevented if people took proper care of their teeth and gums. Proper care requires:
1. A good diet
2.Cleaning the teeth after eating.
3. Regular dental checkups.

Hair Loss, Alopecia Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment

Hair is also a part of the body like ears, eyes, nose or skin. But compared with other parts hair is considered more with beauty and less with health. Problems happening to hair is not fatal, but can make psychological effects on the men and women.
Hair loss

Alopecia areata is an inflammatory hair loss seen in men, women and children. Commonly seen by patches of hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. In severe conditions, it can progress to complete loss of all body hair. Alopecia areata is a serious problem but not a life threatening condition.

 Symptoms

 Small, soft, white patches which are usually round, but can take any shape develops first. It mostly affects the scalp and beard, but can appear on any hair-bearing part of the body. There may be different skin areas with hair loss and re-growth in the same body at the same time. It may also go into remission for a while, or permanently.
The area of hair loss can tingle or be mildly painful. The hair tends to fall out for a short period of time, with the loss commonly occurring more on one side of the scalp than the other.

Causes

  Alopecia areata occurs mostly in people who have affected family members, showing that heredity is a factor. Alopecia areata is not communicable and contagious. It is seen that the appearance of this condition is more in people who have relatives with autoimmune diseases. An unknown environmental trigger such as stress combined with hereditary factors is believed to be the cause of this condition.
One technique used by medical experts is to gently tug at a handful of hair along the edge of a patch. In healthy hair, no hair should fall out. In cases of alopecia areata hair will tend to pull out easier along the edge of the patch where the follicles are already being attacked by the body's immune system than away from the patch where they are still healthy.


Types of Alopecia

 The most common type is alopecia areata. When hair may be lost more diffusely over the whole scalp, it can be called Diffuse Alopecia areata. If any where in the head baldness occurs in only one spot, the condition can be called as Alopecia areata monolocularis. If the hair loss occurs in multiple areas, it is Alopecia areata multilocularis. If the patches of the hair loss is only in the beard, the condition is reffered as Alopecia areata barbae. If the patient losses all the hair on the scalp, then it is Alopecia areata totalis. If all the body hair, including the pubic hair is lost the case is called Alopecia areata universalis.


Ayurvedic treatment for Alopecia areata
 
Ayurveda suggests special oils, which are good for scalp and hair.
Malathyadi thailam: This is an Ayurvedic hair oil which can be applied on the scalp. Massage gently, keep it for 20 minutes and wash. The main component of this oil is Jasminum gradifloeum. The juice of the leaves is used for the preparation of the thailam(oil).
Hibiscus shampoo: Use natural shampoo made from Hibiscus flowers or leaves. Take three or four flowers or five-six leaves of hibiscus and boil it with little water. Let it cool and then squeeze the juice and use as shampoo.
Hasti dantha mashi: This is a burned fine powder of elephant teeth. Mix it with the juice of Elcipta alba and apply over the affected area.
Intake of Madhura bhasma, Loha bhasma, navayasa choorna and Amalaki rasayana is an effective treatment alopecia. A combination of eclipta alba choornam and amalaki choornam is also seen effective.
Nasyam (administration of medicated oil through nose) with anu thailam; blood letting and Ksheera vasti(medicated enema using herbal decoction), ghee and milk is also found effective in treating alopecia.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Healthy Fitness Tips

I believe in prevention, that is reducing the chances of unhealthy problems, diseases, injuries and raising the chances of healthy, out of problem life or chances of recovery. For example get your spinal posture right and half the problems vanish. Exercises make you sharper, and your mood better.

 The main question arising is how much or how often you have to exercise, or how soon in life? Do you have to exercise everyday? or every other day? At what age to begin? Morning or evening? Those who are asking these type of questions themselves or asking to someone will never start a normal exercise plan. Even if they finally starts to do something it is not going to last for long. Some level of physical activity, even started in early life, like walking one to three times a week can really impact the body and the brain. So my first suggestion is always keep moving. Taking a walk with someone you like and having a chat will be a great work.

 Quick Fitness Tips
  • Breathe long. We should practice breathing exercises to advance our lung capacity.
  • Movements are what makes your joints and muscles healthy; so move and be active as much as possible.
  • Swim for at least 30 minutes is good over any other form of exercise. Swimming makes you use your entire body mass and muscles and you attain the perfect posture.
  • Always remember to stretch during pre-and post-physical activity.
  • Make sure that you are taking a balanced calorie intake- just five percent fat and fifteen percent protein. Give a minimum of three hours gap after dinner and before you go to sleep.
 Walking lowers metabolic syndrome


People with metabolic syndrome have at least some of the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes- excess weight in the abdomen, high blood pressure, low levels of good cholesterol, high triglycerides, elevated blood glucose levels. Many people of excess weight have metabolic syndrome, but people of normal weight can develop it too.
A study showed that adults who were some what active had a better chance of avoiding metabolic syndrome than those who walked the least. . Those who walked more for some additional 1000 steps than others showed a 8-13 percent decrease in large waist, increased levels of good cholesterol and decreased levels of triglycerides. Since the study didn't prove a cause-and -effect relationship between walking and lowered odds of metabolic syndrome, but one thing is sure that people who have metabolic syndrome are less active because of it.
Any way the amount of walking people do is vitally important for their health. Some thing is better than nothing, and some thing more than that is even better.

Acne, pimples

Acne is a skin disorder that occurs mostly among teenagers. It consists of various kinds of blemishes, mainly on the face, upper chest, and back. A few blemishes are normal, but severe acne may result in permanent scarring. Some teenagers find severe acne so distressing that they develop emotional problems, which can be serious.
In most cases, acne appears during early adolescence-at about the age of 13, when a child starts to develop physically into an adult. This development is controlled by chemical substances called hormones . One kind of hormone stimulates the oil glands in the skin. These glands, called sebaceous glands, grow larger and produce more oil. Each sebaceous gland empties into a hair follicle, a bag like structure that surrounds a hair. Normally, the oil empties out of the follicle through a pore that opens onto the skin surface.
Sometimes the pores become clogged and oil accumulates inside them. A clogged pore forms a blemish called a blackhead or whitehead . The black color of a blackhead comes from a normal skin pigment that darkens when exposed to air. A white head develops if a pore is so clogged that no air can enter.


Small, pus-filled bumps called pimples, or tender red lumps called cysts, may also develop. Pimples and cysts are caused by the acne bacillus, a germ that lives near the hairs below the skin surface. This germ breeds in the backed-up oil, producing an infection that causes redness and pus. Cysts may leave permanent scars, but pimples do not scar unless squeezed or pricked.
A poor diet, worry, and various bad habits are often blamed for acne, but they have little to do with the disorder. A balanced diet, enough sleep and exercise, and regular washing are good for the complexion and general health but cannot prevent or cure acne. Mild acne can be treated with nonprescription lotions that contain benzoyl peroxide or other medications. Heavy makeup make acne worse and should not be used.
Severe acne should be treated by a doctor. Antibiotic may be prescribed which attacks the acne bacillus. Medications containing vitamin A acid may be applied to the skin to help prevent new blemishes.

Exercise for Health and Wellness

Among the several ways to find balance and regain health, the first requirement is our willing participation. What we do for ourselves in our daily practice is much more important for improving our health than anything a doctor can do. Healthy practices means proper daily routine, diet, exercise, and understanding the principles of wholeness. A doctor's help becomes necessary when we are unable to recover our health through our own efforts. But the help of doctor(treatment) is temporary, however, when we allow ourselves to go out of balance through improper diet, exercise, daily routine and lack of preventive maintenance. There is no substitute for right living. In the long run only we are responsible for our health.



  • Meditation: daily meditation can bring contentment and peace into your life. It is detoxification for the mind. Because meditation comes in many forms, it may be helpful to take some lessons to find the method most suitable for you.

  • No Anger, No Worry: Emotions always create imbalance in the body. It is a fact that for many of us, this seems impossible; but, as much as possible, we need to avoid situations that tend to cause worry and upset. If your job creates anger and upset, you may need to find a different job.If you are constantly worried about finances, you may need to reduce your overhead to reduce stress. Rather than carrying anger in our body, we need to forgive and (try to) forget.

  • Forgiveness: the physiology of forgiveness is more powerful than any existing medicine. Letting go of anger and resentment is very healing. There is nothing we can do that will help more than to forgive those with whom we are angry, even though we believe they may deserve punishment! Forgiveness is not easy, but it's necessary.

  • Avoid Late Night Activities: when we begin a project in the evening we engage our mind and emotions with the intensity to follow through to completion whatever we are doing. This stimulation will tend to keep as from falling asleep or having a peaceful night. The early evening should be winding-down part of the day; this is a time to decrease more intense activities, not to begin them.

  • The Practice of Yoga: yoga postures (asanas) will help restore mind/body coordination, and are generally appropriate for every one.

  • Sun Salutations: the yoga postures called Sun Salutations is an excellent way to start the day. If done gently, without strain, most people can benefit from these postures, adding flexibility and strength to the whole body. Start with up to six sets of sun salutations.

  • Rest During Menstrual Cycle (Female): taking rest during the first couple of days is very important. If total rest is not possible, getting as much rest as possible during these days is a must. However, if you are working, your employer may not think it a good idea to stay home during this time, and you may not feel able to take days off and forfeit the income. However, do what you can; rest when you can.

So by following a well-defined program of diet, exercises, daily practices, well-being activities, we can learn to nurture ourselves, thus achieve greater strength and insight for achieving our destiny.