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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

1. Exercise regularly: Weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.

2. Ensure a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrients: Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important for bone health. Safe exposure to sunshine will help you get enough vitamin D.

3. Avoid negative lifestyle habits: Maintain a healthy body weight, stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.

4. Identify your risk factors: and bring these to your doctor’s attention, especially if you’ve had a previous fracture or have specific diseases and/or are taking medications that affect bone health.

5. Take osteoporosis medicine, if needed: Treatment will help to improve bone miner density (BMD) and reduce risk of fracture.

(Source: http://worldosteoporosisday.org/2016/campaign)

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If nature wanted you to drink coconut water in non-coastal areas it would not have grown coconuts in the coastal areas is a common naturopathic saying. Coconut water is the treatment for most humidity-related illness in coastal areas. It is sterile water and has been used in surgical practice as a sterile fluid. It is also used as a replacement for oral rehydration solution. Hence, because of its many uses it is regarded as the ‘Tree of Life’.

Coconut is one of the most common offerings in a temple, during weddings, festivals, when one acquires a new vehicle or in a Grihapravesh or the house warming ceremony etc. It is offered in all sacrificial fires whilst performing the Homa (fire rituals). The coconut is usually split and placed before the Lord and is later distributed as Prasadam. The fiber covering of the dried coconut is removed except for a tuft on the top.

The marks on the coconut make it look like the head of a human being. The splitting of a coconut symbolizes the conquest of the ego. The outer covering represents the body, the juice within, one’s inner tendencies (vasanas) and the white kernel, the mind. One should be as firm as the outer shell of the coconut but the same time as soft like the inner fruit of the coconut.

A coconut or Sriphala (fruit of the gods) is the only fruit used to symbolize God while worshipping any deity. It is used in the making of a Purna-Kumbha, (‘purna’ = full, ‘kumbha’ = pot or kalash) an independent object of worship. The earthen pot full of water and with fresh mango leaves and a coconut on top is placed as the main deity or by the side of the deity before starting any Pooja. The pot symbolizes Mother Earth; water, the life-giver, the leaves, life (air) and the coconut, divine consciousness (space). All religious rituals start with the worship of the kalash with coconut as symbol of Lord Ganesha. The coconut is also worshipped as symbol of the Godhead – the three eyes symbolic of the eyes of Lord Shiva. (Trayambaka – Rudra). Sage Vishwamitra got the first coconut tree grown on this earth by the power of his tapa. Its hard shell inspires one to have tolerance and do hard work for attaining success. The coconut also symbolizes selfless service. Every part of the tree – the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc. are used to make thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc.

Coconut water is used in the preparation of many ayurvedic drugs. The kernel is used to gain strength and improve eyesight. Its water is nourishing. Coconut oil is used to nourish the hair. It has glucose, phosphorous and carbohydrates. Germs cannot penetrate its hard kernel. Ancient Indian healers burnt its outer shell to prepare tooth powder, eyebrow creams and ointments for burns. Coconut milk is made by grating the endocarp and mixing it with warm water. This produces a thick, white liquid called coconut milk which is used extensively used in Asian cooking, for example, in curries. Coconut water from the unripe coconut, on the other hand, is drunk fresh as a refreshing drink.

Tender coconut water is used in the rituals of abhishek, since it is believed to bestow spiritual growth on the seeker. On the auspicious occasion of Rakhi Purnima (Rakshabandhan), coconuts are thrown into the sea as offerings to Varuna, God of the Sea. In western India, this festival is called Nariyal Purnima (Coconut Full Moon).

The Chandogya Upanishad by Swami Krishnananda (78) talks about another quality of the coconut that has a spiritual resonance: “the coconut that is raw sticks to the shell. That is the condition of the bound soul. Consciousness sticks to the shell of this body. But in the case of the liberated soul, it is inside the body, no doubt, but is not sticking to the body, even as the dry coconut is not touching the shell. It makes a sound inside if we shake it. It is detached from the shell, though it is there tentatively. Even so, consciousness is not confined to the body, even though it is inside.”

In the Chidakasha Gita by Paramahansa Nityananda, the coconut tree is described as a state of meditation: “At another time all feeling comes to a standstill. Sometime the body becomes quite motionless like a coconut tree”.

Ganesha’s favorite food is made up of a sweet core of candied coconut pulp covered with a layer made of white flour. The insipid outer shell is said to represent the gross physical body, the sweet inside stands for the resplendent soul.

When the Asuras and the Devas churned the milky ocean, Lord Dhanwantri appeared bearing the pot of nectar, which blessed one with everlasting life. Thus, the kalasha also symbolizes immortality.



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Exercise impact on the knee

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Different exercises produce different impacts on the knee joints. The best and safest exercises that cause minimum impact on the knee in patients post knee replacement or knee arthritis are walking, biking, hiking, riding an exercise bike, riding an elliptical trainer and walking on the treadmill. In sports, one can play doubles tennis but not singles. One can also participate in downhill or cross–country skiing. Jogging and golf swings produce maximum stress.

• Biking generate the least force, producing impact of about 1.3 times the body weight.

• Treadmill walking is the next best, producing forces of 2.05 the body weight.

• Walking on level ground generate forces of 2.6 times the body weight.

• Tennis produces forces of 3.1 to 3.8 times the body weight, with serving producing the highest impact.

• Jogging produces forces of 4.3 times body weight.

• Golf swings produces forces of 4.5 times body weight on the forward knee and 3.2 times body weight in the opposite knee. Positions and activities that place excessive pressure on the knee joint include:

• Squatting and kneeling

• Twisting and pivoting

• Repetitive bending (multiple flights of stairs, getting out of a seated position, clutch and pedal pushing, etc.)

• Jogging

• Aerobics, dancing

• Playing stop and go sports (basketball, sports that use racquets)

• Swimming using the frog or whip kick Exercise equipments that place excessive pressure on the knee include:

• Stair stepper

• Stationary bicycle

• Rowing machine

• Universal gym utilizing leg extensions

The preferred exercise equipment for the knee should provide smooth motion of the knee, maximal toning of the front and back thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstring muscles), minimal jarring and impact to the joint and the least amount of bending to accomplish toning.

Activities that are acceptable alternatives to the above include:

• Fast walking

• Water aerobics

• Swimming using the crawl stroke

• Cross country ski machines

• Soft platform treadmill

• Trampoline


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Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well-being. Allopathy does not define all aspects of health.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health are covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day-to-day practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,



Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From the Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) that perform two basic functions: firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind–body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self–hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more, eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span.

Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.


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Hypertension is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. If not properly managed they are likely to end up with diabetes with subsequent high risk of kidney damage.

The results of the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial-Blood Pressure Lowering Arm (ASCOT-BPLA) study have shown that the major predictor of new-onset diabetes (NOD) in patients with hypertension is high baseline fasting plasma glucose levels of more than 90mg/dL. The risk increases by 5.8 times for each 18mg/dl rise above 90 mg/dL.

Other risk factors are higher weight, higher blood pressure and higher triglyceride levels. Hypertensive patients on atenolol (beta blocker drug) with or without a diuretic are also at risk.

On the other hand, high BP patients on amlodipine (calcium blocker) ± perindopril (ACE inhibitor), with high good HDL cholesterol levels, moderate alcohol use and age older than 55 years are protected from developing diabetes.


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Prakriti is when a person lives for himself or when his actions are centered towards oneself. Sanskriti is when one lives for the sake of others and vikriti is nothing but distortion in one’s living.

Greed is one type of vikriti which can make a ‘nar’ a ‘narbhakshi’ and later ‘nar rakshas. On the other hand, if a person works towards sanskriti it can convert him or her ‘nar’ to ‘narottam’ and from ‘narottam’ to ‘Narain’.

The aim in life, therefore, should be to work not for oneself but for the welfare of the others. These people gradually start working for themselves often for the family, society, nation and universe respectively.

Lord Buddha also said that any action done should follow the rule that it is directed for the welfare of all. Gandhi also propagated Sarvodaya or dedicating one’s actions to the welfare of all.

The basic fundamental teaching of the Vedic science is also based on Sarvodaya. Sahdev in Mahabharat and Bharat in Ramayan also talked about the sarvodaya properties, which every human being has.

Dr. Deepak Chopra in his book ‘7 Spiritual Laws of Success’ also writes that one should always ask his or her consciousness when meeting a person as to how one can help the other person.

Even a feeling of helping someone can make a difference.

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If you are not sure whether you are having heartburn or something more serious –– like a heart attack –– you should get yourself checked out.

The most common symptom of coronary heart disease is chest pain (angina) or discomfort, which can also occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back. People may mistake this pain for indigestion, which can be dangerous. Sometimes, it’s impossible to tell the difference between the symptoms of heartburn, angina and heart attack.

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or stopped. This can result in death or disability, depending on how much of the heart muscle is damaged. Unfortunately, many people may not be aware they are having a heart attack.

There are some useful pointers that might help a person know whether they’re having a heart attack or not, but when in doubt, one should check it out.

Symptoms of a heart attack include the sudden onset of tightness, pressure, squeezing, burning or discomfort in the chest, throat, neck or either arm. When these symptoms are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sweating, shortness of breath or a fainting sensation, Dr. Aggarwal says one should be especially suspicious that you might be having a heart attack. People who have any risk factors that may predispose them to a heart attack should be particularly cautious.

Main points

• Heart attack pain is never pinpointed

• Heart attack pain never lasts less than 30 seconds.

• If you smoke, have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, are overweight or have a strong family history of heart disease and have any symptom related to the chest or heart, you should be alert.

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The epic Mahabharata can also be understood as a science of inner Mahabharata happening in everybody’s mind.

Lord Krishna here symbolizes consciousness and the five Pandavas, the five positive qualities of a person and they are – righteousness (Yudhishthir), being in focus (Arjuna), power to fight injustice (Bheem), helping others (Sahdev) and learning to be neutral in difficult situations (Nakul). Panchali indicates the 5 senses, which can only be controlled when these five forces are together.

Dhritrashtra symbolizes ignorance, Duhshasan negative ruling quality (dusht while ruling) and Duryodhana (dusht in yudh) as one who is not balanced in war.

To kill the negativity in the mind, one has to take conscious-based decisions. Every action, if directed towards the consciousness or the soul, is the right action. To kill the 100 Kauravas (the 100 negative tendencies a person can have) controlled by Duryodhan and Duhshasan along with Shakuni (the negative power of cunningness), one has to redirect one’s positive qualities towards the consciousness and take right decisions.

The five Pandavas (positive qualities) made soul (Lord Krishna) as their point of reference (Sarthi) and won over the evils (Kauravas).

Bhishma Pitamah, Karana and Dronacharya, all had winning powers individually but they all gave support to the negative thoughts and made Duryodhana as their point of reference and ultimately had to die.

The message is very clear – if one directs his or her positive powers towards ego as the reference point in long run, they will be of no use and, in fact, will be responsible for one’s destruction.

In Ramayana, Ravana was a great scholar but he directed all his energies and powers towards his ego and ended up in misery.

One should cultivate, therefore, positive mental attitude, positive thoughts instead of directing them towards desire, attachment or ego and should direct them to soul/consciousness for a positive outcome.

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