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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

Persistent acidity is usually due to reflux of acid from the stomach into the food pipe. Mild cases of acidity reflux can usually be managed with lifestyle and dietary modifications along with antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

However, patients in whom lifestyle management along with empirical treatment is unsuccessful or who have symptoms suggestive of complicated diseases should undergo endoscopy to rule out cancer of the food pipe, a condition linked with persistent acidity.

Loss of appetite, loss of weight and difficulty in swallowing food, bleeding and signs of systemic illness in these patients suggest complications.

Lifestyle changes for reflux involve elevation of head and of the body, avoidance of food before sleep and avoidance of food, which relaxes the food pipe valve. The examples of such foods include fatty food, chocolates, peppermint and excessive intake of alcohol.

Hurry, worry and curry are the three main factors for causing acidity apart from alcohol and smoking. People with acidity should consume less of fermented, sour, salty and pungent foods

 

 

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Stress is the reaction of the body and mind to the interpretation of a known situation. You cannot be stressed unless you know the person, place or the situation. The same situation may or may not cause stress unless it is interpreted in such a way that it is uncomfortable to the person, and then it ends up causing stress.

Management of stress, therefore, involves either removing the known situation or changing one’s interpretation or preparing the body in such a way that the stress does not affect mind and the body. But, removing the known situation may not be possible all the time. For example, if you are stressful in a job, resigning may not be feasible.

The modality, therefore, is to change your interpretation towards the stressful situation for which one should start thinking positively and different and choose the resultant options within, which do not hurt the heart.

Changing of the interpretation is what in Allopathy is described as cognitive behavior therapy, the origin of which comes from Ayurveda and in Bhagwad Gita where Lord Krishna counsels Arjuna following principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In the first chapter, Lord Krishna only listens to Arjuna explaining the importance of listening, listening and listening.

The second counseling session or the second chapter is the longest conversation between Arjuna and Krishna and shows the importance of first effective counseling session. From 3rd to 17th chapters, Krishna explains what he has conveyed in chapter 2 and this tells us the importance of reasoning out every doubt that a person under stress has. During this session, Krishna creates both fear as well as consoles Arjuna again indicating the importance of these two factors in counseling.

In the last chapter, Krishna revises what he has taught, which is consistent with the last rule of counseling to make sure that the patient has learnt what has been taught to him. Apart from counseling, the body can be prepared in such a way that stress does not bother us. This can be done by learning the art of pranayam, relaxation, meditation, regular exercise, Dosh-specific diet and using certain Ayurvedic Rasayans, which sterilize the brain functions. Brahmi, an Ayurvedic herb, is one such Rasayan, which boosts the brain. Allopathic anti–anxiety drugs should be avoided, unless necessary which, of course, may be required in an acute panic state.

 

 

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Women Beware Of Heart Disease

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Cardiovascular disease is very common in women. The warning signals of heart attack include:

• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

• Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. However, women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:

• Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort.

• Shortness of breath.

• Pain in one or both arms.

• Nausea or vomiting.

• Sweating.

• Lightheadedness or dizziness.

• Unusual fatigue.

In presence of any of the above one should not wait for more than five minutes and get to a hospital right away.

More than 80% of cardiac events in women can be prevented by modifying diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.

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“Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (the whole world is one family) and “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudavanti” (truth is one but the wise call it by various names) are two basic statements, which come from the ancient Rig Veda and form the fundamentals of Vedic philosophy.

One should do one’s duty with devotion and discipline. This principle can be remembered as the principle of three Ds.

In daily routine, one should remember the purpose for which one is born, which is to fulfill Dharma (duty), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire) and Moksha (liberation). To achieve them, one needs to follow the four Fs: (i) Follow the teacher (ii) Face the negative devils of the mind (iii) Fight till the end, and (iv) Finish at the goal.
The essence of Bhagwad Gita can be summarized in one shloka (Chapter 2.48) where Krishna says to Arjuna “yogastha kuru karmani”, which means ‘concentrate on actions’ (do all actions while remaining in yoga). He further says that one should take success and failure in the same stride. (yogastha: = steadfast in yoga, kuru = perform, karmani = duties or action).

To acquire spiritual health, one should follow three Ss which are: (i) Satsang (company of good people) (ii) Sadhna (hard work) and (iii) Sanskar (good deeds). Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaj Govindam describes them as Satnam or Simran (bhakti, or reciting the name of their God), Satsang (company of good people) and Seva (good karmas).

Before doing any work, one should follow the principles of three Hs: (i) listen with the Head (ii) follow the Heart to choose one of the choices and (iii) order the Hands to take an action.

The ABCs of a good professional are Availability, Behavior and Competence. Competence comes last; the first is the availability of the professional.

An action should be based on Truth; it should be coming from consciousness and should end in internal bliss. Various Vedic literatures have termed this triad by different names like satha, chitha, ananda, and satyam, shivam sundaram.

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Tips to prevent diabetes

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• Do not eat white refined carbohydrates.

• Eat less at a time.

• Work out at least 30 minutes a day.

• Eat plenty of green bitter vegetables

• Eat a high fiber diet.

• Do not eat trans fats in food.

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Training in any field requires gaining knowledge, skills and positive mental attitude towards the object of learning. Knowledge is everything about what and why. In Yoga, it correlates with the Gyan (Gnana) Marg. The skill is all about how to do it and correlates with Karma Marg. A positive mental attitude is linked to willingness to do any work or in other words one’s Astha in that action. In Yoga, it is synonymous with Bhakti Marg.

In Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna talks about all the principles of management including how to train and develop an individual. The development teaches and increases one’s intelligence quotient (IQ), physical quotient (PQ), emotional quotient (EQ) and moral quotient (MQ).

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An elephant is obese, eats sugarcane and yet does not develop diabetes. I am sure if he were given 10% sugar drinks everyday or made to eat sweets containing 30% sugar, he would end up with diabetes.

The natural form of sugarcane is eating sugarcane in its raw form, the second form is sugarcane juice, third is gur (jaggery), fourth is shakkar and fifth is white sugar.

The more you eat foods in their natural form, more the health benefits you will get from that food.

Food is Brahmin and contains the same consciousness as you have. Refined foods lose their consciousness and are not beneficial to the health.

Similarly, wheat flour with bran is better than flour without bran, which is better than suji, which is better than maida (refined flour), which is the final product. If refined flour is taken every day, it can cause heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

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To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which if cultivated in the right direction will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.

In computer terminology, Shiva is the knowledge or the information and Shakti is the operational software. Shiva and Shakti both together form consciousness, in other words, the soul.

Shiva sutra – teaching about Shiva – describes five inherent powers of Shakti which everybody is born with. These are ”Chitta Shakti”, “Ananda Shakti”, “Gyan (Gnana) Shakti”, “Ichha Shakti” and “Kriya Shakti”.

Kriya Shakti is the one which is most visible. Kriya is not same as karma. Karma is action born of cause and effect. Kriya Shakti is at the level of body and mind.

Ichha Shakti is the inherent desires, which control the mind. Gyan Shakti is the inherent desire to learn and is at the level of intellect. Both Ananda and Chitta Shakti are at the level of consciousness and represent the desires or aim to be blissful.

These five powers also decide the needs of a person, which can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. The needs activate the Shakti which in turn leads to action. The purpose of life should be to direct the needs and the Shaktis towards the soul and not towards the ego. The power of Kriya Shakti should have all the actions directed towards the soul; Gyan Shakti should be directed towards the knowledge of the true self; Ichha Shakti towards the desire or intention to unite with the self; Anand Shakti and Chitta Shakti towards the awareness of God and to experience the bliss of God.

All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed on two basic goals: providing happiness to others and achieving self-happiness. Every action and relationship in life should involve these five powers to attain inner happiness.

Most computers in the body require a key to get activated and the key in the case of Shakti is “intention or intent”. Intentions are something, which are under the control of a person, or one can practice control over them.

“Intention” always requires the association of its buddy “attention” with it. Attention is the focus of action on that particular intention. The combination of intention and attention can change perceptions of life and ultimately change the reality. It has been an old Upanishad saying that you are what your thoughts are. Right intention leads to the right thought; the right thought to right action; the right action to the right habit; the right habit to the right character and the right character leads you to what you are. The punch-line, therefore, is to have right intention which should be directed towards one of the five Shaktis to acquire spiritual well-being.

Health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Spiritual well-being now has been added as the fifth dimension of the health. It has been said that the body is the largest pharmaceutical armamentarium in the world and has the capacity to produce each and every drug available in the universe. This is based on the fact that no drug can go into the body without a receptor. The very fact the body has a receptor for every drug means it has the capacity to produce that drug.

All yogic paths to liberation are also directed towards these Shakti. One adopts the path of karma by activating Kriya Shakti, Gyan Marg by activating Gyan Shakti and Bhakti Marg by activating Ichha Shakti.

Faulty lifestyle also involves distractions of three of these powers: Ichha, Gyan or Kriya Shakti.

Correct lifestyle involves the correct use of Kriya Shakti in doing actions, correct use of Gyan Shakti by acquiring knowledge about self and healthy behavior and correct use of Ichha Shakti by learning the dos and don’ts of life and controlling the mind towards various addictions of life, which can be addition of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and or eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet.

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