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Dr K K Aggarwal

Alternative Therapies Lower BP

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A group of experts has reviewed all the existing studies and concluded that there are indeed alternative treatments for lowering blood pressure – with aerobic exercise leading the pack as far as strong evidence goes.

Other alternative treatments – namely isometric handgrip and dynamic resistance exercises and guided breathing –– also got high grades when it came to reducing high blood pressure in some patients, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association published online in the journal Hypertension.

“The evidence is not as strong for transcendental meditation and acupuncture, but they may help as well,” said co–senior author Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State University School of Medicine in Columbus.

For the report, an expert panel headed by the University of Michigan’s Robert D. Brook, MD, reviewed 1,000 studies published from 2006 to 2011. They divided the studies into three major classes of alternative treatments: behavioral therapies, noninvasive procedures and devices, and exercise. The panel did not review dietary and herbal treatments. Based on the level of evidence, they gave each an “A,” “B,” or “C” recommendation –– with “A” being the highest –– for implementation into clinical practice.

The panel found:

  • Exercise–based regimens did the best overall, with dynamic aerobic exercises getting an “A” class of recommendation, with a level of evidence of I, the highest possible.
  • Dynamic resistance exercises got a “B” and isometric handgrip exercises got a “C” grade, with levels of evidence of IIA and IIB, respectively.
  • Still, 4 weeks of isometric hand grip exercises resulted in some of the most impressive improvements in several studies –– a 10% drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, isometric exercise should be avoided among people with severely uncontrolled hypertension (180/110 mm Hg or higher).
  • As for noninvasive procedures or devices, device–guided breathing got a “B” with a level of evidence of II. Device–guided slow breathing proved most effective in lowering blood pressure when performed for 15–minute sessions three to four times a week. Acupuncture also got a “B,” but its level of evidence was III, meaning no benefit.
  • Among behavioral techniques, transcendental meditation and biofeedback both received “B” grades, with IIBs for levels of evidence. Yoga got a C, with level of evidence of III, or no benefit, as did other meditation techniques.
  • The alternative approaches that work reduce systolic blood pressure by only 2 to 10 mm Hg; whereas standard doses of a blood pressure–lowering drug reduce systolic blood pressure by about 10 to 15 mm Hg.
  • Alternative approaches are best for patients with blood pressure levels over 120/80 mm Hg who can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to standard medications.
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The Seven Dhatus in Ayurveda

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Ayurveda physiology, food is Brahman and contains the same consciousness as in us and this consciousness is the essence of any food.

Any food digested is converted into three portions, the gross undigested food is converted into waste (feces); the middle one is converted in one of the Dhatus and the subtlest form gets converted into ojas or the immunity.

As per standard Ayurveda, food once eaten is converted into the first Dhatu i.e. Rasa. Once the formation of Rasa is complete, the remaining is converted into Rakta (blood).The left over essence of food makes Mamsa (muscles), left over of which makes (Medha (adipose tissue) and so on to form Asthi (Bone), Majja (bone marrow) and Shukra (sperm/ova).

As per this physiology, the second Dhatu will only form once the first Dhatu is of good quality and so on and at any step in Dhatu, if not formed properly, subsequent Dhatu will also show defective formation.

For example, defective Dhatu at the stage of Asthi (bone) will have normal plasma (blood), muscle and adipose tissue but may have an impaired immunity/sperm/bone marrow. Similarly, defective Dhatu at the level of bone marrow may have only impaired immunity with no impairment of other Dhatus. On the other hand, impairment of Dhatus at the level of plasma or blood will involve all other Dhatus in sickness. Isolated disorders of Shukra may have no involvement of other Dhatus at all.

This Ayurveda principle can help us in answering many unanswered questions in modern allopathy. Like – why in typhoid fever all the organs are involved and why in azoospermia no other organ is involved.

Upanishads talk about formation of Dhatus in much more detail. According to them, different types of food make different types of Dhatus. The fiery foods like oil and ghee are responsible for formation of Karamendriyan (part of shukra), bone and bone marrow (Dhatu).

The earthy foods are responsible for formation of Gnanandriyan and Manas (shukra) and muscle (flesh) and water in food is responsible for formation of Rasa and Rakta (plasma and blood) and Pran (Shukra).

That means every different type of food would make different types of Dhatus and a balanced food with a combination of fire, water and earth will only be responsible for formation of shukra, immunity or the essence.

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Cholesterol tips released

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Blood lipid levels may exhibit mild seasonal variation with a drop in the summer and total cholesterol level peaking in the winter. The variation can be up to 5 mg/dL.

Serum total and HDL–cholesterol can be measured in fasting or non–fasting individuals. There are only small clinically insignificant differences in these values when measured in the fasting or non–fasting state.

The total cholesterol can vary by 4 to 11 percent within an individual due to multiple factors including stress, minor illness and posture. Values may also vary between different laboratories, with data suggesting that a single measurement of serum cholesterol can vary as much as 14 percent. Therefore in an individual with “true” serum cholesterol concentration of 200 mg/dL the range of expected values is 172 to 228 mg/dL.

More than one measurement of total cholesterol should therefore be obtained when treatment considerations demand a precise determination. Measurement of serum HDL–C and triglycerides may demonstrate even greater variability.

A standard serum lipid profile consists of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL–cholesterol. Lipid profile should be performed after 12 to 14 hours of fasting to minimize the influence of postprandial hyperlipidemia. One can use either plasma or serum specimen. The serum cholesterol is approximately 3 percent lower than the plasma value.

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  • It is a well–known phenomenon that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is not successful if the body temperature is less than 35°C.
  • In hypothermic deaths, a person can be revived even after hours of cardiac arrest. Only once the body temperature is brought back to normal CPR will be effective.
  • That would mean that consciousness gets frozen and does not leave the body when the temperature is below 35°C.
  • This forms the basis for induced hypothermia after death to revive the brain.
  • Modern science is silent about this mechanism but the ancient Indian literature talks about it in great detail. As per Chandogya Upanishad (6.15.1), the process of death takes time and is a sequential process.
  • First, the motor indriyas organs (Karma Indriyas) stop functioning followed by sensory indriya organs (Gnanaindriyas) followed by cessation of pana or respiration.
  • Once this happens, the frozen sensory organs, motor organs, manas (mind, body, memory and ego) and prana have to get dissolved in Tej and then leave the body, which means presence of Tej is the most important factor for consciousness to leave the body.
  • In modern science, Tej would be governed by the body temperature. That means if the body temperature is low, the motor and sensory indriyas and manas Product (Vritti) will find no heat or Tej to dissolve and come out of the body.
  • Therefore, till the body temperature (Tej) is brought back to normal, the indriyas will seize to function but still be revivable.
  • This process may take upto 48 minutes in presence of Tej and there is no time limit if Tej is absent.
  • A clinically dead person with cardiac arrest therefore will have absent functioning of Manas organs, Sensory organs, mind, intellect, memory and ego with no respiration but yet revivable back to life.
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Why is My Nose Bleeding?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Nosebleed is a common problem, occurring in up to 60 percent of the general population and is often because of a respiratory illness or dry conditions. Nasal drying is common in the hot summer months because of the extreme temperature and dry air due to use of air conditioners.

Here are some typical reasons for nosebleeds:

  • Nasal allergies
  • Blowing your nose too hard or trying to remove something from inside the nose
  • A result of “popping” the ear
  • Nasal exposure to chemicals
  • Frequent sneezing or having an upper respiratory infection
  • Use of nasal spray or a blood–thinning drug, such as aspirin
  • Inhaling air that is extremely dry or cold
  • Having recent surgery on the nose or elsewhere on the face
  • Breaking the nose or a similar injury
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure

Bleeding can be controlled by direct pressure i.e. compression of the nostrils rasping the alae distally so all mucosal surfaces are opposed. Direct pressure should be applied continuously for at least five minutes, and for up to 20 minutes. The patient should be encouraged not to check for active bleeding. Patients who are properly instructed may control their bleeding while the evaluation gets underway.

Other maneuvers include bending forward at the waist while sitting up (to avoid swallowing blood), placing a plug of cotton wool or gauze into the bleeding nostril (sometimes coated with antibiotic ointment), expectorating out blood that accumulates in the pharynx and a cold compress applied to the bridge of the nose.

These maneuvers also should be taught to high–risk patients for use at home. Many ENT specialists recommend initial treatment with two puffs of oxymetazoline to hasten hemostasis.

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A disciple once asked Lord Buddha, “After meditating for years, I have not been able to gain anything.” Then Lord Buddha asked, “Did you lose anything?” The disciple said, “Yes, I lost my anger, desires, expectations and ego.” Buddha smiled and said, “That is your gain by meditating.”

To be happy, one must learn to let go of the following:

  • Let go of your desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva firstly let go of the Bull, which represents sexual desires. In Hanuman’s Lanka yatra, desires are represented by Samhiki, a creature who used to catch birds by their shadows. Hanuman killed the desires. So, it is possible to kill your desires. Again in Ramayana, desires are linked to Rajasik mind and in mythology, Meghnath represents the Rajsik mind. Meghnath was killed by Lakshman, the determined mind. Therefore, one should let go of the desires by killing them by focused concentration of the mind on the desires.
  • Let go your expectations. In Amarnath Yatra, the second thing which Lord Shiva discarded is moon which in mythology is symbolizes the letting go of expectations.
  • Let go your ego. In mythology, ego represents Kansa in Krishna era and Ravana in Rama era. Both were killed by Krishna and Rama respectively who symbolized the consciousness. Ego can never be killed by the mind and only can be killed by the consciousness (conscious based decisions). Ego is also represented by Sheshnaag and we have Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both having a Sheshnaag each with a mouth downwards indicating the importance of controlling one’s ego.
  • Never hurt ego of others. One should let go his or her ego but also remember to never hurt somebody’s ego. Hurting somebody’s ego in terms of allegations of sexual misconduct, financial corruption or abusing one’s caste is never forgotten and carries serious implications. In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, ego is represented by Sursa and Hanuman managed her by humility and not by counter ego. In Naag Panchami also, we worship Naag the ego by folded hands and by offering milk.
  • Let go your inaction. One should learn to live in the present. In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, Hanuman first meets Menak mountain, which indicates destination to rest. One should never do that and willfully divert his or her mind towards action.
  • Let go your attachments. Let go of your attachments to your close relatives and the worldly desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva first leaves Bully desires, moon (expectations), sheshnaag (ego) and then he gives up Ganesha and worldly desires (five elements). In mythology, this is practiced as detached attachment and in Bhagavad Gita is equated to Lotus. In Islam, detached attachment is practiced in the form of Bakra Eid.
  • Let go of your habit of criticizing, complaining and condemning people. One should always practice non–violent communication and speak what is truth, necessary and kind. One should not criticize, condemn or complain about people, situation and events. Wayne Dyer said, “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you do not know anything about.” Most of us often condemn people without knowing their capabilities and label them as unmatchable to us. One should also let go habit of gossiping as it is a form of violent communication.
  • Let go your habit of blaming others. One should learn to take responsibilities and believe in team work. A good leader is one who learns to be responsible in life.
  • Let go of your need to be always right. It is a form of ego. Remember, in an argument either you can win arguments or relationships. One should always try to win relationship and not arguments.
  • Let go your need to control situation, event and people. Learn to accept people as they are. The world is won by those who let this habit go.
  • Let go your habit and need to impress others. This is also a type of ego where we always want appreciation.
  • Give up your belief that you cannot do it. Remember ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ is ‘I M POSSIBLE’. A belief is not an idea held by the mind but it is a mind that holds the mind. (Elli Roselle).
  • Give up your resistance to change. Remember change is the only constant which will happen and always welcome it. Joseph Campbell once said that one should follow one’s bliss and will open doors to your where there are only walls.
  • Let go your fear and let go all negative thoughts. Remember, the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. It becomes very destructive if used badly. (Eckhart Tolle).
  • Let go your habit of excuses
  • Let go being in the past.
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Can blood pressure be higher in one arm?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A small difference in blood pressure readings between arms is normal. However, a difference of more than 20 mm Hg for systolic pressure (top number) or more than 10 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (bottom number) can be a sign of an underlying narrowing of the main arteries to that arm.

A difference of 10 to 15 mm Hg for upper systolic pressure that shows up repeatedly is a risk marker for vascular disease and future heart attacks.

Always have the doctor check both your arms for blood pressure and whichever is higher, use that arm for future blood pressure readings.

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Some gurus teach that the time and place of death is predefined while some do not. I personally feel that life and respirations are predefined and not the day and time of death.

It is something like water in a sponge will become empty when every drop of water comes out but it does not matter how much time it takes to come out. It is therefore possible to postpone or prolong the fulfillment of Prarabhdha Karma and postpone death.

As per the Karma theory, unless our Prarabdha Karmas (decided at the time of death and birth) are enjoyed and fulfilled, one cannot die. But once the Prarabhdha Karmas are fulfilled, death is inevitable.

Another unanswered question is can Prarabdha karmas be modified? Fate or destiny may not change, which means one may not be able to prolong the quantity of life but can definitely change the quality of life. The quality of life can be changed by modifying Agami (present Karmas).

Sanchit Karmas can be burnt with the file of knowledge about self. Prarabdha Karmas have to be experienced and Agami Karma can be neutralized by positive and negative Karmas to Zero in the present life.

The last few Prarabdha Karma experienced can thus be slowed down by the net positive result of their Agami karmas.

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