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Dr K K Aggarwal

Profession, passion and fashion

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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I have written about this topic earlier too, but this is an update. Profession is at the level of physical body and mind, fashion is at the level of ego and passion is at the level of the soul. If your passion, profession and fashion are in synchrony with each other, you are a perfect leader.

If you are not passionate about your profession, you can never be successful. To be passionate about your profession is only not important, it is also equally important to let others know about your passion for your profession.

When you do so, it becomes a fashion. Our aim in life should be to let people know that you are passionate about your profession. When the passion is too much, it becomes an obsession.

Love in Ayurveda

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Euphoria, reaction, adjustment and liking are the four fundamental phases of any relationship. When a person gets engaged to a girl, both go through a phase of euphoria where they can talk to each other for hours. This phase lasts for six months to three years. The next phase is the phase of reactions and fighting on smaller issues. This phase will end with mutual adjustment after a variable duration depending upon the family counseling available.

The last phase in any relationship is the real spiritual love and liking for each other.

The first euphoric phase of love relationship is medically called infatuation. It starts when two persons are attracted to each other and is due to release of adrenaline like neurochemicals like phenylethylamine, dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine makes them feel good and norepinephrine stimulates the production of adrenaline which makes the heart beat faster. These chemicals also make one feel euphoric, energized and float on air.

The last chemical oxytocin is the cuddling chemical which makes women and men calmer and more sensitive to the feelings of others. It plays an important role in romantic love as a sexual arousal hormone that signals orgasm.

The final stage of a relationship usually starts after seven years and is the stage of attachment. The chemicals involve in this are endorphins. These morphine-like opiates calm and reassure with intimacy, dependability, warmth, and shared experiences.

These hormones are not as exciting as phenylethylamine but are more addictive. The longer two people have been in a relationship the more likely it is that they’ll stay in that relationship as they get addicted to the endorphins. It is the absence of endorphins that make long-time partners yearn for each other when apart. Absent endorphins also play a part in grief from the death of a spouse.

Mark Goulston, at the University of California, said “Adrenaline-based love is all about ourselves, we like being in love. With endorphins, we like loving”.

The stages in between are the stages of reaction and adjustment and represent the normal reactions of men or women to stress and strains.

As per Ayurveda a person is made up of body, mind (mind, intellect and ego) and soul. Infatuation is at the level of body and the mind. Attachment is at the level of soul and the reactions and adjustments are at the level of mind, intellect and ego.

From Ayurveda point of view a person can have a Satvik mind (calm and poise), Rajsik mind (aggressive) and a Tamsik mind (inertia and destructive). The first infatuation and the last attachment phases of relationship are all Satvic states and the in between states are Rajsik or Tamsik.
This is one reason why newly wedded couples are given Satvik food for the initial few months including a cup of hot milk with sugar before going to the bed.

The relationship of a person can also be classified at the levels of physical body, mind, intellect, ego and the soul. All depends upon the need and the resultant satisfaction.

Rarely the husband and wife will be able to fulfill the role of all the relationships. They may be physically together but not mentally.
It is quite common for the partners to have separate relationships to satisfy their respective needs. They may have multiple relationships apart from the wife, which is only for the physical needs. They may have separate friend to satisfy their mental needs (with whom they can open out and share), another for intellectual needs and a guru for the spiritual needs.

Stay Away From Stress during Examination Days

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Exam stress can lead to depression and suicide. Prescriptions for anti depressant drugs, so called ‘happy drugs’ increase amongst teenagers in the age group 16-18 years in full time education during exam days. This figure crosses 20% in school population in the West.

To create awareness about the rising problems of stress in the Indian context, Dr Aggarwal said that the fear of failure, fear of letting down are the two most common factors leading to suicide and depression.

Children also use drugs to keep awake during exams and end up with addictions. Anticipatory anxiety peaks before exams resulting in adverse affects on the body and mind and therefore, a suboptimal performance. Stress not only causes palpitations and tense muscles but also reduces the ability to make decisions, act or express oneself including organization of thoughts. Stress during exam makes it difficult to read and understand questions and even to recall terms and concepts.

A study has shown that 45 minutes of afternoon nap improves the declarative memory. Declarative memory is the memory of events learnt and understood earlier during the year. Not taking an afternoon nap or night sleep may cause the child end up with transient loss of declarative memory. Sleep appears to help “set” these declarative memories and makes them easier to recall. The other type of memory is “procedural memory,” which applies to skills and has no impact with the midday nap.

Free writing can clear mental stress: By spending 30 minutes each day for four days to write out your innermost thoughts and feelings, one can significantly boost mental and physical health. In expressive writing therapy, students are encouraged to express whatever is on their mind, letting their hopes and fears flow out in a natural, unrestrained way. It’s akin to keeping a journal, but more focused on the things that might be bothering you or triggering stress. While writing, the students need not worry about the punctuations. It’s all about stepping back and thinking about things in a different way, making linkages. Writing out emotions eases stress and, in turn, boosts the immune system.

Memories of traumatic events are not suppressed by the people who have experienced them and can be clearly recalled. In a five-year study, scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that pleasant events were more difficult to recall than unhappy ones.

Why do we regard trees and plants as being sacred?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The upper part of the plants, the leaves, flowers and fruits are worshipped as sacred and offered to God. As per the Bhagwad Gita, these have satvik properties. Roots of any plant are tamsik and not offered in pooja or eaten during pooja days. The same is true for the stems of plants, which have rajsik properties.

  1. Fresh and live fruits have the same spirit and life force as in the human beings and are considered sacred the same way as any human being.
  2. Human life also depends on plants and trees. They give us the vital factors that make life possible on earth: food, oxygen, clothing, shelter, medicines etc.
  3. Ancient scriptures suggest the planting of a minimum of ten trees. We are also urged to apologize to a plant or tree before cutting it to avoid incurring a specific sin named soona.
  4. Many trees and plants like tulsi, peepal etc., which also have medicinal value, are worshipped.

Don’t Ignore Women’ Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Women are not diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men. Even though more women than men die of heart disease each year, women receive only 33% of all angioplasties, stents and bypass surgeries; 28% of implantable defibrillators and 36% of open-heart surgeries, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

 

Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — have a detrimental impact in men and women, certain factors play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women.

 

  • Metabolic syndrome — a combination of increased blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and triglycerides — has a greater impact on women than men.
  • Mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than they do men’s.
  • Smoking is much worse for women than men.
  • A low level of estrogen before menopause is a significant risk factor for developing microvascular disease.
  • Though women will often have some chest pain or discomfort, it may not be the most prominent symptom. Diffuse plaques build-up and diseased smaller arteries are two reasons why symptoms can be different in women.
  • In addition to chest pain, pressure or discomfort, signs and symptoms of heart attack in women include: Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, sweating, light-headedness or dizziness and unusual fatigue.
  • Endothelial dysfunction is more common in women. In this the lining of the artery does not expand (dilate) properly to boost blood flow during activity, which increases the risk of coronary artery spasm and sudden death.
  • WISE study results suggest that the commonly used treatments for coronary artery disease — angioplasty and stenting — are not the best option for women with more diffuse plaques.
  • Typical tests for coronary artery disease — angiogram, treadmill testing and others — are not reliable in women.
  • The WISE study showed that in some women, plaques accumulate as an evenly spread layer along artery walls, which is not visible using traditional testing methods.

Never Hurt the Ego of a Person

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is a well known Vedic fact that if you hurt the ego of a person, he will never forgive you, especially, if you have insulted or implicated him in character assassination, or have cast implications about financial embezzlement or you call a woman as old or a man as impotent in public.

For example, if I hurt ego of a chowkidaar, next time if a patient comes to the hospital gate and asks where Dr. KK Aggarwal is, he only has to whisper, “Which Aggarwal, whose cases never survive?”

Also never hurt the ego of a person who is drunk. Under the influence of alcohol, a person loses his capacity to judge persons and situations. If you provoke him, he can be destructive and aggressive.

Gaining Weight Losing Strength versus Losing Weight Gaining Strength

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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When we gain weight, we must acquire more strength and when we lose weight, we must lose the strength. This is a fundamental medical principle.

If we gain weight and feel weak, it is a disease and when we lose weight and gain strength, we are recovering from the disease. One is not supposed to gain more than 5kg of weight after the age of 20 years. Any weight gain after that will only be due to accumulation of fat, which leads to insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance does not allow food to convert into energy. In the state of insulin resistance, whatever you eat, it is converted into fat. As it is not converted into energy and you feel week. When you reduce insulin resistance by drugs or walking, the metabolism becomes normal and whatever you eat gets converted into energy and you start gaining strength.

The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence, which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness.

Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and mistakenly it has been linked to materialistic money. In mythology Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth, Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society.

In any country, it is the wealth of knowledge which is more important. India was ruled initially by warriors (Kali), later by money (Lakshmi) and in future will be ruled by knowledge (Saraswati).

It is the human resources which today decide the growth of a company and the amount of money invested. If you have good human resources, your company is going to succeed.

Avoid Drunk or Drugged Driving

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The dangers of drinking alcohol and driving are well known to all. But, it is also important to recognize that taking drugs and driving too can be as dangerous. Drugged driving or driving under the influence of any drug that acts on the brain can adversely affect your, vision, reaction time and judgment and driving skills. This not only endangers your life but also of your co-passengers as well as others on the road.

Tips for safe driving

  • All through the year, especially during the holiday season, take steps to make sure that you and everyone you celebrate with avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Always designate a non-drinking driver before any holiday party or celebration begins.
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up
  • Do not let a friend drive if you think that they are impaired. Take the car keys.
  • Stay overnight at your friend’s place, if possible and drive back home in the morning.

Thinking Differently

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There are three ways to manage stress. One is to think opposite, second is to think different and the third is to think positive.

Thinking opposite was advocated by Patanjali, thinking differently by Adi Shankaracharya and thinking positive by Gautam Buddha. Out of three approaches, the Indian Vedic philosophy focuses on thinking differently. Thinking positive and thinking opposite may not be feasible at the time of any adversity.

Thinking differently has been emphasized in mythology at multiple places. Ten heads of Ravana, five heads of Brahma, elephant head of Lord Ganesha, Fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu and third eye of Lord Shiva remind us of the principle of thinking differently.

We can see or analyze a person or a situation with the eyes of our physical body (physical eye) or eyes of the mind (thinking and analyzing) and eyes of the soul (conscious based decision).

Lord Buddha once said that a good action should be based on truth, should be necessary and bring happiness both for the person doing it and the society.

The 3H principle advocated in the West is also based on the same which means before any action think from your Head and from multiple options available, choose from the Heart and then order the Hands to do the job.

The first incarnation of Lord Vishnu Fish indicates the capacity of swimming against the stream. The third eye of Lord Shiva means thinking from the mind and choosing the right answer from the heart. The ten heads of Ravana and five heads of Brahma also indicate thinking to get multiple options.

The example of thinking differently comes from the dialogue between Urvashi and Arjuna. Once Urvashi in a mind full of Kama went to Arjuna and said “If you are not going give me a son like you today, I am going to give you a curse”. Arjuna was in a dilemma but he thought differently and said – “Why do you want to wait for 25 years to get a son like me from today I am your son: Mother.”

6 ways to ease neck pain

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The following six tips can help you take care of your neck. (Harvard)

  1. Don’t stay in one position for too long. It’s hard to reverse bad posture, Dr. Isaac says, but if you get up and move around often enough, you’ll avoid getting your neck stuck in an unhealthy position.
  2. Make some ergonomic adjustments. Position your computer monitor at eye level so you can see it easily. Use the hands-free function on your phone or wear a headset. Prop your touch-screen tablet on a pillow so that it sits at a 45° angle, instead of lying flat on your lap.
  3. If you wear glasses, keep your prescription up to date. “When your eyewear prescription is not up to date, you tend to lean your head back to see better,” Dr. Isaac says.
  4. Don’t use too many pillows. Sleeping with several pillows under your head can stifle your neck’s range of motion.
  5. Know your limits. Before you move a big armoire across the room, consider what it might do to your neck and back, and ask for help.
  6. Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep problems increase the risk for several different conditions, including musculoskeletal pain.

Why do we light Camphor in any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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No Arati is performed without camphor. Camphor when lit burns itself out completely without leaving any trace.

Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego.

Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness.

Also, when camphor burns it emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else.

Supplements may cut LDL in older women

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Postmenopausal women taking calcium and vitamin D supplements had improved lipid profiles compared with those taking placebo as per a new study.

In an analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative, the level of LDL cholesterol was lower by an average of 4.46 mg/dL in the women on active treatment reported Peter F. Schnatz, DO, of Reading Hospital in Pennsylvania in the journal menopause.

In addition, higher concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D3) were associated with higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Mindfulness meditation

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor.

Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.

Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas.

Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

How to recognize cardiac arrest

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Rapid recognition of cardiac arrest is the essential first step of successful CPR 10.
  • As per Guidelines, the lay rescuer who witnesses a person collapse or comes across an apparently unresponsive person should confirm unresponsiveness by tapping the person on the shoulder and shouting: “are you all right?”
  • If the person does not respond, the rescuer calls for help or ambulance and initiates excellent chest compressions.
  • Lay rescuers should not attempt to assess the victim’s pulse and, unless the patient has what appear to be normal respirations, should assume the patient is apneic or without respiration.
  • Remember even well-trained professionals can have difficulty determining if breathing is adequate or pulses are present in unresponsive adults.
  • After assessing responsiveness, health care providers should quickly check the patient’s pulse.
  • While doing so, it is reasonable to visually assess the patient’s respirations.
  • It is appropriate to assume the patient is in cardiac arrest if there is no breathing or abnormal breathing (gasping) or if a pulse cannot be readily palpated within 10 seconds.
  • The key point is not to delay CPR.