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Dr K K Aggarwal

Tackling tension headaches

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Tension headache usually develops in the afternoon, causing mild or moderate pain that may feel like dull tightness or a band of pressure. Tension headaches occur when neck, shoulder, and scalp muscles become tense. If you suffer from headaches often, more than once or twice a week.

• Don’t skip meals.

• Get enough sleep.

• Avoid stress and fatigue.

• Learn physical and relaxation therapies.

• Apply heating pad to the neck and shoulders to relax the muscles.

• Exercise the muscles of neck and shoulders by strengthening and stretching them.

• Relaxation exercises that focus your attention on various parts of your body in order to relax and release tension and stress can also help.

• Learn Biofeedback relaxation techniques. Learn to recognize when you are becoming tense and then find ways to relax the muscles before they tighten so much that you develop a tension headache.

• Identify trigger points, at the back of the neck or in the shoulders. Injecting a local anesthetic into these areas may eliminate the pain and prevent headache.

4th Chaitra Navratri: Kushmanda Worship

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Spiritual summary: One should continuously (beaded rosary) control the air (anahata plexus) within us by using our sharp intelligence (sword) and balancing the mind (Trishul) by focusing on one point (arrow and bow), practicing detached attachment (lotus), accepting things as they are (Kamandalu), keep smiling in both acceptable and difficult situations (smiling face) and killing the negative energies by using discus (power) when needed. This can be assisted by chanting YAM focusing on 4th heart anahata thymus plexus chakra”.

Kushmanda is worshipped on 4th Navratri. SHE shines brightly with a laughing face. Out of eight hands (Ashtabhuja) in her four arms, she carries weapons like bow, arrow, discus and mace. In other three hands, she holds a lotus, a beaded rosary and a Kamandalu. In remaining hand, she carries a jar of nectar. SHE rides on Lion. Rosary represents her power to bless her devotees with Ashtasiddhi (eight types of studies or wisdom sources) and Navanidhi (nine types of wealth).

In Ayurveda, SHE represents the control over the air element. In Yoga Shastra, SHE represents the heart or Anhata Chakra with the Bija sound YAM.

Exercise impact on the knee

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Different exercises produce different impacts on the knee joints. The best and safest exercises causing minimum impact on the knee after knee replacement or patients with 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 and not singles. One can also participate in downhill or cross–country skiing.

The maximum stress–producing exercises are jogging and golf swings.

Impact

• Biking generates the least force, producing impact of about 1.3 times the person’s body weight.

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

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

• A game of tennis produces forces of 3.1 to 3.8 times the body weight; serving produces the highest impact.

• Jogging produced 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.

3rd Chaitra Navratri: Chandraghanta (Controlling your negative energies)

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“Spiritual summary on the 3rd Navratri: One should continuously (beaded rosary) control the fire (solar plexus) within by using our sharp intelligence (sword) and balancing the mind (Trishul) by focusing on one point (arrow and bow), practicing detached attachment (lotus), accepting things as they are (Kamandalu) and killing the negative energies by using gada (power) when needed. This can be assisted by chanting RAM focusing on 3rd celiac solar plexus chakra”.

Chandraghanta is worshipped on the 3rd day of Navratri

SHE is shown with golden skin and riding a tiger. She is depicted with ten hands and 3 eyes with a crescent moon on the head.

Eight of HER hands display weapons. The rest two are in the mudras or gestures of boon giving and stopping harm (Varada and abhay mudra) indicating protection.

Out of eight hands five contains bow and arrow (to bend, focus, one-point determination. The bow and arrows also represent energy. Holding both the bow and arrows in one hand indicates control over both potential and kinetic energies); Trishul (balance), sword (sharp intelligence) and mace (power to destroy the evil). Rest three hands contain rosary (tapas); lotus (detached attachment) and Kamandalu (acceptance).

In Ayurveda SHE represents the control over the fire element. In Yogashastra, SHE represents the solar or Manipura Chakra with the Bija sound RAM.

The sound of her bell terrifies demons as well as all enemies.

SHE represents protector and bravery.


Managing Diabetes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and paralysis.

• More than 25% people have prediabetes (blood sugar level more than 90 but below 126 mg/dL) but only 4% know it needs attention.

• Diabetes is not just about controlling blood sugar. Controlling BP (<120/80) and LDL bad cholesterol (<70) is equally important.

• Smokers face 44% increased risk of diabetes when compared to nonsmokers (Swiss researchers JAMA)

• Advancing age, diabetes, high BP, obesity, smoking, drugs, heart diseases, alcohol, cycling for > 3 hours/week can cause erectile dysfunction.

• Each 1 mg increase in serum uric acid increases the risk of developing diabetes by 18%.

• Keep your fasting sugar, lower BP, bad cholesterol, abdominal girth all below 80.

• Recent studies have shown that people at risk of type 2 diabetes can prevent onset of diseases by losing 5 to 7% body weight.

• Patients with diabetes should drive only if their blood sugar is under control and there is no evidence of end organ disqualifying disease.

• Significant snoring with episodes of cessation of respiration during night can lead to diabetes.

• Treating depression may help people with diabetes get their blood sugar under control.

• Sudden cardiac death is preventable – keep your diabetes under control.

• If BP and diabetes are kept under control, 75% dialysis and transplants can be prevented.

• One in five patients with diabetes have abnormal Treadmill Stress Test

• Patients with metabolic syndrome are 5 times more likely to develop diabetes (National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute).

• Diabetic patients have similar risk as non–diabetics with one heart attack.

• Fifty percent of diabetic patients may have associated high blood pressure.

• Uncontrolled diabetes can cause heart attack.

• Hypertension and diabetes together raise the chances of heart attack manifold.

• Diabetics can have heart attack without the classical symptom of pain.

• Diabetes can remain silent for over five years.

• Uncontrolled diabetes can cause impotence.

• Uncontrolled diabetes can cause blindness.

• Uncontrolled diabetes can cause paralysis.

2nd Chaitra Navratri (Maa Brahmacharini)

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“Spiritual summary: Purify the mind (white cloth) with continuous efforts (japa mala) by accepting the things and situations as they are (kamandalu) and building humility in the mind (egoless state)”. This can be assisted by chanting VAM focusing on 2nd gonadal chakra.

Brahmacharini (Uma or Tapacharini) is worshipped on 2nd day of Navratri as the goddess who performed ‘Tapa’ (penance or continuous efforts) (Brahma – Tapa, Charini – Performer). SHE personifies love and loyalty and provides knowledge and wisdom. Those who worship her, attain, Tap (Religious Austerity), Tyagi (Sacrifice) and Vairagya (Asceticism).

She is shown to hold Japa mala (rosary beads) in her right hand and Kamandal in left hand. This form of Shakti as per Yoga Shastras is present in second gonad chakra (in Allopathy gonad plexus) called Svadhisthana Chakra. The bija sound for the chakras is VAM which removes attachments. In Ayurveda the 2nd Chakra represents the water element.

In mythology ‘white’ represents purity of mind; beaded rosary or japa mala represents continuous efforts (meditation and concentration) and Kamandalu represents acceptance and water in it represents pure thoughts.

Kamandalu also means living an egoless state of mind. Kamandalu is a water pot made from a dry pumpkin contains nectar and is shown on the ground next to Shiva. The process of making Kamandalu has deep spiritual significance.

A ripe pumpkin is plucked from a plant, its fruit is removed and the shell is cleaned for containing the nectar. In the same way, an individual must break away from attachment to the physical world and clean his inner self of egoistic desires in order to experience the bliss of the Self, symbolized by the nectar in the Kamandalu.

 

Psoriasis Update

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Psoriasis is a complex immune–mediated disease and is a common disorder that affects men and women equally.

Although it can begin at any age, the peak times for disease onset are young adulthood (ages 20 to 30 years) and late middle age (ages 50 to 69 years).

There are multiple clinical subtypes of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis, the most common presentation of psoriasis, most commonly presents with sharply defined erythematous plaques with overlying silvery scales. The scalp, extensor elbows, knees, and back are common locations for plaque psoriasis lesions.

Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 30 percent of patients with psoriasis, and precedes the skin manifestations in approximately 15 percent of patients.

A diagnosis of psoriasis can be made by history and physical examination in the vast majority of cases. Occasionally, a skin biopsy is needed to rule out other conditions.

Numerous topical and systemic therapies are available for the treatment of psoriasis. Treatment modalities are chosen on the basis of disease severity, relevant comorbidities, patient preference (including cost and convenience), efficacy and evaluation of individual patient response.

 

 


On 1st Navratri Let Go Your Desires

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. Body detoxification involves eating a Navratri diet along with observing the following principles:

1. Eating less. Eating once if possible.

2. No cereals. You can take wheat grass juice.

3. Satvik lifestyle. In Navratri diet

1. Flour is replaced with Kuttu or Singhara flour.

2. Pulses are replaced with amaranth or Rajgiri.

3. Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhana as described in nine forms of Durga.

As per mythology, Mata Shailputri is daughter of mountain king –Himalaya. She is the first among nine avatars of Durga and worshipped on the First day of Navratri. In Yogashastra she represents the lowest Muladhara chakra. In Ayurveda Muladhara chakra represents the earth element (attachments).

The bija sound to chant is LAM in the sacral root area. In Allopathy, she represents activation of sacral autonomic plexus.

The Goddess has a half moon in her forehead. She is holding a trident (trishul) in her right hand and a lotus flower in her left hand. She rides on Nandi a bull. Shailputri represents the shakti or power of the root chakra, who, upon awakening, begins Her journey upwards in search for the last crown chakra (Shiva).

Bull in mythology represents ‘desires’. On the first day we must let go our desires. Trishul represents balancing Tamas, Rajas and Satwa. Lotus represents practicing detached attachment. We are required to donate all Rajsik and Tamsik foods and items so that we are not attracted during Navratri. Moon represents thinking with a cool mind.

On the first day, Yogis keep their mind concentrated on Muladhara chakra as the starting point of spiritual discipline or Yoga Sadhna.

What to do on first day

• Let go your desires.

• Keep the mind cool.

• Practice detached attachment.

• Balance Tamas and Rajas guna with Satwa or to stay in balance.

• Concentrate on Muladhara chakra (sacral root).

• Chant LAM reducing the respiratory rate to 2-4 per minute.

Mantra: “On the first day, control (riding) your desires (bull) by balancing (Trishul) the mind with cool thoughts (moon) and practicing detachment (lotus). This can be assisted by chanting LAM focusing on sacral chakra.”






Patients with acidity should avoid chocolates and peppermint

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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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.

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. Symptoms that may suggest complicated disease include loss of appetite, loss of weight and difficulty in swallowing food, bleeding and signs of systemic illness.

Lifestyle changes for reflux involve elevation of head and of the body, avoidance of food before sleep and avoidance of food which makes the food pipe valve lax. 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.

 


Understanding Yamraja

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All these years, like others, I too had a perception of Yamraja as a negative personality whose name has been used for centuries to frighten people. I started analyzing him only recently, after I started searching why Yamraja has a Bhainsa (male buffalo) as his sawari (vehicle).

Yamraja is also known as Dharma Raja, which means the one who is enriched with the power of justice.

The mythological names were so written that they fitted the personality of the person. Dushasan means the one who is Dusht in Shasan, Yudhishthir means one who is sthir in the battle field.

We, as human beings, have negative and positive qualities. Negative qualities are depicted with the need to control and are depicted as the vehicles of GOD.

Yamraja within us means our inner power to do justice. As per mythology, the role of Yamraja is to decide and send us into hell or heaven by calculating the positive and negative karmas. If the balance is positive, the person goes to heaven and if the balance is negative, the person goes to hell.

As per modern science, hell and heaven are within this planet earth. Your Yamraja quality of consciousness is all the time subtracting bad karmas from good karmas. If the sum total result is negative, you end up with a disease or suffering. Suffering can be equated to hell and a period of no suffering and no illness can be equated to heaven.

Instead of fearing Yamraja, we should actually make him our personal friend and everyday in the evening, he (our consciousness) should be asked to give us a score of our Karmas, whether positive or negative. If negative, the next day we should do more positive karmas to negate the bad karma.

To become a good human being we need to control our negative animal like tendencies. Bhainsa (male buffalo) is known for his nature of destroying anything which comes in his way.

Your power of justice can only be successful if you learn to control this quality of yours. Your judgments should always be neutral and non vindictive; always keep anger under control.

In fact, the Yamraja quality in us can be equated to the qualities, which a judge should have in Court; be it District, High or Supreme Court. The better term, therefore, is Dharma Raja as no judge would like to be called as Yamraja.



All about depression

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Depression is a major public health problem as a leading predictor of functional disability and mortality.

• Optimal depression treatment improves outcome for most patients.

• Most adults with clinical significant depression never see a mental health professional but they often see a primary care physician.

• A physician who is not a psychiatrist misses the diagnosis of depression 50% of times.

• All depressed patients must be specifically enquired about suicidal ideations.

• Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency.

• Risk factors for suicide are known psychiatric disorders, medical illnesses, prior history of suicidal attempts or family history of attempted suicide.

• The demographic reasons include older age, male gender, marital status (widowed or separated) and living alone.

• About 1 million people commit suicide every year globally.

• Around 79% of patients who commit suicide contact their primary care provider in the last one year before their death and only one-third contact their mental health service provider.

• Twice as many suicidal victims had contacted their primary care provider as against the mental health provider in the last month before suicide.

• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and accounts for 1.2% of all deaths.

• The suicide rate in the US is 10.5 per 100,000 people.

• In the US, suicide is increasing in middle-aged adults.

• There are 10 to 40 non–fatal suicide attempts for every one completed suicide.

• The majority of suicides completed in US are accomplished with fire arm (57%); the second leading method of suicide in US is hanging for men and poisoning in women.

• Patients with prior history of attempted suicide are 5–6 times more likely to make another attempt.

• Fifty percent of successful victims have made prior attempts.

• One of every 100 suicidal attempt survivors will die by suicide within one year of the first attempt.

• The risk of suicide increases with increase in age; however, young adults and adolescents attempt suicide more than the older.

• Females attempt suicide more frequently than males but males are successful three times more often.

• The highest suicidal rate is amongst those individuals who are unmarried followed by those who are widowed, separated, divorced, married without children and married with children in descending order.

• Living alone increases the risk of suicide.

• Unemployed and unskilled patients are at higher risk of suicide than those who are employed.

• A recent sense of failure may lead to higher risk.

• Clinicians are at higher risk of suicide.

• The suicidal rate in male clinicians is 1.41 and in female clinicians it is 2.27.

• Adverse childhood abuse and adverse childhood experiences increase the risk of suicidal attempts.

• The first step in evaluating suicidal risk is to determine presence of suicidal thoughts including their concerns and duration.

• Management of suicidal individual includes reducing mortality risk, underlying factors and monitoring and follow up.

• Major risk for suicidal attempts is in psychiatric disorders, hopelessness and prior suicidal attempts or threats.

• High impulsivity or alcohol or other substance abuse increase the risk.

Direct all your energy towards the soul and not the ego

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The epic Mahabharata can also be understood as a science of inner Mahabharata that occurs in everybody’s mind.

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

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

Conscious-based decisions need to be taken to kill the negativity in the mind. Every action, if directed towards the consciousness or the soul, is the right action. To kill all the 100 Kauravas (the 100 negative tendencies a person can have) controlled by Duryodhan and Duhshasan along with Shakuni (the negative power of cunningness), positive qualities have to be redirected towards consciousness and then 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, Karna and Dronacharya, individually all had winning powers; but, they all supported 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.

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

Therefore, one should cultivate a 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.




Sunlight can reduce weight

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A study from the Northwestern University reports that the timing, intensity and duration of light exposure during the day are linked to body weight.

People who had most of their daily exposure to even moderately bright light in the morning had a significantly lower body mass index than those who had most of their light exposure later in the day. “The earlier this light exposure occurred during the day, the lower individuals’ BMI,” said co–lead author Kathryn Reid, research associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “The later the hour of moderately bright light exposure, the higher a person’s BMI.”

The influence of morning light exposure on body weight was independent of an individual’s physical activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age or season. It accounted for about 20% of a person’s BMI.

“Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance,” said study senior author Phyllis C. Zee, M.D. “The message is that you should get more bright light between 8 a.m. and noon.” About 20 to 30 minutes of morning light is enough to affect BMI. (Science Daily)

 


How long can one fast?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Allopathy, one cannot live without air or oxygen for more than 3 minutes, without water for more than three days and without food for more than 3 weeks.

As per Chandogya Upanishad, food is responsible for the making of motor organs (Karmendriyas), sensory organs, manas (mind, intellect, memory and ego) and prana. The fiery foods are responsible for making the motor indriyas, earthy foods for sensory indriyas and manas and water for making Prana Vayu. Therefore, it is possible for a person to live on water for up to few weeks because he will keep making Prana and keep breathing but absence of food on 14th day onward will start affecting his Gnanaindriyas and Manas. The person will start losing power of hearing, touching and sensing and will start showing impairment in mental status, memory, intellect functions and egoistic behavior.

The vast power of the Spirit

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Om Poornamadah

Om Poornamadah Poornamidam

Poornaat Poornamudachyate

Poornasya Poornamaadaaya

Poornameva Avasihyate”

‘The whole is whole; if you take away the whole away from the whole the whole will still remain.’ (That is infinite, this is infinite, from the infinite, the infinite has come. Having taken the infinite out of the infinite, the infinite alone remains). (In Vedanta, “That” represents superconsciousness, God or the Brahman and “This” the visible universe)

Atman, which makes up our body, is 99.99 per cent space or void and if we look at the rest, it is also nothing but space or void. This void or ‘akasha’ is what is called Brahman, God or consciousness and is a web of energized information.

This web of information of inner space called inner consciousness is the Atman or the Soul. This is connected with the outer space in the universe having a similar web of energized information called the Spirit or Brahmand.

The Spirit has been given many names by different religions: Allah, Buddha, Brahman, Christ or Wahe Guru. They all signify the same. This spirit, the energized field of information, is a powerful expression of live energy which can move faster than the speed of light. Soul is nothing but an individualized expression of the spirit.

This energy containing information in the spirit cannot be seen, felt, touched, tasted or smelt. It is beyond the perception of the five senses. One cannot destroy it with a weapon, fire, water or air. This consciousness is embedded in the space of each and every cell of the body. It is like sugar added to the milk. Once added, you cannot find it as it gets embedded with each and every drop of the milk.

Soul originates from the spirit. Each soul differs from the other by way of the subtle layer of consciousness called the ‘Sukshma Sharir’, which is controlled by the triad of actions, memories and desires.

Spirit is like the light, which is always positive and removes darkness. The basic nature of consciousness is “truth and bliss”. The soul and the spirit are devoid of hatred, anger or jealousy and are full of unconditional love. They are nothing but a treasury of information about everything. This infinite information is capable of doing anything, including miracles.

It is like the flame of a candle, which can light an infinite number of candles, while still retaining its illumination to the same degree.

Deepak Chopra once said that the soul is like the voice of Lata Mangeshkar coming through a radio, and if you break the radio, you won’t find Lata Mangeshkar in it. Similarly, if you cut the body into pieces, you cannot find the physical presence of the spirit. Spirit is omnipresent and any amount of Spirit taken out from it will not make any difference to it.

In religious terms, the infinite or the vastness is equated and described by the blue color, and that is one reason why most gods are represented in blue color, or are shown in the background of blue sky. This only represents the vastness and infinite character of the consciousness.
A guru explained the Spirit to his disciples by the following equation: 1 × 1 = 1, 1/1=1 or, in other words everything is One. One can also explain it by the equation that infinity when added, subtracted, multiplied or divided by infinity will result only in infinity.

This infinite potential in our minds is present in between the thoughts and can be experienced by enabling oneself to go in between the thoughts by a process called meditation. One can experience the silent gap between the thoughts either with the use of primordial sound mantra as a vehicle or by way of yoga. People who have learnt meditation and have achieved the ability to go into the silent gaps can accomplish everything in their life using the principles of intention and attention. After any intention is introduced in the silent gap, a new reality can be created.

“That which is born of the flash is a flash; that which is born of the spirit is spirit” (John)