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Dr K K Aggarwal

Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Darkness cannot be removed physically; it can only be removed by switching on the light or going into sunlight or lighting a fire. Similarly, negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts.

In Bhagavad Gita, it has been said that in the period of Uttarayana with longer days, the first half at full moon, in the presence of light or agni, more positive thoughts are acquired compared to in Dakshinayana, before Amavasya or no moon or in absence of light.

Bhagavad Gita also says that whatever you think the whole life, you think at the time of death and if the time at the time of death you have positive thoughts, you are likely to get Moksha. That may be the reason why in Hindu mythology it is said that just before the death, we should light a diya or chant in front of agni (fire) so that dying person’s thoughts become positive.

In computer language, it is explained that when you open a file repeatedly, it becomes a priority file and appears in the search engine on priority as compared to other files.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Turmeric can prevent heart failure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Traditional Indian turmeric prevents heart failure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancers and gall stones and augments scar formation in a wound.

Studies from the University of Toronto’s Cardiology Division and published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation have shown that Curcumin, an ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, when given orally to a variety of mouse models with enlarged hearts (hypertrophy), could prevent and reverse hypertrophy, prevent heart failure, restore heart function and reduce scar formation.

In the studies, curcumin was given to rats, who then underwent surgery or received drugs designed to put them at risk of heart failure. The rats that received curcumin showed more resistance to heart failure and inflammation than comparison groups of rats that did not get curcumin.

Curcumin treatment also reversed heart enlargement. Curcumin short–circuited the heart enlargement process, though it’s not clear how it did that.

The healing properties of turmeric have been well–known. The herb has been used in traditional Indian medicine to reduce scar formation. For example, when there is a cut or a bruise, the home remedy is to reach for turmeric powder because it can help to heal without leaving a bad scar.

Curcumin has come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and fighting cancer.

As an herb, turmeric should to be taken 300 mg thrice–daily with meals. It has useful actions like antioxidant, anti–inflammatory, anti-rheumatic; cholesterol–lowering, anti-cancer and prevention of gall stones. It is also found to be useful in situations like dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, HIV, muscle soreness, peptic ulcer disease, scabies and uveitis.

Curcuminoids, act as free radical scavengers. They also inhibit leukotrienes and synthesis of prostaglandins. The anti–inflammatory activity has been claimed to be comparable to NSAIDs (such as indomethacin).

Curcuminoids lower blood lipid peroxides, decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol. Turmeric has also been claimed to inhibit platelet aggregation.

Types of Memory

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The easiest way to remember types of memory is by understanding the concept of Suno, Samjho, Jano and Karo (hearing, listening, knowledge and wisdom). Hearing is the shortest lasting memory. We hear and we forget is the rule.

Once we listen and understand, the memory is longer lasting but the same memory becomes ever lasting if we not only hear, understand and know but also incorporate the knowledge in our practice.

These principles have been used by marketing people in brand recall. I know many pharmaceuticals play a game and ask 100 doctors to enter into a competition in which they have to write the company’s brand a number of times in one minutes and the one who writes that particular brand the maximum number of times is given a prize. By practicing the brand name repeatedly you create a permanent impact of their brand in the soul and it is unlikely that you will forget the brand and its recall value will increase every time you think about the molecule.

The same principle has been used by devotees of Rama and Shiva where they ask people to write the name of Rama repeatedly everyday and the devotees of Shiva ask people to write Om Namaha Shivai on a piece of a paper for years together. By doing so you inculcate the teachings of Lord Rama and Shiva. Unfortunately, devotees of Lord Krishna have not been able to make a brand out of Lord Krishna.

Many spiritual Gurus give a Mantra, which is also based on the same principle. A mantra is nothing but a positive affirmation to be followed every minute of your life throughout your life. Once you start doing it, a time will come when it will become a part of your sole consciousness and you will start living and behaving in a way as of your positive affirmation. For example, Brahma Kumaris always say to you, in a manner of positive aspiration that “I am a peaceful soul”. After some time you will start behaving like a peaceful soul and you will lose agitation, anger and negative affirmations of life.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Some health tips from HCFI

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Quit smoking: This is one of the main reasons for bone problems among the young and the old alike. The earlier you quit this habit, the better.

Lose extra weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the joints and cause inflammation as well.

Eat healthy: Like any other condition, this preventive tip holds true for RA as well. Eat foods that aid bone health.

Why Spirituality is Friendly to wellbeing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. What you believe in can have a big impact on health and longevity. People with high levels of religious beliefs or spirituality have lower cortisol responses. Cortisol is a hormone the body releases in response to stress.
  2. Positive thinking produces nearly a 30% drop in perception of pain.
  3. Spirituality and the practice of religion are associated with a slower progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Those who regularly attend organized religious activities may live longer than those who do not. Regular participation lowers mortality rate by about 12 percent a year.
  5. People undergoing cardiac rehabilitation feel more confident and perceive greater improvements in their physical abilities if they have a strong faith.
  6. Increased levels of spirituality and religious faith may help substance abusers kick their habit.
  7. Spirituality stimulates the relaxation response. When the body is relaxed, the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate all go down, which decreases the body’s stress response.
  8. Spirituality can affect function of the immune system. Spirituality, faith, church attendance improves immune function in ways that can be measured, like an increase in white blood cells.
  9. Prayer heals the heart. Positive talking and thinking in the ICU produces better results.
  10. Spirituality is what brings you peace and safety. It can be achieved through God or Goddess, nature, a beautiful sunset, a meditation, Pranayama, religious meeting, chanting, mind body relaxation, etc. Spirituality is something that can help all the way from promoting wellness to helping with recovery.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Protection from mosquito bites

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Preventing mosquito bite is the best form of defense.
  2. Refrain from going outdoors at dusk/dawn when the carriers are highly active
  3. Sleep inside an insecticide-treated mosquito net.
  4. Cover yourself with long sleeved shirts and trousers.
  5. Refrain from sporting strong perfume or cologne, which can draw the attention of mosquitoes

Warning signs of worsening heart failure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If you have heart failure, call your doctor if you notice any of these signs:

  1. Sudden weight gain (2–3 pounds in one day or 5 or more pounds in one week)
  2. Extra swelling in the feet or ankles
  3. Swelling or pain in the abdomen
  4. Shortness of breath not related to exercise
  5. Discomfort or trouble breathing when lying flat
  6. Waking up feeling short of breath
  7. Coughing or wheezing
  8. Increased fatigue
  9. Mental confusion
  10. Loss of appetite

Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The vibrations of the ringing bell also produce the auspicious primordial sound ‘Om’, thus creating a connection between the deity and the mind. As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja), we ring the bell, chanting:

Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam

gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam

Kurve ghantaaravam tatra

devataahvaahna lakshanam

“I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces From within and without, depart.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The vibrations of the ringing bell also produce the auspicious primordial sound ‘Om’, thus creating a connection between the deity and the mind. As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja), we ring the bell, chanting:

Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam

gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam

Kurve ghantaaravam tatra

devataahvaahna lakshanam

“I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces From within and without, depart.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Some facts on healthy eating

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Natural fast food is good for health.
  • Examples of natural fast foods are milk, dry fruits and fruits.
  • Artificial fast food or junk food is bad for health.
  • Junk food contains refined sugar, bad fats and trans fats.
  • Trans fats reduce the amount of good cholesterol and raised the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
  • Soft drinks, if taken more than one in a day, are harmful to the health.
  • Sweets contain more than 30% sugar and are harmful to the body.
  • White sugar, white maida and white rice should be avoided.
  • Jaggery is better than sugar.
  • All girls should eat jaggery and white gram once a week.

Why do we Burn Camphor in any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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No Aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor, when lit, burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it.

Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the 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.

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

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Some tips from HCFI

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Avoid walking, jogging or exercising outdoors when the air is hazy.
  2. Stay indoors in air-conditioned rooms, use air purifiers if available.
  3. People with already diagnosed respiratory problems should use N95 masks when stepping out.
  4. While travelling in cars, roll up the windows.
  5. Avoid places with high-vehicular density.
  6. People with asthma or COPD must take their medicines regularly, even in summer.

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eye see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it represents acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.

The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk denotes using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates doing both smaller and bigger things by yourself. The elephant trunk can pick up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify to be in a state of balance in loss and gain. This implies that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment; Laddoo or Sweet in one hand represent desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped either when a new work is initiated or when one finds it difficult to complete a job or work. In these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

Some tips for ageing well from HCFI

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Do not think you are old. Age = 100 minus years old or age 40 = age 20 plus 20 years of experience.
  2. Quit smoking This is the first and foremost critical step that you can take in order to improve your health and combat age related health complications. If you were a smoker in your younger years and still are, it is not too late to quit this fatal habit.
  3. Stay active Make it a daily routine to undertake something that keep you fit and active. Let it be something that promotes strength, balance and flexibility and most importantly, something that you enjoy.
  4. Prevent accidental falls Elderly people are especially vulnerable to accidental falls. They can be prevented by making small changes around your house like removing loose rugs and carpets, keeping walking paths free of cords and clutters and using night lights for hallways. Wearing good friction supporting shoes has been observed to significantly prevent falls.
  5. Stay updated with immunizations and screenings Get a preventive screening done before various age-related disease strike. Get regular checkups for dental, vision and hearing health: Your teeth, gums, vision and hearing have the potential to last a lifetime, if cared for properly.
  6. Eat well A well-balanced healthy diet when combined with moderate physical activity can be the key to healthy aging. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help women.
  7. Stay mentally active Maintain a good amount of mental activity in old age to counter dementia and cognitive impairment that come with aging.
  8. Sleep well Many elderly people face problems with maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Insomnia and daytime sleepiness in excess are common complaints, talk to your healthcare provider about such issues.

Eid-ul-Fitr: Marking the End of Ramadan

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Eid-ul Fitr: The feast marking end of Ramadan.
  2. Zakat-ul Fitr: A prescribed amount of money obligatory on every Muslim, calculated to feed one poor person in his region for one day.
  3. Eid activities include:

a. Eid prayer in the early morning.

b. Visiting family, friends, neighbors, the sick, elderly etc.

c. Enjoying festive meals.

d. Modest gift-giving especially to children.

e. Greeting on the day: Eid Mubarak

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own