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Dr K K Aggarwal

Darkness is absence of light so are negative thoughts which are absence of positive thoughts. As per Deepak Chopra Negative thoughts can only be removed by inculcating positive thoughts. Vedanta has described various modalities regarding the same.

1.  Adi Shankarya in his book Bhag Govindum described that the negative thoughts can be modified (think differently) . He said that once a monk encountered a female with no cloths over the chest, instead of closing the eyes, he looked at them and imagined them as the organs from where he drank the milk while he was an infant. The initial vitiated thoughts vanished there and then.

2. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali has described that for negative thought one can willfully originate opposite thoughts (think opposite). For example if one is having a thought of stealing he or she can silently pass on the thoughts of charity to someone.

3. Buddha on the other hand said that to resolve negative thoughts one should think of any positive thoughts or do any positive acts, even if they are unrelated. (think positive)

4. Face and be aware of the negative thought as it will be only transient (do not think at all, let it happen): There’s a classic Zen story about two celibate monks who are walking on a pilgrimage. They come across a girl who is very lovely and beautiful who wants to cross the river. The young monk gets attracted to her, offers help and says, “I’ll take you on my shoulders and carry you across the river and drop you off on the other side.” He does that, and the two monks continue on their pilgrimage until after a while the old monk starts to have a frown on his face.

He’s upset. Six hours, seven hours go by, and finally he looks at the young one and says, “I can’t believe you did that.” “Did what?” the young monk asks. “You carried that woman on your shoulders.” “I dropped her off six hours ago,” the young monk says. And to the old monk he further responds, “But you’re still carrying her.”

Herbal medications are frequently used by patients undergoing surgery. Some of these agents have physiologic effects that could be deleterious in the preoperative period, including precipitation of clotting disorders and interactions with anaesthetics.

Most patients may not disclose their medications during the preoperative assessment. Since there is no evidence that herbal medications improve surgical outcomes, and there are theoretic reasons that these agents may increase preoperative morbidity, they must be stopped before surgery.

1. Ephedra (ma huang) may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and should be discontinued at least 24 hours prior to surgery.

2. Garlic may increase bleeding risk and should be discontinued at least 7 days prior to surgery.

3.Ginkgo may increase bleeding risk and should be discontinued at least 36 hours prior to surgery.

4. Ginseng lowers blood sugar and may increase bleeding risk and should be discontinued at least seven days prior to surgery.

5. Kava may increase the sedative effect of anaesthetics and should be discontinued at least 24 hours prior to surgery. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety alert about an association between kava use and fatal hepatotoxicity.

6.St. John’swort may diminish the effects of several drugs by induction of cytochrome p450 enzymes and should be discontinued at least five days prior to surgery.

7. Valerian may increase the sedative effect of anaesthetics and is associated with benzodiazepine–like withdrawal. There are no data on preoperative discontinuation. Ideally it is tapered weeks before surgery; if not, withdrawal is treated with benzodiazepines.

8. Echinacea is associated with allergic reactions and immune suppression. There are no data on preoperative discontinuation.

The Conflicts between Ayurveda and Allopathy

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According to Charaka Samhita, the Bible of Ayurvedic text, one should not take curd, a predigested fermented food, in the night. This rule of Ayurveda has created a lot of controversy between doctors of Ayurveda and modern system of medicine. In fact, both Chinese and Ayurveda medicine clearly documents that one should not combine fermented food with unfermented food after sunset.

The diurnal variation of digestive enzymes has shown that they are weak in the evening hours co-relating with Kapha period of Ayurveda (6-10 pm). As per Ayurveda during weak digestive fire period one should not take a combination of pre-digested and digested food.

Ayurveda classifies 6-10 AM period in the morning as slow Kapha period, 10-2 pm afternoon period as strong Pitta period and 2-6 am period as active Vata period. The 12 hours cycle then repeats with 6-10 evening Kapha, 10-2 am late night Pitta and 2-6 am early morning Vata period.

According to Ayurveda, food is first converted into sweet taste in the mouth, sour taste in the stomach, and then bitter taste in the large intestine depending on the stages of digestion.

Normally, combination of food does not harm as long as the time food stays in the stomach remains normal.

In presence of slow gastric movement, a condition called gastroparesis commonly seen in diabetics food may stay in the stomach for over two hours. In this situation due to mismatch of two categories of foods the pre-digested fermented food will go into a next stage of digestion leading to  gas formation, acidity, dyspepsia and gas. While the other non fermented food will tale its usual course of digestion.

Digestive fire being strong in Pitta period (10am to 2pm) this problem is not faced when curd is taken in lunch time. Similarly dosa, idli, dhokla are restricted for their use in the night.

Ayurveda also says that one should not take three substances in excess and they are Pippali (piper longum, long pepper), Alkali and Salt. Pippali intensify the action of drugs to which they are added and can cause interactions with many allopathic drugs. This point must be known to all allopathic doctors.  Pippali should not be used continuously for a long term.

According to Ayurveda, people who are accustomed to excessive use of salt suffer from premature baldness, early grey of hair, etc.

If one consumes excess salt intake it should be reduced gradually and not suddenly.

It is a well know fact that substances which should not be used in excess are not offered to God, as it is supposed to be bad for the spiritual health. .

Food should be taken in moderation in proper amount, with concentration and with awareness of all five senses, neither too slow nor in hurry.

About curd Ayurveda further talks that curd should only be taken along with ghee, sugar, green gram, honey or amlaka. It should also not be taken hot.

Oil, ghee, and honey are the alleviators of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, respectively and need to be used in the right quantity.

In modern science also it has been shown that a high-salt diet may increase the risk of developing gastric and duodenal ulcers. High concentrations of salt in the stomach induce gene activity in the ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori bacterium that causes it to become more virulent.

Salt restriction also reduces the diastolic blood pressure by 2-8 mm Hg.

A recent WHO report, said that reducing salt intake would be a cost effective way to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure directly and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke indirectly. The report recommends people to reduce consumption of sodium to less than 2 gm per day for each person. Common salt is chemically called Sodium Chloride (NaCl2). About 2.5 gm of table salt contains one gm of Sodium. This would mean that about 5 gm of table salt is the current recommended level of consumption per day.

According to a report published from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the year 2000, the average intake of salt in India was 10 gm per day for each person. This would amount to about 4 gm of Sodium. The current recommendations suggest reducing this consumption by half.

A recent research study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and published in the recent edition of the British Medical Journal, found that reducing salt intake by 25% reduced the risk of developing heart disease by 25% and reduced the chance of death from heart disease by 20%.

Adding a pinch of salt to milk will keep it fresh longer is a common internet tip for the population but traditional Ayurveda teaching goes against it.

Sugar Should Be Regulated Like Alcohol, Tobacco.

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Like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is a toxic, addictive substance that should be highly regulated with taxes, laws on where and to whom it can be advertised, and even age-restricted sales, says a team of UCSF scientists in Nature.

For both alcohol and tobacco, there is robust evidence that gentle ‘supply side’ control strategies which stop far short of all-out prohibition – taxation, distribution controls, age limits – lower both consumption of the product and the accompanying health harms.

The experts have proposed adding taxes to processed foods that contain any form of added sugars.

Over the past 50 years, sugar consumption has tripled worldwide. That’s also helped contribute to the obesity epidemic – so much so that there are 30 percent more obese people in this world than there are malnourished people.

Sugar is ‘toxic,’ particularly in excessive amounts, noting that it poses dangers similar to those of alcohol. Fructose, specifically, can harm the liver and overconsumption has been linked with all the diseases involved with metabolic syndrome: hypertension, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, and diabetes. [Source AMA News]

Understanding Your Personality: Vata, Pitta, Kapha

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Ayurveda classifies human personality and body into different types scientifically. As per the concept the universe is made up of five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth.

As is the macrocosm so is the microcosm is a common Vedic saying. Human body according to Ayurveda is also made up of these five elements, which in turn in the body unites together to perform three main functions:  movement, metabolism and structure. Ayurveda terms them as doshas and the person as per the predominant dosha is said to have a particular prakriti called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In allopathic language the Vata represents movement function, Pitta metabolism and Kapha represents structure.

 People with Vata predominant dosha have predominant space and air elements, Pitta have fire and water elements and Kapha have earth and water elements.

Having predominant space and air elements, Vata people are thin built and have tendencies for movement and airy disorders. They suffer from pain, palpitation, dysmenorrhea, renal colic, gall bladder colic, anxiety, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, addictions, etc. Vata people have dry and cold hands.

Pitta being predominant in metabolism, fire and water, are medium built in personality and often suffer from acidity, skin infections, fevers, spleen, kidney and liver disorders, early graying of hair, heart disease, paralysis, etc. Pitta people have hot and moist hands.

Kapha people with predominant structure, earth and water components, are heavy built and often suffer from depression, diabetes, obesity, lethargies, early morning sleepiness, etc. Kapha people have moist and cold hands.

The main purpose of Ayurveda is to balance these doshas in respective persons. According to ayurvedic texts all doshas are perfect provided the doshas are not vitiated.

In terms of food, Vata gets aggravated with astringent, pungent and bitter tastes, Pitta by pungent, sour and salt tastes and Kapha by sweet, sour and salt tastes.

In terms of colour preference, Vata likes green colour, Pitta like blue and Kapha like red colour. In terms of music Vata people like fast music and Kapha people like slow music. In terms of sports, Vata and Pitta are fast runners and Kapha like indoor games.

 Take an example of a person waiting at railway station for the train. Vata person will become restless if the train is late enquiring about the same again and again often with a cigarette in the hand. Pitta person on the other hand will go to the enquiry counter, enquire and come back. And if the train does not come at the speculated time he will start shouting and showing his ego that he will get an enquiry officer terminated using his contacts. The Kapha persons on the other hand will be seen calm and bother less and will tell the enquiry officer that “I am relaxing in the lounge and whenever the train comes please inform me.”

 Vata people are best front line workers, Pitta best managers and Kapha best rulers. In terms of marital relationships, two Vata partners will be seen quarrelling all the time and also settling very fast. The worst relationship is between two Pitta partners especially if both are professionals as their ego will clash on tiny issues. Two Kapha partners are the best partners and often declared as made for each other couple. To be a good wife a lady should have some of the Kapha characters.

As per the constitution a person can be Vata, Pitta or Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Vata, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Vata and Kapha-Pitta or he can be Vata-Pitta-Kapha in equal proportions.

 In terms of timings 6 am to 10 am is the Kapha period, 10 am – 2 pm is the Pitta period and 2pm to 6 am is the Vata period and so on. In terms of season, Vata season is dry and cold, Pitta hot and humid and Kapha cold and humid.

 In terms of age, childhood is the Kapha period, adulthood is the Pitta period and old age is the Vata period.

By looking at a person, his habits, pulse and other parameters it is possible to know the personality of a person, his or her proneness to diseases and behaviors which will pacify doshas.

 Like Vata, Pitta and Kapha there are Gunas in mind and they are Satwa, Rajas and Tamas where Satwa represents purity of mind, Rajas aggression and Tamas inertia. Tamas usually goes with Kapha, Rajas with Pitta and Satwa with Vata.

 A particular disease may develop according to the personality. In terms of joint involvement, Vata will have arthalgia (joint pains), Pitta will have inflammation and Kapha will have swelling. In tuberculosis a Vata person will suffer from fibrosis, Pitta from inflammatory ulcerative lesions and Kapha from water collection. In terms of cancer, Vata cancers will be stricture based, Pitta ulcerative based and Kapha cauliflower based.

If you are less than 40 years of age, male, with a strong family history of diabetes, blood pressure or heart disease, have a normal weight as judged by Body Mass Index (BMI) but have a pot belly, or have gained more than 10 kg since the age 18, do not ignore and go to your cardiologist to reduce your chances of a future heart attack.

A BMI of 20 to 23 kg/m2 is associated with little or no increased risk unless visceral fat is high, or the subject has gained more than 10 kg since age 18.

  • Subjects with a BMI of 23 to 30 kg/m2 may be described as having low risk, while those with a BMI of 30 to 35 kg/m2 are at moderate risk.
  • Subjects with a BMI of 35 to 40 kg/m2 are at high risk, and those with a BMI above 40 kg/m2 are at very high risk from their obesity.
  • At any given level of BMI, the risk to health is increased by more abdominal fat (increased weight to hip ratio, WHR), hyperlipidemia, hypertension, age less than 40 years, male sex, and a strong family history of diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease.

The body mass index (BMI) is the most practical way to evaluate the degree of obesity. It is calculated from the height and weight as follows:

BMI = body weight (in kg) ÷ square of stature (height, in meters)

Overweight is defined as a BMI between 23 and 30 kg/m2 and obesity as a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2.

 

After the life force leaves the body even the wife does not likes to come near the body (Bhaja Govindam). This life force has no weight, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, and weapons cannot cut it (Bhagwat Gita Chapter 2).

The life force of a computer is its intelligence, which is fed in data. Similarly, the life force of TV is its image, of radio is its voice and a mobile phone is the data in its chip.

The scientific description of this life force comes from the first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which describes that “Consciousness or Intelligence is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma).

This life force or the intelligence represents the conscious energy, energized consciousness or energized information. In computer language, the intelligence has both the fed in data and the software to operate this data. The software is driven by the power of intention and by the process of attention.

In Vedic language the data is the “purusha or Shiva” and the software the “Sakti” (Shakti). While the data or the Shiva is inactive and idle, without Sakti or energy, the data has no value and it makes” Shiva” a “SAVA”.

When Sakti moves toward Shiva it becomes awareness or consciousness. In Vedanta language it is called as soul or Brahman.

For comparison, what relationship Matter and energy have in Physics; Purusha and Prakruti have in Samkya Philosophy; infinite and zero have in Mathematics; Potential and kinetic energy have in energetics; Meaning and word have in Linguistics and Father and mother have in sociology, the same is with Shiva and Sakti have in understanding the mystery of Vedanta.

Shiva and Sakti are thus two inseparable entities in Indian mysticism. Just as moonlight cannot be separated from the moon, sakti cannot be separated from Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism says that “Shiva without Sakti is lifeless (Sava) because wisdom cannot move without power”.

Shiva and Sakti are different from the masculine and feminine aspects of the human body. In tantric spiritual path, one seeks to develop a perfect harmony and balance between masculine aspects (example mental focus, will, intellect) and feminine aspects (example sensitivity, emotion).

Shiva or the data is classified in the body in three subgroups: creation, protection and destruction (of that which is obsolete and effete and unnecessary and toxic). These in Hindu mythology are called the “Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh”. Some add another two more dimensions in them making them five and these are “revelation and concealment”. One can find these qualities in anything that’s alive.

The sakti or the forces (power) are sub classified in five sub types.

1. Chitta Sakti: Pure consciousness or the awareness of God.

2.  Ananda Sakti or pure bliss.

3. Gyana Sakti or the knowledge of God. It is the pure knowledge which means that knowledge which organizes and orchestrates the infinite correlative activity of the universe.

4. Kriya Sakti or ‘pure  action’ which are the actions directed toward God (action which is non-binding—doesn’t have the bondage of karma. Action which has the bondage of karma comes from the ego. It’s based on beliefs and expectations and interpretations and fears and judgments and past memories, whereas non-binding action, which is non-Karmic, is called kriya—action rooted in pure awareness and creativity)

5.   Desire (Icha Sakti: the desire or intention to unite with God)

Deepak Chopra in his Book, Path of Love Describes Shakti as under: If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

Chitta Shakti: “I am.”
Ananda Shakti: “I am blissful.”
Gyana Shakti: “I know.”
Kriya Shakti: “I act.”
Icha Shakti: “I will” or “I intend.”

These powers, if used towards acquiring spiritual wellbeing, any action (pure kriya) directed by the desire (pure ischa) leads to pure knowledge (pure gnana) and ends with internal bliss (ananda).

On the other hand, in routine life if these powers are governed by the ego, then the Action (Kriya) leads to Memory (Gyana or Gnana) and the memory leads to desire (Icha) and then action again.

According to Tantra, Satchidananda is called Shiva-Sakti, the hyphenated word suggesting that Shiva or the Absolute and Sakti or its creative power, are eternally conjoined like a word and its meaning; the one cannot be thought of without the other.

Neisseria meningitides is a bacterium that causes serious illnesses, including bacterial meningitis. The bacteria lives on surfaces of the nose and pharynx (wind pipe) and is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory secretions.

Although meningococcal disease is easily treated in most people, 10 to 14 percent of people die from the infection

Meningococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (MCV-4, Groups A, C, Y and W-135) is recommended for all patients between 11 and 55 years of age. However US FDA has granted licensure to expand the indication for its meningococcal conjugate vaccine, to include children 2 years through 10 years of age.

These recommendations represent a change from the previous guidelines, which targeted specific subgroups. Factors related to the expanded recommendations include the ongoing risk of invasive meningococcal disease in adolescents and young adults, and the possibility that increased vaccine coverage may protect unvaccinated adolescents and their contacts.

Apart expert groups recommend the MVC4 vaccine for college freshmen living in dormitories, military recruits, travelers going to areas where meningococcal disease frequently occurs, microbiologists who are exposed to Neisseria meningitidis, people who have had their spleen removed, and people with terminal complement deficiency. The vaccine can be used in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

MCV4 vaccine is given in one dose. A booster dose is recommended every 3 to 5 years for adults over 55 who are at high risk of meningococcal infection. Vaccination has also been used during outbreaks of meningococcal infection to reduce the number of secondary cases, when there is an appropriate vaccine available for the outbreak serogroup.

Routine vaccination is not recommended for adults between 20 and 55 years of age. The incidence of meningococcal disease is low in this age group and not affected by routine immunization.

The blue neck (Neelkanth) of Lord Shiva represents that one should neither take the vices (slow poison), negative emotions out nor suppress them but alter or modify them.

The blue colour indicates slow poison or the negative thoughts. The same in the neck indicates that the poison is neither to be drunk nor to be spitted out but to be kept in the throat temporarily so that it can be neutralized at appropriate time.

Suppressed anger will release chemicals leading to illnesses like acidity, asthma, angina and diarrhea etc. Similarly, the expressed anger will end up into social unhealthiness and future heart disease.

The only way is to mange anger, taking the right and not the convenient action, neutralizing the anger by willful cultivation of opposite positive thoughts. For example the process of silently passing on love to any individual can take away the angry thoughts from the mind (love is opposite of anger).

A high level of anger has a powerful effect on the incidence of preventable cardiovascular death. Anger evokes physiological responses that are potentially life threatening in the setting of CAD. Emotional stress, anger, or worries have a dominant influence on the severity, frequency, and treatment of angina.

The message by Shiva was given in our Vedic knowledge and in different Upanishads. The scientists today are only validating those concepts by way of studied all over the world. And unless the messages come to us from the west we do not believe them.

In the modern contest angina is characterized by episodic variations in the frequency and severity of symptoms coincident with periods of emotional stress. When angina is associated with stress or anger, the angina is not usually a result of progressive coronary disease, but rather is due to an increase in oxygen demand.

Appreciation of this concept will help to rule out “true” unstable angina due to progressive coronary disease from recurrent angina that results from an increase in oxygen demand related to emotional stress. The former requires aggressive medical or surgical therapy; the latter, a demand-induced angina, responds to beta-adrenergic blockade, a tranquilizer and to stress reducing methodologies.

Anger has many phases. Anger Expression Inventory, assesses anger frequency (trait anger), anger intensity, anger expression (anger-out), anger suppression (anger-in) and anger recall. Both anger-in and anger-out are associated with heart blockades.

Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, from Women’s Health at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has shown that anger and hostility alone are not predictive for coronary artery disease in women, but women who outwardly express anger (anger-out) are at increased risk especially if they also have other risk factors: age, diabetes and high cholesterol levels. He said the overt expression of anger toward other persons or objects is the most “toxic” aspect of hostility in women. The findings are a part of Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) Study, a multi-center, long-term investigation sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Anger-in is also related to severity of blockages. Dr. Dembroski and group have shown that potential for Hostility and Anger-In are significantly and positively associated with the heart blockages disease severity, including angina symptoms and number of heart attacks. Suppressed anger is also associated with increased carotid arterial stiffness in older adults, a condition making them prone to future heart attacks and paralysis. In univariate correlational analysis by Anderson DE and group from National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland, a significant positive association of anger-in with stiffness was observed (P < .01), together with a less significant association of anger-in with carotid artery IMT (P < .05). Neither anger-out nor trait anger was significantly associated with carotid artery IMT or stiffness.

Suppressed anger has also been shown to increase blood pressure by Thomas and group from University of Tennessee.

Suppressed anger is further dangerous as the recall of anger now has been shown by Dr Jain and group fromYaleUniversityto be associated with angina, heartLVdysfunction and rise in upper blood pressure.

Ironson and group from Department of Psychology,University of Miamihas shown that anger recall produces more stress than the actual stress in a treadmill. In most studies psychological stressors used are mental arithmetic, recall of an incident that elicited anger, giving a short speech defending oneself against a charge of shoplifting.

They also showed that intensity of anger is associated with severity of angina. In their study vasoconstriction only occurred with high levels of anger. There also showed that there was no narrowing of non-narrowed arteries indicating that anger recall produce coronary vasoconstriction in previously narrowed coronary arteries.

  1. Journal of Women’s Health, Published Online Dec. 2006, “Anger, Hostility, and Cardiac Symptoms in Women with Suspected Coronary Artery Disease: The Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) Study”
  2. Components of Type A, hostility, and anger-in: relationship to angiographic findings. Dembroski TM, MacDougall JM, Williams RB, Haney TL, Blumenthal JA. Psychosom Med. 1985 May-Jun; 47(3): 219-33
  3. AndersonDE, Metter EJ, Hougaku H, Najjar SS. Am J Hypertens. 2006 Nov;19(11):1129-34
  4. Women’s anger: relationship of suppression to blood pressure. Thomas SP. Nurs Res. 1997 Nov-Dec;46(6):324-30
  5. Day-to-day reproducibility of mental stress-induced abnormal left ventricular function response in patients with coronary artery disease and its relationship to autonomic activation. Jain D, Joska T, Lee FA, Burg M, Lampert R, Zaret BL. J Nucl Cardiol. 2001 May-Jun;8(3): 347-55
  6. Effects of anger on left ventricular ejection fraction in coronary artery disease. Ironson G, Taylor CB, Boltwood M, Bartzokis T, Dennis C, Chesney M, Spitzer S, Segall GM. Am J Cardiol. 1992 Aug 1;70(3):281-5

Shedding Weight Improves The Relaxation Functions Of The Heart

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Shedding extra weight improves the heart functions whether the weight loss comes from eating less or exercising more.

Moderate weight loss, around 10% of the weight, can restore heart’s elasticity — making it easier for the heart to relax between contractions and refill with blood.

 

With age the body tissue accumulates collagen fibers, which causes heart muscle and arteries — to become stiffer. So over time, the heart starts to take a bit longer to relax between contractions and fill back with blood. Excess weight and obesity in particular adds to this misery by further causing further worsening of the relaxing functions of the heart. The weight can be reduced by diet alone, exercise alone or both. The end result is improvement in the heart functions so long as one looses weight.

Vitamin D deficiency causes severe bone loss in adults across northern India despite abundant sunlight in the region. The factors are inadequate exposure to sunlight and poor nutrition. The resultant disease is Osteomalacia, the loss of calcium from bones brought about by vitamin D deficiency. It can lead to life threatening emergencies in young adults. The examples are acute respiratory failure caused by a grossly deformed thoracic cage resulting from advanced bone loss in the spine and thoracic cage and pregnant women with poor intake of calcium and excessive demand leading to bone pains. Over 50% of healthy people surveyed in one of Delhi’s study by Dr Ambrish Mithal showed poor vitamin D levels.

The sun is the main source of Vitamin D. Human body make Vitamin D when sunlight touches the bare skin. However, too much exposure to direct sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. Despite the harmful effects 10-15 minutes of sunlight per day, is actually good for the health.

The sun gives off three types of ultraviolet radiation based on the wavelength: UVC – 100 to 290 nm; UVB – 290 to 320 nm and UVA – 320 to 400 nm. It’s the ultraviolet B rays which produces vitamin D in the body and also responsible for sunburns. It is most intense between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm when the sunlight is brightest. It is also more intense in the summer months accounting for 70% of a person’s yearly UVB dose. UVB does not penetrate glass and cotton cloths.

The ancient scriptures knew about the proneness to vitamin D deficiency and made rituals to prevent them in the form of sun bath during the summer in the form of: “snans” or “holy baths” in the sun (sun rise or sunset).

The ritual is in the form OF “Maha Kumbh” held every 12 years and “Ardha Kumbh” held every Six years in the months of January-February, on the banks of the holy confluence (Sangam) of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. On years other than ‘kumbh’ and “ardha kumba” the “Magh Mela” is observed as the annual “Mini Kumbh”. During the Magh Mela period, a tent city comes up for more than a month, where thousands of devotees live. Devotees live in camps and ashrams for the whole duration of the mela and lead a sacred life. This is called KALPAVAS and these people are called KALPVASEE.

The main bathing days during magh mela are Makar Sankranti, Paush Purnima, Mauni Amavasya, Basant Panchmi, Maghi Poornima and Maha Shivratri. Mauni Amavasya being the main bathing day, attracts the largest number of devotees.

Other than magh month other auspicious months for holy bath are the months of Vaisakh mahina Kartik MONTH. The ritual is bathing (Punya SnanA) in the Brahma muhurta (the period with maximum non toxic UVB) rays and eating calcium rich foods.

The spiritual recommendation has been to have 1, 2 or 3 baths per day. If one should be sun rise, and if two sun rise and sunset and if three the additional being in the mid day.

A new health advice also recommends short spells in the sun – without suncream and in the middle of the day. Seven organizations have issued joint advice on vitamin D, which the body gets from natural sunlight. The guidance was drawn up because it is thought fears about skin cancer have made people too cautious about being in the sun. Cancer Research UK and the National Osteoporosis Society are among the bodies which agree that “little and frequent” spells in summer sunshine several times a week can benefit your health. The experts now say it is fine to go outside in strong sun in the middle of the day, as long as you cover up or apply sunscreen before your skin goes red.

Vitamin D and Health
1. HIV-positive people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to also have type 2 diabetes than people who were not vitamin D deficient [December 20 in the journal AIDS]
2. Calcium supplements without co–administered vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. A meta–analysis of 15 randomized trials and up to 11 921 participants, warrants a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis
3. The Institute of Medicine has issued new vitamin D guidelines. The Recommended Dietary Allowance is now 600 international units (IU) a day for people ages 1 to 70 and 800 IU a day for those 71 and older. The previous guidelines, set in 1997, recommended a daily intake of 200 IU through age 50, 400 IU between the ages of 51 and 70, and 600 IU for those 71 and older. The IOM panel also established a new safe upper limit of 4,000 IU a day, double the old limit of 2,000 IU. Some suggest RDA closer to 1,000 IU a day and a blood level target of 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l) for the vitamin, not the 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l) set by the IOM panel.

Even the Older Should Exercise

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Research spanning two decades has found that older runners live longer and suffer fewer disabilities than healthy non-runners. This observation applies to a variety of aerobic exercises, including walking.

A study by authors, from Stanford University School of Medicine, published in Archives of Internal Medicine has shown that being active reduces disability and increases survival.

Late in life, there are benefits of vigorous activity.  Earlier many experts believed that vigorous exercise would actually harm older individuals. And running, in particular, would result in an epidemic of joint and bone injuries. But this new study proves otherwise.

Two hundred and eighty-four runners and 156 healthy “controls,” or non-runners, in California completed annual questionnaires over a 21-year period. The participants were 50 years old or over at the beginning of the study and ran an average of about four hours a week. By the end of the study period, the participants were in their 70s or 80s or older and ran about 76 minutes a week. At 19 years, just 15 percent of the runners had died, compared with 34 percent of the non-runners.

In the study running delayed the onset of disability by an average of 16 years. It’s so important to be physically active your whole life, not just in your 20s or 40s, but forever. Exercise is like the most potent drug. Exercise is by far the best thing you can do.

One should take lessons from Yudhishter in Mahbharata who walked till his death.

However a word of caution if an elderly is walking or entering into an exercise program, he or she should have a cardiac evaluation to rule out underlying heart blockages.

Values are linked to Dharma and ethics to religion. Code of ethics, vary from religion to religion, profession to profession and community to community as they are. In every Yogic code of ethics changes as decided by the collective consciousness of the people.

Values always remain the same and unite one human being with the other.  The word Dharma means to unite together. Anything which unites the people irrespective of caste, creed and race is Dharma. Values therefore are the keys to the Dharma and ethics to religion.

Caffeine-Alcohol Combination In Paralysis

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A drug Caffeinol containing caffeine and alcohol may help stroke patients recover.

In a small study atTexasHealthScienceCenterinHouston, 60% of stroke patients who were given the drug, had no or minimal disability when they were discharged from the hospital. In contrast, only 26% of stroke survivors given standard therapy with tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, fared that well.

Caffeinol contains about as much caffeine as five to seven cups of good, strongNew Orleanscoffee and the equivalent of two shots of alcohol.

The study involved 100 people who had suffered an ischemic stroke. All received intravenous tPA; 10 were also given an infusion of caffeinol.

Caffeinol allows cells to tolerate reduced blood flow longer, thereby giving tPA a longer opportunity to do its action.

Will these findings be applicable to heart attack the time will tell as the heart attack treatment is also done with tPA.

Listening to or reciting music has many components:

1. In any music vowel chanting produces interleukin 2 which works like a pain killer. Nasal consonants produce tranquility in the mind by producing calmpose like chemicals. That is one reason why AUM, a combination of vowel and a nasal consonant produces both physical and mental healing together.

2. Sounds like LAM are linked with removing fear, VAM with
nHanNH removing unnecessary attachments,  RAM with removing doubts, HAM with increasing love, YAM with making one truthful and AUM with making one non-judgmental.

3. In a music, when sentences are spoken/recited in such a way that the respiratory rate reduces, it leads to parasympathetic healing mode in the body which reduces blood pressure, pulse and makes one stress free. This can be done by reciting few lines during inspiration or expiration or during the time between inspiration and expiration etc. For example, in Hamuman Chalisa, each of the 40 Dohas can be spoken between the period of inspiration and expiration. If spoken between inspiration and expiration, it will lead to reduction in respiratory rate and hence parasympathetic state of mind.

4. Nasal consonants sounds are vibratory sounds and vibrate the autonomic plexus in the body and produces para sympathetic healing. Therefore, more the nasal sounds in lyric more will be the relaxation.

5. When you understand the wordings of a song and listen to it or recite, you get extra advantage of ‘intention’. In a relaxed state of mind, intent becomes very powerful. By becoming a part of the song as a character one may even achieve ecstasy which is an extreme state of bliss. Using these principles, it is possible to analysis any lyric as to whether it is health friendly or not.