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Dr K K Aggarwal

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

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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”.

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

1. Chadraghanta is worshipped on the 3rd day of Navratri

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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).

5.  In Ayurveda SHE represents the control over the fire element.

6. In Yogashstra SHE represents the solar or Manipura Chakra with the Bija sound RAM.

7. Sound of her bell terrifies demons as well as all enemies.

8. SHE represents protector and bravery.

In Navratre fast one need to omit wheat flour from the diet and substitute it with buckwheat flour (kuttu flour) or water chestnut (Singhara flour).

Singhara is not a cereal but a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratre fasts where cereals are not to be eaten.

The flour is prepared from dried singhara or Water Chestnut. It is floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bear ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed.
The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as street side snack or eaten raw. The flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour. The flour is primarily use as a thickener.

In Navratri it is used as a food and consumed as a falahaar (fruit) diet.
It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g.

The glycemic Index for chestnut is 60. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70. Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber). It is included in many low carb diets.

A gluten free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies.

Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have. It contains less carbohydrate than white flour.

People with tree nut allergies should take care to avoid chestnut flour. It may cause an allergic reaction.

One should not eat deep fried chestnut flour pooris of parantha. One should not use transfats vegetables oils to cook chestnut flour made bread.

One should buy only branded flour as left over flour of last year can lead to food poisoning.

As per Ayurveda chestnut flour has cool and buckwheat flour has hot properties. Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.

One should eat falahaar once a week and atleast 80 days in a year.


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

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

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 Kamandal 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.


“Spiritual summary: On the first day we control (riding), our 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”

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals.

In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

1. Mata Shailputri, daughter of Himalaya, is worshipped as the 1st of the nine avatars of Durga on the First day. 2. In yoga terminology it represents the lowest Muladhara chakra with the bija sound LAM located in the sacral root area. In allopathy language it represents activation of sacral autonomic plexus. In Ayurveda Muladhara chakra represents the earth element.

2. She represents the shakti or power of the root chakra, who, upon awakening, begins Her journey upwards in search for the last crown chakra (Shiva).

3. The Goddess has a half moon in her forehead & trident (trishul) in her right hand & lotus flower in her left hand. She rides onmountNandia bull.

4. Bull represents ‘desires’. On the first day we must let go our desires.

5. Trishul represents balancing Tamas, Rajas and Satwa
6. Lotus represents practicing detached attachment.
7. Moon represents thinking with a cool mind.

What to do on first day

1. Let go your desires

2. Keep the mind cool

3. Practice detached attachment

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

5. Keep the mind concentrated on Muladhara chakra as the starting point of spiritual discipline or Yoga Sadhna and chant LAM reducing the respiratory rate to 2-4 per minute.

24th March World TB Day

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Even singing can spread TB?

1.   Person-to-person transmission of TB occurs via inhalation of droplet nuclei (airborne particles 1 to 5 microns in diameter).

2.   Coughing and singing facilitate formation of droplet nuclei.

3.       Persons with active untreated respiratory tract disease (pulmonary or laryngeal) are contagious, particularly when cavitary disease is present or when the sputum is AFB smear positive.

4.       Patients with sputum smear-negative, culture-positive lung TB can transmit infection.

5.        Extra pulmonary TB is not contagious unless the person also has lung TB.

6.        Many procedures can result in the dispersal of droplet nuclei like endo-tracheal intubation, bronchoscopy, sputum induction, aerosol treatments, irrigation of a TB abscess, and autopsy.

7.        Suspect TB if there is persistent (>3 weeks) cough and constitutional symptoms (fever, drenching night sweats, unintentional weight loss).

8.  In HIV the clinical and X Ray presentations of TB are often atypical. Such patients have an increased frequency of extrapulmonary TB and can have pulmonary disease despite a normal chest x-ray.

9.   Results of acid-fast smears should be available within 24 hours.

10.    Suspected or confirmed cases of TB should be reported promptly to the local public health department in order to expedite contact investigation and to help plan outpatient follow-up.

11.    Suspicion of active pulmonary TB should prompt placement in an AII room. Such patients should be educated about the purpose of such isolation and instructed to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, even when in the room. Whenever possible, procedures should be performed in the AII room to minimize exposure to the rest of the hospital. If the patient must leave the room, a surgical mask must be worn. All other persons entering the room must use respiratory protection, usually an N95 mask.

12.    Anti-TB treatment administered during hospitalization should be directly observed therapy (DOT).

13.    TB isolation rooms — Negative pressure is employed to prevent the escape of droplet nuclei. To accomplish this goal, doors must be kept closed and negative pressure should be verified daily. There must be 6-12 six air exchanges per hour. If recirculation to general ventilation is unavoidable, HEPA filters must be installed in the exhaust ducts.

14.    Respiratory protection masks must filter particles 1 micron in diameter with at least 95 percent efficiency (N95) given flow rates up to 50 L per minute, must fit to a person’s face with less than 10 percent seal leakage.  Health care workers should use these masks.

15.   N 95 mask is designed to filter air before it is inhaled; thus, patients with known or suspected TB should not wear these masks. For the surgical masks are sufficient.

16.   A patient may be transferred from an AII room once TB is ruled out or on treatment 3 consecutive sputum samples, obtained on different days, are smear-negative for AFB.

17.    For patients with initially positive AFB smears, at least 2 weeks of TB treatment should be administered before isolation is discontinued.

18.    For patients with MDR-TB, maintaining isolation throughout hospitalization is prudent .

19.    TB OPD clinic Ideally should be an AII room. if unavailable, an enclosed area should be used and a surgical mask (not an N95 mask) should be placed on the patient.  The patient should be instructed to cover the mouth and nose with tissues when sneezing or coughing. If an area other than an AII room is used, it should not be used again for one hour once the patient has left.

20.    An individual with AFB smear-positive involving the respiratory tract is generally considered to have been contagious starting three months before the first smear-positive sputum or onset of pertinent symptoms, whichever is earlier.

21.    For persons with AFB smear-negative disease, the contagious period is considered to have begun one month before the onset of symptoms.

22.    HCWs and patients with potential exposure should be screened (by symptoms and, unless positive at baseline, TST or IGRA) as soon as possible after the exposure. If initial screening is negative testing should be repeated 8 to 10 weeks following the end of the exposure.

Cynicism is one of the recognized major risk factor for causation of coronary artery disease (blockages in the channels supplying blood to the heart). And anger, jealousy and irritability form the triad responsible for this.

Anger is the enemy of peace, knowledge and devotion. According to Ayurveda, anger is a manifestation of Pitta (metabolism) imbalance and is a pre-disposing risk factor for causation of heart attack, paralysis, gall bladder stone, kidney stone, acidity, ulcer and cancer.

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna describes the pathway of anger leading to destruction in Chapter 2 Sloka 62 and 63. According to Lord Krishna, when a man’s desires are not fulfilled or expectations are not met one becomes angry. And when one is under the effect of anger he does all types of sinful activities. One loses the distinction between good and bad, loses one’s memory, the understanding becomes clouded, and the intellect gets perverted. Loss of intellect leads to animal-like behavior, and ultimately to destruction of oneself.

Many kinds of repercussions can occur with anger, which are injustice, rashness, persecution, jealousy, taking possession of others property, killing, speaking harsh words and cruelty. The degree of anger may vary from irritation, frowning, resentment, indignation, rage, fury and wrath.

Anger is not always bad. It is only when the anger is an outcome of greed or selfish motives, it is bad.

Righteous or spiritual anger is a type of anger caused with good intentions. This anger passes off the next moment as a wave subsides in the sea. The classical example of righteous anger is when you become angry in a situation where you see a person doing something wrong  to check that person.

The root cause of anger is ignorance, egoism, and passion (strong desires)

with passion being the root cause. To control anger, therefore, passion should be controlled first.

In Vedic language, both anger and passion are Rajo-Vriti disorders and get exaggerated with any Rajas-increasing lifestyle. Living a life with less of Rajas characteristics will reduce the chances of getting into passion and anger.

Rajas-increasing foods are eggs, fish, onion, garlic, fermented foods, etc. Indulging into modern fashion, night clubs, reading novels with stories of violence, living in the company of bad people, indulging in sexual talks, use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs are all Rajas-increasing life styles. A typical Rajasic person is the one indulging in eating, drinking and procreating.

Controlling anger and passion is a procedure involving effort. As a fish swims upstream against the current in a river to breathe, a person has to work against the disturbed thoughts. To balance and stabilize the mind, consuming ‘satvik’ foods like fresh food, vegetables, milk, and barley bread will help. Many exercises can/help also to control anger.

A few suggested ones are observing silence for 20 to 30 minutes in a day, walking regularly, practicing speaking kind words; doing regular meditation, practicing non violent communication daily and learning to think differently.

During an episode of anger one can try left nostril pranayama, a short deep breathing exercise, taking a walk, drinking cold or simple water or chanting AUM or I AM. With inspiration one chants “I” and with expiration “AM” reminding one who I AM. That I am the expression of pure spirit and my purpose of life is not to become angry. Remember the person who gets angry will have high blood pressure. On whom you are angry may have no change in blood pressure.

One should realise that during anger, one loses the power of discrimination and suffers from intellectual impairment. Therefore, anger has to be controlled much before it becomes full blown. The initial stage of anger is irritability, and therefore, with the onset of irritability, one should try to control it at the earliest.

One should never judge an individual with his own level of perception. One should realise that if a servant starts working with your level of expectations, he or she will not be working with you as a servant.

One should also make sure that one is not hungry at the time of feeling angry or irritable. Regular meals prevent development of anger.

Anger can be expressive or suppressive. Expressive anger presents with aggressive behavior and the outbursts of anger can cause social unhealthiness. It can cause sudden rise in upper blood pressure or cause rupture of a plaque in the artery supplying blood to the heart precipitating a heart attack.

Suppressive anger can lead to acidity, asthma, formation of plaques in the heart arteries etc. In long run suppressed anger if not expressed may end up with depression, despondency, guilt etc.

Therefore anger should neither be passed on to others (expressive) nor taken within (suppressed or repressed). Anger, therefore, should be altered, neutralized, or modified. This can be done by temporarily holding it for some time and than taking timely action. Temporary holding can be achieved by using the above exercises. Remember both passion and anger are energies which should be conserved and not wasted.

The mythological explanation of Shiva the Neelkanth is also the same. One should neither throw the poison (anger), nor drink it but keep it in the throat for some time and take the right action after the anger manifestations are over.

From Vedic text point of view every thought arises from the silent potential web of energized information or consciousness. This thought from the mind is then analysed by the intellect and the modified by the ego. At this stage it leads to an action. An action lead so memory and memory leads to desire for the action again,.

If this desire if fulfilled it leads to action again and then desire again. Repeated fulfillment of desires leads to habits formation, addictions and development of a particular personality.

If the desire is not fulfilled it leads to irritability and irritability leads to anger which then can be expressive or suppressive.

The answer therefore lies in changing the perception at the level of the thought or controlling the desires and or the expectation.

Women with Demanding Jobs Are 40% More At Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

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Results of the longest, 10–year, major study on stress in women, presented at the American Heart Association conference on Nov. 14 has shown that women with demanding jobs are 40% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than women with less stressful jobs. There were 17,415 participants in the Women’s Health Study.

Stressful positions were defined as those with demanding tasks and little authority or creativity. Women with demanding jobs and little control over how to do them were nearly twice as likely to have suffered a heart attack as women with less demanding jobs and more control. Also women with high–stress jobs face about 88 percent more risk of a heart attack than if they had low workplace strain.

Worrying about losing one’s job also raised the odds of having cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and higher cholesterol levels –– but not actual heart attacks, stroke or death.

Human being and human are two different persons. By adding ‘being’ one becomes a spiritual person and takes decision from his heart as against a human who takes decision from his mind.

In simpler words the human can be considered as the physical body and ‘being’ with the soul residing in that body. You are thus the custodian of that soul.

Deepak Chopra often says that each one of us is born to discover our true selves. He said that we are not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences but spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences.

Conscious based decisions are always from the heart and are always positive and are directed at the welfare of the society.

Service to humanity or to serve fellow human beings should be our dharma. We should ask our self the questions “How can I help? How can I help all those that I come into contact with?” A human being will always combine his unique talents with service to humanity.

Mahatma Gandhi also emphasized on Sarvodaya which means welfare of the all. Buddha also said that any action or speech must only be done if it brings happiness to you and the fellow beings.

Five Strategies For A Better Heart

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Count on these five white knights to protect your heart, your arteries, and the rest of you. They will make you look better and feel better. And it’s never too late to start.

  1. Avoid tobacco. Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is as bad for the heart and arteries as it is for the lungs. If you smoke, quitting is the biggest gift of health you can give yourself. Secondhand smoke is also toxic, so avoid it whenever possible.
  2. Be active. Exercise and physical activity are about the closest things you have to magic bullets against heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any amount of activity is better than none; at least 30 minutes a day is best.
  3. Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds, especially around the belly, strains the heart and tips you toward diabetes. If you are overweight, losing just 5% to 10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.
  4. Enliven your diet. Add fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat, good protein (from beans, nuts, fish, and poultry), and herbs and spices. Subtract processed foods, salt, rapidly digested carbohydrates (from white bread, white rice, potatoes, and the like), red meat, and soda or other sugar–sweetened beverages.
  5. Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all). If you drink alcohol, limit your intake — one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women. (HealthBeat)

How do I come to know that someone has a spiritual bondage with me, or he or she is a human being.

1.    The person has a positive aura.

2.    You feel comfortable, relaxed and happy in his or her company.

3.    He or she always inspires you.

4.    He or she always appreciates you and talks about your positive.

5.     He or she listens to you patiently and believes in Listen, listen, listen.

6.    He or she accepts you as you are.

7.    He or she always thinks “how can I help you”.

8.    He or she always thinks from the heat and sees from the heart.

9.     He or she always looks for unique talents in others.

10.  He or she is always a GIVER.

11.  He or she never goes against the laws of nature.

12.  He or she always works for the welfare of the society.

13.  He or she is equal in whatever he speaks, thinks or does in actions.

14.  He or she works selflessly without looking for its fruits.

15.  He or she practices compassion and charity.

Yoga could be a boon for people with high blood pressure, heart failure and other forms of cardiovascular disease. Yoga’s combination of stretching, gentle activity, breathing, and mindfulness may have special benefits for people with cardiovascular disease.

The word “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit term that means union. It aims to join body, mind, and the day–to–day challenges of life into a unified experience rather than keep them separate. There are different forms of yoga, from the gentle, peaceful hatha yoga to the active “power” form called ashtanga.

Hatha yoga’s path to balancing the mind and the body involves three interconnected threads:
physical postures called “asanas,” controlled breathing, and calming the mind through relaxation and meditation. The three work together.

Getting into the various postures during a yoga session gently exercises the muscles. Anything that works your muscles is good for your heart and blood vessels. Activity also helps muscles become more sensitive to insulin, which is important for controlling blood sugar.

The deep–breathing exercises help slow the breathing rate. Taking fewer but deeper breaths each minute temporarily lowers blood pressure and calms the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for generating stress hormones. The postures and deep breathing offer a kind of physical meditation that focuses and clears the mind. Meditation and the mindfulness of yoga have both been shown to help people with cardiovascular disease. Studies suggest that yoga

  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves symptoms of heart failure
  • Eases palpitations
  • Enhances cardiac rehabilitation
  • Lowers cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and stress hormones
  • Improves balance, reduce falls, ease arthritis, and improve breathing for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Gangaur Festival: A Time To Start Cultivating Barley And Wheat Grass

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Gangaur Festival is observed in March/April, in and around Rajasthan and lasts for 16 days. It is especially meant for the women.

The word Gangaur is derived from two words, ‘Gan’ and ‘Gauri’ which are synonyms of ‘Shiva’ and his consort ‘Parvati’ respectively.

The festival starts a day after Holi and persists for 16 days and is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri, who is considered as the symbol of virtue, devotion, fertility and a perfect married woman.

The married women worship Gauri for the well-being of their husband, while the unmarried girls worship the goddess to get the husband of their choice.

According to Hindu mythology Gangaur marks the day when Lord Shiva comes to take his bride home. So the entire Gangaur celebration is about marital bliss.

Customs

1.    Gathering ashes from the Holi Fire and burying the seeds of barley in it. After it, the seeds are watered everyday awaiting the germination.

2.  Both wheat and barley grass once germinated are god for the health for detoxification. They are to be consumed in Chaitra Navratri.

3.  Praiseful songs for Isar (Siva) and Gauri.

4.   The women apply henna on their hands

5.  They carry painted matkas (water pots) on their heads.

6.   They make images of Gauri and Isar with clay.

7.   On 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls assemble and take out a procession with ‘Ghudlia’ (an earthen pot with holes around and a lamp inside) on their heads. The ceremony continues for a fortnight.

8.   On the final day, lively images of Gauri are taken out in procession escorted by traditionally dressed camels, bullock carts, horses and elephants.

9.  Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband’s home.

10.   The procession is wrapped up with the breaking of pots and throwing the trash into a tank or pond.

 

Gangaur Pooja is usually performed on the third day of “Chait Navratri” by married women.

Spiritual significance

1.    Welfare of the married women. Time for them to visit their parents

2.    Start looking or the match for an unmarried woman

3.      Time to start consuming wheat and barley grass juice

Heart Disease: His and Hers

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Medical research is confirming that, even in heart disease, while men and women share a lot of similar risk factors, there are some important differences, as reported in a Harvard Newsletter.

  1. Smoking: Cigarette smoking tops the list of lifestyle risk factors for men and women alike. But for women who take birth control pills, smoking increases the risk of heart attack and stroke even more.
  2. Cholesterol: Levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol above 130 mg/dL are thought to signal even greater risk for men, while levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol below 50 mg/dL are seen as greater warnings for women. High triglyceride levels (over 150 mg/dL) are also a more significant risk factor for women.
  3. High blood pressure: Until age 45, a higher percentage of men than women have high blood pressure. During midlife, women start gaining on them and by age 70, women, on average, have higher blood pressure than men.
  4. Inactivity: Only about 30% of Americans report getting any regular physical activity, but men tend to be more physically active than women, with the greatest disparities in the young (ages 18 to 30) and the old (65 and older).
  5. Excess weight: Being heavy has long been thought to set one on the road to heart disease, but the location of the extra pounds may be more important than their number. Abdominal fat, which releases substances that interfere with insulin activity and promote the production of bad cholesterol, is more toxic than extra padding on the hips. Many health authorities consider a waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men as a more precise indicator of heart disease risk than body mass index.
  6. Diabetes: Diabetes more than doubles the risk of developing heart disease for both men and women; however, diabetes more than doubles the risk of a cardiac death in women, while raising it to 60% in men.
  7. Metabolic syndrome: Having any three of the five features of metabolic syndrome – abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high blood sugar or insulin resistance – is riskier for women than for men, tripling the risk of a fatal heart attack and increasing the chance of developing diabetes 10–fold. The combination of a large waist and high triglycerides is especially toxic to women.
  8. Psychosocial risk factors: The depth of the heart–head connection is still being plumbed, but there’s enough evidence to implicate certain factors as contributors to heart disease, such as chronic stress, depression, and lack of social support. Neither sex fares better than the other overall, but research indicates that some factors predominate in men and others in women.
  9. Stress is an equal–opportunity burden. Women are twice as likely to be depressed as men and to suffer more from emotional upheaval. In fact, the reported cases of ‘broken heart syndrome’ – the sudden, but usually reversible, loss of heart function after an intense emotional experience – are almost exclusively in older women. Anger and hostility have long been cited as risk factors in men, but that’s probably because most studies of heart disease excluded women. It’s well documented that men are more likely to lack social support – especially after retirement – than are women.
  10. Inflammation: Chronic inflammation is now thought to set the stage for the deposition of atherosclerotic plaque. Women have much higher rates of conditions that often lead to persistent, low–grade inflammation. For example, lupus more than doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke for women.

Have Depression, Encourage Others

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Student says: I am very discouraged. What should I do?

Guru says, “Encourage others”

The above is a classical Buddhist teaching and the same principles are used today in counseling and allopathic psychiatry. Whatever you want in life, give it to other. The more you give, the more you will receive. You will only get respect in life if you learn to give respect.

Remember darkness is absence of light. You can not physically remove darkness. Similarly negative thoughts are absence f positive thoughts. You cannot remove negative thoughts. Only by building positive thoughts you can remove the negative thoughts.

Depression is due to low serotonin levels in the body. They can either be increased by drugs or by counseling. Counseling involves cognitive behavior therapy and positive thinking or positive behavior.

10 Small Steps for Better Heart Health

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Here are 10 small steps, as reported by Harvard Health Newsletter, to get one on the road to better health in 2010.

  1. Take a 10–minute walk. If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it’s s a good way to add more exercise to your day.
  2. Give yourself a lift. Lifting a hardcover book or a two–pound weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When those become a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.
  3. Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day. Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, taste good, and are good for everything from your brain to your bowels.
  4. Make breakfast count. Start the day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains, like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.
  5. Stop drinking your calories. Cutting out just one sugar–sweetened soda or calorie–laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate into a 10–pound weight loss.
  6. Have a handful of nuts. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.
  7. Sample sea food. Eat fish or other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It’s good for the heart, the brain, and the waistline.
  8. Breathe deeply. Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.
  9. Wash your hands often. Scrubbing up with soap and water often during the day is a great way to protect your heart and health. Flu, pneumonia, and other infections can be very hard on the heart.
  10. Count your blessings. Taking a moment each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well–being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.