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Dr K K Aggarwal

Win Relationships and Not Arguments

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is a well-known saying that when you are arguing with a wrong boss, you may win the argument but you may invariably lose the relationship and not argument.

Lord Krishna taught us when to say ‘sorry’ even if you are not at fault. Never hurt the ego of a person who is under influence of alcohol or boss when he is angry.

Sunlight can reduce weight

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A new Northwestern Medicine study has reported that the timing, intensity and duration of exposure to light during the day are linked to your 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 the individuals’ body mass index,” 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 percent 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)



Desire, Hatred and Ignorance

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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According to Buddhism, the three negative emotions that cause disease are ignorance, hatred and desire. Accordingly physical sickness are classified into three main types.

• Disorders of desire (Ayurvedic equivalent of Vata imbalance): These are due to disharmony of the wind or energy. The seed of these disorders are located in the lower part of the body. It has cold preferences and is affected by mental desires. In this, the person mainly suffers from the disorders of movement functions.

• Disorders of hatred (Ayurveda equivalent of Pitta imbalance): It is due to disharmony of the bile. The seed of these disorders is centered in the middle and upper part of the body and is caused by the mental emotion of hate. The person suffers from metabolic and digestive abnormalities.

• Disorders of ignorance (Ayurveda equivalent of Kapha imbalance): It is due to the disharmony of phlegm, the seed of which is generally centered in the chest or in the head and the disorder is cold in nature. It is caused by the mental emotion of ignorance.

Desire, hatred and ignorance are the main negativities mentioned in Buddha’s philosophy. They are all produced in the mind, and once produced they behave like a slow poison. The Udanavarga once said, “From iron appears rust, and rust eats the iron”, “Likewise, the careless actions (karma) that we perform lead us to hellish lives.

According to the other scriptures, six afflictions are most troublesome, namely ignorance, hatred, desire, miserliness, jealousy and arrogance. Patience is the most potent virtue a person can acquire. According to the Shanti Deva, “There is no evil like hatred, and there is no fortitude like patience. Therefore, dedicate your life to the practice of patience.”

Bhagvad Gita classifies the enemies as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha and Ahankara; of these, Kama, Lobha and Ahankara, are the three gateways to hell.

Energy drinks may put heart at risk for sudden death

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Energy drinks may raise blood pressure and prolong QT interval increasing the risk of sudden cardiac death. In a meta–analysis by Sachin A. Shah at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif, with a pooled analysis of 93 people who consumed energy drinks, the QT interval on an ECG was significantly prolonged by 10 ms. The threshold level of regulatory concern is around 5 ms. In another pooled analysis of 132 people by the same group, researchers found a significant increase in systolic blood pressure by 3.5 mmHg that was associated with the consumption of energy drinks.
Doctors are generally concerned if patients experience an additional 30 ms in their QT interval from baseline. QT prolongation is associated with life–threatening arrhythmias. Most energy drinks have caffeine. Drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle and AMP have three times the amount of caffeine as colas. A 16–oz. can of Monster Energy, for example, contains 160 mg of caffeine, which is almost as much as 5 cans of soda.

Positive Attitudes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All those out there who feel you are at your wits’ end wondering how things don’t ever work out for you, can now relax and dwell on all those failures that life has taken you through and turn failure into success.

• Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. But it does mean you haven’t succeeded yet.

• Failure doesn’t mean you have accomplished nothing. It does mean you have learned something.

• Failure doesn’t mean you have been a foolish. It does mean you had a lot of faith.

• Failure doesn’t mean you’ve been discouraged. It does mean you were willing to try.

• Failure doesn’t mean you don’t know what to do. It does mean you have to do it in a different way.

• Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior. It does mean you are not perfect.

• Failure doesn’t mean you have wasted your life. It does mean you have a reason to start afresh.

• Failure doesn’t mean you should give up. It does mean you must try harder.

• Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it. It does mean it will take a little longer.

• Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. It does mean God has a better idea.

Alcohol: Benefits Vs Risk

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• There is consensus that non drinkers should not start and the ones who drink can continue provided they do so in moderation and in absence of contraindications.

• Persons who have been lifelong abstainers cannot be easily compared with moderate or even rare drinkers. Recommending alcohol intake to them even if they would agree to drink is not justified.

• The diseases that moderate alcohol use prevents (such as coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes) are most prevalent in the elderly, men, and people with coronary heart disease risk factors. For these groups, moderate alcohol use is associated with a substantial mortality benefit relative to abstention or rare drinking.

• For young to middle–aged adults, especially women, moderate alcohol use increases the risk of the most common causes of death (such as trauma and breast cancer).

• Women who drink alcohol should take supplemental folate to help decrease the risk of breast cancer.

• Men under the age of 45 may also experience more harm than benefit from alcohol consumption. In this age group, moderate alcohol use is unlikely to provide any mortality benefit, but consumption of less than one drink daily appears to be safe if temporally removed from operation of dangerous equipment. For individuals with established contraindications to alcohol use, even this level of alcohol use is dangerous.

• Men can tolerate more alcohol than women. The ideal therapeutic dose of alcohol is around 6 g per day. Medically safe limits are 10 g in one hour, 20 g in a day and 70 g in a week. (50% for the women).

Do unto yourselves what you do to God

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. There are two types of people who believe in Dvaita or Advaita philosophy.

2. People who believe in Dvaita philosophy, for them God and human being are different.

3. The people who believe in Advaita philosophy believe that God is within them.

4. In Hinduism, the first group believes in Sanatan Dharma and does Moorti pooja (idol worship) and the second Arya Samaj, which does not believe in Moorti pooja.

5. In both situations, medically the message is one.

6. If God is different than you, then you try to be like Him and if God is in within you, then you are Him.

7. In both situations, we should deal with our body the same way as we deal with God.

8. Anything which is not offered to God should not be offered to our body such as cigarettes, drugs etc or such things should be consumed in less quantity (onion, garlic, radish etc.).

9. We never worship God with hydrogenated oil; we always worship him either with oil or with Desi Ghee. The message is we should not consume trans fats.

10. “Bhagwan ko bhog lagate hain”; we never feed God. The message is eat less.

11. Amongst all Gods, only Lord Shiva is said to consume Bhang and Alcohol that too only in his incarnation of Bhairon, which indicates that both alcohol and bhang can be consumed in some quantity only in special situations meaning that they cannot be consumed without medical supervision.

12. Anything grown under the ground is not offered to God, thus, these items should not be eaten or eaten in moderation.

13. We never offer white salt and white rice to God. They are also bad for human beings.

14. Gur, shakkar, brown rice and puffed rice are offered to God. They can be consumed by human beings.

Drinking coffee prevents Parkinson’s disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Nicotine present in the tobacco has been used for its medicinal value for quite some time for diseases like Parkinson’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A study from University of Miami School of Medicine, USA, now has shown that people from families prone to Parkinson’s disease are less likely to develop the disease if they drink coffee on a regular basis.

Both coffee and nicotine have a link with dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that decreases in patients with Parkinson’s disease. It is possible that people who are going to have Parkinson’s disease have lower levels of dopamine. Those with low levels of dopamine may be more likely to enjoy caffeine.

Parkinson’s disease is caused when brain cells that produce dopamine die. The disease is progressive, affecting about one percent of people older than 65. Symptoms start out with shaking and can progress to paralysis. There is no cure, although a number of drugs can make symptoms better for a time.

Why do people suffer?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Garud Puran and Hindu mythology, one of the reasons for suffering is the debts of your past birth. Your purpose of life is to face sufferings to pay these debts. The second reason is your present deeds till today starting from birth. If your sum total of bad deeds is more than good deeds, they get added to your previous birth’s debts.

The third reason for suffering is the form of struggle, which you entertain to attain future success. Some people do not call it as suffering.

The last reason for suffering is that some people acquire yogic powers to take on the sufferings of others. The classical examples are Shirdi Sai Baba and Jesus Christ who were known to cure others by adding their suffering to their own account. Most Gods or holy people had suffered in their last time, be it Jesus Christ, Krishna, Buddha or Sai Baba. Only Rishi Munis can remain alive and die at will even after they have paid for all their debts.


Why don’t we touch papers, books and people with our feet?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In every traditional gurukul, no studies start without chanting the following

Saraswati namasthubhyam

Varade kaama roopini

Vidyaarambham karishyaami

Sidhirbhavatu me sadaa

“O Goddess Saraswati, the giver of Boons and fulfiller of wishes, I prostrate to You before starting my studies. May you always fulfill me.”

Indian Vedas consider knowledge about self as the supreme knowledge and all tools for the same are considered sacred and divine and must be given respect. The traditional custom is not to step on any sacred educational tool.

Chocolate, not tea, good for the heart

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Regular consumption of polyphenol–rich cocoa products like dark chocolate may be considered a part of dietary approaches to lower BP, provided there is no total gain in calorie intake.

Drug treatment is the basis of blood pressure control, and it should always be accompanied by lifestyle measures such as exercise and proper diet.

The recommendation is an occasional cup of cocoa but not chocolate milk, because it is high in sugar and fat.

According to a survey of medical literature by German researcher, Dr. Dirk Taubert from the University Hospital of Cologne, cocoa–rich products, and not tea, help lower high blood pressure. They covered 10 studies on cocoa that included 173 participants and five tea studies with 343 participants. The cocoa studies lasted an average of two weeks, with four out of five trials reporting a reduction in both systolic and diastolic BP.

The average reduction was 4 to 5 mm Hg in systolic pressure and 2 to 3 mm in diastolic pressure –– enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 20% and of coronary heart disease by 10%. No such reduction in blood pressure was noted in any of the tea trials, which lasted an average of four weeks. Tea and cocoa contain different kinds of polyphenols –– flavan–3–ols in tea, procyanids in cocoa.


3 simple ways for a restful sleep

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Cut down on caffeine: Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep. Even a single cup of coffee in the morning may lead to a sleepless night. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night. Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than to go cold turkey. Those who can’t or don’t want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine–sensitive.

2. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco: Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia. If you continue to use tobacco, avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours before bedtime.

3. Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem to help some people fall asleep. Alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects disappear after a few hours. Alcohol also worsens snoring and other sleep breathing problems.

Signs of Spiritual Awakening

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• More experiences of telepathy

• More experiences of reverse telepathy • More spontaneous fulfillment of desires

• Increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen. Work done with the least effort.

• Change in the nature, more smiling, laughter and thankful nature.

• Feelings of being connected with others and nature. • Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

• Tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

• Ability to enjoy each moment.

• Living in the present.

• Loss of worry.

• A loss of interest in conflict.

• A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

• A loss of interest in judging others.

• A loss of interest in judging self.

• Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

• Quality of converting an adversity into opportunity.

• Dislike for drugs, smoke and excess of alcohol.

• Happiness in doing random acts of kindness.

• Looking for good in every one.

Link between Influenza and NCDs

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Seasonal influenza is a major public health problem globally, causing significant morbidity and mortality, especially in high-risk groups. Children and adults with underlying chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are especially vulnerable to complications, hospitalizations and even death from the infection. However, the link between NCDs and influenza is frequently underestimated. Vaccination against influenza is the single most effective way to reduce this vulnerability in people living with NCDs. Nevertheless vaccination rates in this group fall short of the WHO recommended target of 75%. (WMA.net)

• Improving influenza vaccination coverage among people living with NCDs is a complex task, and multiple strategies are needed at global and country levels to achieve the goal of 75% vaccination rate among this group.

• At the global level, it is critical to include influenza immunization as part of the monitoring framework for NCDs and underscore the vaccine’s importance in secondary prevention of these diseases.

• At the country level, strategies should target not only those at high risk of influenza complications, such as NCD patients, but also those at elevated risk of both contracting and transmitting the virus, such as schoolchildren and healthcare workers.

• The general lack of awareness by healthcare workers and particularly clinicians of the explicit relationship between influenza vaccinations and NCD management may be an important impeding factor in vaccination uptake among the vulnerable groups, especially people living with NCDs.

Definition of Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well-being. Allopathy does not define all aspects of health.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health are covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day-to-day practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,

Samadhatumalkriyah,

Prasannatmendriyamanah,

Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From the Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.
Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) that perform two basic functions: firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.
Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.
Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind–body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self–hypnotic exercises, etc.
According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more, eat less.
Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span.
Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.