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The human spine is endowed with tremendous strength and flexibility, but it is also prone to severe injuries. Due to the presence of a vast network of nerves in the spinal cord, particularly in the lower region, injuries can become gravely complicated with a large scope for permanent damage. Heavy lifting, sudden movements and twisting can lead to spinal injuries and must be avoided while working out in the gym.
There are simple precautions that you can take to protect your spine from accidents and injuries while doing heavy lifts in the gym. Not only will these precautions ensure that your spine is protected from any harm, but they also yield a range of health benefits in the long run.
Following are a few precautions that can be taken from spinal protection:
- Check the object before lifting: It is important that you check the weight of the object before performing the lift. Test it out by pushing it with your hands or your feet very lightly to see how heavy it is and determine whether or not you should be lifting it.
- Perform a warm up exercise: This is one of the most essential factors for preventing exercise-related injuries. Pace around and stretch all your muscles before you start lifting. This will keep your muscles from suddenly stiffening or locking while you do the lift.
- Ensure that the weight is well balanced: Unbalanced weights greatly increase the risk of injury. You should always make sure that the weight you are lifting is evenly balanced on all sides and that the packing is proper so that it does not move around when you lift or have pieces falling off it.
- Maintain proper posture: One of the most important aspects of lifting in the right manner is to maintain proper body posture. You must always avoid arching your back or reaching out while you lift as that will surely lead to injury.
- Move slowly: Sudden jerks and movements are sure to lead to injury when lifting weights in the gym. Slow and smooth movements are recommended as they keep you from straining your muscles. There is no need to rush through your workout. Always avoid twisting while performing a lift.
- Create enough space: There has to be enough room all around you while you are lifting. This will ensure your safety while you are working out.
There are a variety of reasons why a person can fall sick. A good number of these illnesses cannot be prevented though a person may take general precautions. Having said that, in the case of influenza, it can be prevented to a large extent and it does not seem all that smart to avoid taking easy precautions when one has an option, right?
Every year, thousands of people die from influenza, which is so unfortunate because an annual shot can reduce that number by almost 60 percent. So what exactly makes a flu shot or vaccine work? As a result of the vaccine, after about two weeks or so, antibodies begin to develop in the body. These antibodies help fight off infection, specifically the kind that is targeted by the vaccine. It is important to get vaccinated for this flu on an annual basis.
Choosing the right flu shot
Considering the great number of options there are when it comes to flu vaccines, which are the ones to be injected? It is a good idea to get the opinion of a doctor to see which one to choose. This is because the choice is dependent on a variety of factors, which a medical professional would be able to assess appropriately. Note that it is important not to use the nasal spray version of the vaccine as the medical authorities have recently found that it is not as effective a method as it once was.
When should you get it?
Flu season does vary across the world, but in the US, it starts in about October and goes on till May. During this time, the flu viruses are a lot more active. When one gets a flu shot, it is this period that one needs to look out for. So, it is better to get vaccinated in late September or the start of October, so that there is minimal unprotected exposure to the viruses.
Who is it for?
It is to be kept in mind that every individual who is older than six months should be vaccinated. While it is said that getting a vaccine shot year after year reduces its effectiveness, it is still important to do so. This is because each year, the shot is altered to reflect the biggest virus threats in that year. There might be few side effects of the flu vaccine such as redness in the injected area, soreness or swelling. However, as long as one gets a flu shot in time, it is almost a given that there will be almost no time spent ‘down with the flu’.
Advice for an expectant mother is plentiful to come around from family and friends. While it may be well intentional, it may not be the best advice possible. One of the things most people would advise is to avoid exercising as it may affect the health of the mother and the baby. This is in fact a very wrong advice as expectant mothers like everyone need exercise to stay fit and healthy. The only difference from normal people is that certain types of exercises may not be suitable for pregnant women and the nature of exercises may change from trimester to trimester.
Some of the best exercises during pregnancy
- Swimming: This one is in fact recommended by doctors as the best and the safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is beneficial because of the following reasons:
- Walking: This is one of the safest exercise during any trimester as long as you don’t over exert yourself. Walking promotes blood circulation, improves heart health and is all around a good exercise for pregnant women. The key is to invest in a good pair of shoes for walking so as to prevent the knees and legs from jarring and also to support your upper body properly.
- Stretching: In the later trimesters, it may be a little difficult to manage other exercises as your body becomes heavier and movement may bse limited. However, you can do basic stretching exercises to improve mobility and also help with circulation.
- Weight training exercises: Certain exercises which utilize the weight of your body rather than external weight can be performed easily. You can also use lighter weights to help keep muscle tone and strength. A few examples of these exercises are
- Side leg lifting: Lie on one side and lift one leg up slightly higher than hip height. You can use your forearm for balance in this case. Keep lifting the leg and hold it there for a few seconds and do the same motions a few times for repetitions.
- Curling and lifting: Sit on a chair with your back straight with 2 to 4 kilo weights in each hand and curl up your hands up to the shoulders. Sit with your legs spread apart but comfortably. Also start the curl with your fore arms at a 90° angle from your elbows.
- Yoga and meditation: Yoga is possibly one of the most well suited regimens during pregnancy. Pranayama and meditation can definitely help you be more at peace and also manage many of the changes happening in your body in a much better fashion.
It is best to consult with a specialist or a physiotherapist who can give you a step by step guide as to the exercises you can do and the precautions that you need to take while performing them.
Anal fistulas or fistula-in-ano generally cause discomfort due pus or watery discharges and sometimes pain. This is a condition where a nodular swelling appears in area surrounding the anal opening. Intermittent pus discharged is noticed from this nodular swelling. Instead of a nodular swelling; there might be simply an opening in this region. An anal abscess is one of the most common causes for this condition.
Here are ten things you should know about these anal fistulas:
- It is curable through Ayurveda only: Till date many treatment options are tried to cure Anal Fistula which include Anal Fistula Surgery/ Glu technique/ cutting seton/ Colostomy/ Fistula plug/ VAAFT and many more. But all of these treatment methods have pretty high recurrence rate of about 20-25 %. However with Ksharsutra treatment for Anal Fistula; chances of recurrence are negligible. Other complications generally seen in surgery like bleeding, incontinence (inability to hold stool); are not seen with Ksharsutra Treatment. Clinical trials conducted by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR); at AIIMS New Delhi and PGI Chandigarh in 1992 have proved that Ksharsutra treatment is more convenient and more effective than Surgery in the patients of Anal Fistula.
- There are symptoms you can look out for: Some of the symptoms that indicate anal fistulas include appearance of a nodular swelling in area surrounding Anal opening. Intermittent pus discharge is also observed from this swelling. Usually pain subsides and opening closes after the discharges; and patient feels relief. But after certain interval of time again pus accumulates; swelling re-appears with some amount of pain which is again relieved after the discharge. This cycle is repeated at varying interval in the patient of anal fistula.
- Medication can only provide temporary relief: Anti biotics and painkiller might give temporary relief from the symptoms. But after some time there will be again pus formation and associated swelling & pain in area surrounding anal opening.
- Anal fistulas can recur after surgical treatment: As discussed above all the treatment options tried by modern medicine (including most recent treatment VAAFT) have high incidence of recurrence (about 20-25%) Whereas there are negligible chances of recurrence after Ksharsutra Treatment for Anal Fistula. .
- Anal fistulas treated by Graded Ksharsutra do not recur: Ayurvedic treatment for anal fistulas is known as Kshar sutra therapy. This involves the use of medicated thread being ligated in Fistula Tract. The medicines present in this thread act as a strong debriding agent and induces healing of Fistula tract. In few weekly sittings of Ksharsutra change; Fistula gets healed completely and it do not recur. Pt. maintains his normal routine life during treatment period.
- Sitz bath can be beneficial: This involves sitting in a tub filled with warm water so that the affected site is submerged. An antiseptic and astringent agent like Triphala decoction may be added to the water if needed. A sitz bath soothes the skin and provides relief from pain. This also helps keep the area clean and thus reduces chances of infection.
- Oily and spicy foods should be avoided: When dealing with anal fistulas, you should try and take a diet that keeps your stool soft and regular. Hence use of oily and spicy foods should be reduced. Eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water. Alcohol should also be avoided.
Ksharsutra vs Surgery in Anal Fistula Patients-
- Ksharsutra is done under Local Anesthesia. Hence complications of General Anesthesia are avoided. Surgical procedures are done under GA with all impending complications of General Anesthesia.
- Ksharsutra being a parasurgical procedure hence no bleeding/ cutting of tissue is involved. Surgery involves cutting/ bleeding.
- No hospitalization or bed rest is required in Ksharsutra Treatment. In Surgery hospitalization is must.
- In Ksharsutra; patient can continue his normal daily routine Surgery may require bed rest.
- Complications like incontinence (inability to hold stool) and recurrence are seen after surgery
- Ksharsutra is a safe procedure and these complications are not seen.
- Ksharsutra Treatment is more economical as compared to VAAFT surgery. VAAFT Surgery is comparatively too expensive.
Homeopathy is a slow form of treatment, but is has negligible side effects. This makes it safer to self medicate with light doses of homeopathy than an antibiotic. Homeopathy can be used for first aid, to fight common infections and as general constitutional remedies.
Here are a few common homeopathic medicines you should keep at home.
- Nux Vomica: Nux vomica can be safely used to treat gastrointestinal diseases, a loss of appetite, depression and migranes. The ideal dosage for nux vomica depends on the age of the patient, their overall health and several other conditions. Nux vomica can also be used to cure a hangover.
- Aconite: When taken at the onset of a cold, aconite can stop the virus from progressing further. Aconite can also be used for joint pain, gout, inflammations and to speed up the healing of wounds. Apart from the pill form, aconite can also be used as a cream.
- Arnica: If you have kids at home, arnica is a must have. It is the most common homeopathic remedy for bruising, accidents, injuries and shocks. It can also be used to treat arthritis and the pain that follows dental work and jet lag. Arnica can also be used to promote hair growth. Depending on its use, arnica can be used in the form of pills, cream or oils.
- Cantharis: Cantharis is an ointment that should be kept in every kitchen. It is the most effective anti inflammatory cream to treat burns of any kind. When a burn is treated with cantharis, it leaves minimal scars. It can also be used to treat urinary tract infections. Cantharis is usually used as a cream.
- Magnesia phosphoric: This is a must have for women. It can be used to treat any form of cramps including menstrual cramps. It can also be used to treat tiredness, headaches, nerve pain, insomnia and to help a person relax. Magnesia phosphoric is usually prescribed in the form of homeopathic pills.
- Rhus tox: Rhus tox is a common homeopathic remedy for muscle sprains and bruising. It is also beneficial for people suffering from back aches, arthritis, sciatica and body aches associated with the flu. Rhus tox is usually found in the form of homeopathic pills.
One should not do any type of self medication, however, you should check with your homeopathic practitioner about the dosage and frequency of consumption. Do not take it for granted that homeopathy has no side effects and take a more intense dose than required. Also store these medicines properly. Ideally, homeopathic medicine should be stored in a cool place without direct exposure to sunlight or extreme heat or cold.
Are you experiencing skin itchiness and development of dry, scaly rashes on your skin? This indicates you have eczema, which is a group of skin diseases occurring due to the inflammation and irritation of skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. The disease can be controlled if proper treatment is undertaken.
Itchy skin is the most common symptom of eczema. In some cases, the itching starts before the development of the rash. The rash appears most commonly on the back of the knees, face, hands, wrists and feet. The affected areas become dry and thickened and in people with a fair complexion, the areas may turn reddish initially and then become brown.
The specific cause of eczema is yet to be determined. However, the condition is associated with an overactive response by the immune system to an external irritant. This response leads to eczema. The condition is more common in people who have a family history of allergies or asthma.
- As the condition turns the skin dry and itchy, certain creams and lotions are recommended to be used in order to keep the skin moist. You should apply these products when your skin is damp, ideally after taking a shower. This helps the skin in retaining moisture. You can use a cold compress to ease the itching.
- Several creams such as hydrocortisone cream and ointments which contain corticosteroids are prescribed in order to reduce inflammation.
- In case the affected area becomes infected, antibiotics should be taken to eliminate the infection-causing bacteria.
- Antihistamines are used for reducing the severity of the itching.
Prevention of Eczema Flare-ups
- Moisturize your skin frequently
- Avoid sudden changes in humidity or temperature
- Abstain from overheating and sweating
- Try to reduce stress
- Avoid starchy material
- Avoid soaps, detergents and solvents, which are harsh
- Be aware of food items which trigger eczema flare-ups
It is recommended for you to consult a dermatologist if you experience any symptom of eczema. This will help you with a quick diagnosis so that you can start the treatment without further worsening of the symptoms.
Thalassaemia, which is commonly referred to as thal, is a disorder of the blood which is inherited from the previous generation. This condition triggers the production of abnormal red blood cells in the body which in turn paves the way for chronic anaemia. Red blood cells play an indispensable role in carrying oxygen all through the body and hence any abnormality in this regard can result in thalassemia, the symptoms of which include, weakness all over the body, fatigue, faint and shortness of breath.
Understanding the type of thalassemia:
Thalassaemia is often thought to be an iron deficiency disease (anaemia), but can be differentiated with the aid of certain blood tests. This disease is a lifelong condition which requires efficient management. The type of thalassemia an individual is suffering from can be attributed to the number of faulty genes the person has inherited.
The two variants of thalassaemia are beta and alpha. In the case of alpha thalassemia, having one faulty gene would lead to no health problems while two faulty genes can cause mild anaemia. If there are three mutated genes, it will cause Haemoglobin H disease, and regular blood transfusions may be required. But an unborn child with four mutated genes will not be viable enough to survive the pregnancy.
The beta thalassaemia also comes in various forms. The beta thalassaemia major needs lifelong transfusion of blood and it is the most common form of thalassaemia across the world. The beta thalassemia intermedia do not have to depend on blood transfusion.
The treatment option for mild thalassaemia is entirely dependent on the type of the disease and how intense it is. When the disease is on a mild and minor level, then there may not be need of any comprehensive treatment. But at times, blood transfusions become necessary especially after undergoing surgery or when the thalassaemia causes complications.
People who are affected by severe levels of beta thalassaemia will require transfusion of blood from time to time. The treatment also causes an overload of iron and thus it is important to remove the surplus iron content. There are several oral medications available for this, and the healthcare provider can recommend suitable medications.
Managing moderate to severe thalassaemia:
Some of the most general methods of managing and treating thalassaemia include
- Frequent blood transfusions: When the thalassaemia gets too severe, it becomes necessary to opt for blood transfusion after every few weeks. The blood transfusion can cause iron build up with the passage of time. This, in turn, can affect the heart and lungs along with other crucial organs. Therefore, it is important to take medicines that can eliminate the extra iron.
- Stem cell transplant: Also referred to as the bone marrow transplant, the stem cell transplant can be the best bet. It is recommended for kids who are born with severe thalassaemia. This treatment option can mitigate the need of a lifelong transfusion of blood and intake of drugs for controlling the iron overload.
What is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection that occurs in and around the female genitalia. It does not usually pose a major health threat and is a mild infection that can be controlled and cured with timely medical intervention. Although it is believed to be sexually transmitted, it can also affect women who are not sexually active.
In some cases, pelvic surgeries, which include caesarean, hysterectomy, abortion or other abdominal surgery, bacterial vaginosis can be contracted during the surgical procedure. This can further complicate the condition of the patient.
Bacterial Vaginosis is a common complaint among women who have physically reached the child bearing age and symptoms of this physical problem can become prominent at any time of the menstrual cycle.
Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis
Dirty, unwashed underwear
Multiple sexual partners
Change in the vaginal pH, causing the reduction in the protective acidic secretion that prevents the growth of other harmful bacteria
It can also arise from the placement of Intrauterine device (IUD), a contraceptive device placed to prevent the eggs released by the ovaries, from reaching the uterus.
Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
The most common sign of bacterial vaginosis is a foul smelling vaginal discharge.
The discharge increases after sexual activities.
Discomfort during urination
In some rare cases, there is itching and dryness
In most cases, bacterial vaginosis does not reveal too many symptoms and does not even cause intense irritation.
Bacterial Vaginosis can be treated with antibiotics that are generally to be continued for a course of 7 days.
Symptoms and discomfort of bacterial vaginosis generally recede within 2-3 days. However, it is recommended that the medicine should not be stopped even after the symptoms disappear.
- Only in rare cases, certain antibiotics may lead to a vaginal yeast infection. In case of redness, inflammation, irritation and undesirable discharge, you must seek medical attention immediately.
In order to know the benefits of abhangya, it is important to understand what exactly abhangya is. We do, at times, massage ourselves unconsciously. However, the practice of massaging oneself from head to toe with nice and warm oil lovingly is known as abhangya. According to Ayurveda, like being loved by another person, abhangya too provides individuals with a deep sense of stability. Ayurveda states that daily practice of abhangya helps in restoring the balance between the three doshas of our body - the pitta dosha, kapha dosha and vata dosha.
Ayurveda states that the individuals who practice this self massage technique regularly become vey less affected and even less subjected to accidental injuries. These individuals also tend to become charming and very less affected by age. Now that we have discussed a bit of what abhangya is, here is a list of the benefits that come with it.
- This self massage technique helps in nourishing the body and slowing down the ageing process considerably.
- This technique helps is bestowing individuals with good vision.
- This process helps in stimulating the internal body organs and increases and improves blood circulation. This results in lesser blood pressure and a healthier body.
- This technique helps in imparting a sort of firmness to the limbs and hands, thereby strengthening the body’s tolerance.
- This technique also benefits the skin. Well, the thing about our body is each organ in our body is interrelated with each other. So when any one organ starts working perfectly, everything else follows suit. It has been seen that this technique helps impart a sort of tone and vigour to the tissues of the body itself.
- Abhangya helps pacify the vata and the pitta doshas.
- If applied to the scalp, it helps in growing luxurious, soft, thick and really glossy hair.
- This is also said to reduce wrinkles on the face.
- When applied to the ears, stiffness of neck and jaw can be eased.
We have discussed how this practice benefits us, but here are some of the situations when we aren’t supposed to perform abhangya.
- During menstrual cycle
- During pregnancy
- In swollen or painful areas
- Over skin that has any sort of rash or infection
- During any acute illnesses
- During any health condition until and unless the doctor said that it was perfectly fine to do abhangya
All in all, Abhangya is a process that should definitely be carried out for personal well-being.
Ayurveda is regarded as one of the most ancient systems of the herbal remedies found in India, and it offers some of the most significant and useful herbs to help boost women’s health. There are several natural herbs that aid the women in finding the natural rhythm of the body, which is closely associated with nature. As a result, women are able to respond much better to the Ayurvedic treatment that offers many herbs and medicinal plants that have been proven to improve the health of women.
It is very important to control and regulate the diet of the women who have crossed 40 years of age and they should not live their lives in her own whims as this is the age when hormonal imbalances occur in the body. Additionally, there are also some natural herbs that can help to boost the health condition of a woman and help her lead a happy and healthy life.
- Guduchi Stem: This is a common ingredient in the herbal medicines which can be used for treating various types of health problems in women. Guduchi stem is a versatile herb which induces internal heat and is a great treatment for decreased libido. It has the ability to calm the nervous system and is regarded as a strong anti-inflammatory and diuretic agent.
- Asparagus root: Asparagus roots have multiple benefits required to improve the health of women. It has been utilised as an aphrodisiac and natural treatment for alleviating fertility issues in women. It also helps in treating a wide range of female disorders starting from health disturbances during menopause to unnatural menstrual symptoms to lactation. It is considered a major ingredient in almost all herbal blends that aim at improving women’s health.
- Licorice: Used in almost all Ayurvedic medicines, this herb has been used for a long time for the treatment of several ailments, including menopause and genital issues as well as urinary disorders. Though it is incorporated mainly in treating health problems of women, licorice is also known for its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are many health issues that are faced by women on a regular basis starting from vaginal discomforts to menstrual problems. However, most women feel it is very uncomfortable to speak about them with anyone. Thankfully, these problems can be completely eradicated with the help of the Ayurvedic herbs. But if you see no results even after consistent use, then it would be wise to seek an expert’s advice.