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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.
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.
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.
There are times when you feel extremely fatigued and tired. This could be because of the type of foods that you are consuming on a regular basis. Certain foods, when consumed tend to spike up your blood sugar level and make you feel sleepy and sloppy.
There are certain foods which you can have to boost your energy levels:
1. Vinegar: You can add vinegar to your food and salads to prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking. Vinegar is said to have properties that prevent excessive starch absorption in the body; it also keeps your metabolic rate elevated. Mix vinegar with a glass of water and have it after meals to prevent fatigue.
2. Fruits: Fruits can provide instant energy if you are feeling lethargic. Usually in the afternoon, eating a fruit such as an apple or a watermelon will provide an instant burst of energy. Make sure you keep your portion sizes under control; else too much sugar can mess with your system.
3. Nuts: Nuts are very healthy foods to snack upon as they contain heart-healthy fats and Omega-3 acids. Nuts also contain proteins that are good for your muscles and fat loss goals. Being rich in fiber, they also promote satiety.
4. Dark chocolate: You can include small portions of dark chocolate for your dessert cravings after lunch as it contains “theobromine” which helps in boosting your mood and energy levels.
5. Whole grains: Include whole grains in your diet; avoid eating refined products such as white rice and refined flour. Refined carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to feeling of fatigue. Eating whole grains also provides a steady supply of energy to the body.
6. Cardamom: Add these spices to your dishes and tea as they are known to stimulate blood flow and increase energy levels in the body. It is known to expand the blood vessels in the body to increase blood flow.
7. Asparagus: Asparagus contains important vitamins that allow efficient conversion of sugar into energy. It also contains plenty of fibers that promote satiety.
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.
For a healthy body, proper digestion and absorption of food is very important. The digestion is an extremely intricate process and involves many organs. Impairment in any of the organs can hamper the digestive process, leading to a very common condition called dyspepsia. It is caused by malfunction of one of the muscular organs along the digestive tract including esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines and colon.
Causes: While dyspepsia is more a symptom, there are various reasons that lead to it including gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, infections, motility disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), cancers of the digestive tract or any other abnormality in the digestive tract.
Evaluation: When a patient has chronic dyspepsia or indigestion, the first thing to do is a thorough evaluation to find out the underlying cause. As noted above, there are functional and nonfunctional causes leading to dyspepsia. While gastric ulcers or polyps are visible during an endoscopy, conditions like gastritis and malignancy can only be diagnosed under microscopic examinations.
X-ray: Any growth would be visible on an x-ray and further testing can then be done to confirm the exact nature of it.
Some of the tests that are used for evaluation of the cause of dyspepsia include:
- Endoscopy: This will allow the doctor to see the actual digestive tract and identify any structural abnormalities or growth.
- Colonoscopy: If the problem is suspected to be in the lower gastrointestinal tract, then a colonoscopy may be in indicated.
- Gastric emptying study: This study can also reveal the abnormalities in the digestive tract
- Culture: Dyspepsia caused by Helicobacter pylori can be diagnosed through cultures of the stomach contents.
Treatment: The treatment of dyspepsia is quite complicated and cannot be clearly outlined given the various conditions that it is associated with. Even specific foods can induce indigestion in some people. Therefore, a multipronged approach is required to treat dyspepsia. Education: The affected person should be educated about the non-life-threatening nature of the problem and its chronicity.
Some of the drugs used in treatment include:
- Proton pump inhibitors: These reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach and thereby help in relieving symptoms.
- Promotility drugs: They improve the movement of the muscles in the intestinal tract and are so used in managing dyspepsia.
- Antibiotics: If an infection is suspected, antibiotics are effective.
- Smooth muscle relaxants: Drugs like hyoscyamine and methscopolamine have been shown to provide relief in some patients.
- Psychotropic drugs: Anxiety and depression are frequently seen in people with dyspepsia, and managing these can help reduce the dyspepsia.
As noted, the causes, symptoms, and management are very specific to individuals and needs to be managed by the doctor. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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.
‘The roads to happiness pass through the bellies!’
Food is the most loved emotion in this world. We all find ways and means to satiate our tongue with our favorite tastes. While we relish the taste, we often forget to de- worm our body. Usually children are often loaded with glasses of milk throughout the day. While nothing is wrong with the milk, the add-ons we usually put to enhance the taste – chocolate powders and sugars surely need some introspection. The market based formulae are enriched with nutrients along with cocoa powder. In order to make it edible it is infused with sugar making it sweet. While they claim to ‘enhance’ the power of milk, they also instigate the worming process in the body. Along with that, indiscriminate amounts of sugar, chocolates, candies and jaggery are known to cause worms. Not only children but adults also suffer from worms which may go unnoticed for a very long term.
Usually no severe symptoms are noted, which often makes us unaware or even ignore the gravity of problem. However there are a few signs which are enough to make us alert with the worm infestation. They are as follows:
- Lack of appetite, excessive salivation in mouth, nausea
- Loose stools. Itching near anal region
- Abdominal cramps.
- White patches on skin.
- Feverish feeling throughout the day.
Now, all streams of medicine encourage de-worming at regular semesters. However, we in Ayurveda believe in practicing it in our day to day lives. It not only prevents the worm infestation but also helps to maintain the gut strength. Following simple methods can be used on day to day basis to avoid worm infections:
- Half teaspoon of turmeric along with half a glass of water in the morning keeps the worms at a bay
- Use of black pepper as seasoning in the foods should be encouraged.
- Garlic should be liberally incorporated in the meals. (Cooked form is better for those who have gastric problems, Chronic Acidity and Headache)
- Small piece of ginger with rock salt should be consumed before meals (Should be avoided by those who have gastritis, Chronic Acidity and summer season)
- Liberal use of pomegranates, drumsticks, carrots should be done in everyday diet.
While these regular practices can keep the worms away, the best way to de-worm is to avoid the worms! It can be done by:
- Restricting the consumption of sweets, chocolates, candies, sugar and jaggery.
- Fermented food and bakery products.
- Avoid raw food.
These simple methods can be used in our everyday lives and would help us avoid the worms. Still if the problems persist, it is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic physician on a priority basis.
Ayurveda is a science which not only deals with diseases and its medicine, but it also emphasizes on the prevention of diseases. Ayurveda teaches us many ways and means to prevent the diseases. Start consulting an Ayurveda physician for a better knowledge about your health. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Any form of regular exercise is a must for a healthy lifestyle. While some people prefer to work out in a gym, others like the calmness of their own house where they can practice yoga or a walk in the park. Each style of exercise has its own pros and cons. Let's take a look at working out in the gym vs yoga and regular walks.
-It exercises the mind and body
Yoga is a lifestyle and not merely an exercise routine. Thus it not only builds and tones muscles but also strengthens your lung capacity, digestive system etc. It is also said to increase the ability of the mind to focus and attentiveness.
You could walk n a treadmill in the gym but taking in a walk outdoors does more than exercise your body. Taking in nature when you walk outdoors is known to be an effective stress buster and helps you cam your senses. Walking can also help improve your moods and is a form of treatment for depression as well.
-It does not need any special equipment
With yoga, there is no need for weights or special shoes. All you need is a flat, firm surface which could be the carpet in your bedroom or your lawn outdoors. The only equipment you need for a walk is a pair of sturdy, comfortable walking shoes. This makes yoga and walking budget friendly as well when compared to gym membership costs.
-It can be done anywhere
Since yoga does not need any special equipment, it can be practiced anywhere and at any time. Taking a break from sitting at your desk - try a little pranayam. Keep a pair of walking shoes handy and at lunch break take a quick walk around the block - there's nothing to stop you.
-There are less chances of injuring yourself
Once again, since yoga does not need specialized weights or equipment, there are less chances of injuring yourself. Yoga also does not focus on speed allowing you to move comfortably in a way that your body always feels good.
Walking again is an exercise that allows you to work at your own pace and does not make you compete with others. As long as you see where you are going and avoid walking on tarred surfaces, the chances of injuring yourself while walking are very low.
-Weight lost is more likely to stay off
A reason most gym enthusiasts prefer a strenuous workout to yoga and walking is faster weight loss. These techniques do help lose weight but the process is slow. However, since this weight has been lost gradually, it is more likely to stay off.