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Dr. Pradnya Desai

Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai

Dr. Pradnya Desai Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
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I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care....more
I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care.
More about Dr. Pradnya Desai
Dr. Pradnya Desai is a popular Ayurveda in New Panvel East, Navi Mumbai. She is currently associated with OM Clinic in New Panvel East, Navi Mumbai. Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Pradnya Desai on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has a nexus of the most experienced Ayurvedas in India. You will find Ayurvedas with more than 30 years of experience on Lybrate.com. Find the best Ayurvedas online in Navi Mumbai. View the profile of medical specialists and their reviews from other patients to make an informed decision.

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Raigarh Medical Association

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Plot No. 182/183, "Gokul " Shop No. 5, Sector 4,Landmark: Opp. to Riddhi Sidhi Residency, Navi MumbaiNavi Mumbai Get Directions
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Ten Ayurvedic Ways To Improve Digestion

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician,
As per Ayurveda, good digestion is the chief indicator of salubrious health. A proper digestion leads to enhanced ojas. Ojas is the end biochemical outcome that results in improved quality of life. On the other hand, improper digestion leads to creation of ama or toxins in the body. If ama accumulates in the body for long time it is difficult to flush them out. If you want to follow the ayurvedic way of life then you really have to stress upon improving your digestion. Here are some tips to do the same:
1. Start your day with a glassful of warm water mixed with one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can also add half a tablespoon of honey to it. Lemon juice acts as a purifier and reduces ama in the alimentary tract.
2. Lassi or buttermilk is excellent for digestion. It improves the digestive flora without hindering the microcirculatory channels of the human body. Buttermilk is best taken during lunch, it should not be consumed after sunset.
3. Have a small slice of fresh ginger with very little freshly squeezed lemon juice. It helps in stirring up the digestive fires and enhances appetite before meal time. If you find it difficult to eat ginger directly, then squeeze out ¼ teaspoon of ginger juice and mix it with ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and have this mixture about half an hour before meal time.
4. Never skip breakfast. Have fresh fruits, boiled vegetables and cooked cereal in breakfast. This is light for the stomach and helps in keeping the digestion fires alive and active all through the day.
5. There are some spices with aids digestion, try to include them as ingredients while cooking your meal. Spices such as turmeric, coriander powder, dried ginger, cumin and ajwain aids digestion as well as helps in flushing out toxins from the body. They also help in better absorption and of nutrients. There are some foods that are difficult to digest, like lentils, they must always be cooked along with above mentioned spices to prevent flatulence.
6. Most people are addicted to caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Try to replace them with herbal teas. Start having a fragrant fennel tea after you have you lunch to improve digestion. If you find fennel good to taste, then chew some seeds after you have your meal.
7. Avoid having snacks between two meals. Your gastrointestinal system needs time to rest as well as recharge in between meals as well as after a meal. If you really feel the need to snack in between then have only fresh fruits as they are easy to digest. In Ayurveda fruits are not recommended after sunset.
8. Have soaked grains, seeds, nuts as well as lentils in warm water for about half an hour to an hour. This makes them simpler to digest.
9. You must eat heavy food items such as cheese etc during lunch meal. The digestive fires are most active during the daytime, they start going into slumber by nightfall.
10. Ice or cold drinks douse the digestive fires, must avoid them at all times. You can sip warm water or water at room temperature throughout the day. It is believed that warm water is exceptionally good for the stomach, it aids digestion and purification.
22 people found this helpful

Madam I have holes on my face it looking very bad while girls are seeing me ,so please how I came remove such holes on my face.

BAMS
Ayurveda, Ambala
Madam I have holes on my face it looking very bad while girls are seeing me ,so please how I came remove such holes o...
A good nutrition and exercises which increase the blood circulation (flow) on and near the areas of holes will definately help you to remove the holes and marks on face. There are methods and instructions which give relief you from holes & marks. * Eat healthy diet daily. * Eat 20 gm of soyabean cereal daily it contains protein which help in regeneration (making of new skin ) of skin on the holes. * Eat an apple daily . It has vitamins that provide sufficient nutrition to the skin. You can drink a glass of carrot juice daily . * Drink 1/2 lime juice daily . It contains vitamin C good for your skin. * Drink a glass of milk with one teaspoon of MALTOVA POWDER daily at night . * Do jogging for 5 minutes daily .Increase the time of jogging daily with one to two minutes . It increase circulation and flow more blood towards the holes and make them heal earlier . * Do neck massage with oil in upward motion. * For apply on holes do these methods on your face so do this method stepwise : • Steam your face for 3 to 4 minutes . After steaming your face then apply fresh aloevera plant gel on your face leave for 5 minutes then rinse off with water. After this apply rose water on your face. * Apply one vitamin E capsule (Capsule Evion 400 mg ) mix with moisturizer on your face .
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Hello sir, I have many white hair and I am loosing some hair daily when I go to the shower. What can I do please tell me?

BHMS
Homeopath, Faridabad
Hello sir, I have many white hair and I am loosing some hair daily when I go to the shower. What can I do please tell...
Hello,the causes of premature graying hair includes- "A hormonal imbalance, Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism, malnutrition, pernicious anemia, nutritional deficiency, using electric dryers and concentrated hair dyes, as well as genetic disorders, chemotherapy and radiation, are all factors. At times, a few gray hairs can develop in children as young as 8 years and then it is generally progressive with increasing age." *First of all you should correct your diet because what we are eating , that is reflecting on our body, so we should take Foods that are rich in iron and zinc help our body to fight against white hairs. Eat these following foods; like mushrooms, corns, green leafy vegetables, almonds etc. Avoid too much oily foods. Drink adequate water. Our Homoeopathy also helps to reduce and prevent the hair fall. 1. you should take lycopodium 200 , 5 drops once in 15 days, morning empty stomach. 2. Take wiesbaden 200, 5 drops , once a day. 3. Apply jaborandi Hair Oil (SBL) on your hair and scalp thrice in a week. 4. Wash the hair with Montana herbal shampoo(SBL). 5. Take amla powder +Seasame seed powder, 1-1 tsp both with water once daily.
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Can I use aloe vera gel for beard growth Is it helpful to grow facial hair Please help me Is there any side effects if I use it on face to grow hairs on face.

B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition, Nutrition Certification,Registered Dietitian
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Can I use aloe vera gel for beard growth Is it helpful to grow facial hair Please help me Is there any side effects i...
Make a mixture of Argan oil, Jojoba oil, sesame oil and olive oil and massage your beard and moustache daily to grow and maintain black and smooth hair.
1 person found this helpful
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I feel burning and pain in my throat and chest. Excessive gastric problem. How to cure this. Please advise.

B.A.M.S
Ayurveda, Banaskantha
I feel burning and pain in my throat and chest. Excessive gastric problem. How to cure this. Please advise.
Dear Lybrate user, It is less details to proper way diagnosis. For proper diagnosis visits nearest Ayurved physician. Basic Guidance to prevent burning sensation 1) Avoid spicy, fermentrated food, irregular diet, over eating, Junk food, Excess use of Oil, 2) Drink Milk with Gulkand 3) Take 3-4 Tsp Desi Cow traditional made ghee 4) After food (Ajvain+Jeera+Saun) 1tsp as like Mouthfreshner.
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I am having sleepless nights from past 5-6 days and I am getting worried now. In the daytime I feel kind of sleepy but I cannot even rest for a minute because of my job. Please tell me what medicine or desi treatment I should try.

BAMS
Ayurveda, Bangalore
I am having sleepless nights from past 5-6 days and I am getting worried now. In the daytime I feel kind of sleepy bu...
Please follow these tips Don't get too worried and anxious. Relax well. Avoid drinking coffee or tea after 7 PM, Take hot water bath before going to bed. Have light food and drink a glass of warm milk at night. Listen to soothing music or read some magazines while you are on bed. Keep your mobile in silent mode at night. Do not work on your laptop on the bed or watch TV till late night. Sleep in a dark and silent room.
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I'm 26 year female. Or mujhe weight loss karna h. Bina kisi side effect ke. Kya excrcise ke sath koi medicine h jo bina side effect ke weight loss kar sakti ho. Medical store per bahut sari weight loss medicine h per vo medicine se kya koi side effect hota h ke nhi pta nhi. Please help and suggest me right medicine.

M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Hello very true. Never take over the counter medicines. You can take ch balance +fiber+omega along with protein purely organic for weight loss, with a little of diet restrictions will help you get in desired shape.
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My vagina smells bad what to do any home remedy or powder or cream please suggest.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Certificate in Child Health, Certificate in Skin Diseases, Certificate in Veneral Diseases, Certificate in Gynecology & Obstetrics
Ayurveda, Mumbai
Apply Powder Imidil C and Insert Cap. Imidil V at bed time for 3 nights. And avoid stale, fermented and junk food. Maintain Proper Hygiene. Drink plenty of water. Drink Ginger water daily. 1/2 Teaspoon in 3 liter water make it boil and drink it daily - atleast for 14 days) You can also take Syrup Ashoka Cordial 20 to 30 ml twice a day. Hope this will help you. Have a good day.
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Doctor there is a pain in my stomach on regular bases, and the pain is now more than a month. I consult to doctors BT they checked me and they said there is nothing to worry BT I think there is a serious problem with me.

Certificate in Basic Course on Diabetes Management, CCEBDM Certificate in Diabetes, MBBS
General Physician, Pune
Doctor there is a pain in my stomach on regular bases, and the pain is now more than a month. I consult to doctors BT...
No details about investigations and treatment. Also other complaints. You should see a General Physician o ra Surgeon who will have to record proper detail history, clinical examination relevant investigations like GI Endoscopy or Ultrasound . Once diagnosed, follow the advice of doctor. If no relief see a Gastro enterologist
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My height is very short and how to increase the height. Please give me some tips.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
My height is very short and how to increase the height. Please give me some tips.
hi your height can grow till 25 year take following remedies 1.flax seed powder 1 tsp after lunch and dinner with warm water 2.lakshadi guggul 2 tab twice a day 3.ashwgandha churna 1 tsp with milk at 6.30 pm exercise 1.swimming 2.skiping 3.pull-ups 4.suryanamaskar
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I have severe spinning in my head (vertigo) and also ringing in the ears. Some times I feel like nausea.

MS - ENT,MBBS
Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Specialist, Kolkata
I have severe spinning in my head (vertigo) and also ringing in the ears. Some times I feel like nausea.
Hi lybrate-user Vertigo is a medical term which describes a sense if rotation even while stationary. It can often be confused with lightheadedness, generalised weakness, dizziness. Vertigo may be caused by problems in your peripheral (Ear &balance mechanism inside ear known as the vestibular system) or central nervous system.  A complete checkup is required to isolate the cause. Peripheral vestibular  system causing vertigo symptoms may need initial medications to stabilise followed by Vestibular Rehabilitation  exercises.  A good quality  of life can be achieved if properly managed. A Pure tone audiometry  and tympanometry  can detect any problem in the ear nerves and tympanic membrane pressure (both of which can be abnormal in case of ear diseases) An Xray of the Cervical Spine (AP /Lat/Lat-oblique to check for cervical spondylitis CT brain and a complete  haemogram  are some of the baseline tests needed for a good evaluation  of vertigo.
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I am very much thin. I want to grow up healthy. What could help me to do that? I eat too much and used to yoga every morning but still I am thin.

M.sc in dietetics and community nutrittion management
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Kolkata
I am very much thin. I want to grow up healthy. What could help me to do that?
I eat too much and used to yoga every ...
To gain weight do regular exercise like muscle building exercise.These will help to gain weight as well as to build muscle.Eat more dense fruits,vegetables.Use whole cream milk.Use weight gainer supplement.Take extra fats in cooking.Take more protein.Use more nuts and seeds.Avoid smoking,alcohol.Drink lots of water but not during or just before meals.Take stress free rest.
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I am 17 years student. I want to know how can reduce my weight and get a slim tummy. I am becoming more and more fatty so please tell what should I do to get slim?

Certification in Diabetes Educators Program, Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
I am 17 years student. I want to know how can reduce my weight and get a slim tummy. I am becoming more and more fatt...
To maintain a low body fat and/or lower body fat: 1. Exercise at least 5 times per week 2. Eat whole/unprocessed foods at regular intervals, while being aware of physical hunger/fullness cues 3. Sleep 7-9 hours per night 4. Don’t engage in extreme diets 5. Stay consistent with your habits 6. Incorporate non-exercise physical activity 7. Ignore food advertising You need a fat loss diet which comprises of whole grains like jowar, bajra, wheat, brown rice, pulses like moong, musoor, bengal gram, lots of vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish, chicken, paneer, healthy oil, nuts and seeds. You need to eat them in right proportion. Avoid eating sugar and sweets, refined foods like maida, noodles pasta, White rice and products, bread. Drink a lot of water.
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I lose my weight more than 3 kgs in a month. How to stop the weight loss. And how to gain weight within a month.

BSc - Food Science & Nutrition, PGD in Sports Nutrition and Dietitics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
I lose my weight more than 3 kgs in a month. How to stop the weight loss. And how to gain weight within a month.
Hello, Find out the reason behind unexplained weight loss. Get it investigated from the doctor.If needed get your blood screening done for the right diagnosis.
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My face is so oily and I want oil free skin and glow on my face so what can I do for it.

BHMS
Homeopath, Faridabad
My face is so oily and I want oil free skin and glow on my face so what can I do for it.
Hi. There are four main factors which causes acne: Oil production Dead skin cells Clogged pores Bacteria Factors that may worsen the acne: Androgen hormones, certain medications (drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium can worsen acne), dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips — may trigger acne and Stress can make acne worse. Management: Wash your face with Bakson's Facewash (wash your face with warm water only) and followed by CTMP, i.e., cleansing, toning, moisturising and protection (apply liberally Sunscreen Gel with SPF-30) after washing your face daily. Home-made remedies: - Take 1 tbsp of fuller's earth (multani mitti) + a dash of lime + bit of rosewater – apply this on your face till it gets dried up, then rinse it off. - Take 1 tsp of Alum (or fitkari), make it slightly wet with water and apply this on your wet face, spread it well; let it dry and rinse it off. Alum remove your excessive moisture or oil and it also tightens the skin's tonicity. Medication: You can take homoeopathic medicines – Berberis Aquefolium Q/ 10 drops in 1/2 cup of water/ thrice a day (and for local application as well) and Kali Brom. 200/ thrice a day – for 20 days. Use Bakson's Apricot scrub at least once a week.Acne
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Will vitamin D save my life? Should I really be taking four times the recommended daily dose? What is HyperTension? What should I do during malaria?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
Will vitamin D save my life? Should I really be taking four times the recommended daily dose?
What is HyperTension?
W...
First of all you should follow some basic thing 1. Avoid=hot and cold at time 2. Less the sugar as much as possible if you want to eat sweet take juggery which is black 3. Dont drink water after meal drink at the time of meal sip by sip up to 150 ml 4. Avoid late night sleep you can take vit d as given dose by your doctor.
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Tinea Cruris - A Common Fungal Infection in Men

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, DNB( Dermatology and Venereology), Clinical Observership in Pediatric Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
Tinea Cruris - A Common Fungal Infection in Men

Also known as jock itch, ‘Tinea Cruris’ is a fungal infection of the groin; it commonly occurs in men. This disorder is primarily caused by a fungus known as dermatophytes. It is characterized by an appearance of circular patches on the skin which look similar to a ring. They usually do no harm. However, if conditions are right they can 'invade' the skin, multiply and cause infection. The conditions fungi like best are warm, moist and airless areas of skin, such as the groin.

Causes-

The fungus primarily tends to grow on the moist and warm parts of the body, such as the buttocks, thighs or the groin region. Men who are overweight are at an increased risk because of the excess sweat that provides the perfect thriving spot for the fungus. Athletes are also more vulnerable to this condition. Sharing objects such as shoes, towels and combs can also be a source of this infection.

Symptoms-

The groin becomes itchy and irritable, mainly in the crease between the top of the leg and the genitals. It is more common in men, and the scrotum may also be itchy. A red rash then develops in the groin, usually with a definite edge or border. Both groins are commonly affected. The rash often spreads a short way down the inside of both thighs.

Sometimes the infection spreads to the skin on other parts of the body (or may have first started in another area, such as athlete's foot). Fungal infections do not usually go deeper than the skin into the body and are not usually serious. 

Treatment-

This condition is usually mild, hence, can be treated with over the counter medications. It takes about a week or two for the symptoms to clear up completely. Anti-fungal creams and lotions are useful in getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to carry on with the treatment even after the symptoms subside; till you complete the required dosage. Also, continue the anti-fungal medication for at-least two weeks after symptomatic relief to prevent recurrence.

In addition to the treatments, there are certain preventive measures that you can adopt–

  1. Don’t wear the same set of clothes every day while exercising.

  2. Wear fresh and properly washed undergarments.

  3. Wear loose fitting clothes; this prevents the area from getting too moist too soon.

  4. Apply medicated talcum powder on the infected areas. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

10 people found this helpful

Hello mam I am having a toothache and becz of that you always feel so much of problem?

MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Dentist, Chennai
Hello mam I am having a toothache and becz of that you always feel so much of problem?
The type of treatment you have for toothache will depend on the cause of the pain, so your dentist will examine your mouth and may carry out an X-ray to try to identify the problem. •If your toothache is caused by tooth decay, your dentist will remove the decayed area and replace it with a filling. •If your toothache is caused by a loose or broken filling, the filling will be taken out, any decay will be removed and a new filling put in place. •If the pulp inside your tooth is infected, you may need root canal treatment. This procedure involves removing the infected pulp and then inserting a special type of filling to seal the tooth and prevent re-infection. •If your toothache can't be treated using these methods, or if your tooth is impacted (wedged between another tooth and your jaw), it may need to be removed.
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I hv pimples on my cheeks so please Suggest me a best n gud cream r solution for pimples.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
I hv pimples on my cheeks so please Suggest me a best n gud cream r solution for pimples.
Take the following treatment - 1. Take 4 tablespoon of aloevera juice with one tablespoon of honey after dinner. 2. Take 4 tablespoon amla juice + 2 tablespoon honey on an empty stomach in the morning. 3. Take chandraprabhavati 2 tablets twice a day. 4. Avoid junk, bakery & spicy food. 5. Maida is very harmful for body, so avoid it. 6. Have all your meals on time. 7. Drink lots of water 8. Fruits rich in vitamin c and green leafy vegetables help in acne.
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I fear dogs a lot. The very sight of it makes me afraid. I am walking and the dog is sitting on the edge those are quite anxious moments. What should I do? Dogs habit of smelling feels me that I should run (which I always do and luckily I escapes. Please help.

Masters in Clinical Psychology & Certified Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Practioner, Certified Neuro linguistic programming Practioner, Masters in Clinical Psychology, Post Graduate Diploma in Child and ADolescent Counselling
Psychologist, Pune
I fear dogs a lot. The very sight of it makes me afraid. I am walking and the dog is sitting on the edge those are qu...
Determining the Extent of Your Fear Analyze your symptoms. Specific phobias, including cynophobia (the fear of dogs), may include some of the following symptoms. Do you need to be in the presence of a dog, or can a photo or story of a dog trigger your symptoms? And, is it the dog itself that causes the fear, or something the dog is doing? For example, some people are fearful of barking, but are okay if a dog is silent. •Feeling an imminent sense of danger. •Feeling the need to escape or flee. •Heart racing, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, or chills. •Feeling like what is happening is unreal. •Feeling like you’re losing control or going crazy. •Feeling like you might die. Determine if you change your life because of your fear. Unfortunately fears can be so severe that we feel the best way to make them go away is to avoid them completely. While a fear of flying, for example, may be quite easy to avoid by simply never flying, dogs are another story. Ask yourself if you do the following things in order to avoid being around dogs. If you do, there’s a good chance you have cynophobia. •Do you avoid hanging out with specific people because they have a dog? •Do you change your route specifically to avoid a house or neighborhood that has a dog? •Do you avoid speaking to certain people because they talk about their dogs? Understand there is a way to overcome this fear. While it is possible to overcome your fear of dogs, keep in mind that you need to be patient. It won’t go away immediately, it will take work on your part. You may want to consider seeking professional help from a therapist who can walk you through the process of overcoming your fear. Consider writing about your fear in a journal. Write down specific past memories that you have about dogs, and how you felt during those experiences. Learn relaxation and meditation techniques to help keep your calm and help control your anxiety. Break your fear into smaller sections to overcome; don’t think you need to tackle the whole thing all in one go. Have faith in yourself that you will get over your fear of dogs. And accept any mistakes you make along the way. Conducting Cognitive Restructuring Understand what cognitive restructuring is. Many phobias, including cynophobia, are based on how your brain comprehends a specific situation, rather than the actual situation itself. For example, you’re not likely afraid of the actual dog in front of you, but rather, you’re brain is interpreting the dog as being a threat which is then causing you to be fearful. Cognitive restructuring helps you to identify these thoughts, understand that they are irrational, and slowly help you to rethink (or reframe) your thoughts about a specific situation (i.e. Dogs). It is important to go into cognitive restructuring with an open and willing mind. You need to accept the fact that your fear is probably not based on rational thought, and as such, means that you can train yourself to think differently. If you go into this type of treatment pessimistically or with the belief that you’re being completely reasonable in your fears, you will make the process much harder to overcome. Think about events that trigger your fearful thoughts. The first step to overcoming your fear is to identify what is causing the fear in the first place. This may include thinking and talking about your past experiences with dogs, and trying to figure out what may have started the phobia in the first place. It may also include narrowing down the exact trigger that causes your fear. Is it dogs in general that cause you to be fearful, or do you become fearful when a dog does something specific (i.e. Growls, barks, jumps up, runs, etc.). Analyze your existing beliefs about your trigger events. Once you have a solid understanding of the specific events that trigger your phobia, you need to evaluate what you are thinking when this fear occurs. What are you telling yourself? How are you interpreting the trigger event in your thoughts? What are your specific beliefs about that event the moment it is happening? Continue writing your memories and thoughts in your journal. At this point start recording the reasons why you think the events triggered your fear. Write down as many of your beliefs as you can remember. Analyze your beliefs and thoughts to determine if they include any of the following: •All or Nothing — do you view ALL dogs as bad, no matter what? Or do you categorize dogs differently depending on some type of feature? E.g. ”I can’t be friends with anyone who has a dog.” •Should, Must, Ought — do you see a dog and automatically assume you have to be afraid of it? Do you feel like you have no other choice in the matter? E.g. ”My mom said I should never trust a dog.” •Overgeneralizing — have you tried to overcome your fear before and weren’t able to, and now you assume you’ll never be able to overcome your fear of dogs? E.g. ”I tried to be near dogs before and it didn’t work. I have no choice but to be afraid of dogs.” •Mental Filter — do you automatically draw conclusions about dogs based only on one or two previous experiences with dogs? E.g. “That dog attacked me when I was 3, all dogs are bad and will attack people if they get the chance.” •Discounting the Positive — do you ignore something good that happened because you can’t believe it’ll happen again? E.g. ”Sure, I was able to sit beside that one dog, but he was old and sick and didn’t look like he could walk, let alone attack me.” •Jumping to Conclusions — do you see or hear a dog and automatically draw a conclusion about what’s going to happen? E.g. ”That’s a pit bull, they’re awful and nasty dogs that can’t be trained properly.” Look at the feelings and behaviours that result from your beliefs. At this point you should have a better understanding of what triggers your fear of dogs, and the thoughts and beliefs you have about dogs when that trigger happens. Now it’s time to analyze how these thoughts and beliefs actually make your feel and behave. In other words, what are the consequences of your fear? What is the fear ‘making’ you do? Continue writing in your journal. At this stage you’ll want to include your reactions (both internally and externally) to the events that triggered your fear, and the beliefs that contributed to that fear. Examples of reactions might be: •You were walking down your street and encountered a dog in the yard of a specific home. Afterwards you never walked down that street again. •Your neighbour has a dog that they let into the backyard to play, so you never go in your own backyard in case your neighbour’s dog is outside. •You refuse to go to a friend’s house because they got a dog, and you can’t hang out with them if they bring the dog along. Investigate if evidence exists to back-up your beliefs. You should now be at the point where you’ve analyzed what triggers your fear, why your fear is triggered, and how you react to that fear. Now it’s time to analyze if there’s any actual proof to back-up the reasons why you’re fearful of dogs. Think of this part of the process as you needing to be able to prove to your therapist (or yourself) that your fears are perfectly rational. Use your journal to write down each of your beliefs and the associated evidence you have as to why that belief is reasonable and rational. If you’re a really logical person, can you find any scientific proof to back up your beliefs? For example, you have the belief that all dogs are going to attack you no matter what. Why do you think this is true? Have you been attacked by every single dog you’ve ever encountered? Does everyone else get attacked by every dog they encounter? Why would people own dogs as pets if they were constantly attacked? Develop a rational explanation for the trigger event. At this point you have tried to prove your fear of dogs is perfectly reasonable and found that you can’t find any evidence to back-up your beliefs. In fact, you’ve probably found evidence of the complete opposite. You now need to think about the beliefs that are causing your fear and work with your therapist to develop rational explanations for your beliefs. These rational explanations will start to make sense, and make you realize that your resulting fear doesn’t make sense. While this may sound easy, this is going to be the hardest step in your process to overcome your fear of dogs. Our beliefs can be entrenched in our minds so deeply that it can take some time (and convincing) that they make no sense. After all, your irrational beliefs may have helped you avoid bad situations, so what’s wrong with them? For example, you have a belief that all dogs attack. You weren’t able to find any evidence to back up that belief, so why do you have it? Maybe your belief is based on the fact that you saw a movie when you were 7 (that you shouldn’t have watched) that had dogs attacking and killing people. After you watched that movie you started to fear dogs based on the assumption that the movie was 100% accurate. In reality, it was just a movie, and there was no truth to it. And if you think about it, you’ve never actually seen a dog attack anyone. Move to the next step in your recovery. While you’ve come a long way at this point, you’re not finished. Even if you’re able to convince yourself that your fears have no rational explanation and there’s no good reason to feel the way you do, you’re not actually “cured. In a way you’ve completed the theoretical aspect of your therapy, now you have to complete the practical aspect of your therapy. At this stage you need to practice being around dogs. First, you need to learn how to relax when your fear or anxiety occurs so you don’t set yourself back. Second, you need to gradually expose yourself to dogs (in different ways) until you can feel relaxed when they’re around. Learning Relaxation Techniques Understand the different types of relaxation techniques. There are quite a few different types of relaxation techniques that you can learn to help with your fear and anxiety. They include, but are not limited to, the following: autogenic relaxation; progressive muscle relaxation; visualization; deep breathing; hypnosis; massage; meditation; tai chi; yoga; biofeedback; and music and art therapy. •Autogenic relaxation is a technique where you use visual images and body awareness, while repeating words or terms, to help relax and reduce muscle tension. •Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique where you tense and relax each muscle in your body in order to get a sense of what each one feels like in both a tense and relaxed state. •Visualization is a technique where you visualize specific settings that make you feel relaxed and calm (i.e. Forest, beach with waves, etc.). •Deep breathing is a technique where you purposely breathe deeply from your abdomen in order to release tension and reverse hyperventilation. •Biofeedback is a technique where you learn to control each of your body’s functions, like your heart rate or breathing. Practice deep breathing relaxation. When you’re anxious or afraid you may react by breathing too quickly and hyperventilating. Hyperventilating can intensify your feelings of anxiety and fear and make the situation worse. Breathing deeply can help you relax, reduce your tension, and make you feel less anxious. Follow these steps to relax using deep breathing: •Sit or stand somewhere where you’re comfortable and keep your back straight. Put one of your hands on your chest and put your other hand on your stomach. •Take one slow deep breath in through your nose while counting to four. The hand on your stomach will rise while the hand on your chest shouldn’t move very much. •Hold your breath while counting to seven. •Exhale through your mouth while you count to eight. Push out as much air as you can using your abdominal muscles. This means the hand on your stomach should move downwards, and the hand on your chest shouldn’t move very much. •Repeat these steps until you feel calmer and relaxed. Perform progressive muscle relaxation. Anxious people also tend to be tense, even when they think they’re relaxed. Progressive muscle relaxation can help you distinguish between relaxed and tense muscles so you actually know what it feels like to relax. Practice the following steps twice a day until you really feel it working. •Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Remove your shoes. •Allow your body to go as loose as you can and take 5 deep breaths. •Select a specific muscle group to begin with (i.e. Your left foot) and focus on those muscles. •Work each of these muscles groups: individual feet; lower leg and foot; entire leg; individual hands; entire arm; buttocks; stomach; chest; neck and shoulders; mouth; eyes; and forehead. •Take one slow, deep breath while tensing the muscles you’ve selected for 5 seconds. Make sure you can feel the tension in your muscles before you move on. •Allow all the tension to leave the muscles you’ve selected while exhaling. •Pay close attention to how these muscles feels when tense and when relaxed. •Stay relaxed for 15 seconds, then select another muscle group and repeat the same steps. Try guided visualization. Using visualization to relax is exactly what it sounds like — you visualize something that you find extremely relaxing in order to reduce your anxiety and reduce your fears. A guided visualization is where you listen to a recording where someone talks you through the process step-by-step. There are many free guided visualizations available online, some with background music or sound effects to help make the process seem more real. Guided visualization recordings will provide the instructions on how to prepare yourself and what to do. They will also vary in length, so you can select the ones that work best for you. Working with Exposure Therapy Develop an exposure plan. The reason you learned relaxation techniques was to keep yourself calm while slowly building up your exposure to dogs. But before you start allowing dogs to be in your presence, you need to develop a plan. This plan should include each step you’re going to go through between now (no dogs) and actually being in their presence. Your plan should be customized for your particular type of fears, and the fearful situations you personally experience. The list should be written in order of least fearful to most fearful so you work your way up to conquering your most fearful situation. An example of a plan to overcome your fear of dogs is as follows: •Step 1 - draw a dog on a piece of paper. •Step 2 - read about dogs. •Step 3 - look at photos of dogs. •Step 4 - look at videos of dogs. •Step 5 - look at dogs through a closed window. •Step 6 - look at dogs through a partially opened window. •Step 7 - look at dogs through an open window. •Step 8 - look at dogs through a doorway. •Step 9 - look at dogs from outside the doorway. •Step 10 - look at a dog (who is on a leash) in the next room. •Step 11 - look at a dog (who is on a leash) in the same room. •Step 12 - sit beside a dog. •Step 13 - pet a dog. Create and practice using an anxiety distress scale. Use the scale to measure your level of anxiety, with 0 being totally relaxed and 100 being the most fear/anxiety/discomfort you have ever experienced. This is a helpful tool for measuring how your distress levels change over time. The anxiety distress scale can also help you decide when it's time for you to move to the next step of your exposure plan. Be patient and take your time. Don't move to the next step too quickly. Engage the help of a trusted friend with a dog. At some point in your plan you will have to place yourself in the presence of an actual dog. You need this dog to be handled by a competent and trustful person, and the dog needs to be predictable and well-trained. Talk to the dog’s owner in advance of executing your plan and explain to them what you’re trying to accomplish. They should be patient and understanding as they may need to simply sit there with their dog for a while as your acclimatize to the dog’s presence. It is not a good idea to use a puppy, even if you think they’re cuter and not as violent. Puppies are not well-trained and can be quite unpredictable. This can cause them to do something unexpected in your presence which may only exacerbate your fear. Eventually, if you’re able to, have your friend teach you basic commands for the dog so you can control the dog yourself. Being in control of the dog may further help you to alleviate your fears once you realize you have the ability to direct their actions. Start facing your fear of dogs. Start with the first item on your plan and carry it out. Repeatedly carry it out until you feel less anxious and fearful doing it. If the step you’re doing allows you to stay in one place (i.e. Watch dogs though a window), slowly expand the length of time you perform the activity as well. Use the relaxation techniques you practiced to help keep yourself calm. Use your journal to keep track of your progress. Write down each attempt you make and how it went. Rate your level of anxiety and fear before and after each attempt. Remember that your exposure to dogs should be planned, prolonged and repeated. Don’t feel you need to rush. Take your time on each step of your plan until you feel comfortable moving onto the next step. Practice regularly. This part of the recovery process is going to be the hardest you’ll have to go through, but the only way it’s going to be successful is if you keep it up. Make a schedule where you practice on a regular basis. If at all possible, practice daily. Reward yourself for the progress you make. If needed, build rewards into your plan so you have an extra goal to work towards for each step. Should you need any further assistance. Please feel free to contact. Regards, Sukanya Biswas.
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