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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Solution to the Health Care Crisis. Yes, it is that Easy :)

Today, we hear the problems surrounding health care in the United States almost on a daily basis. How can we resolve our Health Care Crisis? How can we afford to take care of all of the health problems facing our nation with dependable and adequate medical treatments? We will need to look at the principles of our present health care system and how it is supposed to work in theory first in order to arrive at a solution. In Theory, if we are to pay a premium for health care we should be able to afford to heal our citizens who are sick. However, modernity has pushed us to a state of unhealthy habits and a care-free sentiment about our health. We stopped taking responsibility for our own health when we began to pay Insurance Companies to take on our own responsibility so we would not have to worry about it.

The truth is that we should always be responsible and conscious of our health. If we were to educate ourselves better about our health, the benefits would be instant and we would not have to pay so much for health care both personally and collectively. If we were to be more conscious about our health and what we eat we would see tremendous benefits in terms of our health and the amount of doctors and hospital visits we have in a lifetime. The simple principles of digestion, nutrition and diet would bring enormous benefits to the general health of our nation. If we are to truly solve the health care problem we need to look to the source of the problem: not taking responsibility and care of our own health. What we need to do is to engrain the principles of health eating, exercise, and consciousness into our every day lives. There are many diseases plaguing our country and a big part of them can be alleviated through healthy eating. We can also become a stronger nation by the implementation and practice of Yoga which brings many benefits physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is important to bear in mind that we should really try to learn from our history and the history of other civilizations. There are many cultural traditions which provide many methods of healing naturally. Ayurveda is one such tradition being the most ancient and also the most comprehensive medical science in the history of mankind. In Ayurveda, you are taught everything relating to health from your breathing, to your posture, your nutrition, digestion, meditation practices, natural herbal formulas, natural oils and so much more. You can choose to adopt the methods of your liking to try them first. What is clear in Ayurveda is that there are many ways to heal naturally and that we are a part of nature with which we can align ourselves. Ayurveda can provide a complete education on health and the principles are easily incorporated into your everyday life. The responsibility for our health never ceases to be our own. We need to nurture ourselves and value ourselves so that we can begin to take care of ourselves.

The other problem we face is that we constantly undervalue our own health. We ascribe value to so many other things but fail to remember that we cannot enjoy anything unless we have our health first. We only value health when we are sick and then when we feel better we forget why we got sick in the first place. Our health should be the top priority in our lives or we should at least provide for some health eating and exercise for the same. Eating organic foods and balanced meals, drinking at least 3 liters of water daily and taking some nutritional supplements can go a long way in improving your health. If we began at the fast food level and demanded not to have so many processed foods consumed in our nation I think we would find that our nation would begin this healing process. It is unbelievable that we are still feeding our citizenry processed foods that are very low in nutritional content and very high on fats which are very damaging to our health.

The problem with health care is a problem we created. We should look to the source of disease in our country if we are to solve this problem. The heart of the matter is related to our own perspective of health. We need to educate ourselves further and to simplify our health education so that many Americans can benefit from natural healing and other countries can follow suit in the same way.


*The opinions expressed herein are the authors and may or may not reflect the opinions of Kerala Ayurveda Ltd. Or any of its companies.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ayurvedic Medicines and Preventative Measures


Ayurveda means Knowledge of life. It focuses on – ‘Swaasthasya Samrakshanam’ which means Maintaining health and ‘Aaturasya Vikara Prashamanam’ means removing diseases. Ayurveda is the only science which provides the scientific ways to prevent diseases.

Ayurveda advises certain daily regimes, which a man if follows, will not be afflicted with any disease. Most of day to days diseases which are termed as LIFE STYLE DISORDERS, which include from allergy to cancer, are occurring due to the bad regimes or non-regimes life.

Following are some of the Regimens that are mentioned in Ayurveda which if followed daily will maintain a human healthy. They should be practiced in order.

1) Braahma muhurta Uttistanam(Getting up at Brahma muhurta)-
Brahma muhurta is the time nearly 90 mins before sunrise. Getting up between 4.30 am and 5 am can be considered best, between 5 and 5.30 am is moderate. But, should never sleep after 5.45 am. It is said as ‘Braahmae muhurtae uttistaet swasto rakshaartam aayushaha’-a person who wants to maintain his life healthy, should wake up at braahma muhurta

2) Danta Dhavana(Brushing of Teeth)-
The next activity is to brush your teeth. Teeth have to be brushed with some medicinal plant leaves or powders or stem twigs. It should be also be practiced after having food or drinks. At least teeth should be thoroughly brushed using fingers after food. The majority cause for teeth and gum problems is poor oral hygiene.

3) Jihwa Nirlekhana(Tongue Scraping)-
After Danta dhavana in the morning, scrap your tongue mildly with any metal tongue scrapers. It will remove the accumulated wastes on your tongue and bad odour of mouth and keeps mouth fresh.

4) Anjanam(Application of Kaajal in eyes)-
This is one of the most important regimes that even women are not practicing today. Anjanam if done every day will prevent dryness of eyes, which further prevents all infectious and communicable eye diseases, will enhance color vision, create good looking eyes and make eyes able to see small objects. In Short, Applying Anjana every day will reduce chances of refractive errors, color blindness, infective and communicable diseases of eyes. Chemical eyeliners may make your eye shine, but they will definitely harm your eyes.

5) Nasyam(Instilling nasal drops)-
Instillation of medicated drops in the nose is nasya. Nasya is specially indicated for prevention of diseases organs above neck i.e., nose, head, hairs etc. Doing nasya daily with 2 drops of medicated oil in each nostril will result in strong healthy shoulder, neck, normally functioning eyes, ears, brain and prevention of premature graying, excessive hair fall, recurrent rhinitis, recurrent sinusitis, pain in the neck, recurrent headaches, stress and makes voice soft and clear.

6) Gandoosham(Holding medicated liquid in mouth)-
Holding mouthful of medicated liquid in mouth for some time is gandoosha. It prevents Enamel damage thus preventing teeth sensitivity to hot and cold, removes gum damage and makes its root strong thus assuring a good oral and dental health. It Should be practiced atleast once in a week.

7) Dhoomapanam(Inhalation of medicated smoke)-
Inhalation of medicated smoke is dhoomapanam. It prevents problems pertaining to sinuses, palate, chronic cough, respiratory complaints like asthma, premature hair fall or graying, and any infection relating to ears.

8) Taamboola Charvanam(Chewing Betel Leaves)-
It has been advised to chew betel leaves with some medicated drugs like pepper, pure camphor etc and never with Tobacco. It enhances salivary secretion and prevents cancer of mouth. It also removes dirt from mouth and deodorizes mouth, keeps them fresh and keeps gums healthy. It will also scrap the yellow deposits from the teeth and make your teeth white and shining It should be practiced atleast once in a week.

9) Abhyangam(Oil Application)-
Application of medicated oil should be done every day. It prevents aging of skin and dryness and cracking of skin. Abhyanga should be done on Face, Head, Ears and Foot. Applying oil on face prevents the formation of Black Circles, Black Spots, Black heads and other cosmetic problems of the face. It should be practiced atleast once in a week.

10) Vyaayamam(Excerise)-
It should be followed everyday. It reduces Excess Fat Accumulation and Related Disorders, Increases Quality of Metabolic Reactions in body, Reduces unwanted fats and gives shape to body and reduces overweight. It should be practiced only till ‘Ardhasakti’ i.e. till you start breathing through your mouth alone or till your mouth gets dry or till your face, arm-pit and body gets sweat. If practiced even after that it, will create bad affects.

11) Mardana(Massage)-
After Vyayama mild mardana is advised as it will produce relaxation of muscles and normalizes blood supply.

12) Udwartanam(Powder Massage)-
After Mardana powder massage with medicated drugs should be done. It Removes Excess fat, Fats deposits from muscles and liver, reduces clot formation in heart vessels and produces shining skin. It removes all the skin problems like excessive moist skin, and fungal infections of skin. If Rubbed on face it will produce fair skin. Atleast it should be practiced once in a week.

13) Snanam(bath)-
This is also a regime which is not being done regularly today. Bathing of Body should be done with warm water and head with cool water. Never bath head with hot water. It causes defects for eyes, head and hairs. Never have bath immediately after having food.

14) After Bath, have your morning food. It is advised ‘jeernae hitam mitam cha adtyaat’-eat only after the previous days dinner has been well digested. Take the morning meal only in minimum quantity, and that too which is good for health. Avoid fried and Oily foods in the morning.

The procedures like Anjanam, Nasyam, Gandoosham, Dhoomapanam, Tamboola Charvanam, Abhyangam and Udwartanam should not be directly started if there is some active problems going inside body. They should be only done under an expert advise with suitable medicines for subsiding the problem.

Body gets healthy when,

- there is hunger at proper time
- Eats food only after getting hunger
- there is complete and easy digestion of consumed food
- natural urges likes motion, urine, faltus passage are not suppressed
- there is lightness of body
- all indriyas are functioning properly
- there is sound sleep and waking at proper time

When the above are properly practiced body attained bala(immune power or resistance), Varna(Complexion), Enthusiasm and Best Quality metabolic power of body.

So beware: if you find any one of the above components deranged, your body has been set in a problematic state and it’s the right time to give care to it, so that very severe diseases can be prevented.

Prevention is always better than cure. When you have simple low economic regimes that can be practiced daily to make you healthy, why to spend lakhs of rupees for curing the most dreaded diseases occurred after a non-regimous life. Think!

Quality of Life is always in your hands. You can make it good or bad.

Follow Ayurveda. Lead a Healthy Life.

Dr. Praveen Balakrishnan BAMS,
Registered Ayurveda Practioner
TD West Road Ernakulam.

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