FOUR BURNING CANDLES – An Inspirational Story

img045

 

Today, I wish to recall a great inspirational story that I read in IMA ( Indian Medial Association) Bulletin recently. I am tempted to narrate it as I feel everyone must read it!       I will post my other post little later.

In a room there were four burning candles placed on a table. The ambiance was so soft you could hear them talking.

The first one said, ” I am PEACE, however no one can keep me lit. I believe I will go out.”

Its flame rapidly diminish and goes out completely.

The second one says, ” I am  FAITH. Most of all I am no longer indispensable, so it does not make any sense that I stay lit any longer. When it finished talking a breeze softly blew on it putting it out.”

Sadly the third candle spoke in its turn, ” I am LOVE. I have not gotten the strength to stay lit. People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them. And waiting no longer it goes out.”

Suddenly a child entered the room and saw the 3 candles that had stopped burning. Why are you not burning, ” you are supposed to stay lit till the end.” Saying this, the child began to cry. Then the fourth candle said,” Don’t be afraid, I am still burning we can re-light the other candles, I am ‘THE ETERNAL HOPE’ .”

With shining eyes, the child took the candle of HOPE and lit the other candles.

The flame of HOPE should never go out from our life and that each of us can maintain HOPE, FAITH, PEACE & LOVE as our close buddies.

“Hope never abandons you. You abondon hope. Consult not your fears but your hope and dreams. Think not about your frustrations but about your un-fulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do and achieve.”

Look in the eyes of your child – they lit bright with JOY & HOPE. Remain child like always – and never let the DESIRE & CURIOSITY ever leave you. Life  is beautiful, let’s live it !  

Dr. Yogender Sharma.

21st June — ‘WORLD YOGA DAY’

 

 

 

 

img037 (4)img040

* YOGA offers a simple, accessible and inclusive means to promote physical and spiritual health and well-being, says Ban-Ki Moon, Secretary general of the United  Nations.

“It is a scientific guide to caring for your body and mind” says Hansaji Yogendera, Director of 97-year old THE YOGA INSTITUTE.

It is the science of connecting your inner self for self-improvement , says Dr. G.N.Jha,Professor of Yoga at JNU, New Delhi. 

“It improves cardio-vascular health, helps in increasing secretion of endocrinal glands, blood circulation in muscular and joints and treating sleep and psycho-somatic diseases”, say the experts. 

The word ‘YOGA’ simply means union, i.e to connect ! Yoga, as it is understood is not a set of postures or exercises, in which you must twist your body, like a rubber band, to look beautiful and stay healthy. It is much, much more and far deeper and philoshphical way of Life that connects the spiritual and social world to live a healthy Lifestyle!

To my mind it is a MEN’S QUEST TO PRESERVE HIS OR HER HEALTH, by observing certain systemic and daily rituals or norms as preached in Hindu way of life. Yoga is also mentioned in Arabic work in Middle East and Muslim Civilization and is even practised by orthodox Jews.

Around 400 BC, a yogic named Patanjali systemised this traditional knowledge in the form of sutras or brief texts. His compilation became the standard text which has been followed for centuries and is still followed today.

It starts with an invocation or a prayer to God by chanting ‘OM’ or ‘AUM’, and sitting in a mediation posture!

This is followed by basic breathing exercises or techniques called Pranayam. This is followed by set of asanas or poses, like padamasana (lotus pose) and savasanas ( corpus pose) for complete releaxa’tion.

Surya namaskar, is a combination of 10 to 12 asanas packaged together as daily wellness routine, it is not for worshipping the Sun God but is done facing the Sun as it is believed to be good for optic nerve and , and is normally done early in the morning, in an open space, to get fresh oxygen, for your lungs.   

All these asanas or postures are usually done during inhalation or exhalation for maximum benefits. For making it more effective we now say, “Inhale Love and Exhale hate”!!

When asked, by Founder of Apollo Hospital, in India, that what is the best Wellness routine, the spiritual Guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, said,” There are two kind of ailments: Infectious and Chronic. Infectious ailment happen because of external invasion. You must go to a medical doctor or an expert for that. But 70 % of ailments are self-created – they happen from within you. What happens from within can easily be fixed from within. Yoga is a system of finding access to that source within you which is the basis of creating this body.

I would like all of you to develop your own ‘HEALTH ETHICS’. The idea is to remain healthy. Our body and system must be kept tuned – active and agile, for a healthy body and mind. Exercise and Food are the 2 basic ingredients. We must choose what is best for us.

“Let Food be thy medicine”, said Father of modern medicine, Hippocrates. His words are true, even – till today.

Being Mobile and Active – is the second important message. For every ache and pain, Physiotherapy is the desired treatment.                          

Why not treat the cause, itself? Let not your muscles and joints become stiff. Move man, move…..

In the 75th Scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association, held earlier this month, in Boston, the biggest buzz and excitement was over the results of one of the biggest drug trial research of a new diabetes drug called Januvia, belonging to theSitagliptin class of drugs, which was under cloud till recently

China with 90 million diabetese stricken patients, India with 70 million & USA with 30 million, will particularly form a lucrative market. Merck,(the drug company) has spent millions in funding the research, and has flown the healthcare professional from these countries, since this drug can become the biggest blockbuster in its portfolio.

More people now die in India and China due to Diabetese and other non-communicable Lifestyle diseases, though this is largely avoidable with Lifestyle changes, but we refuse to change our un-healthy ways.

In today’s world; BIG PHARMA, BIG FOOD, BIG AUTO Companies govern our lives and we are the poor guinea-pigs.

SUGAR IS THE NEW TOBACCO, says Dr Sashank Joshi, the leading Endocrinologist from Bombay, India. Society that calls for “Sweets” or “Cakes”, on every happy occasion, must replace it with ‘FRUITS’ or NUTS coated with dark choclate.

WRITE YOUR suggestions and comments.        img039

13th June – ‘GLOBAL WELLNESS DAY’

 

 

AGING IS OUT, LONGEVITY IS IN.

ANTI-AGEnts : EAT,PLAY,LOVE.

Article by Subodh Verma, in TOI, 13th June,2015.

Till the beginning of the last century, living long was just a dream. Average global Lifespan was just 31 years, going up to 50 and today it is 70 years in the world, and increasing up to 80 years in 36 countries.

First came antibiotics, vaccinations and now public health. With stem cell therapy and genetics engineering extending the lifespan seems to be well within reach.

What is aging? Aubrey de Grey, scientist and crusader for research on anti-ageing discoveries, told Times of India, that it is an accumulation of changes in cells “that  eventually combine to impair function of various organs and cause ill-health and eventually death”.

“These changes are what I call damage. The body is set to tolerate a certain amount of damage, which is why we seriously start going downhill late in life”, he said.

Suresh Rattan, professor at Aarhus University, Denmark said that with time, our cells, tissues and  organs progressively become weaker in function, tolerance, robustness and resilience.

“This change leads to an increased possibility of the emergence of one or more diseases and eventual death. There are no special genes with the sole function of causing aging and death,” he clarified.

So how do you reduce damage to the cells and thereby postpone metabolic disease and maybe death itself ? This is where the concept of Wellness comes in. Wellness is defined as ” a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” as well as ” an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards  a healthy and fulfilling Life”. In other words to postpone death, and to lead a disease -free life you need to make choices on lifestyle habits.

“Our studies have shown  that we could prevent 82% of heart attacks, about 70% of strokes, over 90% of Type-2 diabetes, and over 70% of colon cancers, with right dietary choices as part of a healthy lifestyle. The best drugs can reduce heart attacks by about 20-30%, yet we put almost all of our resources, money and effort, into promoting drugs rather than healthy life-style and nutrition”, Walter C Willett, professor at Harvard School of Public Health told TOI.

Lifestyle medicine is the most important emerging trend in medicine today, said Dean Ornish, president of non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical professor of medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco . He is famous for the Ornish Diet, based on whole foods and plants.

He told TOI that this diet needs to be combined with stress management and mediation, moderate exercise ( such as walking) or Yoga and social support of community and your companion ( love and intimacy).

“In short – eat well, move more, stress less, and love more,” he said. 

Robert L. Kane, professor at university of Minnesota, who has worked extensively on elderly care, stresses the importance of love, happiness and supportive social system for survival.

“LOVE & HAPPINESS are basic elements of quality of Life. So it is impossible to think about one without the other. Social networks actually support various behaviors, so does family and friends, and practice good health behaviors, Kane told TOI.

The approach represented by Ornish – lifestyle changes-is perhaps the most widely practiced and publicized. But there is growing following for hard scientific approaches like de Grey’s, who recommends seven major damage-repair methods that ” will suffice to eliminate all the damage that contributes to ill- health of old age”.

“One of them is Stem Cell Therapy, which is already well advanced. The others are in early stages of development, but we are working on them hard on and progress is accelerating,” de Grey promises.

Meanwhile let’s eat healthy, love, pray and be happy and  remain active and agile. Walk, Stretch, do Yoga and mediate daily.

More important – as friends Let’s encourage more and more number of people to adopt healthy life-style behaviors.

( I am posting this TOI article, since it represents the basic philosophy of our Non-Profit Trust, Rajendera Foundation, and what I  have often espoused in my articles, thoughts and actions.) Yogender Sharma.

 

 

” Love and happiness are basic elements of quality of life. Social networks actually support various behaviors. So family and friends can keep one living in more healthy ways if they practice good health behaviors.”

Robert L Kane. Elderly Care Expert.

Sleep Epidemic – Eyes Wide Open ?

 

” DO YOU SLEEP WELL  – MOST OF US  DON’T AND ARE CAUGHT NAPPING IN THE DAY”

IN SHORT – TAKE YOUR SLEEP SERIOUSLY !

With our fast paced life and 24 X 7 work mode, Sleep disorders are widespread. It is as silent an epidemic as is Hypertension. Road accidents, heart failure, memory impairment and Obesity are on the increase – all because of lack of sleep or INSOMNIA.

Low awareness about sleep problems means people don’t take their S-N-O-R-I-N-G and breathing difficulties seriously. Snoring is the single most cause of marital discord. “Many divorces take place because a partner snores a lot and is not willing to get treated for it.”

YES, Sleep Apnea, and Insomnia are the two most common causes and both are treatable to a large extent. People who snore must visit a Sleep Specialist or Pulmonologist and get their Sleep Study done for proper diagnosis and treatment. If Insomnia is the cause consult a Sleep Specialist. Taking Sleeping Pills on your own can be dangerous and habit forming. They also have side effects like drowsiness, impaired learning ability, respiratory depression, and short term memory loss. They can cause accidents and other occupational injuries. Beware?

SYSTEM ERRORS

Insomnia: Difficulty in falling or staying asleep.

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Blockage of airways caused by collapsing of soft tissue in the back of throat causing brain momentary hypoxia.

Restless leg Syndrome : Urge to move legs while resting.

Narcolepsy : Sleep and wakeful cycle going haywire; patient experience excessive daytime sleepiness.

For a healthy adult 7 to 8 hours sleep is a must for rejuvenation of our body. You may  Follow a below mentioned PROTOCOL for a good night sleep. This includes :

1. Exercise – Work up a sweat, when you are tired, you are likely to sleep well.

2. Ambience – Calm down. Turn of the TV, don’t browse close to bedtime, rather read a ‘real’ book, or drink a warm glass of milk, though.

3. Food – Don’t eat a large meal at night, avoid spicy or fatty foods as they may cause heartburn.

4. Stimulants – Avoid tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks in the evening. Caffeine prevents brain activity from slowing down.

 img034

 

NECK OR BACK PAIN- Younger Generation’s – Big Worry?

 

As a Radiologist I find more and more younger professionals in their 30’s and 40’s, walk into my clinic, with constant Neck and Back Pain. The diagnosis is simple : Cervical Spondylitis – or to be more precise – constant wear and tear of the neck vertebrae.

                                     The common threadis long over use of Laptop for hours together, may be due to professional necessity. It starts with a nagging vague occasional pain, goes on to become a constant companion, which refuses to go away and starts bothering you with your daily routine. At times it disturbs your sleep or extends to shoulder, upper back and arm with tingling in the one or two fingers. Time you take notice of it ?  

We must catch this diagnosis in early stages. Earlier this use to be seen in 50’s or 60’s. Now the frequency in young professionals is increasing with every passing year. Use of Laptop is obviously increasing. Most cases are triggered by repetitive injury and stiffness because of lack of adequate movement.

It is simple Ergonomics at play : Ergonomics at the work place makes a huge difference. Earlier people or offices use to provide desktops, which were placed on the tables at a height where eye level of the Screen use to be at proper angle and height  parallel to your eyes and placing of your footrest. But with the technology moving fast- Desktops have been replaced by personal Laptops – handy, light, which the professional carry with them to their homes, and work on them at all odd angles, sitting on sofa or bed or even lying down. All the strain is on your neck and eyes – poor You.

Ideally you should avoid working continuously at a stretch. Take a break, every 30 to 60 minutes, stretch your neck and back, get up and walk, go for a glass of water, say hello to your colleague or find an excuse to get up and walk. This will do you lot of good. Remember prevention is better than cure.

Neglecting the pain could lead to slipped disc as the pain becomes chronic recovery time is prolonged. Proper posture and exercise along with precautions is the simple treatment. Avoid the use of thick pillows. Strengthening of neck and back muscles is of great importance before you have to switch on to medicines. Do not pop painkillers at the first thought.

                                          Loosen – Up and Learn to laugh a while. Too much work can play havoc with your neck. Go on a stroll with your wife and kid. Appreciate the nature !!  

 

 

‘MYTH’ of Obesity – “Blame Your Diet – Not the Physical Activity”

 

Challenging conventional wisdom that made headlines world over, in an article for thr British Journal of Sports Mediine, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra and co-authors T. Noakes and S. Phinney wrote,     “Let us bust the myth of physical activity and obesity – You cannot overrun a bad diet”

All that noise by Health experts and Diet Specialist about banning the Junk Food and the Sugary Drinks from School canteens is a step in right direction. With increasing Obesity epidemic in School going children and an alarming rise in Diabetes among major developing and developed countries, this study proves the fact that high calory diet is the major culprit.  The public health messages around diet and exercise, and their relationship to the epidemics of type 2 diabetes and increasing obesity has been spread by vested interests and Celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks and junk foods that we see on TV and Print Media daily. “This must end-say the authors.”

*  Researchers say that those who want to avoid excess weight gain should adopt a diet that is high in fat but low on sugar and carbohydrates.

                   ** Relationship between Diet and exercise has been corrupted by vested interests, says the new study.

                     *** Study says physical activity is helpful in reducing risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases and dementia, but it does not promote weight loss.

                     **** Researchers blame ‘manipulative marketing’ for false preception of ‘healthy weight’ through ‘ calorie counting’

The ‘health halo’ legitimising of nutritionally deficient products is misleading and unscientific. This manipulative marketing sabotages the effective government interventions of banning such products. For commercial profit we are damaging the population health and the future of childrens health.

The authors said,” Members of the public health are getting drowned by unhelpful message about maintaining “healthy weight” thrugh calorie counting and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise”

This “false preception” they claim, ” is rooted in the food industry’s public relation machinery which uses tactics chillingly similar to to those of the big tobacco — denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives”.

The debate for the facts will continue and experts may once again dismiss the conclusions. The industry will deny these facts – but how can one be blinded by the fact of empty calories. Don’t we know it ??

Remember it is your child’s health and your own health – which is at stake?

                           You must be your own judge – accept it or reject it – IT IS YOUR LIFE ?? 

Vegan’s Diet – Healthy & Nutritious – Helps you to stay close to Nature.

 

Eating Whole, plant based food is an answer to most Life style health anomalies  – say the advocates of a vegan diet?

Expert Indian Vegan’s believe – Eat Local and Eat Whole & Raw – without pesticides and preservatives, organic if available, otherwise use whatever you get, but wash them thoroughly with running or preferably warm water initially with a tea-spoonful of white Vinegar/ or Salt – rinse and subsequently wash in running water thereafter. Peel radish, carrots and cucumber before eating.

Vegans, in addition to being vegetarians, do not eat meat, fish or poultry. They even shun dairy products, including honey. Can you imagine Life without having milk, curd, or ghee? From childhood we have been told milk is important for growth, has calcium which is good for bones and if a child does not drink milk – how will he become strong ??

Dr. Neal Bernard, the author of Program for Reversing Diabetes, that cause of Insulin resistance is fat in the muscle cells ( intra-myo-cellular lipids) that reduces the sensitivity of the receptors to insulin. The other cause they now say, could be the ‘insulin like growth factor’ present in milk. Since it is very similar to insulin, it blocks the receptors. The blocked receptors in our body do not let muscle cells use the  glucose, leading to increased sugar levels. Interesting fact !  

Bone health, in fact is not due to milk, rather “the cause for Osteoporosis is not lack of calcium in the body, but losing it from the body – Dairy products, meat and all high protein foods are acidic in nature. When we eat or drink acidic food(milk), it leaches the calcium out of the bones to neutralize it. There goes the theory of drinking milk – A Big Myth?

Cow’s milk contains high quantity of growth hormones which are most harmful. Lactating cow in the dairy industry is impregnated with artificial insemination within 2 months of delivering a calf . A pregnant cow that also lactates is a storehouse of hormones – which are given –  for increasing milk – and that too due to  BIG GREED .

Shunning dairy and deep fried food, meat and all the junk food and instead turning to a healthy vegan diet which includes lot of fresh fruits and vegetable, is the way to getting healthy. This is the new fad and mantra. Adopt it for Reversing your Diabetes and Hypertension. 

We often say that vegan diet is deficient in calcium and proteins. The proteins that we get from meat is secondary protein, this protein is difficult for kidney to excrete. Lentils, Legumes, Sesame seeds ( have 10 times more calcium than milk ) and Millets from plant source is the best protein. Lentil Sprouts is ideal. Vegan diet also lacks omega-3 fatty acids- which is found in fish – but it is present in flax seeds, say the vegans. Vitamin D and B12  are 2 other supplements that you must be careful about, since vegan diet is deficient in both. Vitamin B12 must be taken through supplements. And the most important Vitamin D or Sunshine Vitamin( for bone health) – one must expose 70% of the body to sunlight for at least half an hour in the morning Sun, before noon, every day – say the experts.

Though it may seem difficult to begin with – to change to a vegan diet and shunning dairy and meat – yet a healthy beginning can be made. Choice is more pertinent in view of increasing Life style diseases which are on the rise in all societies. Give it a try?

REMAIN – FIGHTING FIT ( Informative Post)

 

It is hard to decide- What To Eat & What Not To – Anymore, but some rules are universal and constant, right ? Wrong. Here’s a look at some of the things you might think you’re doing right, but are not ….. said a piece by Snchita Sharma and Apoorva Dutt in Hindustan times dated April,12, 2015.

I think everyone must know this and  hence a gist of this information for wider circulation.

 5 Myths Debunked by the Authors

1. Myth : You must drink 8 glasses of water a day : Experts say that it is overall fluid throughout the day that matters, which includes water and water found naturally in fruits and vegetables, juices, milk and yoghurt, and even much abused diuretics such as tea and coffee. So, don’t loose your sleep over it. However, drinking more water has its benefits.

2. Myth : You need daily dose of Multi-Vitamins to stay Healthy : If you’re eating healthy, a multi vitamin will be flushed out of your system. Rather than taking a multi vitamin, eat all the food groups in right proportions. Only resort to multi vitamins if you have a pre-existing condition that necessitates extra nutrition. This also on proper medical advice.

3. Myth : You shouldn’t d eat carbs after 7 PM : What you eat matters much more than when you eat it. While your dinner should ne comparatively light, not eating carbohydrates will not matter, not if you are gorging all the time, so watch your frequency.

4. Myth : Low -fat or Sugar less is always better : Low fat food often contains extreme amounts of preservatives, additives and sodium to retain flavor, which are un-healthy. If not eaten in excess, good fats are healthy and keep you full for  longer hours. Cut on trans-fats and refined carbohydrates – such as bread, pasta and potatoes – and not worrying much about fresh sources of food.

5. Myth : Detoxes or cleanses will help your system : It can cause more damage than a piece of mithai or sweet because binging-starving system can destroy your digestive system. It is ideal to strike a balance . In parties – eat in moderation – this will help you a lot.

Enjoy your life and eat healthy.

7th April,2015- ‘WORLD HEALTH DAY’ -Let’s pledge to live healthy!

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) or Lifestyle Diseases in India are on the rise. 53% of all deaths are attributed to NCD’s. Cardiovascular disease is the major contributor of this burden.

Dr. T.S. Kler, Head of the Department of Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, said taht increasingly in urban areas people nowadays do not walk do not walk atall. Even for groceries they order on phone or order online or drive to the market. We do not climb stairs any more. We do not cycle to work – even children do not go outdoors to play – they instaed prefer to watch TV or use internet or mobile phones to play games.

EXERCISE – the most important physical activity for healthy living – is missing or has become extinct.

Food and nutritional intake has improved for majority of the population – OBESITY and midline obesity is increasing and is becoming the root cause of all Lifestyle disaeses.

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A REAL HEALTHSTYLE PROBLEM.

EXERCISE & HEALTHY EATING ARE THE KEYS TO HEALTHY LIVING.

Our generation must change our lifestyle. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY  – is an ABSOLUTE MUST !

We must eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid the tasty, easily availble junk food.

Eat moderate amount of fats, oily and fried food. Instaed eat Whole Food – Grains and Fruits – with its skin – wherever and whenever possible. Try to eat homecooked fresh food and less of preserved foods.

Eat less salt and sugar.

Safe and secure Food from farm to your plate.

Lat but not the least wash your hands, fruits and vegetables clean before eating . Food Safety is this World Health Day’s theme. 

OUR HEALTH IS IN OUR OWN HANDS !!

‘HEALTHY LIVING MUST START FROM TODAY’

Dr. Yogender Sharma

ARE YOU IN THE PINK

Some diseases have a gender bias, affecting more women than men.

Here is a list of some such conditions, which must be ruled out-on your road to good health.

1. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome : Young adolescent girls around 16 to 20.

Being Overweight, Sleepy with irregular menses-very common among city girls.

Test: Pelvic Ultrasound or Sonogram of Ovaries. Reveals multiple cysts in Ovaries.

Must consult your Gynecologist/Endocrinologist for proper treatment.

2. Anemia : Feeling of being tired and listless, pale looks, anxiety and mood swings. Common among pregnant and lactating women and adolescent girls.

Test : Hemoglobin less than 12gm/dl. Extreme untreated Anemia can lead to Heart failure, premature deliveries.

Easily avoidable condition by taking iron rich food,B12 and folate or use supplements under medical guidance.

3. Hypothyroid : Again very common at all ages during adulthood. Common cause in sudden weight gain. Affects metabolic rate ,  swelling around ankle, face, legs or other body parts. Hair loss, fatigue, depression and decreased concentration.

Symptoms go away after proper treatment.

Tests : T3,T4 and TSH.

4. Osteoporosis : Deficit of calcium and Vitamin D. Women in 30’s and above. Post               menopausal women. Bone health is affected.

Women must take 2 glasses of milk or serving of Yoghurt, pulses or leafy vegetables, sprouts or legume- particularly if vegetarian.

Test: Bone density test or DEXA Scan . Also Serum Ca. levels.

Focus on weight bearing exercises like walking, running, jogging, skipping . Must in young age.

5. Breast Cancer :   Family History is of great significance. Obesity leads to Insulin resistance. Is rising in India. Self examination for any breast lump is the key for early detection.

Test: Ultrasound & Mammography.

Consult your Gynecologist immediately for any early sign of lump.

Dr. Yogender Sharma