Thursday, July 27, 2017

AYURVEDIC BODY TYPE and Diet Recommendations

Ayurveda recommends foods for people according to their primary body type. The reason this is done is because it is believed foods can be both healing, and the source of imbalance and difficulties. By eating foods according to our Ayurvedic body type, the belief is that we will accumulate less Ama, or waste, in the body.

മലയാളം: കീഴാർ നെല്ലിയുടെ കായ
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Ayurveda, people are classified according to three principles, vata, kapha, and pitta. But it's important to understand that although we may be dominant in one principle, we actually have all three present in our body. The others are in a smaller ration. Most people will actually be a combination of two of these principles, with the third only playing a minor role. But because we all contain the three, any of them can get out of balance.

Pitta

Characteristics of Pitta dominant body types

* determination
* strong willed
* good digestion
* initiative
* energy
* passionate about many things

Ayurveda's Pitta constitution is calmed by cooling foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Bitter green vegetables like watercress, parsley, collards and most greens suit pitta. Fruits that suit pitta body types include sweet berries, sweet apples and apricots, coconut, figs, mango, sweet oranges and pineapples, plums, watermelon, pomegranates, and prunes.

Other cooling foods include most dairy products, though sour cream, hard cheeses, and yoghurt don't really suit pitta due to their being too high in fat, salt, or sour. But dairy that suits pitta includes milk, cottage cheese, soft cheeses, and ice cream!

Grains that suit pitta body types include barley, basmati rice, and wheat (unless you are allergic or gluten sensitive).

Pitta body types generally like a lot of protein, and they probably need a little more than the other Ayurvedic body types. Spices that are cooling in nature are also important. These include coriander, cumin, mint, parsley, dill and fennel. Garlic should be avoided though as it is too heating.

In terms of sweets, Pitta body types should use maple syrup, barley malt, brown rice syrup and honey that is 6 months or less old, preferably raw.

Things that can imbalance Pitta body types:

* excess heat, hot climates, and hot times of day
* humidity
* vacations and times when there is increased mobility
* excess oil in the diet
* too many hot foods, including spicy foods. But this can also mean too many cooked meals
* excess caffeine, salt, red meat and alcohol

Vata

Characteristics of people with a dominant Vata body type:

* flexibility
* quick mind
* creative
* always on the go - mentally and physically

Dietary choices that support vata aim at grounding this energy-in-motion. Routine is also very helpful, though not naturally something vata body type people will create! Vata people benefit from meditation, warmth, soothing music, taking breaks, and resting (again, not a natural vata inclination!).

With regards foods, vata body types should include warming spices, including ginger and cloves, anise, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, horseradish, caraway, mint, mustard seeds, parsley, cooked onion, paprika, rose water, vanilla, tarragon, thyme and rosemary.

People with the vata body type should minimize raw food, including salad, though salads should not be eliminated completely as they provide valuable nutrients. But vata should ground the salad with a dressing made from oil and vinegar, and be aware of the weather at the time of eating it. Being more sensitive to cold, vata's should have salads on warmer days.

Icy cold drinks are not balancing for vata - in fact quite the opposite. Sugar also throws vata types off balance, though vata are lucky in that they can enjoy other sweets.

Vata generally love fruit, and it suits their ayurvedic constitution. The exceptions are apples, pears, cranberries, watermelon and dried fruit. Vata types should go for sweet and moist fruit, like mangoes, nectarines, bananas, coconut, fresh figs, peaches, and strawberries.

Cooked grains like oatmeal, basmati rice, and brown rice, are very grounding for the vata ayurvedic constitution. Beans (legumes), on the other hand, are not! Beans are cold, dry, and heavy - not the attributes that support vata.

Things that can imbalance vata dominant body types include:

* a lot of travel, especially by plane
* loud noises
* constant stimulation
* drugs, sugar and alcohol
* cold climates (especially extremely cold ones) and cold food
* frozen and dried food



Kapha

Characteristics of people with a kapha dominant body type:

* strength
* stamina
* endurance
* groundedness
* calm
* fluid

Kapha body types are not suited to a high protein diet like the Atkins diet. Not only should they avoid too much fat, but also, excessive heavy protein. The kapha quality is already heavy, and although this doesn't sound great, it is what provides Kapha body types with a wonderful stability and strength.

Kapha should have light and low fat protein. Beans, with the exception of soy and soy products, are great for kapha. Soy milk is preferable to dairy though, for kapha. Beans help move kapha's energy, and digestive system, a bit. Barley is also excellent. In terms of meat, chicken and turkey suit kapha.

Kapha body types should have plenty of vegetables, including bitter vegetables, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, corn cobs, peas, beets, and celery.

Dairy is heavy and cooling, and it does not suit the Kapha ayurvedic body type. Light and crispy food, like corn tortillas and popcorn, suit kapha. Kapha people should make sure they have variety in their diet, as kapha body types have a danger of falling into a rut more than others.

Asian and Latin American style meals are great for kapha. They are spicy and light, free of dairy, and have plenty of vegetables in them.

Things that can imbalance Kapha body types:

* inertia
* too much fat in the diet, including oil we cook with!
* dairy products
* not enough stimulation and challenge
* not enough variety
* not enough exercise
* too much bread, iced foods and drinks, and sweets

References: Amadea Morningstar and Urmila Desai, The Ayurvedic Cookbook



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The 5 Animals Of KUNG FU

Also known as the Kung Fu fist forms, the 5 animals of Kung Fu are known all across the world, and are some of the deadliest martial arts you can study.  There are other specific fist styles in Kung Fu, although none of them are as powerful or as well known as the 5 animal styles.  As the name implies, these forms were derived from the animals in which they got their names from.

Students of Shaolin Kung Fu school perform ren...
Students of Shaolin Kung Fu school perform renowned shaolin kungfu (martial art). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



The Dragon Claw

The Dragon Claw is very well known, with the Chinese believing that this style comes directly from the ancient dragon.  This style uses an open hand technique that is used for controlling the opponent through grabbing and throwing.  Using an open hand technique, stylists may also use the fingers to poke as well.  Dragon Claw is very fast, very hard to defend against - and nearly impossible to predict.

The Leopard Claw
The Leopard Claw style utilizes a half opened fist.  The ideal striking method with Leopard is the ridge of the hand, which is formed by folding the fingers towards the palm of the hand, with the palm being the backup or secondary striking method.  Leopard Claw is very fast as well, and very lethal if the stylist has enough technique and power behind his strikes.

The Tiger Claw
Tiger Claw uses an open hand movement that is used for tearing and grabbing.  Tiger Claw is the most well known of the 5 animal system, and also one of the most well known forms of Kung Fu as well.  It isn’t affected by simply grabbing and gripping with the hand, but from the digging of the fingernails deep into the skin.  Once the fingernails have been embedded in the opponent’s skin, the Tiger Claw stylist can shred the skin right off the bone, tearing the opponent apart.  Tiger Claw is very powerful - and one of the deadliest forms in the world of martial arts.

The Snake Head
Snake Head resembles the attack of a snake in combat, using an open hand technique which requires the fingers to be held together tight, fully extended.  The tips of the finger form a very hard surface, used to attack the softest and most vital areas of the opponent.  In order to be effective, both hands need to be used together at the same time.

The Crane Beak
Crane involves the fingers being pressed together tightly, forming a striking surface at the base of the stylist’s fingertips.  Although the fingers can be conditioned to a high level of strength, most attacks using the Crane technique are focused towards the most vital areas of an opponent.

The 5 animal styles of Kung Fu are very popular, and very deadly.  Martial artists that know any of these forms are very deadly - and more than capable of defending themselves against anything that comes their way.


About ASTROLOGY

Astrology is the study of planetary position to determine the course of things ahead in life as well as event and details concerning past life or karma.  The earliest recording or sign of astrology was found in the 3rd millennium BC. Astrology has over the course of time, influenced culture, early astronomy and other disciplines.

Astrology
Astrology uses two ways of predicting the future – one is astrological transits and the other is astrological progressions. It is important to understand how both play, in the way a horoscope is read out and predications made. Astrological transits look into the movement of planets and the impact of such movements in space and n personal horoscope. Astrological progressions use a set of methods to determine how a horoscope ha s moved forward in time.  Now-a-days, astrologers no longer predict actual events.  Instead what they do is bring out various general astrological events in order to have better results and give importance to arbitrary and unrelated events.

There are three main astrological traditions. These are Vedic astrology, Western astrology and Chinese astrology. Vedic and western astrology make use of an astrological chart or horoscope and make their prediction using the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets. However, the point of difference between Vedic and Western astrology is in the linking of zodiac signs to their original constellations, which while is a feature not present in western astrology, but is considered of paramount importance in Vedic astrology.  The chief characteristic of Vedic astrology is in it’s use of nakshatras or lunar mansion and planetary periods known as dashas in future predictions.

Chinese astrology uses a means that is very different from Vedic and western astrology. Instead of diving zodiac signs according to the sky, they are divided according to the celestial equator. Every zodiac sign here stands for a year and the sign is combined with a system that uses the five elements of Chinese cosmology to give a 60 (12 x 5) year cycle. Chinese astrology is a method not just used in China, it is used in m many Asian countries.

Now, the question is – can the future be predicted by astrology? Yes to some extent. Astrology, though considered by many scientific thinkers as some sort of superstition, is actually a science because there is considerable study that goes into making each prediction. Reliable astrologers have been able to bring out future influences to accuracy, but accuracy also depends upon providing correct information and doing knowledgeable calculations. Of the many forms of astrological methods available nadi jyosiam is considered to be highly accurate as it is based on readings of past life taken from leave available in Videesvaran temple in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Stress-free Guide to Managing ANXIETY

Anxiety is a condition that is neither welcome nor enjoyable. This condition can effectively reduce a person’s productivity and ability to cope with various situations. Add to that the fact that periods of anxiety are uncomfortable and bring with it a host of nervous illnesses – palpitations, cold flushes, clammy hands, and a boiling sense of dread in the pit of the stomach among others.

While it has been the subject of many studies and researches, scientists are agreed that anxiety is still not fully understood even today. However, as a result of their researches, they have been able to help people effectively manage and avoid anxiety.



1. Avoid Stress – Stress is the greatest predisposing factor to anxiety attacks. If one is to avoid any anxiety-related illness, that person should reduce the amount of stressors experienced per day. 

While not completely avoidable, one can at least create an environment where stress plays a lesser role on they body. Make sure you put the stressors that can be avoided away from your immediate vicinity. You could try lounging in an area that is peaceful and quiet. 

You will be surprised at what a good five minutes of relaxation can do for a stressed-out body. You could also come up with good coping mechanisms for stress related issues. You could listen to soothing music, meditate, and do other relaxing activities.

2. Avoid Drinking and Other Substances – Studies have shown that various substances can predispose one to bouts of anxiety. These substances play around with the normal balance of chemicals in the brain, effectively increasing the chance one acquires anxiety illness.

While some people drink or take drugs to soothe their nerves it actually has a counter-effect that will discourage those that do so. Drugs for example can increase the release of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. 

Dopamine is a chemical that is associated with pleasure in the body. While activities such as sex and eating good food increase dopamine release anywhere from two to three times, drugs haywire the brain and cause an increase in dopamine anywhere from four to ten times. 


While this may seem like a good thing for some people, this sudden and unwarranted increase in dopamine can actually cause havoc to the chemical balance of the brain. And while it makes those that take them giddy for some time, when a person’s high wears off, the sudden loss of dopamine will induce a great amount of depression, stress, and anxiety.

3. Sleep Right – People need the right amount of sleep to retain a calm, restive demeanor. If you have noticed, you are usually a lot crankier and anxious the day after you pull an all-nighter. This is because sleep is a necessity for good health – physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Not only is the amount of sleep important, but the regular schedule for it as well. If possible keep your sleep patterns regular, as an irregular pattern can cause an undue amount of stress and anxiety.

4. Eat Right – The body needs certain nutrients to keep itself healthy. Not only does it need these nutrients for energy and building processes, it also needs certain nutrients to keep the chemical balance in the body at normal rates. 

This makes the intake of healthy food important. The intake of the right kind of food is integral to the health and well-being of any person. Anxiety is, as studies have shown, directly related to diet.

Avoid taking food substances that can alter your body chemistry in the wrong way. Coffee and alcohol are some of the food stuffs that can play with one’s chemical balance and cause anxiety as well.



Monday, July 24, 2017

Hemorrhoids Relief and Treatment with AROMATHERPY

Aromatherapy currently enjoys steadily increasing popularity as a method of treatment for hemorrhoids these days, but aromatherapy can often be confusing to the average person. What is it? How does it work? Does it even work at all? These are valid questions that should be asked of any regimen of treatment. When properly used and understood, aromatherapy offers beneficial, at home treatment of hemorrhoids.

budding lavender farm
Lavender - Photo by woodleywonderworks 
First, it is helpful to understand precisely what aromatherapy is and is not. Aromatherapy is not magic. It does not imply that merely by sniffing a particular scent your ills will be cured. In point of fact, aromatherapy is a bit of a misleading term. Properly speaking, it should be labeled as plant-based medication that is taken either by inhalation, according to the same principle by which asthma inhalers work, or topically through the skin, just as ointments and creams work. The essential oils used in aromatherapy are medications, and just as chemically complicated and potentially dangerous as any other medications.

In fact, essential oils are generally not oils at all. They are concentrated liquids that are extracted from plants by various means that include simmering, steaming, and condensation. Due to these methods, it generally takes quite a bit of plant matter to equal a proportionally tiny amount of essential oils. Fortunately for one's pocketbook, essential oils are used only in minute quantities due to their level of concentration. As an example, some studies have shown that essential oil of oregano is such a powerful antiseptic that 1 part oregano oil to 4000 parts water will sterilize the water. It would be impossible to use on a human being undiluted, it would be far too powerful. Therefore, essential oils are always diluted in a carrier oil or water before use. Also, due to the concentration level, essential oils should never be taken by mouth without the supervision of a qualified herbalist who is familiar specifically with aromatherapy.

Essential oils are also usually quite volatile, which means that the active, medicinal chemicals in them evaporate quickly when exposed to air. Therefore, essential oils are kept in tightly closed, dark glass bottles, in pure form, until right before they are to be used. Then, and only then, they are mixed with the carrier that dilutes them to their proper strength. If a prepared blend is left exposed to oxygen for even a day, the actual medication is probably gone. It may still smell nice, and can be used for that purpose, but don't expect to get the therapeutic effect anymore.

There are two different ways to treat hemorrhoids with essential oils, and these can be used together. The first method involves a shallow bath of hot water. This method should only be done in a bathtub, as the dosages given are not meant for a sitz-bath that fits over the toilet. Run a shallow, hot bath, and sprinkle twenty drops of lavender and twenty drops of juniper essential oils. Swish through the water with your hand to make sure that they are well mixed in the water, and soak for twenty minutes. To use the other method, you'll also need a carrier oil of some kind. The most popular carrier oil for aromatherapy is sweet almond oil, but apricot oil also works well. In a pinch, the vegetable oil that is used for baking can work, but this is not optimal as it is practically guaranteed to have some impurities. Blend two drops of lavender and one drop of geranium oil with one ounce of the carrier oil, and apply to the area as you would an ointment.

Always test yourself for allergies to essential oils by diluting one drop in a small amount of carrier oil and dabbing it on the inside of your elbow. Leave it there for twenty-four hours and check closely for a reaction. If you are allergic to an essential oil, it is important to know before applying it to such a sensitive and tender area of your body. In addition, should you start to have any skin reactions during treatment, immediately cease all aroma therapeutic treatments immediately, along with anything else you've been placing on your skin. Given these cautions, however, aromatherapy has offered relief and treatment to many people who are suffering from hemorrhoids. In combination with a diet and lifestyle change, these aromatherapy treatments should clear up the problem in no time.



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Definition Of CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is the use of chemical agents to treat or control diseases. It works by killing fast dividing cells like cancerous cells and other healthy cells which include hair follicles, bone marrow, reproductive system etc.

English: Cancer cells photographed by camera a...
Cancer cells photographed by camera attached to microscope in time-lapse manner.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You would get anxious at the mention of chemotherapy for above reasons but there is not much cause for worry as healthy cells regenerate fast after the therapy is complete. Chemotherapy is either used exclusively or in combination with radiation or surgical therapies.

Advantages
Unlike radiation, which kills cancer cells in the target area, chemotherapy is universal and treats the entire body. This attacks the untreated cancer cells from the previous cancer too. Doctors use chemotherapy depending on the spread and type of cancer to

·Destroy cancer cells from the body, no withstanding its wide spread
·Prolong life expectancy by controlling cancer growth and spread
·Alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life

Chemotherapy Types and Methodology
Chemotherapy is not always based on a single drug for the fear of developing resistance to the drug. On the other hand a combination has different actions at the cellular level and kills more cancer cells preventing further spread. Your doctor decides on the combination considering your age, tolerance limit, and health. Mind you, all such combinations are tested on patients with similar conditions.

A few representative types.

1.Alkylating agents, deter the replication of DNA, prevents cancer cell growth.
2.Antimetabolites, block the enzyme supply to cancer cells on which they thrive.
3.Anti-tumor antibiotics change cell membranes by blocking enzyme supply led cell division. These are not the general antibiotics.
4.Nitrosoureas obstruct the ways DNA is repaired by enzymes.
5.Mitotic inhibitors inhibit cell division by hindering enzymes essential in the cell reproduction.

Chemotherapy is administered cyclically considering the type of drugs and your condition. Chemotherapy drugs travel thru the entire body, so there are four ways devised for administration.

1.Intravenous method where drug is injected into your veins.
2.Oral chemotherapeutic pills to swallow.
3.Topical application (ointments) for skin cancers.
4.Intramuscular injection.

Side Effects
On the lighter side there are side effects like vomiting, nausea, hair loss, dry mouth, constipation and loss of appetite etc. Beware, some problems like damages to heart, lungs and kidneys show much after the treatment. Urinating blood and nervous damage and attack of secondary cancers like lymphoma, leukemia is not ruled out.