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Dr MUKESH BATRA The homeopathic Conium personality RYAN HARRISON All about metabolic syndrome

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Joint action

HOMEOPATHY & DEPRESSION

THE ‘BLUES’ UNPLUGGED

Spiritual parenting Burn that fat fast Asin’s wellness mantra

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Vol 1. Issue 3. MARCH 2015

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INSIDE

Vol 1. Issue 3. MARCH 2015

Editorial Advisory Board Chairman| Dr Mukesh Batra Vice-Chairman| Dr Akshay Batra Editor & Publisher Dr Rajgopal Nidamboor rajgopal.nidamboor@homeopathyandyou.com Assistant Editor Kavita Nadkarni Head-Sales & Marketing Kiran Joshi Manager-Marketing J Chaitanya Kumar chaitanya.kumar@homeopathyandyou.com Contributing Writers Maneka Gandhi, New Delhi, India Dr Richard Firshein, New York, US Kerry Dulin, Michigan, US Nelressa Stallings, New Jersey, US Alan Jones, Wiltshire, UK Ambika Shukla, New Delhi, India Radhanath Swami, US/India Badrinath Durvasula, Mumbai, India Ruby Lilaowala, Mumbai, India Dr Preeti Mandawewala, Mumbai, India Amita Quenim, Goa, India Ryan Harrison, Los Angeles, US Vinesh Sukumaran, Bengaluru, India Eusebio Jason Fernandes, Goa, India Kiron B Shenoy, Colombo, Sri Lanka Design HB Design Pvt Ltd Subscriptions subscriptions@homeopathyandyou.com Website: www.homeopathyandyou.com E: editorial@homeopathyandyou.com Tel: 022-3367 1200 Fax: 022-3027 1415 Printed and published by Rajgopal Nidamboor for and on behalf of Dr Mukesh Batra, 33, Maker Towers-H, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai - 400 005 and printed by him at Parksons Graphics Private Limited, 12 Todi Estate, Behind Post Office, Sun Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai - 400 013. Editor & Publisher: Rajgopal Nidamboor © All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, in any manner, without prior written permission prohibited. Disclaimer: Homeopathy & You is committed to providing useful information on homeopathy, health and wellness. However, its content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis for individual problems, or inferred to be a substitute for professional medical guidance. It is imperative for readers to consult their doctor/healthcare professional or therapist, prior to starting any treatment, or practice, or attending to any questions thereto. The opinions expressed by writers and columnists are their own. They do not, in any way, or manner, reflect the views of the publisher, editor, or company.

6 5 Letters 6 Focus: Homeopathy treats depression safely

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Homeopathic ‘Sunsigns: Know your personality; know your remedy. Dr Mukesh Batra distils the homeopathic Conium, this month

17 Medical Marvels: Case reviews from homeopathic doctors

20 How Homeopathy Helped Me 21 Q&A: Doctor’s Orders 22 Child Health: Emotional problems and homeopathy

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Quintessence: Joint action

31 What Lies Beneath: Signature doctrine in homeopathy

33 Home[e]o Truths: Homeopathy in injury and trauma

37 Living Well: Metabolic Syndrome 41 Spiritual parenting 55 Pot-Pourri 56 Fitness Equipment 57 Top of Mind 58 Health Happenings 60 The Goodness of black cumin seeds 61 Read. Watch. Listen. Explore 62 Celeb Fitness: Asin

22 COLUMNS

44 Good For You: Richard Firshein 45 Fighting Fit: Kerry Dulin 46 Whole & Soul: Radhanath Swami 48 P  oise & Balance: Preeti Mandawewala

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L  ife Coach: Vinesh Sukumaran C  orporate Wellness: Badrinath Durvasula

53 Mixed Bag: Ruby Lilaowala


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LETTER OF THE MONTH I am a chartered accountant. I come from a family of homeopaths. I have had the opportunity of listening to discussions on homeopathic personality types at the dining table. For me, they sound so much like ‘sun signs,’ though they are not. Homeopathic personality pictures, I’ve always felt, ought to have a deeper meaning. The articles I’ve been reading on such personality types in your magazine have taken my basic understanding to the next level. I’m only happy for it. Asoke Bhattacharya, Kolkata

Our February issue evoked a gratifying response. Do write in with your comments, suggestions and even criticism that will help us and our readers to get better. Every month one ‘best’ letter will be awarded. Please E-mail your feedback/comments to

editorial@homeopathyandyou.com

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WRITE FOR US!

QUALITY CONTENT I am impressed with your magazine. I always find stories about people cured with homeopathic remedies interesting and useful. I have taken homeopathic treatment earlier and with good effect. V K Thomas, Chennai INSPIRING MAGAZINE I came across your March 2015 issue and I must say it is stunning. I would like to lay my hands on and read all your previous issues. Please let me know as to how you’d help fulfil my need. Brajesh Mishra, via E-mail ‘A CUT ABOVE THE REST’ I actually picked up your magazine at a friend’s place and glanced through it with interest, because I have always been a fan of homeopathy. I have been reading articles and information on homeopathy, primarily on the ‘Net. I’ve also read a couple of homeopathic magazines that are published for the lay reader in India and abroad. I find your magazine a cut above them, not only in terms of quality, and well-written content, but also for your excellent production values. Please keep up the good work! S Ramanathan, via E-mail HOMEOPATHY IN DENTISTRY I’ve been told the use of homeopathy in dentistry is a valuable innovation and that it opens up several new treatment opportunities, because, as my dentist says, some early symptoms of systemic illness first appear in the oral cavity. I, as an avid follower of homeopathy, feel that the application of homeopathy in dentistry should expand, and this would be beneficial to patients. I’d appreciate if you’d feature an in-depth article, on the subject, in one of your forthcoming issues. Mukul Dalvi, via E-mail

Homeopathy & You is looking for quality articles [600-800 words] on homeopathy, health, wellness, and lifestyle, that reflect the spirit of our publication. Professional homeopathic doctors may E-mail their ‘best’ cases [and, ‘best’ letters from their patients] too!

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HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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FOCUS

HOMEOPATHY & DEPRESSION

THE ‘BLUES’ UNPLUGGED Depression is as old as the hills. It is also as common as the common cold. No need to despair. Homeopathy has the natural ‘ammo’ to beat your ‘blues’ without side-effects. By Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR

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o one is exempt from depression, the ‘common cold’ of psychiatric illness. We all go through it sometime, or the other — each in our own way. Besides, we all react to life’s innumerable problems differently. Medical research suggests that there may be a biochemical foundation to depressive responses. Or, depression may be ‘biologically-, or genetically-based.’ • Neurotransmitters in the brain are evidenced to be a likely cause of depression. Neurotransmitters are chemicals released across a small space between a neuron, the basic unit of the nervous system, and the receptive site of another neuron [synapse]. • Low levels of one neurotransmitter — norepinephrine

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— at the receptor sites are believed to trigger, or cause, depression. • Certain conventional medications —anti-hypertensives, or medications used to treat high blood pressure — may also be a likely trigger. Sadness and a host of negative feelings are all normal reactions to a serious loss and/or tragic event. Also, everyone suffers, now and then, from a mild case of ‘blues,’ or ‘minor’ depression. Likewise, a severe decline in one’s mood may also occur as a reaction to lack of sunlight, through the winter months, or changes in the inner biological clock that runs us all — especially during new or full moon nights. The former is called


SAD [seasonal affective disorder]. They are all to blame in the anatomy of depression. SYMPTOMS • Negativity in all aspects of life: a feeling of pessimism, or belief that nothing can make your life better • Changes in sleep patterns: sleeplessness; disturbed sleep, getting up too early, or sleeping more than is necessary • Changes in eating patterns: lack of or change in appetite, or eating too little or too much • Fatigue; difficulty in concentrating or making decisions • Isolation, withdrawal from people, and neglecting your appearance • Persistent sadness; self-disgust • Reduced libido • Failure to experience pleasure [anhedonia] • Social withdrawal, digestive disturbances, gloom and, in certain cases, suicidal behaviour. • Depression is also clearly on the ascendant in the elderly age-group today — the ‘trigger’ being post-retirement blues, loss of spouse and nuclear families, or grown-up children living separately. FACT-FILE • Research indicates that people who are depressed have learned to be depressed. Clinicians also suggest that a person who develops symptoms of depression may have few close relationships and receive little social support from those that do exist. Social support, in the form of family and friends, often acts as a ‘cushion’ against stress • For the most part, ‘major’ depression is usually unrelenting, or insensate, to external events. It may, however, show a ‘fall’ in intensity towards the evening hours, with worsening of symptoms in the morning, alongside a noticeable reduction as the day goes on • Lack of energy is a common symptom, so also lack of interest, poor concentration and difficulty in sustaining attention. Individuals with such symptoms often grumble of difficulty in reading the newspaper or magazine, or even watching a television serial, or programme

• Some depressed individuals may report of a funny feeling on the skin, or distasteful taste, or smell. In rare instances, they may feel they ‘stink,’ smell awful, or bad. Some depressed individuals may present with symptoms only during autumn or winter [seasonal affective disorder, or SAD], with heightened appetite, weight gain and drowsiness. A craving for carbohydrates is also a ‘classical’ facet. While surveys suggest that depression is widespread, studies signify that anti-depressants, the mainstay of conventional treatment, provide no more than modest benefits, not to speak of adverse side-effects. Besides, 40-60 per cent of depressed patients experience ‘relapses’ after conventional treatment. This exemplifies why there is a need for effective, natural alternatives, such as homeopathy. Homeopathy ‘distils’ and diagnoses the type of depression a person has; it does not just look at the apparent symptoms in isolation. It analyses each person [mind-body] as a completely unique individual. This holistic approach relates to the individual’s personality, temperament, sensitivities and also sensibilities. Depressive symptoms are among the most common complaints in medical practice. Yet, not all cases come to the attention of doctors. Statistics suggests that the risk of depression over a lifetime is approximately seven out of ten for women; and, four out of ten in men. There is also more than an iota of conflict between ‘normal’ depressive symptoms and ‘milder’ forms of depressive disorders. This is because it is only the more severe forms of depression that present with a qualitative distinction from normality and get treated. This is also one major reason why for homeopathic treatment to succeed it is always important to know how long the depressed mood has been present, or whether it has been present all the time. Or, for how long has it prompted the individual to ‘hide themselves away.’ Or, there are thoughts of ‘self-harm’ or suicidal tendencies. Or, whether anything relieves, or worsens it. Or, whether one’s moody blues shows any ‘unprompted’ dissimilarity in severity. CASCADING EFFECT Depression may affect one’s memory. Although recall of information is unaffected, registration of new material may be difficult. Depression may also affect one’s speed of thinking, as also movement. This is referred to as psychomotor retardation. In severe cases, depressed individuals may not so much care about their appearance. This may lead to crumpled clothes, or want of dressing sense. The depressed individual may also present with a sad and dejected countenance or facial expression. But, not always — because in certain severe cases, the person may put up a brave face and attempt to ‘appear’ normal. This is sometimes referred to as smiling depression. It is, therefore, imperative for someone in the family or HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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close circle to make an objective judgment on the basis of ‘covered outward show’ and solicit medical attention for the depressed individual. A weeping tendency may be looked into against the background of recent life happenings, the patient’s cultural and social background and gender too. There is a possibility, that in some depressed patients, the most perceptible emotion may not be utter despair, but just bad temper or aggression. Other things that may emerge on the visage of things are poor self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, or guilt. The depressed individual may also impulsively make self-demeaning comments — “I’m just not good enough.” It may help if one in the family or close circle could carefully tap into suicidal thoughts, if any. This can help to reassure patients, whose feelings about ending their own life may have aroused them to feel that they were going crazy, or foolish. Picture this. When the depressed individual responds favourably to a question such as, “Have things gone wrong so badly that life is not worth living?” it could be a clue as to whether a means of suicide has been measured. If this is so, one should find out what plans have been made to carry out the attempt or whether one will act on such intentions. Yet another ‘peek’ is to figure out whether the person has any hope for the future. The conviction that all is fruitless and that there is no getting away from present despair, when accompanied by suicidal thoughts, indicates a high risk that such intentions may, after all, be acted upon, or followed through. Abnormal beliefs and perceptions in depression in some dejected individuals may lead to what is called delusional intensity, or extremely depressive moods. This may include delusions of worthlessness, along with self-delusory ideas. There may also be feelings of guilt or blame, along with continual worrying over real or imagined past behaviour. In some cases, depressed individuals may think that they are ‘worse than devils.’ Some — especially depressed, or traumatised soldiers, may also, likewise, think that they are responsible for certain disasters — including deaths during war. Sometimes, beliefs such as these may lead to persecution of self. In such instances, the depressed person may feel that they deserve to be tormented and punished. In certain cases, the delusory individual may also believe that some part of one’s anatomy has disappeared, withered, or ‘flushed out’ while passing stools. There may also be hallucinations — this may, however, not be vivid as in schizophrenia — where individuals can hear imaginary voices in the ear [déjà entendu]. Psychomotor disturbance in the form of slow speech and depressive daze may manifest — with loss of appetite. There may also be agitation, with repetitive facial appearance of pain and gloom. Physical movements such as wringing of hands, pacing up and down the aisle, along with self-castigation, such

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as banging the head against a wall, or pulling hair [trichotillomania], may be present. In certain instances, but not in all cases of depression, there may also be symptoms of anxiety with ‘reversed functional shift.’ In other words, the individual will not show the ‘classical’ early morning waking, reduced appetite and weight loss. Instead, they may show symptoms of drowsiness, a tendency to sleep all through the day, along with increased appetite and weight gain. HOW COMMON IS DEPRESSION? Low-grade, or ‘minor,’ depression is a common emotional experience. Most people feel ‘under the weather’ from time to time. Moderate to severe depression affects one in five individuals some time in their lives. College students are reportedly at higher risk of developing depression because the seminary milieu is often challenging and stressful. Studies show that one in three college students experience depression severe enough to blight their ability to function at some point during their undergraduate years. In fact, college students have a higher than average rate of suicide. A host of factors play a role in whether a person is depressed, viz., — • Biochemical factors. Chemical imbalances in the brain can cause depression. Depression can also be caused by certain medications, infections and illnesses. • Genetic patterns. Research indicates depression tends to run in families. • Individual personality. People who are self-critical, extremely fastidious and demanding, or are dependent or pessimistic, may be prone to depression. • Negative attitudes. Viewing yourself and the world in a negative manner can lead to depression. • Seasonal influences. It is common for people to become depressed during dark winter months [seasonal affective disorder, or SAD].


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• Situational influences. Life events such as illness or disability, lack of job, job loss, or financial stress, loss of relationships, death of loved ones, and failure or disappointment can ‘prompt’ depression. Difficult family, work or social situations can also cause depression. • Substance use. Drug and alcohol use often results in a depressed mood either as a side-effect or as a withdrawal effect. Depression, to emphasise again, is not just one disorder. Clinicians classify depressive disorders differently depending on factors, such as severity, duration, lifestressors, and the presence of other medical problems. Nonetheless, all depressive disorders are identified by the presence of a combination of the following patterns which highlight a change from a person’s usual mood or behaviour. • Depressed or irritable mood most days for the majority of each day • Total or noticeable loss of pleasure or interest most of the time • Significant change in appetite, weight or both • Sleep problems [insomnia or excessive sleepiness] almost every night • Feelings of agitation or a sense of intense sluggishness • Loss of energy and an irresistible feeling of fatigue • Sense of guilt and insignificance nearly all the time • Feelings of despondency and helplessness • Inability to concentrate nearly every day • Recurrent thoughts of death, or suicide. POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION A new study conducted at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, US, reports that women with post-partum depression may experience any of three distinct subtypes of clinical presentation, and each of them has important implications for their prognosis and the tailoring of treatments. The clinical characteristics found to be most relevant in defining the three subtypes were the timing of symptom onset [beginning during pregnancy or after birth], the severity of symptoms [including thoughts of suicide], a history of a previous mood disorder and whether or not a woman had medical complications during pregnancy

or childbirth. In particular, women who experienced symptoms during pregnancy may be at risk for more severe post-partum depression than those whose symptoms begin after birth. According to Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, Director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders and corresponding collaborator of the study, “Clinicians should be aware of the diverse presentation of women with post-partum depression.” The study was published in the The Lancet Psychiatry [January 2015]. In the study, data from more than 10,000 women collected in previous studies were analysed using a statistical technique called latent class analysis. This technique has been widely used in psychiatry and other medical disciplines and is considered appropriate for data that examines the presence or absence of symptoms. It is called PACT [Post-partum Depression: Action Towards Causes and Treatment], which includes more than 25 investigators in seven countries. PACT was founded and is co-led by UNC researchers in the departments of psychiatry and genetics. PACT members include investigators interested in mood disorders and/ or perinatal mood disorders, with a focus on both the clinical symptoms and the underlying biological and genetic contributions of such disorders. Notes Meltzer-Brody, “A thorough assessment of a women’s history is necessary to guide appropriate clinical and treatment decisions.” She adds, “We now understand that post-partum depression can have onset of symptoms that may begin in pregnancy. Improved understanding of the differences in clinical presentation of post-partum depression impacts the implementation and interpretation of screening, diagnosis, treatment, and research of perinatal mood disorders. We are now working to apply our findings from this work to future biological and genetic studies of depression in women across the perinatal period.” HEALING WITH HOMEOPATHY Thirty-five-year-old Jayanti was brought to us by her husband with depression for over five years; she was on anti-depressants ever since. She was listless, not

SELF-HELP • Sit quietly; think what exactly is disturbing you • Take a good look at how you respond to daily events • See how you can make adjustments to reduce your stress levels • Don’t blame others for your problems • Exercise regularly for 20-30 minutes, 4-5 times a week; or, go for a 30-minute walk, 4-5 times a week. Exercise helps to release endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ chemicals • Eat healthy and nutritious food, with 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables, everyday • Avoid sugar and caffeine. Remember: sugar and caffeine

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raise your stress levels • Develop a hobby to take your mind away from stressful distress • Try relaxation, yoga, meditation, listening to soft, soulful music [with less than 60 beats per minute] • Become socially involved; watch a TV comedy show. Laugh your stresses out • Consult and follow-up your doctor, if you are not able to manage your depressive spells, with simple measures, or when self-help measures do not provide ‘real-time’ relief.


interested in any activity, and would sit near the window gazing at the horizon for hours. She was also aloof to her husband and their two children. When we analysed her case, we found that she had developed depression following surgery which involved the removal of her uterus, because of a tumour. Since the ovaries were also removed along with the uterus, she developed hormonal imbalance, a ‘feeling of a void’ and subsequently her depression. We prescribed her the homeopathic remedy, Sepia Officinalis, based on her listless indifference towards her loved ones, coupled with her hormonal imbalance. When she came for one of her follow-ups, after 4-5 months, with her husband, she was a changed woman. She had started, as her husband confirmed, to taking interest in her daily activities and was more loving and caring towards her family. Most individuals with depression present with common symptoms, but these symptoms come about as a result of different causes. While treating depression, the likely ‘cause’ of what could have possibly led to depression often helps your homeopathic doctor in choosing the right homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy, which is safe and free of medicinallyinduced side-effects, diagnoses the type of depression a person is experiencing, not just the problem by its name alone; it looks at each person [holistically] as a completely unique individual. This is not merely based on the symptoms experienced during the illness, but also on one’s personality or temperament, besides the likely cause of the health concern. Moody blues, or depression, are a part of life; more so, in winter. Blame it on reduced production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical in the brain, and sunlight. But, the real problem lies in identifying depression as awful and suppressing it with anti-depressant drugs. This often leads to a chronic state. Besides, anti-depressants don’t address the basis of our emotions. They also interrupt the body’s natural healing response and cause side-effects. Homeopathy helps to process depression plausibly. Homeopathic remedies permit us to come to terms with the probable cause of depression, while, at the same time, they relieve and heal moody blues without side-effects. The homeopathic remedy, Ignatia Amara, for example, relieves acute depression, safely and gently. It was just the other day that we prescribed the homeopathic remedy to a patient who was traumatised by the death of his doting mother. He reported that he felt “emotionally better and more in control,” sooner than he expected, while dealing with his irreplaceable loss. Homeopathy believes that symptoms are the body’s signals and unsuccessful attempts to re-establish balance and health. Symptoms, homeopathy also suggests, should not be suppressed. This is reason why it prescribes medicinal substances that ‘mimic’ the symptoms of a given disorder. In addition, homeopathy

analyses our behaviours and attitudes; it traces, in like manner, the distinctive patterns of depression. This helps to speed up its disappearance. Every individual, homeopathy suggests, has unique attitudes, sensibilities and genetic inclinations. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed on the basis of this uniqueness. To illustrate an example — one of our patients, a bright, young man and successful management professional, had this uncanny tendency to get depressed quickly at work during fall. He would smoke heavily to counter the problem. While analysing his case, we found that there was a strong sense of rejection, which dated back to his childhood. We gave him the homeopathic remedy, Medorrhinum. It helped him to overcome his wintry blues and nicotine dependence. It also restored the spark back into his work. The next time you feel depressed, as a result of an internal or external problem, or internalised resentment, speak to your homeopathic doctor. A suitable homeopathic remedy, selected on the basis of your overall symptom picture, will quickly ‘jazz-up’ your mood.  CATCH ’EM YOUNG Emotional or psychological illnesses in children are on the rise.  An increasing number of children are being diagnosed nowadays with anxiety problems, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], and autism. Over sixty years ago, children suffered and often died from simple illnesses, such as infections or even skin diseases. Today, ‘[peer] pressure-generated’ illnesses affect children at the core of their being, from where they become chronic. Today, children aren’t growing up like children because of the constant pressure to excel in school, sports and extra-curricular activities. Add to this HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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parental pressure, and you are looking at a pressurecooker environment. Only a handful of kids can cope with this load. Most don’t. These are the ones that need our focus and attention. For children to blossom and grow, we need parents that are truly mature and responsible. It is frightening to have adults who would allow or encourage the use of anti-depressants for a depressed youngster who may then remain, or depend, on them for life. We want children to grow up as normally as possible. Homeopathy is extremely useful for all types of psychological problems. It helps to restore children to their natural state of health, effectively and safely. Homeopathy believes in individualised treatment where healing is targeted at the entire system, not just at a specific disorder or illness. It takes into account the individual temperament and characteristics of each individual child and prescribes treatment accordingly. For instance, an oversensitive, depressed child who is prone to asthma-like symptoms and dependent on his/ her mother for emotional support may be effectively treated with the homeopathic remedy, Silicea. A differently-natured child with the same asthma-like symptoms will receive a completely different remedy. Homeopathy lays the greatest emphasis on treating the source of various emotional problems too. This is primarily because emotional and psychological problems often appear at the deepest, most protected level.  This is also precisely where the overall healing process for our children must begin.  The right homeopathic remedy produces a noticeable beneficial change. Most important: homeopathy does not ‘trick’ nature, or its laws. It simply regulates the natural balance that may have been disturbed to restore children to their optimal health and wellness. HOMEOPATHY IS EFFECTIVE IN DEPRESSION Studies suggest that conventional treatment and antidepressants provide no more than modest benefit over placebo [dummy pills], not to speak of adverse sideeffects. Besides, 40-60 per cent of depressed patients experience relapses after conventional treatment. This exemplifies why there is a need for natural alternatives, especially homeopathy. Depression is one of the most commonly treated conditions by homeopaths worldwide. In a 6-year study of 6,544 patients, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 205 patients were treated with homeopathy for depression. 71 per cent of these patients improved. In another review of 1,783 patient conditions, published in Homeopathy, depression was the most frequently treated condition. 63.06 per cent of depressed patients, among them, experienced significant improvement with homeopathy. Yet another

randomised, double-blind study of 55 patients, suffering from moderate-to-severe depression, found homeopathy to be as effective as anti-depressant drugs. There was no evidence of side-effects, following homeopathic treatment. The British Homoeopathic Journal reports that of 120 ‘psychoneurotic’ patients treated homeopathically, in a clinical study, 79 per cent improved after six months. Dr Jack Cooper, chief psychiatrist, in a New York prison, has found that homeopathy dramatically improved the health and well-being of treated inmates. Suicides dwindled to zero. The inference is obvious. Homeopathy not only helps patients, who first and foremost suffer, or have problems to recover, from depression; it is also shown to reduce ‘related’ depression in patients having fibromyalgia, or following oestrogen withdrawal — in cases of breast cancer. Depression affects over 250 million people worldwide. It accounts for 4-5 per cent of total shortterm disability days; in 76 per cent of such cases, the employee, as statistics suggests, is a woman. It is also reported that employers are losing an estimated Rs 4,500 crore, a year in lost productivity, directly related to depression. A study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that an employee with depression averaged 27.02 lost workdays per year, from absence or poor performance on the job. Homeopathy has the potential to offer a fairly costeffective, effectual and safe alternative treatment plan for depression, in comparison to conventional medicine, while contributing significantly to reduced lost workdays — without side-effects.

Dr Rajgopal Nidamboor is a board certified wellness physician, independent researcher and editor-publisher, H&Y

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WHAT’S YOUR TYPE: YOUR PERSONALITY

CONIUM: OF DUALITY & SUSCEPTIBLE SENSITIVITY The homeopathic remedy, Conium, is derived from hemlock. It is eminently suitable for individuals who exude a dull countenance — a hidden reflection of some illness and a ‘long-lost’ feeling within their own perimeter of thought.

T

and applied in cancer states, not to speak of high he hemlock plant traces its origins to libido, or extreme sexual urge. Europe and Asia. It is surmised, through By Dr MUKESH Hemlock was used to poison and execute the antiquity, to be a corollary to other BATRA great Greek philosopher Socrates — this was species, such as fennel and parsley. The only done by the administration of a cup of extracted thing that differentiates them is — hemlock hemlock. Greek philosopher Plato’s documentation of is an awfully poisonous plant, while fennel and parsley Socrates’ execution is a gripping testimony to the whole, are not. Hemlock also encases a toxic concoction — a tragic saga. It describes Socrates’ death as progressing powerful, deadly blend of alkaloids that is both soporific paralysis — one that eventually brought his untimely end and tranquillising. Toxicology records contend that taking through suffocation [asphyxiation] that also paralysed his just a tiny part of the plant results in motor paralysis — respiratory system. this also includes the cardiac and the respiratory systems The hemlock plant is not something you’d describe — and, subsequent death. as attractive, if not alluring. It produces clusters of Legend has it that the ancient Greeks used hemlock pale white flowers, all right, while the plant itself may as a ‘state poison’ to execute criminals. Gaius Plinius grow up to six feet in height with its stem enveloping Secundus and Pedanius Dioscorides, the famed Roman characteristic spots having a reddish-purple hue. The naturalists and physicians, used the herb for medicinal homeopathic remedy, Conium Maculatum, was proved by purposes — as a healing remedy for skin, liver and Dr Samuel Hahnemann, MD, the founder of homeopathy. nervous disorders. Besides, formulations were tested HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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The homeopathic Conium is suitable for individuals who exude a dull countenance — a hidden reflection of some illness. While the illness may make them feel exhausted and also goad them to emote a sense of latent expression that they are ‘long-lost’ in their own perimeter of thought, what actually characterises them is their yearning for wealth. In other words, the homeopathic Conium personality exhibits a ‘closed’ fondness for money, if not material objects or sheer grandeur of wealth. Most ailments make Conium express remorse — the outcome is palpable. Depression, with more than an element of open sensitivity to dazzling light and sound. This also has a cascading effect over a period of time — where one’s innate anxieties trouble and torment them no end. This triggers a sense of self-castigation too, followed by a belief in religion, ethics and morality. In other words, everything brings a sense of culpability — with one great mode of overcoming negativity, in the chronicle of depression untold, being faith. Most Conium individuals visualise a world full of enemies, who have just one agenda — to persecute and harm them. The fallout is imminent — a trembling sense of restlessness, juxtaposed by a frightened and easily startled facial expression, along with extreme hypersensitivity to all impressions. Conium celebrates sentimentality with a jealous portent — of envy that drives one to sexual excitement. The result is the personality desires company and feels better in company, although their sluggish conversational skills make them uninteresting. However this may be, Coniums are outspoken — candid to a fault. Picture Socrates — who was extremely forthright, yet practically balanced. But, the fact is, notwithstanding all their

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‘openness’ to verbalise, Coniums tend to hold back more than a tad, when it comes to being close to their ‘flame.’ They may, in like manner, express aloofness, or dissatisfaction, for acquisitiveness, or wealth, yet in their subterranean, inner world they stockpile and hold on to items, or ideas, making them priceless and even antique. The irony also is there is often a nascent, undulating conflict — with their inner chronicle ticking from deep within, all the time, and progressively corroding to making them appear somewhat illogical. Everything impresses Conium, but with a different tenor — of a sense of gloom, weeping with audible noise, or sombre thoughts. They feel, when left alone, as the epitome of complete solitude. When their sentiments are not valued, they may heap wild abuses, or the choicest of unpleasant verbal salvo. Put simply, in such a mood or state, they exemplify hostility and destruction. Coniums don’t like contradiction, much less criticism too. They are proud of themselves to the point of being arrogant — this is the chasm that ‘separates’ them from building a strong bond with their family, more so children, colleagues, and friends. Coniums are not romantics of the top draw, much less indifferent drags. Love seems to be too tiresome an indulgence for them — because it upsets the delicate applecart of their serene loneliness. You’d easily spot the Conium personality in a crowd — someone exuding a calm and inexpressive, wax-like face. Someone not as sociable, as you would want them to, because their sense of trepidation is so powerful that they prefer to rebuke oneself, than being socially surrounded. This is the song of every Conium personality’s burden — one replete with a drained, apathetic feeling of the mind and body, and the psyche and soma. Or, a predictable outcome of overindulgence in alcohol or powerful medications, including sensual fulfilment, or contemptuous greed. So much so, the end of an idyllic situation, or affair, leads them to an overwhelming sense of emotional paralysis, numbness of body and spirit, not to speak of cancerous diathesis — a fixed, hardened form of tumour, which is, perforce, malignant. Conium, in the words of the legendary homeopath, Dr James Tyler Kent, MD, is ‘frenzy personified.’ It also has a hypochondriacal state of mind, with edgy tremulousness and weakness of the muscles. Of one getting tired in the earlier stages — until the limbs are paralytic. • The ulcers and the ‘paralytic’ conditions are painless. Great physical and mental debility; great prostration of the muscular system; exhaustion and tremulous weakness • Paralysis of the legs and hip • When in a state of considerable vigour, if suddenly deprived, the Conium individual takes on a state of shaky failing, inability to stand any mental effort, with a clear incapacity to put the attention upon things said by others • Conium has such a deep action that it gradually brings about a state of imbecility. The mind gives out. The mind also becomes tired like the muscles of the body and is unable to sustain any mental effort. The memory is weak


• The mind will not concentrate, it will not force itself to attention; it cannot meditate. “Inability to stand any mental effort, or rivet the attention upon anything is one of the most important symptoms” • When one examines the mental state, one will see symptoms that will make them think Coniums are delirious, but this is not so • Conium represents a slow-forming weakness of mind; not a rapid, active state, such as accompanies a fever; it is a delirium without fever, which is not constant. The individual thinks leisurely, and continues in this stage for weeks and months • Conium is a passive character. It has complete indifference; and, takes no interest in anything that is not interesting for them, particularly when walking in the open air. According to homeopaths, Paul Herscu ND, DHANP, MPH and Chris Ryan, MD, Coniums are too ‘clogged.’ The primal desire to connect with others, they say, prompts a flurry of activity, or discharge of energy, which quickly exceeds ‘what is useful or comfortable.’ To sum up their portrait: Tears squirt out of the eyes, the ears ring and hum, the obstructed nose bleeds, or produces a purulent discharge. There may be irritation of the throat at night, when lying down, which leads to a spasmodic dry cough. There is vomiting and diarrhoea with urging, but probably the most famous keynote has to do with the sensual drive. There is an ever-increasing desire for sensual, physical contact. On the emotional level, there is too-little to too-much activity. This is adequately expressed in the person who is sad and morose at some time and alive and excited and happy at others. The state may occupy them especially for work. There are several reasons and complaints and thoughts that drive the Conium individual out of bed, or into motion, though high among them is the impulse to work. It is the archetypical image that we have of someone who sublimates his or her every desire into a flood of activity. In some Coniums though the motion is seen elsewhere, but in some, there are strong desires and images begin to fill them and they will become restless until they can liberate and discharge themselves and connect with something new, exciting or intrepid. Most importantly, there is a sense of openness and excess activity that makes Coniums extremely susceptible to injuries, or physical trauma. THE CONIUM INDEX Cysts, tumours and cancer. Hard lumps in the prostate, testicles, breasts, ovaries, or uterus, with sharp local pain, with a likely feeling of internal prickliness. Breast tumours may be accompanied by secondary lumps in the armpits. Symptoms are better with local pressure and movement. Symptoms are worse with injury, exertion, night, and pressure of tight clothing.

Enlarged prostate. A sensation of ‘heaviness’ in the prostate and frequent interruption of urine flow, possibly with a discharge from the penis and impotency. Symptoms are better by firm local pressure and walking. Symptoms are worse with injury, exertion, lying down and tight clothing. Nervous disorders. Cold, trembling, weak legs, with dizziness and sensitivity to light. Weakness may eventually extend to the entire body. Symptoms are better by warmth, movement and letting the limbs hang down. Symptoms are worse with injury, night, exertion, jarring and eating. Sexual disorders. Extreme sexual excitement with premature ejaculation, or impotence, in men, and vaginal discharge and irregular periods in women. Suppression of sexual activity often leads to anxiety, depression, and forgetfulness. Symptoms are better by pressure on the genitals and walking. Symptoms are worse with sexual excess, or celibacy, and intoxicating elixirs, such as alcohol. Swollen breasts. Enlarged, tender, hard breasts prior to menstrual periods, with weightiness in the legs and abridged sex drive. Symptoms are better by pressure on the breasts, letting the arms hang down, fasting and expressing emotions. Symptoms are worse by cold, while lying down, turning over in bed, and movement.

FORM IV Statement about ownership and other particulars about newspaper, Homeopathy & You. 1. Place of publication: Mumbai 2. Periodicity of its publication: Monthly 3. Printer’s Name: Rajgopal Nidamboor Nationality: Indian Address: Office No 7 & 8, Arcadia Premises Co-op Soc Ltd, Third Floor, 195, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021. 4. P  ublisher’s Name: Rajgopal Nidamboor Nationality: Indian Address: Same as above 5. E  ditor’s Name: Rajgopal Nidamboor Nationality: Indian Address: Same as above 6. Names and addresses of individuals who own the newspaper: Dr Mukesh Batra, 33, Maker Towers-H, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai - 400 005. I, Rajgopal Nidamboor, hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Date: February 28, 2015 [Signed] Signature of Publisher

Dr Mukesh Batra, a homeopath of international repute, is Founder-Chairman, Dr Batra’s. In a career spanning four decades, Dr Batra has treated over a million patients, including presidents and prime ministers, and revolutionised the way homeopathy is practiced today. A writer, photographer, singer and philanthropist, Dr Batra has been honoured with several fellowships and over 50 national and international awards, including the Padma Shri by the President of India. He has authored several books, including the critically-acclaimed cyclopedic work, Healing with Homeopathy. He lives in Mumbai.

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MEDICAL MARVELS: LITTLE PILLS, BIG RESULTS

A Happy Respite By Dr BABLI KOTHARI, BHMS, Noida Thirty-five-year-old Riti first walked into our clinic avoiding curious, hideous stares. Her forlorn face revealed her low confidence levels. She had been suffering from extensive white patches, since the time she could recall. Over a period of time, the patches had gradually increased on her neck, chest and other parts of the body. She had consulted several doctors and tried almost every possible treatment that she could lay her hands on, but all in vain. They all provided only temporary relief. In due course of time, the white patches would reappear again. Thinking that she had to put up with this social stigma, all through her life, she gave up treatment and accepted the disorder as her destiny. After having heard about homeopathy’s efficiency in such conditions, she decided to have an opinion, although reluctantly. A detailed case analysis revealed that she was reticent and reserved, lacked confidence and had great stage-

fear — this had amplified over a period of time and aggravated her complaints. She also reported of profuse sweating and constipation. To refrain herself from giving too much attention to her complaints, she aimed to focus on her work and hobbies, and avoid social contact. We prescribed her the homeopathic remedy, Silicea 200C, based on her presenting symptoms and temperament, along with dietary changes. She was also advised to practice stress-relieving techniques. As the treatment progressed, the white patches stopped spreading. This relieved her, though she had her doubts. With further treatment her patches improved; this instilled a new-found confidence in her. Now, when you look at her, she is no longer the same person, with that typical forlorn look, who first visited our clinic. Her sparkling eyes reflect her new-found optimism, a gleaming pride for homeopathy and its treatment outcomes — to healing and changing lives. HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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A Healthy Outcome

Dr BATRA’S FOUNDATION Spreading the Joy of Good Health… through Homeopathy!

By Dr HARIN DANI, BHMS, Vadodara Twenty-nine-year-old Sheetal Nayar, who owned a family-run business, presented with clinically-diagnosed hyperthyroidism [overactive thyroid gland], along with progressive vitiligo [white patches]. She conveyed to us a lethargic, exhausted physical appearance with visible and advanced depigmentation of skin on her face, caused by vitiligo. Her daughter was staying away from her because of a legacy row. This apparently had an unpleasant effect on Sheetal’s health. What’s more, she had to go through a lot of pain too due to snooping social remarks, or insults, on her appearance. Keeping everything to herself without venting it out made her livid and anxious from deep within. Her other symptoms were amplified thirst, brooding outlook, and noticeable weight loss. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces or secretes excessive amounts of thyroid hormones — triiodothyronine [T3] and thyroxine [T4]. Hyperthyroidism may be asymptomatic, but when it is not, symptoms appear due to excess thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone functions as a controller of innumerable biological processes in the body. This ‘pace’ is called the metabolic rate. It impacts nearly every type of tissue in the body. When there is too much thyroid hormone, every function in the body tends to speed up. Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are heightened nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, a ‘racing’ heart, hand tremors, anxiety, difficulty in sleeping, thinning of the skin, fine, brittle hair and muscular weakness — especially in the upper

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” — Mother Teresa Dr Mukesh Batra’s passion to give to the needy and downtrodden is apparent in his personal involvement, commitment and care for the less fortunate. Dr Batra’s Foundation values his vision by providing free homeopathic treatment to the NGOs we work with. In 2014, free homeopathy treatment worth `17.5 lac was provided to the needy. Our excellent team of doctors touch the hearts and lives of several needy people through their smiles, warmth and the gentle healing power of homeopathy. We are here to spread smiles of hope! These are the NGOs we are associated with: • Happy Home & School for the Blind, Victoria Memorial School for the Blind & Shepherd Widows Home, Mumbai. • Sandhya Home for the Aged, Pune. • Anurag Old Age Home, Hyderabad. • Little Sisters Convent, Bengaluru. • Mothers’ Rehabilitation Centre, Pondicherry. • Ek Prayaas, Kolkata. We also provide homeopathy care for animals at the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, New Delhi.

‘TOGETHER WE CAN CREATE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE!’ Join the joy-of-giving crusade to make someone smile, TODAY! For further details, please call: 0-93208 16431. E: larissa.dmello@drbatras.com pearl.vadukoot@drbatras.com — to be a part, or donate. Do ‘like us’ on our Facebook page

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A H&Y ADVERTISING INITIATIVE

MEDICAL MARVELS: LITTLE PILLS, BIG RESULTS


arms and thighs. There may also be frequent bowel movements. Weight loss is sometimes significant. This may occur despite a good appetite. The condition can also cause menstrual problems in women. We prescribed Sheetal the homeopathic remedy, Natrum Muriaticum 200C, based on her presenting and other symptoms, not to speak of her emotional and psychological state. The Natrum Muriaticum individual, as Sheetal’s temperament indicated, has extreme, easily hurt feelings. Individuals representing the Natrum Muriaticum personality often dwell on insults or criticism too and find it difficult to forgive. This is primarily because anything that implies criticism, embarrassment or rejection is unbearable for them. They are not ‘open,’ as Sheetal demonstrated, to seeking help because of past experience, or angst. Yet, the irony was Sheetal seemed to be sympathetic to the problems of others — a typical Natrum Muriaticum trait. Following a year of homeopathic treatment, Sheetal is today more cheerful than ever before. Besides, she’s extremely relaxed, primarily because of the remarkable progress she has made with her vitiligo problem. She has gained 16kg of healthy weight too — “thanks,” as she puts it “to professional homeopathic treatment.”

Hair Loss Reversed By Dr SANTOSH PANDEY, BHMS, Mumbai Fifteen-year-old Vatsala came to my clinic complaining of patchy hair loss and excessive diffuse hair fall. She was diagnosed with alopecia areata [AA] with chronic telogen effluvium [CTE], a condition where hair loss has existed for more than six months or longer. After a detailed study of the case, we found that the charming, roly-poly girl was lazy as well as stubborn. She would not like to do her school homework. She was playful, all right, but also the domineering type — as her mother reported — yet fearful and timid with some of her friends. Alopecia areata is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all parts of the body, usually from the scalp. It is also sometimes called ‘spot baldness,’ as it causes hairless spots on the scalp, especially in the initial stages. In 1–2 per cent of cases, the condition can spread to the entire scalp [alopecia totalis], or the entire body [alopecia universalis]. The initial symptoms of AA are small bald patches. The underlying skin is unscarred and looks normal. The patches can be of different shapes, albeit they are most often round or oval. Besides, different skin areas can exhibit hair loss and re-growth at the same time. The disorder may sometimes go into remission for a while, or

may be permanent. The area of hair loss may tingle or be painful too. Or, the hair may tend to fall out over a short period of time, with the loss commonly occurring more on one side of the scalp than the other. This is common in children. Following case-analysis, we prescribed Vatsala, the homeopathic remedy, Calcarea Carbonicum 200C. There was significant observable clinical improvement within six months of homeopathic treatment — while all the bald patches were just a thing of the past after a year’s time.

Ringing The ‘Worm’ Out By Dr MANISHA DAS, BHMS, Kolkata Forty-three-year-old Jayakant Vig, who was on the higher end of the weighing scale, presented with recurrent episodes of ringworm. The diagnosis was confirmed through a Wood’s lamp examination, which showed fluorescence, indicating Tinea [fungal] infection. A blood sugar test confirmed that he was diabetic. Ringworm is medically known as Tinea Corporis and daad in Hindi. It is not actually caused by a worm, but by a fungus. Ringworm also refers to a superficial fungal infection of the body. It occurs more commonly in warm, tropical environments. It affects men and women equally, and people of all age groups. Ringworm acquired from animals is common in children. Ringworm is contagious and often passed on from individual to individual, through contact with contaminated clothing, showers, pools or combs. Hygiene is always a good preventative measure for any fungal infection.  Using a steroid type cream on the rash will make it worse; so, this is not recommended.  Also, avoiding any contact with infected pets will help. Local application of an antifungal cream is the treatment of choice in conventional medicine, which, in fact, suppresses and leads to severe forms of the disorder. Individuals who suspect that they or their pets are infected with ringworm are advised to seek appropriate medical treatment. It is imperative that underlying factors, such as diabetes and obesity, are considered while treating Tinea. We prescribed Jayakant the homeopathic remedy, Chrysarobinum 6C, based on his presenting symptoms. We also advised him to shed some unwanted flab, wear loose-fitting cotton clothes and socks, and have bath twice daily and also keep his skin dry. A diabetic diet was advised too. He responded well to homeopathic treatment in a span of three months. A repeat blood sugar test showed normal levels. There was also complete clinical resolution of his Tinea infection. HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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HOW HOMEOPATHY HELPED ME

Effective Relief

M

y sincere thanks to Dr Piyali Saha for the curative treatment given to my daughter, Shreya Sharma. Following homeopathic treatment, my daughter’s health has improved remarkably; she has also become active. Before meeting Dr Saha, my daughter used to fall sick often. This was when we decided to switch over to homeopathy, as it does not have any side-effects. To cut a long story short, after nearly a year of homeopathic treatment, we now find Shreya happy and healthy; her recurrent cold and coughs is also now history. – Smita Sharma, mother of Shreya Sharma, a patient of Dr Piyali Saha, BHMS, Kolkata

Ah, A Blessing!

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happened to notice a tiny white spot on my arm, out of the blue — well, almost suddenly. I did not think too much about it. A few days later, I noticed another white spot on my chest. I decided to discount it. I was aghast when I noticed a large white spot on my forehead, some months later. I realised this could, perhaps, be white patches [vitiligo], something we all dread. I decided to consult Dr Pallav Thanawala, a homeopath. He put me on homeopathic medication. A month later, there was no improvement, but there was no worsening either. The saving grace was no new white spots were detected. I slowly began to notice the ungainly white spots fading away; they disappeared completely in a span of 10-12 months. You can imagine my joy and relief. I’d always thought of homeopathy as being slow — in my case, I felt it did not take too long to experience progress. This was a real blessing! Thank you, homeopathy. Thank you, Dr Thanawala. – Shiny D’Souza, a patient of Dr Pallav Thanawala, BHMS, Pune Editor’s Note: Readers/patients are advised to be regular while taking homeopathic treatment as it helps for proper analysis of the efficacy, or otherwise, of the remedy administered.

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DOCTOR’S ORDERS

By Dr MUKESH BATRA LCEH, FSRH [MED] P [LOND], MDH [USA], FBIH [UK] PADMA SHRI RECIPIENT

Q

My 24-year-old daughter was one of those happygo-lucky types. Not any longer. She sounds terribly remote, more so with her irregular periods. She does not speak like before and is much to herself, alone and silent. She’s been treated earlier for hyperacidity, but her tummy distress keeps coming back no sooner than it gets relieved. I’ve also found out that she is unhappy at her workplace. Please advice. Your daughter is showing symptoms of depression. Depression is a subtle malady; it affects more women than men. I’d suggest that you should leave her alone until she wants to talk to you about her problem, if any. Try to make her know that you are there for her always. You’d also speak to a medical professional, if her moody blues and seclusion get worse. In the interim, you’d give her the homeopathic remedy, Cyclamen Europaeum 200C, 4-5 pills, twice daily. Please let me know her progress.

A

I consulted a number of allopathic doctors who thought it was colitis. It was only after a long time that it was actually diagnosed with IBS, by a gastroenterologist. Please suggest a suitable homeopathic treatment for me. Homeopathy offers safe, effective treatment for IBS. I’d suggest that you speak to a local professional homeopathic physician who would be in the best position to treat your condition, based on your physical, mental and genetic make-up, or symptom-picture. Professional treatment often gives good and long-lasting results. In the meanwhile, for symptomatic relief, you’d take the homeopathic remedy, Argentum Nitricum 30C, 4-5 pills once a day, followed by Magnesium Phosphoricum 6X, 2-4 tablets, twice a day. Please let me know your progress.

A

Q

I am a 34-year-old housewife. My doctor says I have cystitis. I experience a ‘sting-like,’ burning pain when I pass urine. I also have noticeable swelling in my lower limbs. Conventional medications have given me I am aged 49. I have not had periods for 5-6 no relief. Can homeopathy help? months. I am experiencing hot flashes. I also have depressive spells, or mood swings. I am now Cystitis is the infection of the urinary bladder. The obvious on conventional medications, prescribed by a local symptom is an intense urge to urinate frequently. The physician, but I am not getting any better. Please passing of urine is often accompanied by pain. Antibiotics suggest a homeopathic remedy. may provide transitory relief; but, they have no effect in the long-term. There are some simple, effective You are showing symptoms of things you’d do. What you eat may be menopause, or cessation of periods, o you have a health the culprit — so, try to eat right. Certain a normal physiological process [after age question? Need an foods may contribute to bladder irritation. 45]. You can certainly take the homeopathic answer? Examples: tomatoes, spices, chocolates, remedy, Sepia Officinalis 200C, 4-5 E-mail your health coffee, caffeinated and citrus beverages, pills, twice daily, to ease your troubling questions to: expertadvice@ high-acid foods, and alcohol. Avoid canned symptoms. All the same, please follow-up homeopathyandyou.com cheese, yogurt, onion, monosodium with your gynaecologist on a regular basis. Renowned homeopath glutamate [MSG], sweeteners and nuts. Note Dr Mukesh Batra will urination times, symptoms etc., and report I am 43. I have had irritable answer your questions. them to your doctor. Cranberry juice, lowbowel syndrome [IBS] for the impact aerobics, walking, yoga, meditation, last 22 years. It all started with black or listening to soft, soulful music, are helpful. stools for three days. After this, there You’d, in the interim, take the homeopathic would be a terrible pain in the lower remedy, Apis Mellifica 200C, 4-5 pills, twice part of the stomach, whenever I’d daily, for effective relief. Please let me know eat. I had to go to the toilet to relieve your progress. myself immediately [2-3 times daily].

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CHILD HEALTH

EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS & HOMEOPATHY Children, it is rightly said, are like sponge. They absorb emotions and mirror emotional expressions by way of outwardly manifestations — most often in and through their mind. Homeopathy can help balance a child’s emotional health — without side-effects. By Dr SEJAL PAREKAR

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ttachment is a dynamic process — it is biologically driven and mutually reinforcing and adaptive for the parent and the child. Such a progression propels care and growth of emotional warmth and bonding of parents and children. It also enhances mutual, positive associate relationships between parent and child. There are certain phases in the attachment process. This may, however, not be specific to the biological mother or father. It can occur with outsiders, including baby-sitters, if they take part in the interpersonal processes that ‘make’ possible adjustment and closeness-seeking experiences. Attachment behaviour is also a relational process. It arises as a result of the involvement of behaviours from both the infant and the parent, or caregiver. This is the central principle because theoretically attachment disorders may result due to a shortfall or malfunction in relational psychology, which may dwell with the caregiver, or the child, or both. A key clinical feature of attachment disorders is the

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inability to distinguish and focus on key caregivers in later childhood. For the caregiver too, a reduced orienting response to infant signals to provide an encouraging environment — physical and/or emotional — is the central aspect. The implications of positive attachment are that the child is developmentally enabled to engage in and expand on mutually reinforcing social relationships. Yet another related notion is that of developmental programming effects in infancy. This suggests that early environmental experiences exert permanent effects on the development of biological systems that have emotional effects all through one’s lifespan. This can also occur for biological systems that influence behaviour. For instance, maternal care, as research suggests, can influence hypothalamic-pituitary axis. This may have an organising influence on behaviours that reflect how the individual responds to life experiences in adulthood. Likewise, disturbances in parent-child relationships in infancy — especially during the first two years of life —


are suggested to significantly influence the development of a child’s psychopathology, or behavioural patterns. WETTING & SOILING Learning to void or control one’s urinary urge is not as easy as it is perceived by certain parents. Problems of continence are common in childhood. Instead of understanding a child’s psychology, it causes a great deal of anguish and trouble to both the child and parents, or babysitter. FACT-FILE • Two things are vital in managing and correcting behavioural patterns. They are learning and maturity — the ‘duo’ is a prerequisite for establishing capable excretory habits. • There is often the possibility of associated emotional and behavioural symptoms in children with retentive soiling as compared with the general population. • Urinary incontinence is a multifactorial disorder — it is influenced by factors such as genetics, physiology, parental expectations and psychosocial factors. • For the most part, urinary incontinence is hardly ever associated with ‘micturation-related’ behavioural abnormalities, albeit some children may ‘dump’ their urine in inappropriate places, even when they are normal and continent. Though the control of excreta is physiological, requiring integrity of the autonomic nervous and muscular systems of the urinary bladder and gut, children need to reach the required level of behaviour to appreciate the value of continence. In addition, they need to have sufficient motivational urge and responsibility to follow the expectations of parents, caregivers and also themselves. FAECAL INCONTINENCE This is another problem area. There are cultural influences that ‘dictate’ the age at which a child attains bowel control. Most children in urban societies have erratic faecal continence in the first two years, with the rates declining between ages 3-7 as children grow up. Studies show that soiling occurs once a month or more in 1-1.5 per cent of boys and 0.5 per cent of girls. However, only a small percentage of children seek medical treatment. For the most part, parents often bring specially-abled or learning-disabled children for treatment due to psychosocial concerns — not just as medical problems. TYPES Primary incontinence. This refers to patterns occurring in the absence of the child being continent Secondary incontinence. This refers to patterns occurring in a child who was previously continent. • Faecal incontinence may occur due to a persistent leak of fluid faeces. This may emerge because of a physical disorder involving structural or functional difficulties in the gut

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• Leakage of semi-solid faeces into the undergarments. The likely cause may be a retention disorder, with a psychological underpinning • Some children may, likewise, place fully formed stools in unusual or inappropriate places. This may, again, have a psychological or psychiatric trigger. RETENTIVE SOILING Children who show symptoms and signs of retentive soiling may present with emotional underpinnings. For most part, they may lack sensitivity to rectal sensation and distension, or abnormal contraction of the voluntary muscles of the pelvis, during defaecation. While it is not clear as to whether physiological difficulties present before symptoms occur, what is apparent is continual symptoms can lead to chronic dilation of the rectum. In addition, the role of genetics or heredity for retentive soiling is subject to conjecture. Other likely triggers include behavioural and emotional problems, or resistance to medical treatment. Statistics suggests that boys are three times more likely and girls eight times affected. There is also evidence that nearly 25-30 per cent of cases of retentive soiling may continue into one’s adolescence. In addition, familial stress during infancy and preschool years appears to be a potential contributory trigger for retentive soiling in some children. Likewise, the role of low intelligence or developmental delays in language comprehension, leading to retentive soiling, cannot be put under the lid too. It is surmised that chronic constipation or retention could be a likely outcome of sexual abuse. This may result as a consequence of negative responses to open bowels in apprehension of additional physical attack, or due to fear of anal injury. Parents should re-look at basic toilet training techniques and reinforce toileting behaviours without being rude or abusive. Regular and predictable toileting with rewards is said to be a particularly useful ploy. Treatment is preceded by a thorough examination to rule out physical disease of the gut at the clinic. In addition, psychological, or behavioural, treatment holds the key, alongside homeopathic treatment. URINARY INCONTINENCE Nearly 99 per cent of normal, healthy children attain daytime bladder control by age five. However, about 20 per cent of boys and about 10 per cent of girls may still have nocturnal [night-time] incontinence at age 7. Statistics suggests that 1 per cent of boys and 0.5 per cent of girls continue to wet their bed up to age 18. In terms of prevalence, day-time wetting is less common in girls than boys. There are three main types of incontinence. Bedwetting [nocturnal enuresis] with no day-time problems Diurnal [day-time] enuresis with or without bedwetting.


Primary enuresis. This is best elicited with a positive family history and lower developmental maturity in the first three years of life. Secondary enuresis. This is best predicted by the child being ‘behind schedule’ to attain bladder control, or on the basis of unpleasant life events. Whatever the type, it is important to establish whether the form of the behavioural disorder is primary, a continuing form of the normal incontinence of childhood, or secondary, which occurs after the child has been successfully dry. During case analysis, your professional homeopath doctor will inquire as to whether the child has certain motives or has had certain delayed milestones, or development delays, presence of parallel emotional or behavioural problems, or both. KEYNOTES • Nocturnal enuresis is evidenced to be hereditary. It tends to run in families. 70 per cent of parents who were late in becoming dry may have a child with incontinence. Twins are twice as likely to be affected • The child with urinary incontinence may present with disturbed sleep patterns, nightmares, or trouble while waking from light sleep, especially when the bladder is full • Laboratory tests may reveal increased levels of sodium excretion in the urine • Apart from psychological distress, children with enuresis may also present with lowered self-esteem or self-

confidence. What’s more, they may view their annoying problem as a highly stressful event • This may often prompt them to keep it guarded — for the fear of being ‘caught’ or ridiculed in social circles, or at birthday parties. HEALING WITH HOMEOPATHY Anacardium is for lack of confidence due to abuse or physical humiliation Chamomilla is for fussy anger. The child is fine one moment and angry the next Gelsemium is for poor confidence due to anticipatory anxiety, weakness, illness or fright Lachesis is for the ‘anger’ of jealousy. The child is critical, suspicious, contradictory and oversensitive Lycopodium is for children who will do anything to avoid humiliation and embarrassment, or who have not been well since such an event Natrum Muriaticum is for the child who is extremely sensitive and gets angry and bursts into tears at any imagined reprimand Pulsatilla is for rejection with grief and sadness, accompanied gentle weeping Staphasagria is for suppressed anger and embarrassment which leads to headache. It is imperative that homeopathic treatment is instituted under the guidance and supervision of a professional homeopathic physician, given the delicate, sensitive construct, or canvas, of emotional, or dispositional, disorders in children.

Dr Sejal Parekar, BHMS, is a Mumbai-based homeopath.

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QUINTESSENCE

JOINT EFFECTIVE ACTION Homeopathy not only relieves the joint agony of rheumatoid arthritis and gout safely and effectively, it also adds life to one’s joint health and overall wellness. By Dr DANIEL RAJ

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he antiquity of rheumatoid arthritis [RA] is as old as civilisation. While the established status of the disorder is more common in women than men, no age group is exempt — albeit peak incidences occur between age 35 and 55 in women, and 40 and 60 years in men. HOW The development of the disease may be acute, subacute, or insidious. The slow onset pattern has the worse prognosis. Some early symptoms may be reported by certain patients: aches, pains, and stiffness, prior to the definitive onset of the disorder. In some cases, the relevance of precipitating factors, such as joint trauma, or intercurrent systemic viral infections have not been fully established. Familial aggregation is most significant in extreme forms of the disease. While recent studies in tissue typing have indicated a marked liaison between the histocompatibility antigen DR4 and the seropositive form of the disorder, the onset seems to be more commonplace in winter, owing to a fall in the pain threshold in cold weather — this heightens the opportunities of the disease being noticed. Research

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has interestingly shown that the oral contraceptive pill may offer protection against the development of rheumatoid arthritis in women. Research also suggests that RA most commonly affects the small joints of the hands, the wrists, end joints, ankles, knees and cervical spine. While the shoulders, elbows, and hips are less commonly involved, any synovial joint of the body may be ‘disturbed,’ more so in the extreme forms of the disorder. Aside from this, the arthritic invasion can involve a great chunk of the tissues of the body, including the lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, spleen, kidneys, digestive system, heart, eyes, and muscles, including the delicate nervous mechanism. The involvement can cause pleural [lung] effusion, not to speak of rheumatoid nodules in the lungs. DIAGNOSIS Cursory examination of actively involved joints will reveal joint stiffness, pain, especially on movement, as also tenderness, warmth and swelling of parts. Anaemia, weakness, muscular aches, tremors, weight loss, and fever with chills may also be observed. There may also be loss of appetite, followed by bone,


cartilage/ligament damage and also deformity. Diagnosis of the problem may be debatable at times, although increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR] and white blood cell population may be more than useful for identification purposes. Radiological [X-ray], and other investigations would not only be indispensable for diagnostic purposes, but also for proper treatment and follow-up programmes. The progression of X-ray changes in the disease may be seen as follows: 1. soft tissue swelling due to synovial hypertrophy and joint effusion; 2. periarticular bone osteoporosis; 3. loss of joint space, consequent to cartilaginous destruction; and 4. bone erosions/ deformities. While a distinction between the active inflammation and synovitis of the early disease and secondary destructive abnormalities found in later rheumatoid arthritis must be made, the problem should not be confused with other conditions. Gout, for instance. The diagnosis of the latter is confirmed by the presence of urate crystals in the synovial fluid, the measurement of serum uric acid and ‘tophi’ [urate deposits]. As far as the mortality rate in rheumatoid arthritis is concerned, it needs to be emphasised that although the life-span of such patients is slightly reduced, the cause of death is in no way different from those of the general population. GOUT Gout is, in essence, a group of metabolic disorders. The hallmark of the disorder is hyperuricaemia [high uric acid levels]. While prolonged elevation of serum urate is essential, it is not a sine qua non for the development of clinical gout. Hyperuricaemia may result from escalated purine intake — for example, sugar-sweetened beverages — and turnover, or reduced urate elimination, and a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. The signs and symptoms of gout result from tissue deposition of crystals of monosodium urate monohydrate through hyperuricaemic body fluids. The major clinical manifestations are. 1. acute [inflammatory] arthritis, tenosynovitis, bursitis, or cellulitis; 2. Chronic, erosive and deforming arthritis, supplanted by periarticular and subcutaneous urate deposits [tophi], a sure guiding sign of the state; 3. nephrolithiasis and urolithiasis [kidney and u stone] due to deposition of uric acid crystals from urine; and 4. chronic renal disease and high blood pressure. There are four clinical stages in the natural history of gout, viz., asymptomatic hyperuricaemia, acute gouty arthritis, inter-critical gout and chronic tophaceous gout. Symptomatic gout is generally preceded by years of symptomatic hyperuricaemia. While 19 out of 20 hyperuricaemia subjects remain symptomatic all

through life, up to 25 per cent of patients do not get symptoms, or have one or more attacks of renal colic before their first ‘bout’ of crystal synovitis. HEALING WITH HOMEOPATHY Homeopathic treatment has had a good clinical record in the two problem disorders. To obtain optimal results, however, proper emphasis should be laid on the individual’s dietetic aspect. Food should be simple, nourishing and palatable with a high percentage of vitamin and protein factors. Fruit juice, such as pineapple juice, or white cabbage soup, would be most beneficial when taken in the unsweetened form. The quantity recommended is 500-1,000ml per day. The individual is best advised to relieve himself/herself of existing anxieties as emotion plays an important role in the outcome of the disease and its effective treatment. While extremely emotional patients may need reassurance and psychological counselling, regulation of the person’s physical activity, recreation and rest should also be looked into as building blocks of effective medical treatment and outcomes. REMEDY PROFILES Bryonia. Joints violently inflamed, swollen, red, shiny and extremely ‘hot.’ Worse from slightest motion, touch and pressure. Colchicum. RA of the smaller joints, fingers, toes, wrists and ankles. Violent pains. The patient cannot bear to have the parts touched. Movement aggravates. General symptoms of profound weakness and gastric derangement. Guaiacum. A great remedy in chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Tendons contracted. Limbs drawn out of shape. Immovable stiffness. Gout. Ledum. One of our best remedies in rheumatoid arthritis and gout, especially the latter, Ledum seems to have a predilection for the smaller joints. Nodes form in them. Arthritic pains that travel upwards; worse by warmth. Ankles and big toe swollen. Gouty inflammation of the knee joint. Picric Acid. Most useful in RA with deformity. RA, with renal complications. Urtica Urens. Has cured obstinate cases of rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The remedy has the power to dissolve urate deposits, especially in overweight individuals. Other useful remedies, from the homeopathic standpoint, are Causticum, Cimicifuga, Kalmia Latifolia, Rhododendron, Rhus Toxicodendron and Silicea, especially in familial rheumatoid arthritis. It is, all the same, imperative that homeopathic treatment is best taken under the guidance of a professional homeopathic physician — for safe, successful longterm outcomes.

Dr Daniel Raj, BHMS, MBA, is a Bengaluru-based homeopath.

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YOUR LITTLE BOX: HOMEOPATHIC KIT FOR EVERY HOME

COPPER CURES The homeopathic remedy, Cuprum Metallicum, is ‘best’ used for nervous, respiratory and digestive disorders. It is also equally effective for extreme cramping that affects the fingers, toes, legs, and stomach. Its yet another keynote is exhaustion following illness, sleep loss, or emotional stress. By Dr MANJARI SHARMA

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he word, copper, is derived from the Greek kupris, or Cyprus, the island on which the ancient Greeks discovered the metal. Copper was used as late as the late-1880s by doctors. It was a primary component in ointments for healing wounds. Experiments and toxicology reports surmise that chronic copper poisoning produces symptoms like cough, colic, diarrhoea, and difficulty in digesting food. Acute copper poisoning, likewise, causes convulsions, paralysis, and also death. This was the ground swell on which Dr Samuel Hahnemann, MD, the founder of homeopathy, proved the homeopathic remedy, Cuprum Metallicum, while analysing its strong similarity with analogous symptoms. Copper is deposited worldwide in rocks, and mined extensively. It has a host of uses and it can be alloyed to form harder metals, such as bronze. Copper was, in fact, the first metal our ancients used for tools — it is also an essential trace element in several foods. It is critical for maintaining a healthy body and bone growth. For its homeopathic use, the metal is ‘triturated’ with lactose sugar and ground repeatedly until it forms a powder fine enough to be soluble in water. It is, thereafter, filtered, diluted, and succussed [shaken]. Cuprum Metallicum is effective when emotions tend to be firmly suppressed and powerfully felt. It is also useful when sexual urges are suppressed, as a result of it being too strong to contend with. The remedy’s emotional canvas can be extreme, no less, ranging from acquiescence to obstinacy, or ‘closed’ dullness and disparaging anger to aggressive rage. Individuals presenting with the remedy picture may have a light, drawn-out face, with blue lips, cold hands and feet. Most symptoms are fierce. They tend to get worse when menstruation is delayed, in women, or when skin eruptions and bodily discharges are suppressed by powerful drugs, or when chilled or wet. The remedy is celebrated, no less, for its use in nervous, respiratory, and digestive disorders. It is prescribed most often for cramps that are extreme and Dr Manjari Sharma, BHMS, is a New Delhi-based homeopath.

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affect the fingers, toes, legs, abdomen and stomach. Yet another classical symptom is exhaustion, following illness, sleep loss, or severe emotional stress. THE CUPRUM INDEX Cramps and convulsions [epilepsy, or fits]. The muscles feel tangled up, particularly in the legs, feet, and calves. Cramps and muscle spasms appear in the limbs, especially at night. They start with twitching and jerking in the toes, and spread up the feet, ankles, and calves. Muscle spasms and convulsions [fits] may be violent, starting in the fingers and toes and spreading to the centre of the body. Other symptoms are cold extremities, blue lips, and facial frown. Muscle spasms are often marked in pregnancy and after childbirth. The remedy is useful in young children who exhibit immense anger, or teething problems. There may be skin rashes and perspiration on the feet. Symptoms are better while perspiring and with cold drinks. Symptoms are worse in hot weather, night, touch, or when emotions are suppressed. There may also be spasmodic, violent, colicky pains, in the abdomen, with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea. The whole abdomen may feel hot, tender, and sore. A keynote is a ‘blue line’ at the margin of the gums and a metallic taste in the mouth. A gurgling sound on drinking water may be another keynote. Exhaustion may follow with loss of appetite. Symptoms are better with sweat and cold drinks. Symptoms are worse in hot weather, touch, and vomiting. Coughs and asthma. Long, spasmodic, fierce coughing bouts are characteristic. Breathing is laboured and rapid. The face may be pale, with blue lips and a metallic taste in the mouth. Symptoms are better with sweat and cold drinks. Symptoms are worse in hot weather, cold air, touch and vomiting. Fatigue. Fatigue, following stressful, hard work, sleep loss, or restless sleep. There may be cramps and headaches between the eyes. Fatigue may also be the result of abdominal cramps and vomiting. Dosage. Cuprum Metallicum 30C, 4-5 pills, twice daily, or as prescribed, or advised, by your homeopathic physician.


HOMEOPATHIC HAPPENINGS

HOMEOPATHIC BENEFITS: LONG-TERM RESULTS OF A COHORT STUDY

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n a prospective, multicentre cohort study with 103 primary care practices with additional specialisation in homeopathy in Germany and Switzerland, data from all patients [age >1 year] consulting the physician for the first time were observed. The main outcome measures were: patient and physician assessments [numeric rating scales from 0 to 10] and quality of life [QoL] at baseline, and after 3, 12, and 24 months. A total of 3,981 patients were studied including 2,851 adults [29 per cent men, mean age 42.5 +/- 13.1 years; 71 per cent women, 39.9 +/- 12.4 years] and 1,130 children [52 per cent boys, 6.5 +/- 3.9 years; 48 per cent girls, 7.0 +/- 4.3 years]. 97 per cent of all diagnoses were chronic with an average duration of 8.8 +/- 8 years. The most frequent diagnoses were allergic rhinitis [nasal allergy] in men, headache in women, and atopic dermatitis [eczema] in children. Disease severity decreased significantly [p<0.001] between baseline and 24 months [adults from 6.2 +/- 1.7 to 3.0 +/- 2.2; children from 6.1 +/- 1.8 to 2.2 +/- 1.9]. Physicians’ assessments yielded similar results. For adults and young children, major improvements were observed for quality of life [QoL], whereas no changes were seen in adolescents. Younger age and more severe

disease at baseline were factors predictive of better therapeutic success. Disease severity and QoL demonstrated marked and sustained improvements following the homeopathic treatment period. The findings indicate that homeopathic medical therapy may play a beneficial role in the long-term care of patients with chronic diseases. —Source: Witt C M, Lüdtke R, Baur R, Willich S N in BMC Public Health HEALTHY EFFECTS OF HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT IN WOMEN WITH PMS Critics contend that alternative therapies in general and homeopathy in particular lack clear scientific evaluation of efficacy. Controlled clinical trials, they aver, are urgently needed, especially for conditions that are not helped by conventional methods. The objective of the following work was to assess the efficacy of homeopathic treatment in relieving symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome [PMS]. It was a randomised controlled double-blind clinical trial. Two months baseline assessment with post-intervention follow-up for three months was conducted at Hadassah Hospital’s outpatient gynaecology clinic in Jerusalem, HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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A H&Y ADVERTSING INITIATIVE

Israel. The subjects were 20 women, aged 20-48, suffering from PMS. Homeopathic intervention was chosen individually for each patient, according to a model of symptom clusters. Recruited volunteers with PMS were treated randomly with one oral dose of a homeopathic medication, or placebo [dummy pill]. The main outcome measure was scores of a daily menstrual distress questionnaire [MDQ] before and after treatment. Psychological tests for suggestibility were used to examine the possible effects

of suggestion. Mean MDQ scores fell from 0.44 to 0.13 [P<0.05] with active treatment, and from 0.38 to 0.34 with placebo [between group P=0.057]. Improvement >30 per cent was observed in 90 per cent of patients receiving active treatment and 37.5 per cent receiving placebo [P=0.048]. Homeopathic treatment was found to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of PMS in comparison to placebo. — Source: Yakir M, Kreitler S, Brzezinski A, Vithoulkas G, Oberbaum M, Bentwich Z, in The British Homeopathic Journal.

DR BATRA’S ACADEMY INAUGURATED

Those who heed the inner call to serve humanity as healers often choose homeopathy as a profession and career. They do so because they perceive that medicine should treat the whole person in a safe and gentle manner — it should also work in consonance with the body’s innate healing potential,” observed Dr Mukesh Batra, FounderChairman, Dr Batra’s Group, in his welcome speech during the inaugural ceremony of Dr Batra’s stateof-the-art Academy, which offers post-graduate fellowships in homeopathic dermatology, trichology and other specialities. “The aim of the Academy is keyed to build upon and expand on the good effects of homeopathy we have witnessed in our 170-plus clinics spread all over India and abroad. Most homeopathic graduates aspire to pursue post-graduation in the most lucrative field — homeopathic dermatology. But, unfortunately there’s no avenue to pursue this course in India or abroad. Ours is the first and oneof-its-kind Academy for homeopathic dermatology in the world.” Dr Akshay Batra, MD, Dr Batra’s, noted, “Our immense clinical data and case studies [at Dr Batra’s Group] will provide a rich repertoire of materials for our post-graduate students to become

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excellent practitioners in homeopathic dermatology and trichology.” Dr Batra’s Academy will provide a collaborative, inspiring learning environment — a solid foundation for clinical practice, thanks to its exceptional, and dedicated, homeopathic teaching staff that provides a student-oriented faculty. This will create an intellectually stimulating and emotionally satisfying environment for inquiry. The Academy was inaugurated by Prof Dr Arun Jamkar, Vice-Chancellor of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences [MUHS]. In his pragmatic speech, Dr Jamkar illustrated his long experience as cancer surgeon and academician and his fulsome appreciation for the holistic science of homeopathy and rational healing. He said that the Academy, with its MUHS-affiliation and recognition, was not just the fountainhead of specialised learning in homeopathy, but would also be a trendsetter for homeopathic medical education and research. Other dignitaries who spoke during the event included Dr Arun Bhasme, Vice-President, Central Council for Research in Homeopathy [CCRH], and Dr Samir Chaukkar, Dean, Dr Batra’s Academy. For details regarding admission to the fellowship programme, E-mail: drsamir.chaukkar@drbatras.com


WHAT LIES BENEATH: MYSTERIES OF HOMEOPATHY

THE SIGNATURE DOCTRINE IN HOMEOPATHY In the therapeutic spectrum of homeopathy, what ‘makes’ a remedy unique ‘just for you’ is not only your distinctive physical symptoms, but also your ‘exclusive’ emotional underpinnings. By Dr SAMIR CHAUKKAR

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he principles of homeopathy are in consonance with nature and the ‘principles of signatures’ propounded by the German thinker, Jakob Böhme. His principle that a flower’s colour, for example, red — which connects to poison ivy, or Rhus Toxicodendron — represents inflammation that corresponds to inflammatory fevers, or ‘red’ allergic rashes, and can, therefore, be applied for therapeutic effects to emerge in a condition that bears such a symptom-picture. Dr Samuel Hahnemann, MD, the founder of homeopathy, applied the same principle, but with an expanded, pioneering notation. He used some of the most poisonous of substances, including Arsenicum Album, for example, with a view to treating such ‘like’ symptoms exhibited by the individual — but, primarily with symptoms that corresponded to a given or not given illness. Hahnemann propounded, to cull another example, that the homeopathic remedy, Apis Mellifica, which is made from honeybee, could not only cause allergic conditions, such as urticaria, but also has the ability

to cure them. The clinching issue being that the symptoms should correspond to the remedypicture, most often to an equally unique picture — for example, of a person who is having angry-red coloured ‘burning’ skin rashes, who, paradoxically, feels better with a steaming cup of coffee! UNIQUELY DISTINCTIVE The preceding example is obviously a unique symptom for the individual — because, anyone who has burning skin eruptions will not dream of sipping coffee. That too hot, steaming coffee. The thought of hot coffee will, perforce, aggravate allergy symptoms in individuals having an allergic condition. This is what makes homeopathy a unique system of medicine based not just on clinical pharmacology, but also a system that elicits a physiological response. Let us look at other ‘like’ examples — Drinking coffee, a stimulant, can ‘jazz-up’ your emotions. It also lifts your spirits. It triggers restlessness, no less, following some exciting news and causes sleeplessness, or insomnia. HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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The homeopathic remedy, Coffea Cruda, which is made from roasted coffee beans, is, in the homeopathic context, used to treat the same sleeplessness caused by overexcitement, or joyful news, such as a job promotion, pay hike, or success. This connects to what can cause can cure and vice versa — the ‘like cures like’ principle of homeopathy. Let us also evaluate yet another aspect related to human emotions, or moods. If you look at the doctrine of signatures, the homeopathic remedy, Pulsatilla, made of windflower, is said to be homeopathic to patients who present with mood swings, or move from one end of the spectrum to another, just as quickly. The Pulsatilla individual is a bundle of contradictions — one moment, the person may be laughing, the next moment, they may cry for a reason, or without reason. In addition, they crave for consolation and feel miserable if they do not get emotional support, albeit they may show a forbearing front that they can very well do without a prop, or anchor. Let us now look at another homeopathic remedy, Kali Carbonicum. The Kali Carbonicum individual or patient is generally high-strung — they feel that nothing is working for them. They also tend to have an overanxious sense of nervous energy — thinking that they are doomed. They have a foreboding sense of gnawing fear, even an undulating sense of death — hence, they tend to be restless before going to sleep. They also have a ‘computerised’ wake-up call between 2:00am and 4:00am, following which they struggle to get back to sleep. MATCHING SYMPTOMS The homeopathic remedy, Lycopodium, is supposedly a remedy that best suits intellectual or brainy individuals. It corresponds to certain ‘highly-driven’ people, the personality-A types, especially the executive kind, who are overworked, or haughty, though they try their best to cover up their overbearing temperament with a veneer of elegance. They are also prone to tummy and liver distress, primarily because of their acerbic demeanour. They are often troubled by hyperacidity, excess gas, most often between 4:00pm and 8:00pm. When symptoms ‘match,’ Lycopodium may be prescribed successfully for difficult-to-treat disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], or it’d be used as an adjuvant in the treatment of hypertension [high blood pressure] and diabetes with good effect. Yet another remedy that comes close to being a ‘chill pill’ in the stressful times that we now live in is Gelsemium. Although Gelsemium may not be as deepacting as Lycopodium, it has in its therapeutic repertoire the ability to ease modern-day tensions — right from workplace pressures to ‘stage fright’ before giving a presentation on the job. Gelsemium is marked and represented by nervous excitement and anticipatory anxiety — the thought of an impending meeting, or job

interview, can drive the characteristic individual ‘mad’ and out of his or her wits’ end. A case in point — a student who was reportedly good in his academics was not able to do as well as he himself or his parents wanted to — after being bullied by friends. For a shy lad, this was nothing short of a nightmare. The event began to stay in his mind — it also had the ‘visiting card’ effect, returning, time and again, in his mind’s eye to give him the blues. This was not only affecting the lad’s life, it was also hurting his sentiments — from being a top achiever to being a ‘wannabe’ in the class. The individual was not a great orator, but could hold on to his own — this too seemed to be a thing of the past. This was pressurising him to be what he was not. His inner revolt was another element — it slowly began to ‘eat’ his psyche. The spillover was anybody’s guess — disheartened feelings and thoughts of not being able to climb to the next level. Or, surpass and compete with himself — not someone else — as he put it in his own words. This was disturbing and no less upsetting for him. He thought he would himself undermine his standing, if not record. Ah, the thought of a presentation in the class! This would lead to a strange feeling — of butterflies in his stomach. This was again unlike the past when he exuded confidence, dignity and poise — always willing to be different and answering his fellow students’ or his teachers’ queries on the given topic with ease. We put him on Lycopodium 200C. After eight months of homeopathic treatment and follow-up, he could turn his trepidations around. He not only regained his self-confidence, but also got back on track vis-à-vis his academics. His smile returned to its rightful place too, exuding optimism.

Dr Samir Chaukkar, MD [Hom], is Dean with a leading academy offering post-graduate fellowships in homeopathic dermatology and other specialised subjects.

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HOM[E]O TRUTHS

THE HOMEOPATHIC PERSPECTIVE IN INJURY & TRAUMA Pain is nothing but the clinical parallel of physical and psycho-neural ‘twinge’ sensitivity. What homeopathy does is it positively influences the harmonisation of the body, mind and mood. In the process, it helps to ease one’s sensitivity to pain syndromes.

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medication today. The homeopathic formula is hen Der Spiegel, the leading German “designed to regulate inflammatory catalysts magazine, published a survey and promote the discharge of anti-inflammatory exploring the use of homeopathy in all cytokines.” Traumeel was developed by Dr Hanspremiere and secondary league football teams Heinrich Reckeweg [1905-1985], MD, a conventional of the Bundesliga, the results in its favour were medical physician and homeopathic researcher, impressive. 92 per cent of teams reported that they BY DR AKSHAY who combined botanical and mineral substances treated their players with ‘classical’ homeopathy, BATRA to produce natural complexes to treat not only while 76 per cent reported the use of homeopathic musculoskeletal injuries and inflammation, but ‘speciality’ products, such as complexes, or also a host of disorders. Traumeel is now considered the combination remedies, in their treatment. The overall ´diclofenac` of homeopathy. response, likewise, for homeopathic treatment in football Results of studies investigating the efficacy of Traumeel teams, as viewed by physicians and physiotherapists, was show that the preparation, employed in the treatment of that of ‘a positive and preventative immune effect.’ sports injuries and also trauma during physical activity, Statistics suggests that no other form of sport results is superior in its therapeutic action to intervention with in as many injuries as does football. To paraphrase, this conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is equivalent to 80,000 days of sick leave for every football [NSAIDs]. This has been emphasised in acute symptomatic season, with treatment and personnel expenses amounting tendinopathy and mild-to-moderate injuries and/or relieving to a whopping €95 million. the nagging symptoms of tennis elbow [epicondylitis], Research points out that the primary reason for such a among others. scenario is lack of sufficient time for recovery, or physical Notwithstanding its long history of use as an antiregeneration of the overstretched and overstressed inflammatory agent, not much was known, till recently, constitution, with other treatments. This, they aver, is regarding Traumeel’s ‘pharmacological’ effects on immune also the basis for the upsurge towards easily accessible, cell function. Studies conducted in vitro and in vivo of its safe, effective and evidence-based early recovery through effects on human T-cells, monocytes and gut epithelial complementary and alternative medical [CAM] treatments cells, report that Traumeel has the ability to secrete pro— most notably, homeopathy. inflammatory mediators interleukin-1beta [IL-1β], tumour necrosis factor alpha [TNFα], and interleukin-8 [IL-8]. THE EVIDENCE Traumeel also reduces acute local inflammation without It is evidenced that sports professionals often seek affecting superoxide anion production and adhesion, treatment with CAM to improve stamina and decrease or granulocyte function, or human platelet adhesion, convalescence time after injury. Many homeopathic unlike NSAIDs. This suggests that the normal defensive and CAM physicians report that complex homeopathic and homeostatic function of such cells is conserved. preparations have demonstrated quick and effective healing Studies suggest that Traumeel tends to act by regulating benefits. They reckon that conventional medications impact the ‘symphony ensemble’ of the overall process of acute the physique; this also affects intensive training, because of local inflammation rather than interacting with a specific repetitive stress effects on the body. It impacts recuperation cell type, or biochemical mechanism too. New research too. suggests that Traumeel speeds up the healing process, Homeopathy has no ‘doping’ profile; it has no sideinstead of blocking oedema [or, swelling] progression from effects. Besides, homeopathic remedies can be combined the outset. with any other form of therapeutic intervention. Most Picture this — when a sportsperson or fitness enthusiast importantly, homeopathy synergises and enhances the gets into the locker room, they are bound to be affected by effects of conventional treatment too. This is one reason the stinging aroma of a topical ‘rub’ — in the eye. We have why there is increasing demand for homeopathic treatment all quite likely tried such ‘balmy’ treatments, experiencing in sports injuries, or trauma. hot and cold sensation of menthol, or capsaicin — the Traumeel, a homeopathic complex preparation marketed pain-relieving ingredient found in chillies. The relief is often by Heel, the renowned homeopathic pharma group, is, by short-lived. What lingers on our skin is a greasy, aromatic far, the best investigated and documented homeopathic HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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feeling. This explains why homeopathic combination gels, creams, and ointments, such as Traumeel, are a natural option with physicians and patients across the globe. They provide safe, quick, long-lasting relief from pain and inflammation caused as a result of strains, sprains, bruises and also arthritis — without side-effects. THERAPEUTIC EFFICIENCY A case in clinical point, Traumeel has proven therapeutic ability to relieve pain and inflammation. According to controlled and replicated clinical trials, Traumeel has the therapeutic capability to reduce pain and inflammation from different causes and at different sites in the body. • A large-scale study shows that Traumeel is as effective as diclofenac in pain reduction and functional improvement in the treatment of acute ankle sprains • Compared with placebo [dummy pill], Traumeel was effective treatment for activity-related sprains of the ankle, significantly improving ankle mobility and pain • Compared with placebo, Traumeel was significantly more effective in restoring muscle function and reducing pain from musculoskeletal injuries • Compared with diclofenac, Traumeel achieved a significantly quicker return to normal activities and reduced pain. COMPOSITION Ingredients in Traumeel include the following homeopathic remedies, which are all endowed with natural antiinflammatory properties: • Aconitum Napellus 3x: Reduces joint and back pain • Arnica Montana 3x: Reduces joint and back pain • Belladonna 4x: Reduces back pain • Bellis Perennis 2x: Relieves joint and muscle soreness • Calendula Officinalis 2x: Relieves pain • Chamomilla Recutita 3x: Eases pain • Echinacea Purpurea 2x: Relieves pain • Hamamelis Virginiana 2x: Relieves joint and muscle soreness • Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum 8x: Relieves pain • Hypericum Perforatum 3x: Relieves pain; is a much-preferred homeopathic remedy for spinal and nerve injuries

• Mercurius Solubilis 8x: Reduces joint and back pain • Millefolium 3x: Relieves pain • Symphytum Officinale 8x: Relieves joint pain. CLINICAL RESULTS A clinical assay into the efficacy of Traumeel in laboratory rats, which ‘tested’ the reaction of single constituents of Traumeel against the combination, showed that its efficacy was enhanced in the complex preparation. This was moderately evident in terms of response with single prescriptions, while the whole healing process was accelerated with the use of Traumeel. The equality, if not the superiority of Traumeel, over conventional NSAIDs, was reported in three studies, with tolerability being rated as ‘best over conventional treatment.’ Yet another study came to the conclusion that two Traumeel preparations [-S and -Sine] are of equal efficacy, but ‘strongly superior to placebo [dummy pill]’ [NB: One study conducted at a hospital in Marseille, France, on a combination preparation called Urarthone also showed tangible benefits of the homeopathic product in injuries over placebo]. It has been, time and again, observed that clinical studies on single homeopathic remedy prescriptions for sports injuries are, for the most part, less in number and limited to two homeopathic remedies, Arnica Montana and Rhus Toxicodendron. The clinical testimony for the duo is also primarily restricted to dilutions in decimal [D] potency — a dilution of 9 drops of water, or alcohol, and 1 drop of the medicinal substance. All the same, results show that the homeopathic ‘twosome’ can speed up the process of recovery in the treatment of muscle soreness — and, that the lower potencies have a significant effect, while increased dosages result in a stronger improvement of experimentally-induced muscle soreness. A recent study on Arnica Montana in the centesimal [C] dilution, where the dilution is 1 drop of medicinal substance with 99 drops of ‘carrier’ solution, has also arrived at the same conclusion. In injuries of the ankle and knee in athletes, homeopathy evidently has the best broad-spectrum outcome among all CAM therapies. Results pooled-in from two clinical studies on Arnica Montana D30 in marathon runners also reported a positive effect on muscle soreness — not to speak of ‘like’ clinical benefits with Rhus Toxicodendron. Other studies on the preventative action of homeopathic remedies, focusing on clinical improvement of existent pathology, have had promising results. Some homeopathic researchers report that certain homeopathic remedies could be used as prophylactics, even before physical exertion — although homeopathy is ‘not as yet a clinically valid protocol’ for such pre-emptive pain relief. It may well be, possibly sooner than one expects.

Dr Akshay Batra, a renowned homeopath, is Managing Director, Dr Batra’s. He is the first-ever homeopath-trichologist from Asia to be elected President of the Trichological Society of London, his alma mater. He is the youngest and the first-ever non-UK-based trichologist to receive the prestigious Robert Olding Award for outstanding achievement in the field of trichology. Dr Akshay is also India’s first hair specialist to be associated with the European Hair Research Society [EHRS]. His published work includes the first-ofits-kind, bestselling book, Hair: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, which is available at all good bookstores and on www.flipkart.com. He lives in Mumbai.

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GRIN AND BEAR IT

LAUGHTER,

THE BEST MEDICINE HOSPITAL’S BETTER A famous surgeon went on a safari in Africa. When he came back, his colleagues asked him how it had been. “Oh, it was very disappointing,” he said. “I didn’t kill a thing. I’d have been better off staying here in the hospital.” KEEP IT CLOSED Patient: “It’s been one month since my last visit and I still feel miserable.” Doctor: “Did you follow the instructions on the medicine bottle I gave you?” Patient: “I sure did. It said, ‘keep tightly closed.’” EATING DISORDER A mother complained to her consultant about her daughter’s strange eating habits. “All day long she lies in bed and eats yeast and car wax. What will happen to her?” “Eventually,” said the consultant, “she will rise, shine and drive.” WHAT VISION Pamela to the X-ray technician after swallowing some currency, “Do you see any ‘change’ in me?” BAD TEMPER Brenda makes an appointment to see her doctor, because she is worried about her husband’s bad temper. Dr Thomas asks, “What’s the problem?” Brenda says, “Doctor, I don’t know what to do. Every day my husband Jimmy seems to lose his temper for no reason. It’s beginning to scare me.” The doctor says, “I have a cure for that. When it seems that Jimmy is getting angry, just take a glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth. Just swish and swish, but don’t swallow it until he either leaves the room or calms down.” Two weeks later Brenda returns to the doctor looking fresh and happy. She says, “Doctor, that was a brilliant idea. Every time my husband started losing it, I swished with water. I swished and swished, and he calmed right down. How does a glass of water do that?” Dr Thomas’ riposte, “The water itself does nothing. It’s keeping your mouth shut that does the trick.” CHOCOLATE FILLING Little Ben is taken to the dentist. The examination reveals that Ben has a cavity, which needs filling. “Now, young man,” asks the dentist, “what kind of filling would you like for that tooth, amalgam or composite?” “I would prefer chocolate, please,” replies Ben.

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TRANSPLANT OPTIONS An elderly patient needed a heart transplant and discussed his options with his doctor. The doctor said, “We have three possible donors; tell me which one you want to use. One is a young, healthy athlete who died in an automobile accident. The second is a middle-aged businessman who never drank or smoked and who died in his private plane. The third is an attorney who just died after practicing law for 30 years.” “I’ll take the lawyer’s heart,” said the patient. After a successful transplant, the doctor asked the patient why he had chosen the donor he did. “It was easy,” the patient replied. “I wanted a heart that had not been used.” SMART MOVE A woman, calling the hospital, said, “Hello, I want to know if a patient is getting better.” The nurse, on the other end of the line, said, “What is the patient’s name and room number?” The caller said, “Thank you! She’s Sarah Finkel in Room 302.” The nurse said, “Oh, yes. Mrs Finkel is doing very well. In fact, she’s had two full meals, her blood pressure is fine, she’s going to be taken off the heart monitor in a couple of hours, and if she continues this improvement, Dr Paul Cohen is going to send her home Tuesday.” The caller said, “Thank God! That’s wonderful! Oh! That’s fantastic! That’s wonderful news!” The nurse replied, “From your enthusiasm, I take it you must be a close family member or a close friend!” The caller said, “I’m Sarah Finkel in Room 302. Cohen, my doctor, doesn’t tell me a word!” [Culled and Collated from the ‘Net]

“You’ll have to eat that donut outdoors. Nobody wants to inhale secondhand carbs!” Courtesy: www.glasbergen.com


LIVING WELL: LIFESTYLE

UNDERSTANDING METABOLIC SYNDROME Metabolic syndrome denotes overall poor health, including risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. What holds the key is: lifestyle modifications that not only prevent, but also treat the condition.

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The primary symptoms of metabolic syndrome ‘syndrome’ is a pattern or collection include:   of symptoms that together indicates a disease. You don’t actually ‘catch’ a • Insulin resistance   syndrome like you do a virus. Rather, the word • Inability to fully metabolise carbohydrates   By RYAN N ‘syndrome’ is used to describe a concurrence • Hypertension [high blood pressure]   HARRISON of symptoms that acts as hallmarks for a • Cholesterol abnormalities   disease, or health condition.   • An increased risk for clotting   Metabolic syndrome — or, Syndrome-X, Metabolic • Overweight, or obesity Syndrome-X, or Insulin Resistance Syndrome — is a You are clinically diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, collection of symptoms of overall poor health, aside if you have three or more of the above symptoms. An from risk factors of developing heart disease, stroke interesting side note to figure out the disorder is: a part and diabetes. In fact, for the past 25 years, more than a of the earlobe crease appearing at a 45° downward handful of physicians have judged metabolic syndrome angle towards the shoulder and an elevated waist to hip to be a powerful, if not the most powerful indicator of circumference.   eventual heart attack.   In a society in which 65 per cent of us are either According to a health survey, more than one in five overweight or obese, it’s easy to understand how it’s Americans, for instance, has metabolic syndrome. It possible that up to 25 per cent of the population has this is also reported that a full quarter [25 per cent, or 1 syndrome. And, if current diet and lifestyle trends do not in 4] of all American adults are estimated to have this improve the figure will only climb, increasingly affecting syndrome. Besides, the likelihood of having metabolic our children.   syndrome rises with age — the syndrome affects more Insulin resistance is a particularly important part of the than 40 per cent of people in their 60s and 70s.   metabolic syndrome equation. Karlene Karst, a dietician, HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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suggests that high insulin levels are actually the ‘root cause’ of the syndrome and states that while it is possible to have insulin resistance without having metabolic syndrome, individuals who have metabolic syndrome always have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance refers to the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in promoting the transport of blood sugar [glucose], from blood into muscles and other tissues.   Consistently high levels of insulin and glucose are linked to several harmful changes in the body, including —   • Damage to the lining of coronary and other arteries, a key step towards the development of heart disease, or stroke   • Changes in the kidneys’ ability to remove salt, leading to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke   • An increase in triglyceride levels, resulting in an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease   • An increased risk of blood clot formation, which can block the arteries and cause heart attack and stroke   • A slowing of insulin production, which can signal the start of type-2 diabetes, a disease that can increase your risk for heart attack, or stroke, and may damage your eyes, nerves or kidneys. There are other concerns that should be mentioned as well. Metabolic syndrome is associated with fat accumulation in the liver [fatty liver], resulting in inflammation and the potential for cirrhosis. The kidneys can also be affected, as there is an association with microalbuminuria, the leaking of protein into the urine — a subtle but clear indication of kidney damage.   Other problems associated with metabolic syndrome include obstructive sleep apnoea, polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS], increased risk of dementia with aging, and cognitive decline in the elderly. CAUSES As is true with several medical conditions, genetics and the environment play important roles in the development of metabolic syndrome. Genetic factors influence each individual component of the syndrome, and the syndrome itself.   For example, a family history that includes type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and early heart disease greatly increases the chance for the individual to develop metabolic syndrome. Environmental issues, such as low activity level, sedentary lifestyle, and progressive weight gain also contribute significantly to the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.   While obesity is a strong risk factor, others factors of concern include: • Women who are post-menopausal   • Smoking • Eating an excessively high carbohydrate diet • Lack of activity [even without weight change]   • High intake of alcohol. Environmental factors play an important part, but dietician Karst maintains that metabolic syndrome is caused by poor diet and lifestyle and she places insulin resistance right at the centre of the equation.  

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INSULIN RESISTANCE   Insulin resistance means that the body does not use insulin efficiently to lower glucose and triglyceride levels. Insulin resistance is a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Lifestyle factors include diet, activity and, perhaps, interrupted sleep patterns, such as sleep apnoea.   Typically, insulin resistance develops as a result to a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods, especially when combined with a sedentary lifestyle. It certainly doesn’t help that over 70 per cent of the calories consumed by people in the US. and Canada, not to speak of India, for example, come from foods that never existed in our ancestor’s diets: refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, white flour, high fructose corn syrup and transfats. Our bodies are not equipped to handle such ‘foods’ and the unnatural strain they put on our body’s various systems. Insulin’s job is to ‘push’ glucose [blood sugar] into insulin receptor ‘doors’ on the surface of cells. When the body is continually blasted by foods containing high levels of simple sugars, the cells are bombarded with so much insulin that these ‘doors’ begin to malfunction and shut down. With fewer doors open, the body needs to produce even more insulin to push glucose into the cells. The pancreas is stimulated by the sugar’s continued presence to produce more insulin. This vicious cycle results in a condition called ‘insulin resistance.’   Blood insulin levels are chronically high — this inhibits fat cells from giving up their energy stores to help us lose weight. The more overweight we are, the more resistant to insulin we become, primarily because the extra fat causes a hormone reaction that closes the cells’ doors to incoming glucose. It’s a grim picture. Fortunately, as we lose body fat, insulin resistance improves — this is a blessing. PREVENTION   Since insulin resistance, physical inactivity and excess weight are the main underlying contributors to the development of metabolic syndrome, which are all preventable, stopping the syndrome before it starts is the best way to approach it. Obviously, getting more exercise and losing weight can help reduce, or prevent, the complications associated with this condition. Preventing insulin resistance is important. It’s also probably more difficult, as it may require changes in long-established patterns of eating and addiction.   NORMAL WEIGHT   Naturally, the best way to prevent insulin resistance is to avoid the foods that promote it. This means staying away from refined sugar, white flour products, simple carbohydrates, etc. Maintaining a normal weight, eating a balanced diet, and keeping up a regular programme of aerobic exercise are the best preventive measures. Increasing fibre consumption is also helpful, as fibre slows down the movement of sugar from food into the blood stream.  


Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain flexible cell membranes. This is important because only healthy membranes contain large numbers of insulin receptors, while increasing the surface areas available for insulin binding. Up to 4,000mg [4gm] of omega-3s a day can be helpful to prevent metabolic syndrome.   LIMIT ALCOHOL  While some recent studies suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation may actually help prevent metabolic syndrome, limiting alcohol consumption is a better choice. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and triglyceride levels and it can also harm the liver, brain and heart. In addition, alcohol is a source of empty calories, which inhibits weight loss, an important component of prevention.

LOSING WEIGHT   Moderate weight loss, in the range of 5-10 per cent of body weight, can help restore the body’s ability to recognise insulin and greatly reduce the chance that the syndrome will evolve into a more serious illness.   EXERCISE   Increased activity alone can improve insulin levels. Aerobic exercise, such as a brisk 30-minute daily walk, 4-5 times a week, can result in weight loss, improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Most healthcare providers recommend 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. Exercise may reduce the risk for heart disease too, even when there is no accompanying weight loss.   CHANGE THE DIET   Metabolic syndrome is largely a nutritional disease that is manageable with dietary corrections — reducing carbohydrates such as sweets, pastas and breads, and instating good fats [especially, essential fatty acids] in carbohydrates’ place. An appropriate breakdown of the food groups should be about 45 per cent of calories from carbs, 40 per cent from fats and 15 per cent from protein.   CHANGE THE FATS   Finding the right balance of dietary fats is important as the wrong kinds of fats can contribute to insulin resistance by interfering with the ‘burning’ of glucose and increasing insulin resistance. Eating cold-water fish [such as wild salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines or anchovies] two times/week, including flaxseeds and nuts [such as walnuts, Brazil nuts, etc.] in the diet, and eating as much as dark green and leafy vegetables as possible will all help restore the omega-3 to omega-6 balance that is so important in preventing insulin resistance.  

MANAGEMENT The major goals should address both the underlying cause of the syndrome and also the cardiovascular risk factors, if they persist. A majority of people with metabolic syndrome are overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, lifestyle modification is the preferred treatment. Weight reduction usually requires a specifically-tailored multifaceted programme that includes appropriate diet and exercise. Conventional medical care typically uses medications to aid in treatment, but we will explore suggestions for supplementation.   BALANCE HOLDS THE KEY In general, a well-balanced diet high in whole foods and low in sugars and saturated fats is a good start. A diet high in fibre helps to balance blood sugar. So vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains should be encouraged. Protein also helps balance blood sugar, so viable sources of vegetable protein [or, lean animal protein] with each meal or as snacks is also a good suggestion. Several smaller meals throughout the day are better than three larger intakes, as they will help keep blood sugar and insulin levels steady.  Sugars, white flour products, alcohol, caffeine and all sources of saturated fat should be strictly avoided. Such food spike insulin and blood sugar levels, especially in the case of saturated fats, which also increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Also avoid artificial sweeteners, transfats and high-glycaemic load foods.   There is now a trend toward the use of a Mediterranean diet — one that is rich in ‘good’ fats [olive oil] and contains a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and proteins [such as from fish and chicken]. The Mediterranean diet is palatable and easily sustained. In addition, recent studies have shown that when compared to a low-fat diet, people on the Mediterranean diet have a greater decrease in body weight; they also had greater improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other markers of heart disease — all of which are important in evaluating and treating metabolic syndrome.   HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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EXERCISE   A sustainable exercise programme is a key component in addressing metabolic syndrome, provided there is no medical contraindication. There is a beneficial effect of exercise on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity, regardless of whether weight loss is achieved or not. Thus, exercise in and of itself is a helpful tool in treating metabolic syndrome. Conversely, research shows that there is no benefit in cosmetic surgery to remove fat where insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and cholesterol are concerned. Diet and exercise remain the best courses of action.   SUPPLEMENTS Chromium. Improves glucose tolerance and balances blood-sugar levels. Take a daily total of up to 200-800mcg.   Magnesium. Magnesium plays an important role in both the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It benefits the two conditions by increasing the number and sensitivity of insulin receptors. The dosage suggestion is 500-1,000mg daily of magnesium bound to glycinate, succinate, citrate, or aspartate. Magnesium oxide, in larger dosages, can cause loose stool.   Gymnema Sylvestre, or meshashringi. This herb is native to the tropical forests of southern and central India. It lowers blood sugar levels. Take 250-400mg of the herbal supplement, or 25 per cent of gymneic acid extract daily.   Alpha-lipoic acid [ALA]. Some researchers credit alpha-lipoic acid with being the principal supplement for preventing and reversing metabolic syndrome. The supplement has earned a reputation by increasing the burning of glucose.  The body needs ALA to produce energy; it plays a crucial role in the energy-producing structures in cells [mitochondria]. The body actually makes enough ALA for this basic function. ALA acts as an antioxidant, however, only when there is an excess of it and it is in the ‘free’ state in the cells. There is little free ALA circulating in your body, unless you consume supplements, or get it injected.  ALA is a versatile antioxidant — it helps deactivate an unusually wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in several bodily systems and also improves insulin sensitivity. Some clinicians believe 50-250mg/day, in concert with other antioxidants, may be sufficient to protect against metabolic syndrome. However, typical doses range from 300-1,000mg daily.   Vanadyl sulphate. Vanadyl sulphate is the most popular and common form of vanadium, an element in the body that is found in foods such as pepper, dill, radish, eggs, vegetable oils, buckwheat, and oats. There has been some debate over whether or not it is an essential nutrient. Recently, a great deal of attention has been paid to vanadium because of its insulin-mimicking

activities. It improves glucose tolerance in people with insulin resistance. Take 100-300mg daily; higher doses require the supervision of a physician.   Biotin. Biotin is involved with proper glucose metabolism. Take 9-16mg daily.   High-potency multivitamin/mineral supplement. This will supply most of the nutrients involved with blood sugar metabolism. Take as directed by your physician.   Essential fatty acids. EFAs — especially omega-3s — are vital to health and proper insulin function. Flaxseed or fish oil, combined with evening primrose oil, is a good idea. Take as directed and up to 9gm [9,000mg] daily in divided doses.   Bitter melon. This can help balance blood-sugar levels. Take 200mg, three times daily, or 5ml of the tincture, in water, twice daily. Garlic. This is an important herb for stabilising blood sugar, and for reducing the risk of heart disease and other circulatory disorders by improving blood flow, lowering elevated blood pressure, and reducing the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Take 300-450mg, twice daily.   Fenugreek. This herb stabilises blood sugar. Take a product with an equivalent dosage of 15-50gm daily.   ENDNOTE The term ‘metabolic syndrome’ is a way of identifying individuals at high risk for the development of heart disease and diabetes. We all know that obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension are bad omens. We also know that insulin resistance precedes type-2 diabetes, and can itself be an important condition meriting treatment. Each of us knows someone who is overweight, hypertensive, or has cholesterol levels that are ‘a little high.’ It may be a brother, sister, parent, neighbour, or even yourself. While the actual definition of metabolic syndrome is subject to variation, the known clustering that occurs means that adults with any major cardiovascular risk should be evaluated for the presence of other risk factors. Individuals at risk should receive education and counselling on lifestyle modifications, and all risk factors for heart disease should be treated promptly and seriously.   The fundamental point to understand is that it is important to treat risk factors as ‘bad things’ before ‘worse things’ happen. While such changes can be addressed in the physician’s office, the other 99 per cent of the time, they need to be addressed in the real world. This means we need to start having healthier food options readily available. We need to also have the time during the day to take a walk. We simply and basically need to restructure certain fundamentals in our society, because individuals having metabolic syndrome should be supported in making such, but often difficult, changes.

Ryan N Harrison is a US-based holistic health educator and consultant in private practice. He has taught holistic nutrition, therapeutic herbalism and natural health for several years — in traditional and online settings.

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LIVING WELL: LIFESTYLE

THE ESSENCE OF SPIRITUAL PARENTING Parents should think of themselves as parents in the gentlest sense of the term — guardians of the young. Because, parental relationship with a child is a sacred trust.

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growing gap. So, you’d ask — what is right? ne need not search the horizon, or every Here it is: a spiritual inclination towards parental home, to find out the raison d’être of task is an idea whose time has come, with or parental expectations. Commonplace without ‘initiation.’ It is a vision that is keyed examples tell us that children, whose parents to a deep personal conviction. Of parenting as are doctors, have it all worked out, willy-nilly, By KIRON B a spiritual force, a structure, or worship, and for example, in their minds. Most of them SHENOY also an acceptable attitude towards children follow a pattern: emulating their parents’ — the heart of any reverential approach to life. examples, and fulfilling their ‘dreams.’ Because, in several ways, a teacher is a parent; a coach Be that as it may, most parents, in the troubled times is a parent; a counsellor is a parent; a politician — believe we now live in, seem to have developed a certain outlook, it or not! — is a parent; or, even a simple voter is a parent. thanks to several modalities involved in pursuing such fancies. A majority of today’s parents would want their COMMITMENT & WISDOM children to ‘respect’ them, because they ought to, not Also, we should think of ourselves as parents in because they wish to. the gentlest sense of the term — guardians of the This, indeed, is a great expectation — more so, young. Because, our relationship with a child is because of the generation gap that exists between a sacred trust — and, that is the premise of this parents and children in this Age of the Infobahn. article: spiritual parenting. Reason? Under no This actually ain’t the right thing to do to bridge the HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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circumstance can anything be more important than protecting and nourishing children in our care. It goes without saying that none of the heinous acts recorded in human history would have occurred if children had been the world’s priority. As inspirational writers, Hugh and Gayle Prather, put it: “Nothing justifies anger towards your child… You may get angry — most of us quite frequently do — but never is it justified. There will be times when you need to be firm even with an infant; times when you must intervene in your teenager’s life and say no; times when you will have to pick up your three-year-old and carry him or her kicking and screaming from the room. But, there will never be a time when you must speak or act from anger rather than love. No matter how long you have pursued an arbitrary punishment, or how deep into your abusive lecture you have gone, it is never too late to change your course.” If discipline with the wisdom of sustained commitment to a goal is strength worth pursuing, one is often appalled at the way this term is habitually used vis-à-vis children. The Prathers add, “By way of generalisation, discipline means punishment, and vice versa: a concept that is in direct conflict, if not a corollary, for those who wish to approach parenting as a spiritual pursuit. The guidance you envisage to give your child should be more like the touch of a butterfly on a flower than the heavy hand of domination that breaks the will. In other words, one should always seek to assist children to see the path clearly: a route, which does not place a precedence in dispensing rules, regulations and righteousness.” SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE It is a simple fact of life that most of us summon our spiritual strength, or at least seek guidance, when we, and our children, are in a crisis. But, the more difficult challenge of good parenting is remembering to turn off

our conflicted mind to our peaceful mind when making those little every day, non-dramatic choices that have such a powerful, cumulative effect on our children. On the other hand, one finds it shocking if parents use their kids’ desires as leverage. That’s not loving. In other words, it is only a cheap way of asking them to sell their souls. For some parents, such manipulation may be in the form of [un]conscious response: “You can have it as soon as you become the person I want you to be.” Other notable examples: a neat, tidy person; a punctual person; an academically-oriented person, and/or something else. This is not practical. For one simple reason: most of the world’s geniuses, mystics and innovators were not tidy, out-going, punctual, or especially polite. You’d reel off a few names — without difficulty. Right? Yes, indeed. Easier said than done, or so you’d think? Because, there are no rules, no magic formulae, no doctrine, science, teaching, or philosophy, that parents can safely consult on what to do, or not to do, in any given situation, and with a particular child? Perhaps. Yet, spiritual parenting, which you, on your own, could cultivate as a concept may be practiced — to help you become a better parent. However, it all boils down to one thing. It is always advisable to approach child-care as a spiritual task, and also as a radically new, essential focus amidst the perplexing complexities involved in guiding children towards adulthood — irrespective of the fact whether you, as a parent believe in god, spirituality, religion, or not. Most important: parents need to be action-oriented, explore, understand, and nurture the heart of every child... in the best way possible, with tons of patience, warmth, love and sympathy. The result would be enormous.

Kiron B Shenoy, BSc, LLB, MBA, is a professional consultant and CEO with a multinational group. He is a firm believer in work-life balance and the ‘Power of Now.’ A practicing philosopher, motivational speaker and author, who networks actively, Shenoy lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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GOOD FOOD

THE ‘EAT WELL, STAY WELL’ SANDWICH

By TARLA DALAL

Black olive pesto sandwich, the much favourite pesto with walnuts is used as a spread to make this sandwich. Walnut does wonders for the brain. In fact, its shape is just like our brain. This is why it is believed to be the best brain food. Basil being a good source of iron is necessary for blood formation and in supplying nutrients and oxygen to the brain cells. However, people who do not like pesto can just munch 2-3 walnuts every day — with healthy benefits.

Preparation Time: 10mins Makes 4 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS • For the black olive pesto [makes approx 1/2 cup] • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped black olives • 1 cup fresh basil leaves • 1/4 cup roasted and chopped walnuts [akhrot] or pinenuts [chilgoza] • 1 tsp chopped garlic [lehsun] • 1 tbsp olive oil • Salt and freshly ground black peppercorns [kalimirch] to taste.

OTHER INGREDIENTS • 8 whole wheat bread slices, lightly buttered • 4 cheese slices • 16 tomatoes slices • Salt and freshly ground black peppercorns [kalimirch] to taste.

METHOD • For the black olive pesto • Combine all the ingredients together, except the olives, and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste using little water • Add the olives and mix well • Divide the pesto into 4 equal portions and keep aside. HOW TO PROCEED • Place a bread slice on a clean dry surface with the buttered side facing upwards • Spread a portion of the black olive pesto evenly on it • Place a cheese slice and 4 tomato slices evenly over it • Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over it and sandwich with another slice of bread with the buttered side facing downwards • Cut the sandwich into 2 equal pieces • Repeat steps 1-5 to make 3 more sandwiches Serve immediately. NUTRIENT VALUES PER SANDWICH Energy

Protein Carbohydrates Fat

273 calories 10.6gm 26.6gm

Calcium Iron

12.7gm 335.5mg 4.7mg [Courtesy: www.tarladalal.com]

Tarla Dalal was a noted Indian food writer, chef, best-selling cookbook author and host of cooking shows like Tarla Dalal Show and Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal.

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GOOD FOR YOU

EASING PMS WITH LIFESTYLE CHANGES Most women view themselves as helpless victims of the swirling hormones that drive their menstrual cycle, although their lifestyle often plays a large part in their suffering.

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her new diet with regular exercise, even ane was silent for a moment, and then if that simply meant brisk strolls across looked at me with a mixture of hope, campus. I asked her to take magnesium for surprise, and bitterness. “You mean there her headaches, primrose oil to balance her are things I could have been taking all along to hormones, and flaxseed powder to cleanse her stop my premenstrual syndrome [PMS]?” she system. asked. “I’m not sure I believe you.” Like Jane, By Dr RICHARD Most important, to calm the careening most women aren’t told about nutrients they FIRSHEIN hormones that were most likely exacerbating can take to relieve their monthly burden, but her PMS, I gave her capsules of the dried only about pain-relieving drugs like advil or root of black cohosh [Cimicifuga], a flowering plant midol. that has long been a valued remedy for many ailments When I talked with Jane about her daily life, I realised of the female reproductive system. From the pain of that her diet may have been aggravating her PMS. PMS to the struggle of childbirth and the discomfort of She was always on the go, or buried in a book, too menopause, black cohosh is an herbal rescue remedy, preoccupied to worry about eating nutritious foods, normalising the constantly fluctuating hormones that instead grabbing whatever was most convenient: junkcharacterise a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. Within food. To enhance her paltry stipend as a graduate six months, Jane noticed a significant improvement in student, Jane worked nights at a local diner, where her symptoms. sodas, greasy burgers, and fries were readily available. The first annoyance to disappear was her breast Whether in class or reading in the library, Jane always tenderness, followed quickly by her bloating. After a few found a vending machine that offered all too convenient more months, her cramps and finally even her mood and unhealthy replacements for good square meals. On swings were few and far between. Jane’s friends and weekends, she would sleep late and open her fridge, only classmates began to think she was a completely different to realise that she’d forgotten to do grocery shopping person and ultimately forgot what a crank she had once during the week. been. But, Jane will always remember how hard it was to Somehow, though, there always seemed to be a stash live life with PMS, and she continues to monitor her diet of chocolate bars and ice-cream in the freezer, and Jane — and to take black cohosh. would often munch on them in place of breakfast, lunch, Whether you’re facing the perils of PMS or the or dinner. This haphazard diet was probably one of the monsters of menopause, black cohosh, red clover, main causes of Jane’s struggles with PMS. and dong quai are healing herbs for women. Although most women view themselves as helpless When the intricate hormonal harmony of the victims of the swirling hormones that drive their menstrual cycle goes off-key, black cohosh is the menstrual cycle, their lifestyle often plays a large part herb that puts the reproductive system back in in their suffering. Eating a nutritious diet packed with tune. It is a useful remedy to get you back in sync fruits, vegetables, essential fatty acids, calcium, and soy with the natural rhythms of your own body. [which gently balances hormones] and eliminating sugar, Caveat. Recent studies have questioned the use of salt, alcohol, and caffeine can go a long way towards black cohosh for the treatment of hot flashes. Herbal reducing the cramps, headaches, and tenderness supplements can vary widely in their active ingredients. associated with PMS. Regular exercise can also help Always choose the best supplements and talk to your prevent PMS and, later in life, alleviate menopausal physician before starting any nutritional, or supplement, symptoms. programme. Women with a family history of cancer, or at I implored Jane to start eating planned, balanced risk for cancer, should avoid such ‘oestrogen-like’ herbs. meals through the course of her day, augmenting

Dr Richard Firshein, Founder-Director of The Firshein Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City, is a leading innovator and authority in the field of preventative and nutritional medicine, integrating both Eastern and Western medical practices. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and has served as professor of family medicine. An internationally recognised leader in the field of integrative medicine and healthy aging, a cancer researcher, prolific author and writer, Dr Firshein has written several groundbreaking books, including the bestselling Reversing Asthma, Your Asthma-Free Child, The Nutraceutical Revolution and, most recently, The Vitamin Prescription [For Life].

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FIGHTING FIT

THE CORE PURPOSE OF FITNESS Stop allowing your goal to move before it can be reached. Make your goals small and obtainable. Set them in stone.

By KERRY DULIN

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do not wear baggy clothes. I wear tight shirts. I like to be noticed. In restaurants, stores, or anywhere. People notice, I see their eyes follow me. Often people stop to ask questions and I like to answer them. On the other hand, I still feel small. When I diet to increase the definition prior to a competition I feel like I am letting people down. I’m not big enough. I recognise that statistically I am physically above normal and yet emotionally this just doesn’t seem to register. When considering weight and height my body mass index says that I am obese, and yet I can crunch down on a well-defined six pack. I am far from alone here. I don’t know that I have ever spoken with a competitive bodybuilder who has expressed satisfaction with his/her physique. We constantly strive for a goal only to have it move just before we reach it. It is easier to give advice than to take it and I have found myself counselling other lifters on multiple occasions. I see that they have made progress and comment on it. I have seen so many people come and go over the years that I try to encourage people and congratulate them on their physical progress. More often than not, however, they respond that they are not yet where they want to be. They want more. They want to be bigger. It is then that I tell them to take a moment to accept that they are even now where they wanted to be at one time and this is what I am asking you to do right now. Stop it, allow yourself to reach a definable goal and when you do, acknowledge it. Bask in it. Celebrate it. Accept that you have accomplished something and achieved something that was important to you. In doing so, you will be forced to recognise your progress and not focus on perceived inadequacies. In reality, what you consider to be a small or weak area is merely a symptom

of a much-deeper issue that we are attempting to mask with a physical band aid. Consider your youth. As a child I was small and skinny. I was younger than most in my class and as such was a late bloomer. Intellectually, I could rival most but physically I was out of step and nowhere was this more apparent than the gym class. The mandatory showers revealed that others were reaching puberty far ahead of myself, and I could only wonder what was wrong with me. Why didn’t I have body hair? Why wasn’t I growing? Many people suffer from muscle dysmorphia and not all become bodybuilders. Some buy powerful motorcycles, or fast cars. Some will become powerful in business while others will become controlling and/ or abusive spouses. Review your own life beginning with early childhood. Were you made to feel small and inadequate and, if so, how did it affect you? This is why it is so vitally important for you to recognise and rejoice in your successes, to accept yourself as you are. It is also important for you to recognise that there is a life outside of bodybuilding and to expand yourself as an individual. For some bodybuilders, the experience of an injury that prohibits continued training is equivalent to the complete loss of identity. We so identify and relate to the temporary illusion of strength that we have created that it encapsulates the sum totality of our being. The twin towers of the World Trade Center took years to build, but were laid to the ground in a matter of minutes. How much more fragile are we who are made only of flesh and bone. Broaden your horizon and try to experience the world beyond the gym and the physical culture. By spreading your roots you will be able to draw strength from more than one source. Take care, and enjoy life.

Kerry Dulin, a world-renowned fitness guru, first got into professional bodybuilding at age 40. He won his first bodybuilding competition at 41. Now 55, with a physique that would put someone half his age to shame, Dulin has what he calls “a manageable programme,” 12 top trophies to show for his fitness endeavours and three health and fitness websites. He lives in the US.

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WHOLE & SOUL

IN GIVING YOU RECEIVE The only thing that touches the heart is love. To love means to give. The more you give and the more genuine your giving is, the more people will reciprocate.

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lives. For some people, the only pleasure is to f you do not feel loved, it is probably satisfy their ego by inflicting pain and harm because you are not showing love. If you on others. Some people find pleasure in being do not feel respect, it is probably because By famous, in being adored and aggrandised. Some you are not showing respect. Human nature RADHANATH find pleasure in being worshipped, while some is that people reciprocate with what you give SWAMI others find pleasure in acquisition of wealth, them. If you are impersonal to others, most property, or power that comes with all these things. A people will be impersonal to you. If you do not show mother finds pleasure in giving caring love to her child. A care and affection for others, people will probably father finds pleasure in seeing the family prosper. ignore you. That is human nature. So anyone can say, Everyone is looking for pleasure. That essential need “Nobody loves me. Everybody is so impersonal to me.” for pleasure, in its most important form, is the pleasure I have seldom found someone who extends himself to of love. Even if you were the proprietor of everything on be caring, loving and affectionate towards others and the living planet but you were the only person on earth, doesn’t receive love from others. you would be unhappy. There can be no real satisfaction How you behave with others draws certain qualities of the heart without having people to love and without from within them. If you insult others, you draw out their being loved. anger. If you praise others, you draw out their pride. If The real problem in the world is poverty of the heart. you are affectionate to others, you can draw out whatever The only way to fill that hunger is love. The only thing affection is within their hearts. In giving, we receive. that touches the heart is love. To love means to give. The Love means to give. The essential need within every child gives nothing to the mother, but the mother is found living being is to seek pleasure. What do people do for to take great satisfaction in that child than practically pleasure? Now, different types of living entities have anything or anyone else, and all she is doing is giving her different standards of pleasure and they work in different love, and all she is doing is just sacrificing. Because, this ways to achieve them. is real pleasure. Love is not just to take, love is to give. For a little ant, the pleasure is a grain of sugar. For a The more you give and the more genuine your giving is, moth, it is the pleasure is light. And, we’ve seen what the more people will reciprocate. Naturally. This brings they do to attain that grain of sugar, how hard they will true satisfaction to the heart. work to achieve that light, even taking the risk of their Radhanath Swami a spiritual guide, is the author of the bestselling book, The Journey Home. To know more about his work on leadership and spirituality, visit www.tulsibooks.com. Website: www.radhanathswami.com

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POISE & BALANCE

ALL ABOUT PRANA Prana in Sanskrit means ‘vital energy’ or ‘life force.’ It permeates everything in the universe. It is also the tangible manifestation of the Higher Self.

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According to yogis, in the vital energy vessel rana is the basis of life and can be [pranamayi kosha] ten pranas are working: directly controlled through the breath. five with an inner function panchaprana [five Yogis, who can survive for days major pranas], and five with an outer function underground, where no air can penetrate, [upaprana]. have mastered the technique of completely By PREETI stopping their breath. Such yogis concentrate MANDAWEWALA PRANA on the prana as the point of light in the mid The term prana in the context does not refer to eyebrow centre. When their consciousness cosmic prana but to just one part of the pranamayi kosha, is completely absorbed in that light, the breath stops governing the area between the larynx and the top of the automatically. Prana still remains in the body, but diaphragm. It is associated with the organs of respiration there is no breathing process. There is no absorption and speech, together with the muscles and nerves that of prana, no elimination, no function of prana and activate them. It is the force by which breath is drawn apana, but only of vyana. So prana is the tangible inside. It also takes care of expansion and contraction manifestation of the Higher Self. Pranas are subtle [heart and lungs]. Its seat is in anahata chakra [heart energies, which work together but with specific chakra]. Bhastrika, anulom vilom and ujjayi pranayama functions; they move through the body via the nadis. help to activate prana shakti. Nadis are fine, etheric channels, similar to the meridians in acupuncture. There are thousands of such BHASTRIKA PRANAYAMA nadis in our body. Jivatman, the individual soul creates subtle prana, as • Sit in any comfortable position; padmasana is a first life energy, while maintaining the causal body and the choice, if you can manage for a longer time, sit in subsequent astral body. Both the causal and the astral sukhasana, with the head and spine straight and the hands body maintain the physical body by means of the vital resting on the knees in gyan mudra body, composed of the ten pranas. • Close the eyes and relax the whole body What is the function of prana and how are they • Inhale deeply, expanding the abdomen, and connected to the chakras? exhale with a forceful contraction of the Prana is a Sanskrit word which means vital energy or abdominal muscles. Do not strain life force. Prana permeates everything in the universe. • Breathe in with the same force immediately [During It is called chi in Chinese, ki in Japanese and Ruah inhalation the diaphragm descends and the abdomen or breath of life in Hebrew. They are five in number, moves outward] viz., prana, apana, vyana, udanaand samana. Along • During exhalation the diaphragm moves upward and the with them there are five upapranas or sub-pranas too abdomen moves inward. viz., Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. Continue in this manner, counting ten breaths. Although all five koshas function together to form an • At the end of ten breaths perform shitakari pranayam. integral whole, the practices of consciousness work Duration. To begin with, take three rounds of ten breaths, primarily with the air element and Pranamayi kosha. followed by anulom vilom, shitali or shitakari pranayama

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HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015


after every round of ten breaths. When accustomed to this style of breathing, increase the speed gradually, while keeping the breath rhythmical, and breath count maximum up to thirty per round. Inhalation and exhalation must be equal. Benefits. This pranayam purges toxins and removes diseases of the doshas [kapha, phlegm; pitta, bile; and, vata, wind. Thanks to the rapid exchange of air in the lungs, there is an increase in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide into and out of the bloodstream. This stimulates the metabolic rate, producing heat and flushing out of waste and toxins. The pranayama balances and strengthens the nervous system, inducing peace, tranquillity and onepointedness of preparation for meditation. UJJAYI PRANAYAMA Ujjayi means ‘victorious;’ ujji is the root, which means ‘to conquer’ or ‘acquire by conquest.’ Ujjayi is, therefore, the pranayama, which gives freedom from bondage. In English ujjayi is known as the ‘psychic breath,’ because of its effect on mind. It is also known as the psychic breath, as it leads to subtle states of mind and is used together with kechari mudra, the tongue lock, in tantric meditation techniques such as mantra japa, japaajapa, kriya yoga and pranavidya. In other words, ujjayi is often used in combination with mantra repetition. It is used in meditation practices, kriya yoga and yoganidra, because it helps relax the physical body and the mind and develops awareness of the subtle body and psychic sensitivity. • Sit in any comfortable meditation position, preferably a meditation asana • Close the eyes and relax the whole body • Take the awareness to the breath in the nostril and allow breathing to become calm and rhythmic • Become aware of the natural breathing process and feel the air passing down through the windpipe • Slightly contract the region at the back of the throat as you do when you swallow • Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose, but there is a partial contraction of the glottis, which produces a light snoring sound • The sound must come from the throat and not forced to come through the nose • Practice for 5-7 rounds. Benefits. Ujjayi is classified as a tranquillising pranayama — it has a heating effect on the body. This practice is used in yoga therapy to soothe the nervous system and calm the mind. It has a profoundly relaxing effect at the psychic level. It helps to relieve insomnia. APANA This is located below the navel region and provides energy for the large intestine, kidneys, anus and genitals. Its

function is to excrete waste products. Its movement is downwards and this takes care of gravity. Its seat is in mooladhara chakra [root chakra]. Agnisara kriya, Ashvini mudra and mula bandha help to strengthen and purify apana prana. SAMANA This is located between the heart and the navel. Its function is ‘heat’ [which happens by mixing different pranas]. It activates and controls the digestive system: the liver, intestines, pancreas and stomach, and their secretions. It also regulates the heart and circulatory system, and is responsible for the assimilation and distribution of nutrients. Its seat is in manipura chakra [navel chakra]. This prana is strengthened through the practice of agnisara riya and nauli. UDANA This controls the area of the body above the neck, activating all the sensory receptors, such as the eyes, nose and ears. Thought and consciousness of the outside world would be impossible without it. Udana also harmonises and activates the limbs and all their associated muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. It is also responsible for the erect posture of the body. Its movement is upwards. It, thus, works against gravity. Its seat is in vishuddha chakra [throat chakra]. Udana prana is activated by the practice of ujjayi pranayama, bhramari pranayama, and viparitakarani mudra. VYANA This pervades the whole body, regulating and controlling all movements, and co-coordinating the other pranas. It acts as the reserve force for other pranas. Its function is the distribution of nutrients and energy through the entire body. Vyana prana is activated and strengthened in the practice of kumbhaka [breath retention]. With each natural, relaxed breath that we take, there is an automatic pause between inhalation and exhalation. In the practice of pranayama, this pause is consciously lengthened. When we retain the breath, we withhold energy in the body with a resultant build up in pressure. This pressure has the effect of releasing energy blockages. Kumbhaka stimulates the nervous system. In short, pranayama is the means by which a yogi tries to realise within his individual body the whole cosmic nature and seeks perfection by drawing all the power of the universe. The inference is: pranayama increases the absorption of energy by the pranamayakosha, enhances dynamism, vitality and general well-being. One can gain victory over the indriyas successfully with the help of the regular practice of pranayama.

Dr Preeti Mandawewala, PhD, comes from a traditional Marwadi business family. She first discovered, as housewife, her love for yoga and completed Yogacharya certification followed by Yogavachaspati. A few years later, she learned all she could about chakra meditation and pursued her doctorate in the subject. She conducts regular workshops and has found chakra meditation to be therapeutically effective for acidity, spondylitis, diabetes, high blood pressure, migraine, thyroid disorders and tennis elbow, among other health issues. She lives in Mumbai.

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LIFE COACH

WHEN ‘COMFORT SIZE’ MATTERS The quality of your life is directly proportional to the size of your comfort zone. What is this all about?

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because they are not comfortable taking up he word comfort could mean different larger responsibilities and, therefore, don’t get things, like a sense of relief, being free paid higher. There are numerous examples from any sort of pain, or anxiety, or, of people who have inherited huge amounts quite simply, being at ease. The space where of money from their parents, or relatives, you experience this relief or freedom, or ease, but whose comfort zones were too small is called your comfort zone. In other words, to handle such large amounts of money. the circumstances, scenarios, places and By VINESH Eventually, such people end up losing most activities that keep you comfortable make up SUKUMARAN of their money, or go bankrupt. One of the your comfort zone. Expanding this comfortable quickest ways to get rich would be to expand space of yours has a huge correlation with various aspects of your life like personal growth, learning, your comfort zone. Get comfortable by taking greater risks, owning larger responsibilities and working harder health, wealth, relationships, life satisfaction, and so on. than you now think is possible for you — for yourself. HEALTH HAPPINESS After a point in life, being healthy is directly related While there are several things that make a person to how healthy your habits are. For example, if you happy, it is imperative to focus on personal growth are only comfortable eating junk-food everyday and and fruitful relationships for the moment. One of the not exercising, you are likely to become obese and biggest causes of unhappiness is having problematic unhealthy. To get healthier, one needs to eat healthy relationships with your family, friends, colleagues, or and develop healthier habits like exercising regularly, life partner. The most difficult people to get along with rather than drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and are the people who think their way is the only right way chain smoke. Eating green and juicy vegetables instead of being, or doing things. Which means such people of junk-food, drinking water instead of alcohol and are not comfortable with any behaviour, or interaction, quitting smoking could be extremely uncomfortable from others that does not match with their own ideal for many. But, this is exactly where you need to push modes. Developing harmonious human relationships yourself beyond your current level of comfort and means being comfortable with different kinds of people, expand your comfort zone. By consciously doing different kinds of interactions, and attitudes of others. the things that you might be uncomfortable doing Being flexible is nothing but having a larger comfort zone. at first, but that are good for health and well-being, Yet another factor that gives people happiness is you will gradually expand your comfort zone. In the learning and personal growth. Learning anything new process, you firm up your step into a healthier life. involves moving from what you already know or are comfortable with to something that you don’t know and WEALTH need to get comfortable with. This is well understood Your earning potential, or the amount of money you by anyone who has learnt a new musical instrument, make, is directly linked to the size of your comfort zone. a new language, or even picked up a new area of Across organisations, people who get paid more do work. Likewise, the term personal growth refers to more complex things and own and execute greater growing as a person, beyond one’s comfort zone. challenges. Many people don’t grow in organisations Vinesh Sukumaran is a Bengaluru-based applications specialist in behavioural dynamics and neurolinguistic psychology. A writer and coach, Sukumaran’s principal area of work is keyed to helping organisations and individuals apply neuropsychology to perform better at work and live more fulfilling lives.

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CORPORATE WELLNESS

THE BEYOND VISION TRANSFORMATION Enlightened leadership is not so much about things to do as it is a place leaders come from with whatever they do. It is a state of being.

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If there has been much talk in the business t goes without saying that we are in the community about the need for visionary midst of what futurist Alvin Toffler calls “the leadership, a leader with a vision of the rattling and shaking.” And, with no let-up in future, most leaders have been amused, sight, and no end to the cultural and economic even irritated, with the implied limitations earthquakes, we are doubtless witnessing By BADRINATH of that terminology. Merely having a vision the fundamental ‘shift’ of our lives at work DURVASULA is no panacea to bringing about successful and at home. If our age is in such a period of organisational change. What is really needed transformation — something which has so is enlightened leadership, and “leaders who not only consistently happened during man’s journey through have the vision but who have the ability to get the time — the forces driving such a change are diverse and members of the organisation to accept ownership varied, including the wondrous information boom, or for that vision as their own, thus developing the what may be called as the great super-autobahn. commitment to carry it through completion.” It’s precisely here that our story takes a turn. A turn Such leaders, as a matter of fact, need not have the into a new reality — one that is blooming and, in turn, vision themselves, but should possess the willingness transforming organisations and work. As Albert Einstein and ability to derive and inspire the vision from their put it so succinctly, “The significant problems we face people — and, empower them to foster this vision today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we into reality. In other words, enlightened leaders are were at when we created them.” Small wonder, then, those leaders, and also managers, who nurture and that companies all over the business horizon, have encourage their people to be open, creative, innovative, increasingly woken up to the fact, practically every day, and find what it takes to achieve their shared objectives and realised that their most under-utilised resources are — to bring the best in people. In the authors’ own “the minds and hearts” of their people. Because, it’s words, “Enlightened leadership is not so much about exactly these people — those closest to the customer things to do as it is a place leaders come from with and closest to work — who have the answers and own whatever they do. It actually is a state of being.” the solutions required too. Our age is in a period of fundamental change, and the What does all this mean? Nothing complex. We are, forces driving such a transformation are juxtaposed by quite simply, on the cusp of transforming the workplace. a host of new and pressing realities of transformation. The book, which I’m now going to relate to, is an Being able to change and keep pace with a rapidlyimportant paradigm in the context. What is pivotal to its changing world is the key to business success in the centrepiece and transformation is a new kind of leader, modern world. The idea also lies in showing those not the autocrat, but one who is endowed with creativity who would be change agents ‘how-to’ capitalise on and courage to bear on the problems of the organisation. their organisation’s greatest asset — the under-utilised I just happened to lay my hands on this relatively old talent, expertise, and the energy of its existing staff. book that I had read earlier. I was prompted to reading it, I am glad that I revisited the perceptive work — again — and, the best part is it has emerged like a breath a practical, hands-on and engaging ‘manual’ to of fresh air. Here goes — breaking through the barriers to organisational From logical, step-by-step processes for empowerment change for all of us — a pragmatic agenda based to tools that will help create a vision of what is possible on maximising the contribution of all employees, for a team or group, Enlightened Leadership provides a by way of sharing information, decision making, virtual gizmo for such leaders — to taking us into the planning, organisational goals and methods, future of work, and a more competitive environment and to getting into the heart of change. around us. Badrinath Durvasula is Vice-President and Head, Legal and Strategy, Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Mumbai. A much-sought after speaker and motivational ’guru,’ Durvasula holds masters’ degrees in nuclear physics, law and management.

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MIXED BAG

THE ‘MEETING POINT’ OF LIFE Keep your eyes wide open before marriage. Shut them, after marriage, to offset all your life partner’s faults.

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qualities in a partner are really ‘essential’ early every unattached woman I know and what is ‘desirable.’ Though you may not follows up the news of another woman’s find every quality on your desirable list [high love affair, romance, engagement, or expectations], it is the essential list you must marriage, with one burning question: “Where never compromise on. Keep your standards did you meet him?” flexible. What if he is short and hates movies, We women need this information even if we but makes it up by being thoughtful and caring? have to ask others, “Where did she meet him?” What if he doesn’t have an alluring gleam in his If there was a 24-hour TV channel devoted By RUBY eyes but makes it up by having a terrific sense purely to how-they-met-stories, you can bet LILAOWALA of humour? Would you still go for him? your last rupee that its viewership ratings would And, girls, don’t be discouraged by reports be guaranteed. of the supposed shortage [of men]. While it can take Most where-to-meet-men advice is disappointing. At planning, perseverance and a bit of luck to find the right work?  No! It interferes with the lady’s career if it doesn’t man, the situation is not as bad as “where are the nice work out. At clubs? Nah!  Most men who go to clubs are men? All nice men are already married.”  Remember, they middle-aged, balding, paunchy and already married. In too were bachelors before some girl said, ‘I do’ to them. cinemas? Are you joking? How can you see Mr Right in Now the same girls tell other girls, “I saw him first; he’s the dark, even when he is sitting next to you ? At plays? mine.” Don’t be silly. Just utter the words: “Hi Mr Right, I’ve Psychologists swear by the essential ingredient been waiting for you” and the rest of the audience will called ‘readiness.’  Both the boy and the girl should be rudely ‘throttle’ you or politely ask you to “shut up.” ready for commitment, or else you meet the right guy at Now wait a minute. What’s the point of even finding the wrong time, or worse, the wrong guy at the right time, out where to meet a man if you don’t have the radar to and holy-wedlock soon becomes an unholy-deadlock. spot him, the power to attract him and the allure to trap So, girls, put your chin up because finding the right him into marriage? Besides, today’s guys are smarter man may feel like mission impossible, but the truth is than rats. They will fall for the bait, eat up the cheese, women meet men everywhere — at shopping malls, but will escape the rat-trap [euphemism, for marriage]. cinema, theatre, on the Internet, through friends and What then? You’ll end up saying, “Who moved my colleagues, at art galleries, coffee shops and even while cheese.” walking down the street. Keep your eyes wide open Most of today’s girls carry ‘a high standard’ list in before marriage. Shut them, after marriage, to offset all their mind. Sometimes, their expectations can be higher his faults. than Mount Kailash and overly critical. Decide which Ruby Lilaowala , a former special correspondent for Gulf Times, is a writer, columnist, life-coach and counsellor. She lives in Mumbai.

HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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POT-POURRI

SPA NIRVANA Total relaxation is, perhaps, the most important benefit of body scrub. It can ease out stress and promote optimal levels of well-being.

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t’d be an oft-repeated cliché to say that a total spa experience will never be complete without a body scrub. Yet, it truly is. The body scrub is the ultimate cleansing experience that you can get at the local spa and wellness centre. Body scrub is, in its essence, a spa treatment that encompasses the use of natural and coarse materials like salt, crushed nuts and sugar suspended in a semiliquid emulsion, like gel. The emulsion or suspension is used by the spa therapist to rub off the dead skin from the client’s body for total rejuvenation and relaxation. The mechanical removal of the dead skin layer during the body scrub session exposes the young and supple layer of the skin. It gives the individual that vibrant and youthful look and feel. As a matter of fact, body scrubs can also be done at one’s own home using one’s own recipes and concoctions. There are several health benefits linked to the body scrub treatment in the spa. One of the most obvious uses of body scrub is exfoliation. Exfoliating the dead layer of skin consequently sloughs off layers of toxins on the skin. When the skin is already bare, spa treatment lotions and essential oils can easily penetrate the skin and amplify its intended effects of rejuvenation and invigoration. YOUTHFUL & VIBRANT The active removal of the dead layer of skin induces the lower skin layer to produce newer skin cells making the customer appear more youthful and vibrant. This same process of exfoliation is also used in the skin whitening therapy variants of commercial body scrubs to enhance complexion and beauty. The exposed younger skin layer after mechanical exfoliation apparently feels moisturised and soft to the touch.

The rubbing action during the body scrub on the skin layer also promotes good skin circulation of the blood and lymph making the skin firmer and healthier. The use of coffee as scouring agent in some body scrub concoctions is proven to rid us of blemishes and cellulites that may cause uneven skin textures. For some patrons, the smell of coffee during the scrub is by itself an invigorating experience. The use of sea salts in the body scrubs, likewise, has been known to result in a glowing or beaming skin. The sea salt scrub experience has been dubbed to be so good that clients claim to feel happy, relaxed and fresh instantly after the treatment. The whole body scrub spa package usually comes with a complete body massage to wrap up the whole experience in a relaxation mood. Clients may specify aching or tense areas of the body where the therapist may concentrate to relieve the discomfort. Total relaxation is, perhaps, the most important benefit of body scrub. It can ease out stress and promote optimal levels of well-being for patrons. ‘BESPOKE’ RUB The body scrub and massage experience may be based on different essential oils for aromatherapy — it promotes better breathing and quells allergies. One can book one’s own, customised ultimate body scrub experience at the O2 Spa nearest to you and enjoy its invigorating scrub and unique massage today. There is a great repertoire to choose from among special recipes of body scrub emulsions — almond honey cleanser, African coco moisturising solution, coco butter deep moisturising scrubs, Australian tea tree exfoliating extracts and the classic whitening scrub. For further details, visit: http://www.o2spa.org/ HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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FITNESS EQUIPMENT

BURN THAT FAT FAST Looking to rev-up your metabolism and burn empty calories? Think aloud on the following exercise formats which will not only improve your workouts, but also help you burn fat — quickly.

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ll of us seem to first think of fitness machines, because of the ease they provide for exercise. On the contrary, free-weight and cable movements are also a good choice, although they call for more skill and movement. They sure generate muscular balance, and greater metabolic ‘charge,’ but you’d sure know that it is not so easy to balance the weights or co-ordinate your muscles while performing free-weight exercises. You also thought that this was a drawback. In reality, it is not. Because, when you balance and stabilise free-weights, or cables, you make more muscles work for you. Reason: you lend to your exercise a greater range of motion and develop more muscles. The result? You will burn more calories. You will also look more fit, neat, and healthy. COMPOUND [MULTI-JOINT & MULTI-MUSCLE] EXERCISE Most of us have an eye on improving our body composition. Fair enough. Which brings us to the big question — whether there is any definitive need for us to worry about specific exercises? You need to aim only at exercises that you are comfortable with, and exercises that give you good, tangible results. You sure can do specific exercises to work on a particular drawback. However, it would be wise not to go overboard with them. The minimum the specific-exercise ‘dose,’ the better. Experts insist that compound exercises ‘take on’ most muscle groups for any given body part. If you, for instance, seek lean muscle and hike the metabolism that comes with it, you need to choose exercises that allow for the maximum load on your body. This is also reason enough why squats are superior to leg extensions vis-à-vis quadriceps muscle development — to illustrate one example. Likewise, you can perform your presses and dips for giving the maximum ‘push’ to your triceps. You would, of course, do well to remember that your lifts will allow you to make the best use of most weights. Lifts have a systemic effect on your body and help

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maintain and also increase your muscle mass. They not only ‘fire’ your metabolism, but also provide attractive shape to your body which you had only dreamed of. Important. You need to work intensely on your compound, multi-joint/multi-muscle exercises. About 75 per cent of your exercises for each session should ideally be focused on these exercises. You can sure perform a few isolation exercises, but remember that what’s going to do the trick for you are multi-joint exercises — not so much of isolation exercises focused on just one joint, or muscle. GROUP, OR SUPER-SET, EXERCISE You may also perform non-competing muscle group training, or what is called as antagonist training. Noncompeting muscle group training encompasses a set of lower body exercise, followed by an upper body exercise. Antagonist exercises, in other words, are composed of alternating exercises that aim at exercising opposing muscle groups. One example is chest and back. The big advantage of these exercises is — they improve your strength levels and lead to short-duration workouts. This is also one excellent way to burn fat. Besides, alternating exercise enables you to keep your heart rate high. Isn’t this an ideal combination — to get the best out of your 2-in-1 exercise plan, and with good results? REPETITION Experts attest that you need to do 8-12 repetitions of each exercise for muscle gain. Repetition exercise forms the core of your resistance exercise programme. It allows you to gain lean body mass and stimulate your metabolism. Remember — when you perform bodyweight exercises, or light resistance training with repetitive movements, your muscles acquire a superior shape without growing or bulging. However, if you test yourself with moderately heavy weights, you will sure get a good muscle-toned appearance. This is not something that you should aim at, though — because, keeping fit and healthy can be done without rippling biceps, or muscles.


TOP OF MIND

KNEE ARTHRITIS & EXERCISE Physical exercise can help slow down the rate at which arthritis progresses, making living with the painful knee much easier. By EUSEBIO JASON FERNANDES

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he knee is one of the largest and strongest weight-bearing joints in our body. With this strength comes the great responsibility of relaying various forces across the joint. These forces continually challenge the integrity of the knee joint, predisposing it to the risk of injuries. Our body is built in such a way that it can, to a certain extent, overcome the ill-effects of the forces acting on the knee. But, as age progresses, or an old injury to the knee expands, the wear and tear of joint pain, swelling, stiffness and sometimes gritty sounds arise within the joint. Pain and swelling in the knee is due to increased wear and tear within the joint. It leads to the degeneration of the joint, a condition commonly called as arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is said to occur in individuals above the age of 50 years. However, recent studies show that younger individuals, especially those with a history of knee injuries, have arthritic changes occurring in their joints. In the arthritic knee, a cascade of events occur. Though pain develops over time, cartilage erosion and synovial fluid [joint lubricant] thickening narrows the joint space producing audible ‘clicks’ during movement. In some cases’ small bony spur-like projections develop within the joint adding to the pain. Pain and swelling are the most common complaints, while early morning stiffness, redness, discolouration of the joint, sudden knee locking and buckling may also appear during the course of the condition. Given the fact that arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, is a progressive condition, the right choice of physical exercise can help slow down the rate at which this condition progresses, making living with an arthritic knee much easier.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE [IN LYING POSITION] Bend one leg at the knee. Keeping the other leg straight, lift the foot off the bed. Hold for 5-10 counts and then slowly lower. Repeat this ten times for each leg. KNEE PRESS [IN LYING POSITION] Place a towel roll under the knee to be exercised. Press the knee onto the towel roll. Hold it for 5-10 counts and repeat repeat 5-10 times for each leg.   LEG RAISE [IN SITTING POSITION] Sitting on a chair with a back support, slowly straighten one leg at a time. Hold the leg up straight for 5-10 counts and again repeat 5-10 times for each leg.   LEG SLIDE [IN LYING POSITION] Slowly bend your knees one at a time, sliding the heel of your foot as you go up onto the bed. Repeat 10-20 times for each leg. KNEE SQUATS Hold onto a chair. Squat down until your knee comes in front of your toes and then move up. Do this 5-10 times.   STEP UP This can be done in front of the stair case or a foot stool. Alternatively, place one foot up and down the step 1020 times [Note: Although knee pain can be caused for a number of reasons, an active lifestyle and healthy weight can help solve a number of problems. Taking a painrelieving tablet, like the homeopathic Arnica, before exercise can help reduce pain during your workout. When you don’t have the tablet with you, hot water fermentation before and after exercise would be useful].

Eusebio Jason Fernandes is a graduate in physiotherapy with a master’s degree in applied physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He is currently working with children having special needs. He lives in Goa.

HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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HEALTH HAPPENINGS

ARE WE TOO DEPENDENT ON MEDICATION? You have a headache. Do you drink some fluids and take a rest? Or, do you reach for painkillers? For most of us, the latter is likely to be the first port of call. With our increasingly busy lifestyles, we tend to opt for a quick-fix to our ailments, and this often involves a pill of some kind. But, have we become too reliant on modern medicines? And, if so, could this be doing us more harm than good? Around 81 per cent of adults in the US use overthe-counter [OTC] drugs as a first response to minor conditions. A 2010 survey from The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that between 1999 and 2009, the number of prescriptions dispensed in the US increased by 39 per cent, from 2.8 billion to 3.9 billion. A 2014 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] revealed 48 per cent of us have used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days — 5 per cent more than in 1999-2000. Around 31 per cent of us have used two or more prescription drugs in the past month, compared with 25 per cent in 1999-2000. And, when it comes to over-the-counter [OTC] medications, one 2012 research from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association found that 81 per cent of adults in the US use such drugs as a first response to minor conditions. Figures such as these indicate that we are more dependent on medication than ever before. But, why is this the case? It is easier for patients to pop a pill than make lifestyle changes. Heart disease is responsible for more than 600,000 deaths in the US each year, making it the leading cause

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of death in the country. With this in mind, it is no wonder that among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the US include those used to treat conditions associated with heart disease, such as statins — used to reduce cholesterol. According to the CDC, the use of cholesterollowering drugs is now six times higher than it was in 1988-94. It is common knowledge, however, that a number of lifestyle changes — including adopting a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco smoke and increasing physical activity — can help lower cholesterol, as well as blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. For example, a 2013 study published in The British Medical Journal found that for the treatment of stroke, exercise was more effective than medication, while it was as equally as effective for the secondary prevention of heart disease and diabetes. So, why do many of us turn to medication instead? “I think that it is probably easier for patients to pop a pill as opposed to changing their lifestyle, exercising and losing weight,” Dr Ravi Hira, a cardiology researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, US, observed to Medical News Today. “These are difficult changes to make.” The bottom line: while taking a pill may be easier than making lifestyle changes, it comes with risks. SUGAR: SHOULD WE ELIMINATE IT FROM OUR DIET… Sugar seems to have developed a reputation as the big bad wolf in relation to health. Medical News Today reports on numerous studies associating sugar intake with increased aging, cardiovascular disease, obesity and even cancer. Such research has led to many health


experts around the globe calling for reductions in recommended sugar intake, with some saying we should cut out sugar completely. But, is sugar really that bad for our health? Sugar is a crystalline carbohydrate that makes foods taste sweet. There are many different types, including glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose and sucrose. Put simply, sugar is a crystalline carbohydrate that makes foods taste sweet. Some of these sugars, such as glucose, fructose and lactose, occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and other foods. But, many of the foods we consume contain ‘added’ sugars — sugar that we add to a product ourselves to enhance the flavour, or ‘sugar’ that has been added to a product by the manufacturer. The most common sources of added sugars include soft drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to seven teaspoons of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to six teaspoons. It is added sugars that have been cited as a contributor to many health problems. A study, published in Open Heart, claimed that added sugars may increase the risk of high blood pressure, even more so than sodium. Yet another study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] associated high added sugar intake with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease [CVD]. Perhaps, most strongly, added sugars have been associated with the significant increase in obesity. In the US, more than a third of adults are obese, while the rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that consumption of sugarsweetened beverages increases weight gain in both children and adults, while a review paper from the World Health Organisation [WHO] notes that an increase in the consumption of such beverages correlates with increase in obesity. … OR, IS ADDED FRUCTOSE A MAJOR DRIVER OF TYPE- 2 DIABETES ‘EPIDEMIC?’ Clinical experts have challenged current dietary guidelines concerning added sugar consumption in order to tackle ‘a worsening epidemic of type 2-diabetes.’ In particular, they identify fructose as a principal driver of type-2 diabetes. “Estimated consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased from 10.8 gallons per person per year in 1950 to 49.3 gallons in 2000,” report some observers. A new report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings advises people to replace processed foods containing high levels of added sugars and fructose with whole foods such as fruit and vegetables. Present guidelines from the Institute of Medicine [IoM] allow for up to 25 per cent of total daily calories to come from added sugars. However, added sugars such as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup have

been associated with the development of diabetes and other metabolic disorders that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In the US, 1 in 11 people has type-2 diabetes — a total of around 29 million adults. Worldwide, the number of individuals diagnosed with the condition has more than doubled in recent times, from 153 million people in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes — also referred to as ‘borderline’ diabetes, whereby their blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. “Approximately 40 per cent of US adults already have some degree of insulin resistance with projections that nearly the same percentage will eventually develop frank diabetes,” says James DiNicolantonio of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, US. After assessing several observational studies and clinical trials, DiNicolantonio and team report that excessive fructose consumption causes insulin resistance and disturbs the metabolism. In comparison with glucose or starch, they found that consumption of fructose or sucrose, a combination of fructose and sugar, leads to increases in fasting insulin levels and fasting glucose levels. Recent trials have also found that replacing glucoseonly starch with sucrose could increase the risk of adverse metabolic effects such as increased cholesterol and blood pressure. These adverse effects become more profound with increased proportions of added fructose in the diet. “At current levels, added-sugar consumption, and added-fructose consumption in particular, are fuelling a worsening epidemic of type-2 diabetes,” says DiNicolantonio. Although fructose can be found naturally in whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, in such foods it exists in much lower concentrations than processed foods. DiNicolantonio and team report that approximately 75 per cent of all packaged foods and beverages may contain added sugars. [Culled & Collated from the ‘Net and media reports] HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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HOME[O]PATHY

SEEDS THAT BLESS Black cumin seeds [Nigella Sativa] or black caraway, or kalonji, means ‘the seeds of blessing.’ Prophet Muhammad called it “a remedy for every illness, except death.” By Dr SIDDIQA KHUSHTAR

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lack cumin seeds belong to the buttercup family. The seeds are dark, thin, and crescent-shaped when whole. It is also aromatic with a slight peppery flavour. It is one of the distinct flavours of Arab pastries — it is often sprinkled on breads and cheese. It is also heated and taken with milk for flavour, or ground with honey and cakes, or pastries. The Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament details the harvesting of the seed. The seeds are also mentioned in the Bible as ‘curative black seed.’ The seeds have been used by Asian herbalists and ancient Romans too for culinary purposes. However, it never really held a place of importance till mediaeval times. • Legend has it that the seeds have been used for headaches and skin irritation • Queen Nefertiti used black seed oil to bring lustre to her hair and nails • Archaeologists confirm that the Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamun kept a bottle of black cumin seed oil in his tomb — for use in the afterlife • Cleopatra used it as a beauty treatment • The great physician Ibn Sina or Avicenna [980–1037 AD], stated that black seeds work as expectorant, stimulating the body’s energy to overcome fatigue and dispiritedness • Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used it to cure digestive and metabolic disorders. Some herbalists believe that the seeds possess a definitive anti-carcinogenic effect — both in the prevention and treatment of the dreaded disease. Research suggests that one of the seed’s active ingredients, thymoquinone, is effective in reducing the size of existing tumours. The Cancer Research Laboratory of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, US, states there is evidence of its success in antitumour therapy, without the negative side-effects of chemotherapy. Research also suggests that black cumin seed oil may: • Inhibit tumour growth by up to 50 per cent • Increase the growth of healthy bone marrow cells by 250 per cent • Aid in the production of natural interferon • Demonstrate strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties • Help to protect the body against damage from chemotherapy and radiation • Deactivate and/or kill certain types of cancer cells. One active ingredient in black seed oil is crystalline nigellone. The seed

oil contains betasitosterol, thymoquinone, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, proteins, calcium and B vitamins, folic acid, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus. The high content of phytosterols found in black cumin oil is necessary for the natural production of hormones, pro-vitamin D and bile acid — which help in the prevention of endocrine disorders, immune deficiency and cardiovascular disease • Increase the production of interferon, protect normal cells from the damaging effects of harmful invaders, destroy tumour cells and increase the number of antibody-producing ß-cells to increase vitality and well-being. Black cumin also assists in reducing blood cholesterol, preventing the formation of dangerous atherosclerotic plaque, as well as squashing the development of inflammatory elements in the cardiovascular system. Besides, black cumin may be used for tachycardia, bradycardia, hypotension and hypertension, as well as other heart disorders. THERAPEUTIC USES • Antibacterial • Anti-inflammatory • Anti-ulcer • Anti-cholinergic • Anti-fungal • Bronchodilator • Gluconeogenesis inhibitor [anti-diabetic] • Hepato-protective [liver-protecting] • Hypotensive • Insulin sensitising • Reno-protective [kidney protecting] It also stimulates menstrual periods • Improves body tone • Calms the nervous system • Helps fortify and increase the elasticity of blood vessel walls • Helps clear acne • Helps relieve backache, arthritis and rheumatism • Helps soothe burns • Improves hair growth and prevents poliosis [early greying] • Boosts production of bone marrow • Helps ease eczema • Stimulates urine production • Improves respiratory problems • Fights infectious disease • Prevents epileptic seizures • Increases the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.

Dr Siddiqa Khushtar, BHMS, is a Mumbai-based homeopath, with special interest in home remedies

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READ. WATCH. LISTEN. EXPLORE HOMEOPATHY MADE SIMPLE This book is essentially written for the benefit of new practitioners of homeopathy and laymen keen to treat common ailments in the family, friends and themselves. The book is unique — it contains basic information and knowledge of remedies and their relationship in common illnesses or diseases. The book is also replete with illustrations that explain dietary recommendations and essential facts — they all add up to one’s health and optimal wellness. What augments the utility value of the book, coming as it does from a holistic healer with 70 years of clinical

experience, is the application of the exact potency of the appropriate homeopathic remedy, along with its dosage, for each ailment. Illustrated Guide To Homeopathic Treatment H S Khaneja B Jain Publishers Price: `269.00

LIFE TALKS This is a summary of philosopher Ramesh Balsekar’s talks, or morning satsangs, in which he explains how to live a happy and harmonious life. The talks cover subjects like ‘guilt, shame and sin,’ ‘ego’ and ‘free will.’ Balsekar also talks about what the daily life of an enlightened sage is like and tells the story of his own enlightenment. The incorporation of his ideas into one’s daily life is keyed to help solve virtually any personal problem. All in all, a unique experience to watch and learn from.

The Cosmic Law [One DVD] Ramesh Balsekar Yogi Impressions Price: `642.00

A RESORT LIKE NO OTHER Vishranti Resorts in Dehradun is as close to nature as you can get. The resort is secure in every respect and so your stay is sure to include all the trappings of an excursion to remember for a long time. Reserve an idyllic cottage that is designed in the style of a colonial countryside bungalow with sloping roofs and wide verandas. Indulge in the inherent serenity of the immediate environment, while relaxing in a state of blissful comfort. The farmlands and organic produce, the plush plantation, the flori-culture project and the exotic birds that inhabit the area will keep you

preoccupied for hours at length. Website: http://www.vishrantiresorts.com. Tel: +91-9359735000/+91-135-3987750.

SEASIDE BISTRO The Ginger House Restaurant, in Kochi, is a unique bistro, built in the lap of history. It is an antique restaurant, designed tastefully with furniture belonging to the sublime past. The restaurant provides a wonderful feel of being surrounded by temple gods, bronze bulls and other pieces of Indian history, which lend other-worldly charm to one’s dining experience. It also offers a great view of the Kochi backwaters and the antique marvels of a heritage art showroom. Website: http://www.gingerhousecochin.com. Tel: +91-484-2211145.

HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

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CELEB FITNESS

ASIN’S WELLNESS MANTRA

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sin Thottumkal, or quite simply Asin, is a talented actress and trained Bharatanatyam dancer. She began her acting career in South Indian films, but now appears, for the most part, in Bollywood films. Her wellness mantra in her own words, by courtesy of http://celebfitness.blogspot.in/ I start my day with a cup of oats or a bowl of muesli and some fruit. Sometimes, I have an egg, or idlis. I am an early riser — I am usually up by 6:00am. But, it depends on my schedule — if I have slept late then I wake up at around 9:00am. A traditional Malayalee breakfast has appam, idli, dosa or uttapayam which is made of fruit or puttu kadala made of chana. I am not a coffee or tea drinker. I am actually a water and milk baby. My favourite fruits are mango, jackfruit, custard apple, and different types of bananas. I lunch on a few chapattis or a bowl of rice with vegetables. There are usually pulses for protein. I also love fish. My favourite vegetable: carrots. My lunch is prepared by my mom. She is responsible for my food, so I carry my food to the sets. I am not fussy about food and I don’t mind having unit food. But, since mom makes it with so much love and care, I make it a point to have the dabba that she has made. Lunch on the sets is amazing. In the South, the variety

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HOMEOPATHY & YOU | MARCH 2015

you are offered is mind-blowing. I am not exaggerating, there are eight different items. But, as I told you, I carry my own food. My favourite Kerala dish is rice and prawns — eating that is sheer bliss. I snack on fruits or coconut water or nuts. I have an early dinner, but I don’t have any snack thereafter. My dinner is usually quite early, at around 7:00pm, if I am at home. But, it’s delayed if I am shooting. Mom usually likes to have rice, but I don’t have rice for dinner. There is kappa and meen, which is tapioca and fish, or we have rice porridge, also known as kanji. I also have eggs or chicken for dinner. My favourite desserts. I don’t have any sweets. I prefer fruits. I enjoy Indian sweets more than foreign chocolate, because there is so much variety — jalebis and laddoos, Mysore pak and payasam. I don’t have that big a sweet tooth, I can resist sweets but if somebody offers them, I don’t mind having them. My fitness regime: I do cardio, and when I get the time, I do weights. My favourite spice is chilli. I love spicy food more than sweet. My favourite beverage is coconut water. My favourite poison: I don’t drink. My idea of a romantic meal. I like the backwaters in Kerala — they have nice hotels and houseboats on which they cook fish. I love to eat traditional food.


RNI TEMP REG No MAHENG13369/13/1/2013-TC

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Homeopathy & you March 2015 issue  

Highlights of the March 2015 Issue: Dr Mukesh Batra unravels the homeopathic ‘Conium’ personality Dr Akshay Batra: The Homeopathic perspect...

Homeopathy & you March 2015 issue  

Highlights of the March 2015 Issue: Dr Mukesh Batra unravels the homeopathic ‘Conium’ personality Dr Akshay Batra: The Homeopathic perspect...

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