Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Wedding System and it's Hindrance to Homoeopathic Cures


For the staunch practitioners of homoeopathy this may come as a shock to you. For the ardent followers of homoeopathy this may come as an eye opener. As for the rest this is a piece of information to be stored into your repertoire.  Almost all the diseases are amenable to homoeopathic treatment, then how could a wedding system be the cause of hindering the action of potencies, of medicines?

Like elsewhere, the parents are very meticulous in the selection of a perfect partner for their daughter. You get the groom to live in your house forever.  Isn't that a profitable package? You might agree or you might not. Now, to win a husband, the bride’s family has to pass through a rigorous screening process. The guy can’t live anywhere and everywhere. So you need a house and a fully functional bedroom complete with a television set and bath attached of course. This may not seem much to some, but what if your father earned just a few thousand rupees a month? Joint family? You are off the check list. A member working abroad is a welcome addition. The trouble doesn't end with the toils and labour for the search of a “handsome husband”, this is just the beginning. So the guy stays in your house for the rest of his life, he has to be well fed – chicken and meat till he says “Okay, feed me some fish too.” This is al right if the guy pays for it; it often happens that the “allowance” doesn't cover the expensive menu. This gets even more interesting. The guy feels he needs to take a break from his work, he takes it, beware this break may extend too long. Who pays for the family now that they have kids?? No, don’t take the liberty of giving some friendly advises, he might just leave off and never be back again. He might leave otherwise too, as and when he wants. The parents who bought up their daughter are left stranded with the addition of grand kids too.

The parents, the wife and the kids if any are under constant mental stress and strain. The financial constraints, the prospect of pleasing the husband, the burden of taking care of the kids is such a huge package, no wonder they all fall sick. As is commonly known constant tensions and worries cause diseases too. So add to the above, the burden of treating the family. Hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and allergies are the trending diseases. Would the treatments afford some relief to the patients? Partially yes, but not completely. They often are not able to carry on with the treatment. Or some other problems come up which needs immediate attention. Once a drop out, always a drop out.

Homoeopathy is a system of medicine which does not treat the disease but the person as a whole. It is the only system which is able to afford relief to the mental stress without resorting to tranquillizers or other suppressants. But the maintaining cause of the disease, the cares and worries are not removed, and this acts as an obstacle to homoeopathic cure. I would like to quote from an article “The Deflected Current” by Dr. H.A. Roberts. It was Hahnemann himself who emphasized the fact that nothing was as deleterious to health as unhappy domestic conditions; that these conditions could, and often did, prove insuperable obstacles to cure. It is fortunate that the simillimum often can take the additional tension from the patient, or may lift off one series of symptoms; but so long as these strains persist under the surface, one cannot expect cure. Nevertheless, if the physician does not realize that these underlying influences exist, he may fall so far short of helping the patient that he may imperil his own belief in the homoeopathic possibilities of cure, as well as the confidence of the patient.”

Is it possible to make changes in the age old system, for the purpose of bringing a smile to hearts? Time to ponder…

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Nutrition Nightmares



I not-so-proudly present before you a few reports of nutrition nightmares. They suffer from various diseases, have several deficiencies, are willing to spend currencies for medicines but are stubbornly unwilling to change their nutrition pattern or cooking practices. I have tried to give them friendly advices, scary truths and deathly facts. The decision to take a turn is all theirs.

CAUTION: - Listed below are from live cases. The facts have not been exaggerated or mishandled in any way. The list may shock you to your roots or bore you to death. The risk is all yours.

A boy of 13 years, accompanied by his mother walked in haughtily. Fearless, reckless, insolent, lazy, this was his menu during the fasting month of Ramadan: Break the fast with a glass of sweetened, cold lime juice, helps him to 2 or 3 items of fried snacks. Runs off to the next door grocer and devours the following products- few packets of fried chips, and a bottle of preserved juice. Dinner would be boiled noodles with taste maker and no veggies or meat. The food for early morning before beginning the fast would be 2 or 3 parathas, already bought the night before.

A 40 something male, all muscles (or fat) with a minor skin complaint, desires to have his blood pressure checked. 130/90 mm of Hg. Tried to give him a small talk on eating habits, exercise and blood pressure. “Oh! No! Doctor, I can’t eat vegetables.” a reply! He works in the gulf sector and lives with fellow room mates and has a common mess. “Then you are buying disease.” Says I, didn't want to give up soon. He puts forth his reasons at this stage. “We eat chicken or fish daily, I can’t cook vegetables alone or my roomies will be hurt.” “Try salads then, meanwhile you are home now why don’t you try changing your diet to more of vegetables now?” “I don’t like the taste of veggies.” was the prompt reply. How do you put sense into arrogantly ignorant people like him is my question to you all?

Rice is the staple food in South India. That being said, would you like to eat boiled rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I know just a family like that. The lady of the family prepares boiled rice to be consumed all the three times. I thought she must be lazy to cook dosas, idlis or snacks. No, she prepares these items for breakfast but makes sure that everyone eats some rice too. “The body gets heated up otherwise” is her reason.

Not eating enough is the usual complaints of the mother about her child. The child is 4years old and suffers from bouts of asthma. He appears pale and under nourished. “What do you feed your child?” I wanted to get an insight into their food habits. “He loves biscuits, ghee-rice, biriyani and fried fish. I try to feed him that whenever possible.” What about veggies?” (Disclaimer: - I am not a strict vegetarian, love my fishes too. But concerned about balanced meal.) “We prepare veg dishes on Fridays but he doesn’t eat them.”

Weaning is an important phase in an infant’s life. There are whole lots of healthy stuffs like boiled vegetables, fruits, cereals (made from scratch not the processed variety) etc.  A mother of a 4month old infant asked me this question “When can I start giving my baby biscuits and warm water?” “Why would you want to do that and why biscuits?” “Well, all in our family starts with biscuits; they say if you don’t introduce solid foods soon, the baby will be a picky eater later.” Have you ever heard of such a thing?

There are even more scary nightmares, will follow them up in later posts. The choice to eat healthy well balanced food is ours to adopt and follow. Being healthy will keep you away from several diseases but not all. In addition your body will be in a better stage to fight infections or other ills and ailments. The prevalent lifestyle diseases are due to unhealthy eating and sedentary practices. So why don’t you eat healthily to stay healthy? 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Homoeopathy and Diseases: Joint Troubles


Joint troubles are extremely troublesome, pains, swellings, limited movements- all these might call for a change in lifestyle. You would have been climbing a 100 steps/day. Suddenly those pains in knee joints make it difficult for you to rise from your chair. This may not happen overnight but there is still the possibility of being crippled. Dangerous as it sounds, there are treatment options, physical therapy and most important of all preventive measures available. Yet most people begin reading about preventive measures once they start getting the troubles.

There are various types of joint troubles like inflammatory joint diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis), degenerative joint diseases (e.g. osteo arthritis), crystal deposition disorders (e.g. gout), inflammations of the spine like ankylosing spondylitis, infectious arthritis, psoriatic arthritis so forth and so on. The causes, types of joint affected, the symptoms etc. vary with each type. Osteo arthritis is the most common of all joint troubles, followed by rheumatoid arthritis. 

Homoeopathy has much to offer for patients suffering from joint troubles. The physician makes the diagnosis from the symptoms and signs, orders a few blood tests and x-rays wherever necessary. Yet the focal point of homoeopathic prescribing is as always the detailed case taking. There are two options, either give an acute medicine to palliate the pains or go for the remedy that matches with the patient as a whole. The latter method is most recommended and works best for the patient. Caution during repetition of constitutional medicines is exercised. Too much repetition will lead to suppressions.

The homoeopathic medicines are not pain killers, steroids or any supplements. Rather they work to bring about a complete cure in most cases, or palliate the already damaged and crippled joints. With the correct remedy in the correct dose, there is no possibility of side-effects. A slight aggravation of the symptoms may follow for a few days. It is essential to remember not to resort to pain killers or sprays during this time. Hold steady. The pains and swellings lessen and the mobility increases. The time taken for the recovery varies from individual to individual. Some factors include how recent is the onset of the disease, how much damage has already taken place, the capacity of the body to respond to the medications, continuation of stress factors, exercises etc. The greater you care for your joints and the greater you stick to a healthy regime, the greater will be the recovery.

General considerations
·       Maintain the ideal body weight. Too much weight puts unwanted stress on the weight bearing joints like the hips and knees.
·       A balanced and healthy diet as always is necessary. Consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (fish like tuna and mackerel, soy and canola oils, walnuts etc. ), vitamin C (citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, potatoes etc. ), D ( milk, yoghurt, sunlight etc.), and E (fish, peanuts and soy bean oil etc.), calcium and phosphate (milk, nuts, garlic, seeds, greens, beans, oysters etc.).
·       Avoid whole fat dairy, foods rich in trans fat and saturated fat, highly sweetened and salty food.
·       Moderate exercise program with low impact aerobics, power and strength training is helpful. Exercise helps reduce stiffness, improves strength and promotes weight loss. Walking is the easiest and cheapest of all.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Homoeopathy and Diseases:Spectrum of diseases curable

Homoeopathy can cure from colds and flu to cancers and killers. Homoeopathy has certain fundamental laws that stands unchanged with the mutations of viruses or development of technology. The basic and the most fundamental law, as put forward by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann is "Similia Similibus Curentur" - meaning "Like Cures Like". As I have mentioned in several other posts, it means the symptoms of the patient should match the symptoms of the remedy prescribed for that person; the most similar medicine is usually given. Now one would wonder "Where would you get the symptoms of the remedy?" The answer is, by a very meticulous and tedious process known as "Drug Proving", many stalwarts of homoeopathy have collected the symptoms and signs of each drug by proving on themselves or on trustworthy healthy provers. Thus we have a meaningful compilation of symptoms of several drugs in a book generally called "materia medica".

There are several misconceptions about homoeopathy. Some staunch homoeopathic clients themselves worry when their young ones have a fever. Well, homoeopathy works well in colds and flu. Migraines and allergies are the latest diseases affecting the most, almost on an epidemic scale, I feel. The pollution, the stress, the food habits, the pesticides, the ozone depletion etc. etc., the possible causes are numerous. These diseases respond well to homoeopathic treatments, just have the patience to let the body heal. We are not trying to put a cork or suppress your allergies which would have been a rather simple task. They would return ferociously no doubt in that. Homoeopathic medicines, in any diseases aims to stimulate the body to let it cure itself. What better way to heal? Migraines get cured wowing not to return ever! Bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis too respond well. Adenoids, tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear troubles homoeopathy works wonderfully without resorting to surgery.

The "female" being is an amazing creation, the way it responds to various stresses and strains. Homoeopathy is the right choice for them, be it menstrual irregularities, hormone troubles, fibroids, cysts or other tumours, pregnancy troubles, post birth (puerperal) problems, menopausal disturbances etc..

Skin diseases like eczemas, lichens, fungal infections, acne, psoriasis, vitiligo and what not are amenable to homoeopathic treatment. Patients are reluctant to take homoeopathy for skin diseases fearing aggravations. Aggravations do occur but they subside soon.

Acidity, ulcers, diarrhoeas and dysentery, crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or simple flatulence, the digestive diseases are curable with homoeopathy. Kidney troubles, liver troubles, eye troubles etc.. are treatable with homoeopathy.

Lifestyle diseases are the "Rage" of this century. Many are on lifetime medications and suffer from their side effects too. Homoeopathy can cure hypertension, diabetes, raised cholesterol levels, obesity etc.. Be sure to adhere to strict nutrition, exercise, laboratory investigations and the treatment protocol as advised by your physician.

Joint troubles, the aches and pains and the disability ruins one's hope to go about one's daily routine 'normally'. Homoeopathy is very effective in joint troubles, muscular troubles, without resorting to pain killers. Do I have to give a list of the medical terms? Back aches, spine troubles too are curable. In degenerative joint changes, where the joint structures are deformed beyond repair, homoeopathy can give palliative relief by reducing pain, providing limited motility etc..

Several doctors have cured cancer as well, I don't have any personal experiences. It can at least give palliation to incurable cases. Pain-free life is every one's hope.

Mind is the ruling force and mental diseases are treatable too. The list provided here is not complete. These are just general guidelines to get started. Homoeopathy rocks!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Eating right, Kids and You


Picky eaters, chocolate and chip eaters, does that ring a bell? Health and studies are two of the important concerns of a mother. If your child is a picky eater then there is a big reason to worry. My 8 year old is a picky eater, in the sense the quantity he consumes is less and he is very particular with regards to food choices. I have tried and tested various methods to get him to eat his veggies and fishes. He is now on the borderline mark for the appropriate weight for his age, but I am relieved that he is getting a fair amount of nutrition from what he eats. Here are some of the methods I achieved results with.

·        If you want your kid to understand nutrition, a “nutrition revolution” has to be beginning, the first step being taken by you. The whole family should focus on healthy eating. You have to make choices between your taste and your health. Let go off unhealthy cooking practices, stock your pantry with pulses, whole grains and fresh food. Include fruits and vegetables in your daily menu. Talk to them about nutrition and let them understand about healthy choices.

·        Carrot sticks and green leaves are good snacks. But I wouldn’t be able to get my boy eat them. What I do instead is incorporate these ingredients into his favourite dishes. Add carrots and green peas to bhajis, spinach into cutlets, grated paneer to omelets etc. Experiment as you wish, my mother adds grated carrots to dosas.

·        Snack and lunch boxes are another huge success for me. I give fruits for snacks at school, cut them into pieces and place a fork. Lunches with veggies or legumes or both. You don’t have to stick to a plan like giving rice or curds etc. The focus is on nutrition and not tradition.

·        Having meals at fixed time is important. Never let them miss breakfast, lunch or dinner. If they are not hungry, have them eat a little. Get the whole family to eat together whenever possible. A big no to televisions during meal times. Family time is quality time.

·        Snacking is inevitable especially when they are at home. Eating meals at fixed time reduces hunger at other times and you can avoid snacking to some extent. Get healthy snacks roasted nuts, fruits or fruit juices etc. Or you can make their favourite cutlets, samosas etc, healthy versions please.

·        Another way for them to have fun and food is to organize food parties. Create hype about it days ahead, it will keep them excited. I guess it’s a way of having fun time with your kids too. We had burger parties, pizza parties etc, all home cooked. Allow them to invite a friend or two. We are planning on a barbecue night this weekend.

Do let them indulge once in a while. Pastries, cookies, noodles etc. let them have fun...
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