Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Swine Flu Trap and Other Simple Remedies

A blood pressure reading of 170/110 mmHg is considered high. It was actually alarming enough for my family doctor to recommend putting me, immediately, on a course of Beta Blockers. At the age of 23, I was, however, reckless enough to ignore the doctor’s advice till I had tried alternatives to a life-long course of medicines.

Subsequently, in just a few months and without any medication, my blood pressure was a normal 120/80 mmHg.

Like Hypertension, Diabetes too is difficult to control. Yet, there are ways to bring uncontrolled blood sugar to an even keel without life-long allopathic treatment. My wife has tried these with excellent results and without any side effects.

The market size for acne controlling products is estimated to be about Rs.65 crores per annum. How much of your income has contributed to this, without commensurate benefits? If you consider a Rs. 65 crores market large, you have got to know that the market for weight control, which consists of health clubs and gyms, exceeds Rs. 1,500 crores per annum. Have you paid for a gym membership, aiming for fitness, without having made good use of it because of paucity of time?

From times immemorial, good health systems like Yoga, Ayruveda, Acupressure and Mudras (hand symbols) have been available for prevention and treatment of ill-health as well as for general well being. These systems of medicines and treatment do not need any equipment. In the time that it takes one to reach a gym and return, one can complete these exercises. However, learning a Yoga Asana (body postures used in yoga) or Pranayama techniques is not as easy as popping a pill. But then, even beer has an acquired taste.

Here are some simple Yoga Asanas, Pranayama (controlled breathing) methods, Acupressure techniques, Home Remedies and Mudras which, if followed with regularity, can lead to a cure from nagging illnesses and also lead general well being.

Hypertension:If your blood pressure is greater than 120/80 mmHg, you may be suffering from Hypertension. It is necessary to, first, rule out secondary hypertension - say a kidney disease leading to hypertension. Treatment for essential hypertension (hypertension which cannot be traced to a specific ailment) is being discussed here. Hypertension has deleterious effects on the human body which includes kidney failure. The following exercises can control hypertension without the use of drugs.

Kapalbhati Pranayama :
Sit in comfortable crossed leg position with the back straight or on a chair. Hands must rest on the knees. The face must be relaxed. Inhale deeply through both nostrils expanding the abdomen and exhale with the forceful contraction of abdominal muscles. That is, pull in the abdomen by quickly contracting the abdominal muscles while exhaling through the nose. The air is pushed out of lungs by the contraction of the diaphragm. After exhalation, inhale again. However, this inhalation should not involve any effort. Just relax and the lungs should automatically expand and fill with air. After completing 15 quick exhalation and natural inhalations, inhale and exhale deeply. This is one round. One can start the practice of Kapalbhati Pranayama with 3 such rounds. For detailed visual explanation of Kapalbhati, you may refer to a video on Kapalbhati on youtube.

A clove of raw garlic, every day, on an empty stomach will help in reducing hypertension. The beneficial effects of garlic are not only well documented in Ayurveda but modern science also acknowledges its goodness in controlling Hypertension. 50 ml of raw Bottle Gourd juice each morning, before breakfast, also helps in keeping hypertension under control.

There are several Acupressure points for controlling Hypertension. The two points which I have found very effective are located on top of the skull and next to the inner ankle bone protrusion on both feet. Press and release the Acupressure point on the top of the head with your forefinger. This has to be done in a rhythmic motion. In order to do this, inhale while applying pressure on the point and exhale while releasing the pressure. Only gentle pressure needs to be applied. After you complete the point on the head repeat the action next to the inner ankle bone on both feet. 30 seconds of this on each Acupressure point is adequate. Do not do this within 2 hours before or after a meal.

Diabetes: A Fasting blood sugar result - 12 to 14 hours after a meal - of over 100 mg/dl or 140 mg/dl at 2 hours after eating indicates abnormalities in the body's ability to regulate sugar. Oral anti-hyperglycemic drugs are first-line drug treatments under Allopathy. Insulin may eventually be needed. However, a combination of the following may help in the control of diabetes without the use of drugs.

Dietary Control: Complete abstinence from all forms of food which have refined sugar. This includes chocolates, tea or coffee (with sugar) ice-cream, health drinks (with added sugar) and other similar food. Fruits, not fruit juices, are allowed. Restrict consumption of polished rice and other simple carbohydrates. Eat Bran, Barley, Maize, Oats, and Brown Rice. As far as possible, try to avoid even sugar substitutes.

Exercise: Obesity is dangerous for a diabetic. Exercises like cycling, walking, skipping are needed to bring your weight to the normal range, if you are overweight. A height weight calculator is available on

Pranayama: Practice Kapalbhati for 10 minutes a day as described above. In addition, do Anulom Vilom pranayama for 15 minutes a day. The practice of Anulom Vilom Pranayama involves blocking your right nostril with thumb and breathing in from left. Next, open right nostril and close left nostril with the ring finger and breathe out from right nostril. Then breathe in from right nostril followed by closing the right nostril and opening the left and breathe out and so on. There are many short video clippings on Anulom Viyom available on youtube. Watch one of these carefully before starting on any Pranayama. Pranayama is like a pneumatic drill. If performed incorrectly it may cause harm.

Acupressure: Diabetes is caused due to the inadequate production of insulin in the body. It is possible to re-activate the Pancreas by pressing the Acupressure point for the Pancreas for 30 seconds twice a day. Press the Acupressure point with the thumb of the other hand in a pumping action. That is, apply pressure on the Acupressure point with your thumb and release the pressure in quick succession. Do this first on the right hand and then repeat for the left hand. Do not do this for more than 30 seconds in each palm. Do not do this more than twice a day. There are many Acupressure points for activating the Pancreas. Many of these points are described in detail on various internet sites. One of these sites is A good book on the subject will explain the finer point of Acupressure in greater detail.

Obesity:Obesity, if not caused by a hormonal imbalance, can be reversed. Practice Kapalbhati for 15 minutes, twice day. I am almost certain that there will be visible weight loss in 45 days of your practice of Kapalbhati. Of course, regular exercise and moderation in diet are equally important.

Migraine:Allopathy has no known cure for Migraine. Homeopathy has known cures for Migraine. However, a combination of Pranayama and Acupressure, I am fairly sure, will give you the pleasure of living life without the head-splitting, life disrupting aches. Practice Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom pranayama, each for 10 minutes a day. In addition, apply the Acupressure technique, as described above, to the point on the inner toe nail as shown below.

Swine flu:Swine flu has made people scared of even and ordinary flu and cold. Mudras are finger postures which can help in curing several illnesses ranging from the common cold to Hypertension and Diabetes. The Linga Mudra is effective in making the body resistant to colds, coughs and chest infection by generating heat in the body. It clears the chest of accumulated phlegm. Just five minutes a day in Linga mudra will keep you resistant to colds or cure it if you get infected. To practice Linga mudra, join both the palms and lock the facing fingers together, keeping one thumb upright. The upright thumb must be encircled by the other thumb and the index finger. Due to the heat generating properties of this Mudra, it is advised that this not be practiced for more than five minutes a day. It is also recommended that one drinks eight glasses of water each day while practicing this Mudra.

Yoga, Acupressure, Mudras, Pranayama are ancient techniques. Their efficacy has been established by their practitioners over hundreds of years. Undoubtedly, modern medical science has made immense progress over the last 5 decades. However, modern medicine is driven by commercial considerations. Medicines are effective but often unnecessary. A bout of common cold lasts for 7 days if left untreated and 1 week if treated! The body is a self-repairing machine. It breaks down because it is often pushed to the brink due to our unhealthy habits which stresses it beyond its ability.

It takes less than 30 minutes a day of Pranayama, notably Kapalbhati and Anulom Viyom, to be fit and keep most ailments at bay.

Note: This article is written based on the author’s experiences with Pranayama, Yoga, Accupressure and Home Remedies. All systems of treatment mentioned here must be learnt under the guidance of an expert in the field. This article is not a substitute for expert medical advice

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