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Sunday, September 20, 2015

How we have lost the right path of health care

It is really unfortunate that the ‘Health Care’ has become a medical terminology. When animals are really good at health care, we human beings struggle to maintain our health.  The domesticated animals or animals that feed on food discarded by human, suffer from diseases because they have started eating foods that are not suitable for them.

In India there should have been a strong culture aimed towards heath care. Health care is each individual’s own responsibility. So the way of life, the daily activities and the food we take were aimed towards maintaining health. To ensure that everyone follows, the daily program was packed into culture. Hinduism is not a religion at all. There is no one God. One can worship the God in the form of man or woman or animals like monkey, elephant, snack, dog, lion, pig, eagle etc. The image of the man or the women can have innumerable variants. There can be any name and to give evidence to each name there are endless stories. Gods can be saluted, worshiped, meditated and can be surrendered according to one’s own momentary requirement to become peaceful. God need not be worshiped also. So how Hinduism can be called a religion? It is just the path to understand ourselves as a part of nature and get synchronized with nature.

Our ancestors had perfect understanding of human physiology and anatomy. They had also known that everything we do, we consume, we think, we speak and feel has an effect on the body and mind. So they developed the Yogic principle to lead a life in which health care is inbuilt. Yoga is grossly mistaken to be mystic procedures not for common men. Schools teach some postures of yogasana as a part of physical training.  Physical training is always optional and there is no examination. A mind set has been created over years that only when there is an examination something should be learnt. Also while recruiting no company checks the knowledge of an individual with respect to physical exercises. So, physical exercises are not learnt properly.

The food culture has been under severe attack over years. There was no place in our Indian culture to sell any cooked food. In Indian literature, there is reference only to inns where food was served free. Otherwise food was used to be carried in parcel from home. Then there came some vegetarian restaurants when people started travelling more because of automobiles and locomotives.

Later on, the British rule brought in a food culture that might have introduced bread and jam in the food. These were the products made in industry. This was an impact of industrial revolution.  Biscuits and health drinks got added to the food. The bottled cola also entered our life. Confectionery items became the much preferred little sweets for the children. The obvious reasons were that they were very sweet, not oily or sticky and were wrapped in attractive papers. For a very long time these were the only few industry made items. The milk chocolate bars were slow to become popular because of storage problems in a tropical country like India. However when shops were equipped with refrigerators bar chocolates also found a place in the list of luxury food stuff.

Now there are sophisticated restaurants in length and breadth of India. They serve an extremely long list of cuisine. There is an abundance of non-vegetarian food preparations. Those who are fortunate to have money and access to these restaurants, greatly relish the taste in the posh ambience of warm light and courteous waiters. The less fortunate fact that remains concealed beneath all these beauty and taste is the ingredients that go into making of these.

Many of us have become crazy when it comes to ice creams. We like to eat as much as possible sometimes even after a heavy lunch or dinner till we feel full and heavy. Sometimes the flavor is so tempting that we like to try a little more but could not.

So what we eat has gone out our control. Applying the established Indian wisdom our heath will also go out of control. So we invite all diseases by our poor eating habits and depend on an interventional health care practice of eating medicines and accepting surgical procedures.

As on today most of the organisms causing diseases and infections can be controlled by antibiotics. However this luxury is going to vanish in about 30 years from today. The organisms would have developed resistance to all antibiotics and the less fortunate who get infected will die. So the present health care practices are not going to work. A project chartered by the British government known as the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, estimates that the worldwide toll right now is 700,000 deaths a year and if we cannot get this under control by 2050, not long, the worldwide toll will be 10 million deaths a year.

The only option left to us is to become cautious of the food we eat. We cannot be sure of the different chemicals that are added in processed foods and foods in restaurant. Also mostly the farm bread meat is full of antibiotics and toxins. Though we cannot practically stop taking, we can reduce the consumption of farm bread meat namely chicken, prawns and some fishes.

We have to rediscover our ancient food culture. In India we have a great food culture that fits into the Indian climatic conditions. The food culture is different to every state. So if we are in southern states we will have to follow a rice rich food culture. If we are in northern states we have to follow wheat rich food culture. There is no place for grains like oats, corn and palm oil, refined oil and hydrogenated oils.

We have to totally avoid taking packed food and in particular reduce the intake of milk. Our culture is to take butter milk, butter and ghee in small amounts. Babies should necessarily be breast fed and milk powder may be used to supplement in case of inadequate mother’s milk.

These days we get mill polished rice . Rice with only husk removed is preferable. Now we can very easily build machines to effectively do this job. Maida is a concentrated carbohydrate with gross imbalance. Consumption in any form like parotta and naan could be avoided as much as possible. White sugar is also a concentrated sugar and gets into the blood stream very fast. It is better to avoid eating white sugar in any form.  Biscuits are also to be taken only if required and very occasionally. The preservatives added will definitely harm health. 

We should stop taking all health drinks. We need not believe the claims that they act as planned food and are essential food supplement. Vitamins and food supplements are required only for diseased body and that too as long as the disease exists.

There are good books in Tamil written by Dr.Sivaraman explaining the dietary values of our traditional South Indian foods. We should make conscious efforts to include these food items in our daily food.

We may have to identify the fruits of our soil and include them in our regular diet. Why should we pay through the nose for Kabul pomegranates, apples and kiwi fruits that are imported? They are expensive but are not appropriate for our climate.
Now days, both husband and wife are employed. Most of them are employed in corporate sector. There is hardly any time for them to think about food and exercise. So unless they make conscious efforts, health care is going to be expensive and yet physically and mentally painful. One will have to spend tremendous amount of time in waiting in the hospitals.

Please understand the fact that you cannot eat money. All your luxury flats are of least value to you if you do not have good health. Times have changed. Do not be total slave to corporate and MNC companies.    

Physical exercise should become a part of our daily life. We have to reinvent the techniques of fasting and get practiced to plain water enema procedures. The physical exercises using any equipment like tread mill is not recommended. The whole body exercise Suryanamaskar is the only fully balanced exercise that will help to keep your digestive system, immune system and physical energy in perfect form.
This article is a wake-up call to everyone who reads this. Recommend this to your friends.
Hope you will focus on the right path to healthy living.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Medical Treatment to Old men and Old women

It is really sympathetic to see old men and old women suffering from diseases. More than the sufferings, their misunderstanding about the nature of their diseases is awful. I could make this statement from my own experiences with the ailing old people.

My experience started with my own grandmother who was very old even when I was a boy. She had perpetual swelling in one of her legs but however she managed to walk and do household works. She was not taking any Allopathic medicine. She used to eat moderately, as I remember, sometimes skipping her dinner or having just a bun for her supper. Only when she was down with fever I used to bring in a doctor to our home. Unlike today, doctors those days were service minded and could understand the difficulties of elderly people. The doctors used to analyse the symptoms. They were using simple instruments like thermometers and the stethoscopes and with that and by their knowledge of observing pulse rate they treated their patients with very little medicine and with abundance of love. They liked to be respected as doctors more than being respected as rich men or women. With that kind of treatments and food habits her journey through her old age to death was smooth. She suffered only briefly before she died as an octogenarian.

Then I saw the old age ailments of three of my septuagenarian friends. Two of them were government officers who knew very little about medicine. They thought doctors can treat their diseases and medicines can cure their ailments. They were never bothered about the foods that they ate. No doubt they were diabetic and their understanding of diabetes is that they should not take sugar or sweets made out of sugar. If they felt like taking, they ate the sweets and gulped down an extra dose of the medicine for controlling the extra load.

One died of complications in angioplasty after a heart attack. The complication gave a block in the blood vessel in the brain that lead to paralysis and he died daily mentally and one fine day died physically also.

The other one died in his late seventies after a prolonged illness though he had lot of hope that he will recover since some astrologer had predicted that he will live beyond 85 years of age. He had faith in medicines and astrology but never understood what he had to eat for food.

Now it is the turn of my parents. The ailing has already started. I have consulted a dozen Allopathic doctors all with masters’ degree in medicine and surgery. One Homeopathic Doctor and two Ayurvedic doctors were also in the list of doctors who were so far unsuccessful in treating.

The obvious problem that I see in them is that they don’t accept any moderation in the food they eat. The ‘Stomach-full’ eating habits could not be changed. They challenge that eating doesn’t cause any disease. The excess that they eat aggravates the diseases and the quality of their daily life is becoming worse day by day.

They only complain that I am not able to spot the 16th doctor. I am really confused because I could not logically make out how a doctor could ever treat if my parents don’t want to change their food habits. However just like everyone else I follow the myth that the doctors can cure in spite of the bad food habits.

The whole purpose of writing these stories is to bring in awareness to the readers that they need to take active steps in understanding what healthcare is all about. The modern hospital health care system is damn good in overhauling and plumbing works. They have also started doing spare parts replacement jobs. Plenty of money is there with us and so we absolutely do not mind spending a portion of the fortune that we have accumulated.
However we must be concerned about the quality of daily life we will have. We will live a long life but with lot of ailments and dependency on medicines.

So it is high time we start understanding our body, mind and the foods that we eat. We will have to devote time to understand what kind of daily exercise will keep us in good health. We will also understand the role of mind in our physical well being.
So do not wait for the day to start the learning process. Nobody is going to confer you with a university degree for doing this but you can be of least trouble to your kith and kin when you are old.


Monday, August 3, 2015

I have become a misfit to modern social service organisations

Twenty five years ago I expressed my wish to one of my friends that I was considering to join a social service club so that I could meet many people and could engage myself in meaningful social service activities. He suggested me an International Service Organisation in which he was a member and suggested me to attend a meeting of that club. I attended and I was well received by the other members. The then club President was an academician and because that I am a graduate from a premier institution he liked me instantly.  I was inducted as a member and I happily paid the subscription.

Then on wards I was actively involved in various events. I got many friends from different professions. The culture of our club was very good that all the family members attended most of the meetings. Ladies and children were very happy since it was like a family recreation club. No doubt there were meaningful service projects like eye screening camps etc. . We also donated to educational aids and uniforms to poor students.

After a couple of years, I was chosen to be the secretary of our club and it was a very easy job because the President who preferred me and proposed me as his officer was a great administrator. During this period I could develop close relationship with many members. Since I was tech savvy and knew to drive a car as well, our then President liked me very much and that year the club was excellently administered that we were encouraged with many awards.

A couple of years later I was proposed to be the President of our club and in fact I was a very young President who had a very senior Government Officer as secretary and another Government Engineer as the Treasurer. Every one cooperated very well since two of our club senior members occupied higher administrative positions in the district of the organization. The district consisted of people of high status and high caliber as leaders. The members, especially the club officers had wonderful opportunity to learn relationship skills, public speaking skills and leadership skills.

It was the time that every one of us could develop a good personality and could do continuous services to the society. Money was scarce during those days and people eagerly accepted whatever services we could provide.

Today things have changed. Money is in plenty. To become an officer one needs to spend a some amount of money that he or she can get back by way of benefits offered by the rich and affluent candidates who want to contest to become the District Leaders. Cocktail parties have become open and the candidates are happy supplying the members with sophisticated alcoholic drinks that are golden coloured or pink coloured and sometimes even colourless. However all these drinks reveal the true colour of the members. The members are ready to vote for the candidate who is lavish in gifts and drinks. Very few clubs do some social services but many file false reports of the services. The trend has changed for the worst.

Some of the members from our club wanted to join yet another service organization. It was also international. It was not ruled by money as in the earlier set up. We formed a new club and hoped that we could look for an elite association. Since our club was formed with likeminded leaders, things were very comfortable. A couple of times our members could also raise to higher positions in the districts but the inefficient people in some other clubs who were surviving by sheer false reports did not prefer the active members or the organization to grow. This organization was offering some fringe benefits and one administrative unit occupied a large geographical area. The growth of the organization will result in the bifurcation of the unit and the benefit of wide contacts will be lost to the selfish people who were the king makers.The new club that we started has been shifted to cold storage.

Now few more international service organizations are left for me to join but again only when I join them I might understand the specific problems. In general there is something wrong with the mindset of the people. After independence they have spoilt the politics. After globalization they have spoilt the service organizations. Money assumes  different dimensions these days.

The value system has changed. We have accepted the new way of politics, the new way of academic trade and heath care business. We have to similarly accept the new ways of the service clubs if we want friends outside our professional contacts and neighbourhood. There is some resistance to change in me that is quite natural. Women are fast in adapting to changes and I hope to change my values also if I have to move with the new trend.

Long ago I joined a club for elite friendship. Now I may have to settle for expensive gifts, cocktail and dinners in return for the hefty amount I have to pay in American Dollars towards membership.I am not interested in any of these three benefits. With my experience in service organisations I can form a new club but I am not convinced of the benefits that a new club can offer to the new members. Moreover I a have to devote more amount of time for building a new club. Since I am holding on to my business as the leader I don"t want to do that. So ultimately I have become a misfit to service organizations.