July 31, 2013

When is a Good Time to Seek Homeopathic Care?

Many people, especially when considering homeopathy for the first time, see a homeopath in the later stages of illness. At that stage, they have gone through a lot of discomfort and they may be impatient for some relief. The first question most people with late stages of disease ask is when they will see some improvement. In this post, I will try to answer that question and explain when you need to seek the care of a homeopath, and why that time is important.

If you have read the first few posts on this blog, you will have understood how homeopathy works on the whole person and how a homeopathic remedy is individualized for each person. If not, here is the link to the post that explains what homeopathy is.

In the late stages of illness, the disease has progressed to such an extent that it overcomes the individuality of the ill person. The vital energy has become too weak to confront the disease and this results in the severe long-lasting illness. Many people with advanced illness also undergo many kinds of treatment before seeking homeopathic care, the most common of which is allopathic, which further drives the illness inwards. At this stage, homeopathic management can rejuvenate the body's own vital energy to fight the illness. Since homeopathic remedies act best when they are individualized or customized to the person needing them, in the later stages of disease, it takes a little longer for the remedies to act because the individuality is low.

Homeopathic management in the later stages of disease involves two steps - first, to rejuvenate the body's vital energy, and second, to help the vital energy fight the illness. Going over these two steps takes more time and that is why results may be slow.

In the earlier stages of illness, the vital energy is still active but needs some help in overcoming the force of the disease, which is exactly what homeopathic management can provide. So in the earlier stages of illness, there is only one step towards health. Because the vital energy is active, individualized homeopathic remedies act faster and we see quicker results.

It is important to know this difference to understand homeopathic management and know when is the best time to seek homeopathic care. Once that is understood, then it is easy to see that the best time to see a homeopath is in the earlier stages of disease.

Now, this doesn't mean that homeopathy has nothing to offer in the case of chronic illnesses. In fact, homeopathy has the most to offer when compared to other methods of management of chronic illnesses. However, when you seek homeopathic care in early stages of illness, not only is it easier for the homeopath to provide the right care, but also it is easier on your own body to recover from illness. Furthermore, taking homeopathic remedies for acute illnesses helps to strengthen the vital energy and increase immunity, so that you are less prone to long-lasting illnesses. Isn't that a great bonus?

If you are considering seeing a homeopath for yourself or for someone in your family, do it now!

You might also like to read this post busting some popular myths about homeopathy.

July 8, 2013

Monday Health Tip - Scientific Reasons Why Deep Breathing is Good for You

Sometimes we face circumstances that force us to just take a deep breath and relax. Just breathing deeply for a few minutes helps us to slow down and think better. The practice of Yoga has created a more increased awareness of the therapeutic value of controlled breathing techniques. Pranayama maybe an age-old Indian practice but it is immensely useful in managing stress and related disorders.

I read an article today related to deep breathing that I'd like to share with you all. It is especially interesting because the author lists out scientific explanations for why deep breathing is good for you, to the extent of altering your genetic expression. If you have read my post on how you can change your genes, then you know what genetic expression means. If you haven't read it yet, then click on the link and do read it!

Here's an excerpt from the article written by David DiSalvo:

5. Changing Gene Expression.

Another unexpected research finding is that controlled breathing can alter the expression of genes involved in immune function, energy metabolism and insulin secretion. The study uncovering this finding was co-authored by none other than Herbert Benson himself, some 40 years after he brought controlled breathing into the spotlight with his book.

And this isn’t the first study linking controlled breathing to changes in genetic expression. Benson was also involved in a 2008 study indicating that long-term practice of the relaxation response results in changes to the expression of genes associated with how the body reacts to stress.

You can read the full article here on the Psychology Today website.

July 1, 2013

Monday Health Tip - 5 Health Foods to Avoid

I'm back with Monday Health Tip after a break! 

Every few years, a new health fad catches on and the market trend shifts towards 'healthy' food. Manufacturers make products that cater to this health-conscious population, but are these products really as healthy as advertised?

Here's my list of 5 'health' foods that must be avoided.

1. Sports drinks & Energy drinks: Have you ever wondered how these drinks give you 'energy'? They do it by unleashing millions of molecules of sugar and caffeine that are directly absorbed into your bloodstream and taken to your cells which go on overdrive to process the sudden burst of 'fuel'. The aftermath of this excessive strain is fatigue, weakness, and an exhaustion that is not easy to resolve. Stay away from energy drinks and have a cup of coffee or tea if you really need a quick pick-me-up.

2. Artificial sweeteners: What was once touted to be the best alternative to sugar and advertised to diabetics and dessert-lovers around the world, is one of the most misunderstood products on the grocery shelves. Also called non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), aspartame (brand name Equal and NutraSweet) and sucralose (Splenda) are 220 times and 600 times sweeter than sugar respectively, so you only need to use a little bit to make your food taste sweet. However, regular use of NNS also tricks the brain into processing tastes differently, as a result of which fruits and vegetables, which contain natural sugars, may taste bland or even bitter - making you crave more non-nutritious sweet food over the naturally nutritious fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the long-term effects of using artificial sweeteners have not been studied. I think it's better to stick to small amounts of sugar or jaggery if you need some sweet in your diet.

3. Boxed juice: It is extremely convenient these days to pick up cartons of juice at a grocery store and pour yourself a glass. It's neat, easy, and healthy, right? It may be neat and easy, but it's not healthy. Packaged juices are pasteurized for a longer shelf life, which means they are treated at extremely high temperatures to discourage growth of bacteria. This also kills any mold that may have entered the process in the form of one bad fruit. It's great that all the bad microorganisms are eliminated, but the good stuff is destroyed too. Many vitamins are destroyed by heat, and what is left is only sugar. So if you think drinking packaged juice for breakfast will give you a nutritious start to the day, think again - it's no better than eating dessert that's fortified with calcium and vitamin D. If you want juice, always have it fresh.

4. Margarine and other butter substitutes: Most butter substitutes are made with some kind of vegetable oil that contain unhealthy amounts of trans-fats. Even products that are advertised as zero trans-fat are not really healthy because they contain a laundry list of other ingredients to make them last longer and taste better (preservatives and artificial flavors). Butter has only one or two ingredients - milk cream and salt. Your body knows how to process these natural ingredients better than artificial additives which create extra work for the liver and kidneys. Use butter, and skip the substitutes.

5. Breakfast bars: Publicized as a convenient way to eat healthy on-the-go, granola and other bars are quite popular as nutritious snacks - but the truth is far from nutritious. Sugar makes up 1/4th of each serving of energy bars. Eat 2 bars a day and you're getting nearly 20g of sugar right there. Just like any other processed and packaged 'food', breakfast bars also contain many artificial colors and flavors as well as preservatives. It's best to stay away from them and pack a fruit if you need something to-go.