BE LIVER FRIENDLY
Liver is said to be the seat of
life. So, keep it healthy through natural cleansing.
A large red organ thoughtfully provided by nature
to be bilious with. The sentiments and emotions which
every literary anatomist now knows to haunt the heart
were anciently believed to infest the liver; and even
Gascoygne, speaking of the emotional side of human
nature, calls it ‘our hepaticall parte.’
It was at one time considered the seat of life; hence
its name — liver, the thing we live with. The
liver is heaven’s best gift to the goose; without
it that bird would be unable to supply us with the
- Ambrose Bierce, an American writer
The liver is the body’s premier cleansing organ.
It removes toxins, impurities, and debris from the
The liver needs to work efficiently to help break
down wastes and toxins. Otherwise, conditions due
to toxic overload may lead to chronic fatigue syndrome
[CFS], immune deficiency, allergies, cancer, liver
damage, and chronic inflammatory disorders.
GATEWAY TO FAT LOSS
Aerobic exercises and weight training
can help you shed fat effectively.
A certain amount of fat is necessary for both men
and women. It helps maintain body temperature by acting
as insulation and protects vital body organs by acting
as a shock absorber.
When fat is adequate
For people in the sub-continent
15-20 per cent of body weight [in men] and 20-25 per
cent of body weight [in women] is considered to be
within limits. Body fat percentage in excess of these
limits will call for efforts to bring it within limits.
Even for those who are within limits, effort should
always be made to be closer to the lower range of
this acceptable fat percentage.
LAUGHTER FOR HEALTHY LIVING
Laughter releases just as much endorphins,
the feel-good chemical, as a bout of physical exercise.
It also offers many therapeutic benefits.
If one’s childhood resounded
with the “Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho” of Santa Claus,
our world today reverberates with the laughter of
Pu Tai, the laughing Buddha.
It’s not only for its Feng
shui significance that we adore this laughing figure.
There’s something magical about his open-mouthed
joyfulness, and his laughter which can be felt without
hearing. His exhilaration makes us feel good about
having him around.
Come to think of it. It’s
nice to be surrounded by those who laugh, or those
who make us laugh. More so, if you don’t find
yourself in the best of health.
Laughter’s a great, natural
therapy, available without prescription, in every
corner of the world. It is the only contagious condition
where you can start an epidemic, and feel good about
Laughter, the stress buster
You feel good in more ways than
one through a good laugh. Laughter triggers the release
of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that reduce
pain and anxiety, and enhance the immune system, and
also hold back the aging process.
Notes The Journal of the American Medical Association
on laughter’s role in decreasing stress-related
hormones: “A humour therapy programme can increase
the quality of life for patients with chronic problems…
Laughter has an immediate symptom-relieving effect
for patients, an effect that is potentiated when laughter
is induced regularly over a period.”
Laughter as medicine
The point-of-view of a layman comes
across best in Norman Cousins’ riveting book,
Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient.
Cousins, a former editor, who was diagnosed with ankylosing
spondylitis, a painful spine condition, unreeled “Candid
Camera” episodes and Marx Brothers’ films
and laughed himself back to the pink of health. His
book, which went onto become a best-seller, is also
best-known for its experiment in Humour-as-Hippocrates
[humour as therapy; Hippocrates is venerated as father
of modern medicine].
Laughter is good exercise. As for those who don’t
move their bodies much they can at least have a good
dose of guffaw for good health. A LoL [laughing-out-loud]
is known to enhance respiration and combat carbon
dioxide levels in the blood.
Some researchers suggest that by
laughing we provide a good massage to our internal
organs. This is, in part, some compensation for the
natural inner rubbing we lost when we, as early humans,
attained the erect posture!
Cousins called laughter “Internal jogging.”
Writes William Fry, one of the world’s
leading physiologists and laughter researchers: “Mirth,
in contrast to many other emotions, provides physical
exercise. Muscles are activated, heart rate increased,
respiration amplified, with increase in oxygen exchange,
all similar to the desirable effects of athletic exercise.”
Remember, how your sides ached the last time you laughed
real hard? When we laugh, the muscles in the face,
arms, legs and stomach, get a mini-work-out, and so
do the diaphragm, thorax, the circulatory and the
Laughter can lead to muscle relaxation and ailments
like tension headaches can be a thing of the past
with regular, healthy “ha-ha.” When a
person is presented with a humorous stimulus, and
laughs, the tension of the muscles in the affected
area decreases, and the pain is relieved.
Laughter heals body and mind
Laughter has also been credited
to reduce the risk of coronary illness. Cousins, himself
a heart attack victim, wrote, “It [laughter]
acts as a blocking agent against the ravages of panic.”
Panic constricts the blood vessels and destabilises
the heart. Laughter, or humour, can control panic,
and enhance your prospects of recovery. Researchers
theorise that mental stress impairs the endothelium,
the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. Once
the endothelium is impaired, it can cause a series
of inflammatory reactions that can lead to cholesterol
build-up in our coronary arteries. This can ultimately
trigger a heart attack.
Explains psychologist Steve Sultanoff, PhD, President
of the American Association for Therapeutic Humor,
“With deep, heartfelt laughter, it appears that
serum cortisol, which is a hormone that is secreted
when we’re under stress, is decreased. So, when
you’re having a stress reaction, if you laugh,
apparently the cortisol that has been released during
the stress reaction is decreased.”
Keiko Hayashi of the University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki,
Japan, and his team, performed a study of 19 people
with Type 2 diabetes. They reported that “Chemical
messengers made during laughter may help the body
compensate for the disease.” Laughter seems
to create a harmonious environment for healing of
body and the mind.
Laughter for positive emotions
Psycho-neuro immunology has proved
that negative emotions like depression, anxiety and
anger, weaken the immune system, making us susceptible
to a whole range of illnesses. Positive emotions,
like laughter and humour have the opposite effect
and can defend us against a host of health problems.
World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr Madan
Kataria, founder of the Worldwide Laughter Yoga Movement.
It is celebrated on 1st Sunday of May every year.
Laughter helps you “loosen up” in a group,
and it eventually builds better confidence and, in
time, improved self-esteem. It also helps you relax,
leading to better sleep. Researchers have found a
curative link between laughter and insomnia. A healthy
laughter before sleep is known to induce good sleep
in insomniac [sleepless] patients. This means less
irritability and a fresh, more alert mind.
Laughter and humour can also help one gain insight
into one’s own eccentricities and idiosyncrasies,
be able to laugh at one’s own failings. This
eventually turns into a therapeutic tool and an effective
Word of caution
Experts say no to laughter therapy
under certain conditions. They suggest that patients
with hernia, advanced piles, eye complications, anginal
[chest] pain, and those who have just undergone major
surgery, should not venture into laughter therapy
without the advice of a doctor.
Pregnant woman should also preferably avoid deep laughter
sessions till conclusive data regarding safety are
available. People suffering from tuberculosis, chronic
bronchitis, and other respiratory infections, must
take precaution against spread of infection —
Even though controlled scientific studies measuring
the chemistry of laughter are not numerous, available
data suggest that good humour promotes good health.
Good health relates to body, mind and spirit, life
and harmonious relationships. In addition, the social
benefits of a good laugh have been accepted throughout
human history. Also, the value of humour in business,
management, and education, are now extensively acknowledged
because a positive frame of mind helps you see issues
in clear light. It facilitates problem-solving, interpersonally
and in group settings too.
Laughter, or humour, puts people at ease, promotes
communication and exchange of ideas.
Laughter seems to be also special for one more reason
— the overall wellbeing of the world. As a not-so-famous-but-wise
quote puts it, “When people are laughing together…
they are not killing each other!”
CORRECT POSTURE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
More and more people, from teenagers
to the elderly, are complaining of neck pain. Why?
Neck pain is a common occurrence.
The reason is simple. Ask yourself the following questions.
Do you worry too much? Do you lean into the computer
or hunch over your desk for long periods of time?
Do you drive long distances? If your answer is yes,
to any of them, it may mean that you are inviting
pain in the neck.
Your neck has bones, joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments,
and nerves. Its job is to hold your head up. Overuse
or strain, or injury, to any of these parts of your
neck can lead to neck pain.
More often than not, when we present ourselves at
the clinic with neck pain, the diagnosis turns out
to be cervical spondylosis.