Friday, April 5, 2013

Off on a trip again

It has just turned warm here in Jaipur and the cool mountains of Himalayas are calling once again. There is a direct and comfortable train from here to the foothills and over there in Kathgodam there are kind and enthusiastic associates and friends waiting to pick me up and ferry me deeper into the hills. Internet access would be sporadic and intermittent while I am up there although I would try and check the emails every now and then. It is good to get away. In case you are a regular visitor to this blog and miss my presence, I shall be back. In the meantime you will find a lot of older posts to read in this blog.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Natural versus Allopathic Medicine - From My Life

Dancing in the Breeze, Oil on Canvas
With so much to talk about and share form the world around us, it is kind of stupid to talk about oneself. But then some have wondered about my diverse interests that range from esoteric spiritualism to potty jokes, a strange mix indeed for many but it is not at at all strange because where God is Love, Truth and Simplicity he is also humor.

Nevertheless, to talk much of oneself is to be egocentric, however because this post includes personal case studies of the more useful topic – Natural versus Allopathic Medicine – it has some justification and it would also address the curiosity of some readers as to the strange combination of spirituality and potty jokes; with science thrown in for good measure. I try to keep science and technology out of my blogs not specifically devoted to science and technology for a wider readership but because that is my profession it tends to creep in too, every once in a while. Another post in this blog discusses the difference between natural and artificial foods too and speaks of the advantages of natural food over artificial food. Food is rendered unnatural when it undergoes extreme processing using chemicals or processes such as high temperatures, high pressures, centrifuges and other industrial processes not found in the kitchen. It is unnatural too even without these processes when produced by genetically modified food sources, modified by methods not employed by nature. Personally I suspect microwaved foods as unnatural and tend to avoid them but let us return to the topic at hand of natural versus unnatural medicines.

I trace my spirituality to past lives. I know there are persons, especially those raised in the Christian tradition that reject the concept but I do not. One of them asked me; will the carbon, hydrogen atoms etc. of my body recombine for reincarnation after I die? I did not attempt to answer him because it is worthless to debate these questions beyond a point, when clearly his mind was already made up. Had he asked a sincere question I would have patiently explained that it is not his body that shall reincarnate but his soul and that is not made up of carbon etc. and it shall remain intact even when he dies, in fact if he was such a good Christian he may as well believe that because otherwise there will be nothing to place in heaven for an eternal life that he surely deserves.

Therefore, I place my spiritual interests to a past life because of memories of debating advanced questions such as the infinity of the universe in my mind even at the age of five and involving myself in eastern spiritual practices, albeit in a childish way around the same age. Others in the family made fun of that and gave me a nickname of Pundit (priest) at that age so that  soon  the practices were given up, at least those visible to others.

During high school there was the question of choosing a career and since I was good at mathematics, engineering was chosen and that became my profession, that and education, because the studies went on until a doctoral level.

During teenage years it was found that at times I suffer from severe hay fever. Therefore, the doctors prescribed things like phenargan, avil etc. with sprays to clear the nose. There would be temporary relief with drowsiness etc. to accompany and the condition would return. As I grew older an exploration of a natural cure began and this was as a result of my original spiritual interests. One of the side effects of interests in spirituality is that one depends on God and Nature more than on just one aspect of nature – man and his science. Therefore an inclination for natural cures was there and soon I discovered what works for me so that hay fever is past history now. I have shared the knowledge of this and other sicknesses  encountered  by me, with others to their benefit in my journey through life.

Being from an army family with connections to the British, there was a practice in the family to consume a small alcoholic drink at moments of stress, sickness or depression. Therefore in late life when I went through a traumatic phase due to serious problems and tragedies in family that resulted in depression, I took to the bottle. Since the problem was not a brief one, the drink became regular to the point that I became addicted to it and it began to cause problems in other areas of life besides health issues, severe goof ups and even some financial loss. However, as soon as I realized that the drink had become a problem,  the bottle was discarded for good (it was seven years ago). In the meantime the problems that had led to the initial traumas and depression had resolved with time, muddling through and in the main help from the Lord. My spiritual learning helped me to give up the addiction very quickly and easily on my own but another person facing this problem can give it up too with just a bit of outside help.

This brings me to a comparison with a close relative, mentioned earlier in this blog once (name and relationship withheld). At a young age, soon after graduation, she was obliged to spend some time with quarrelsome, uncaring and hysterical relatives. Being a sensitive young girl she was so traumatized that she entered into ceaseless crying and sobbing that persisted for more than a day. Her mother, busy elsewhere, was urgently called, who out of nervousness took her and admitted her to a care facility. Here the poor young thing was put on a dose of anti-depressants and other more serious drugs for an extended period.

I learned of the problem much later. Had this girl been in my care I would have just treated her to my own natural care of a glass of hot milk laced with brandy or a glass of wine followed by life in a green resort if required and sunshine and lots of love and nice food or if she declined that, to a mild allopathic dose of calmpose. I am certain that the problem would have gone in days, if not weeks. Even if months were required it would have been OK because this poor young lady has  been dependant on her drugs for years. She finds that they cannot be given up without severe seizures. As a side effect she is unable to work or lead a normal life.

Early on during the episode with this young girl, that was around six months after she first got on to medicines, I had the opportunity to talk to her, her family and her doctor and together we managed to wean her off her the drugs successfully, so that she soon bounced back and found  a bright well paying job. However I am not the guardian of this girl and could not keep a watch on her forever, although I did request strongly for her to be brought under my care but that was declined. I also lost contact with her soon after.  It seems that sometime later the hysterical relatives returned and the mother took her to a care facility again. Last year I met this girl, now a grown up woman, and asked her if she was considering getting off her medicines again. She responded that she was not because if she does it, the condition returns and she has to get back to the medicines. I then talked to her sister who is now a medical doctor and she said that it is hard enough to manage this girl even on medicines and therefore they just have to keep them on. Moreover her medicine cannot be given up suddenly even for a trial period since it is declared that causes seizures, so dangerous is the medicine. In the meantime the side effects continue and one can only pray for this woman who was once a sweet gentle child with the promise of a joyous life ahead of her. It is now confined to a tiny apartment lacking sunshine, fresh air or a balcony to step out to in a crowded, polluted and noisy part of India. The lady has neither the strength nor the energy to clean it. Last I visited this hovel some eight or nine years ago, I changed the months old bedding, got some curtains arranged for her widow, and got her water heater fixed so that she could take a bath in winter and arranged for some clean drinking water for her. The lady does not lack finances. She is the owner of hugely expensive property, but she has no capacity left to make use it for her own good due to the debilitating affects of her drugs. This author as an outside person neither can nor is permitted to interfere beyond a point, moreover he lives in another city.

Now comparing the two cases of trauma mentioned here, mine and this girl’s – I had taken a natural medicine- alcohol. It is a natural thing formed by natural fermentation of sugars and starches - whereas the lady had taken on a chemical drug. Both controlled the condition, both had undesirable side effects and both were addictive.

However, when it came to giving up my medicine,  the bottle went into the trash can. There was hardly any side effect to boot and fortunately no damage to the liver (I had not consumed the drink long enough for that) and within a matter of days I was back to a normal and productive life. So I daresay it is my medicine that I shall recommend if I find a relative in similar trauma again rather than the one from the care facility.

Although I do not know much about it I suspect that natural opium too is much less addictive and harmful as compared to its unnatural chemically extracted and processed derivatives. For similar reasons alcoholic drinks that are produced by fermentation are far less dangerous than distilled ones. Drugs or medicines when in their herbal form contain a host of other ingredients that nature has produced together for a reason but when one has more respect in one's own wisdom rather than nature that created all life including plants and animals one may think that it is wiser to extract the most active ingredient from a natural herb for greater effect but in my view also great danger.

Returning to where we started this blog post – with a life as diverse as mine – would you wonder if my interests are as varied as esoteric spirituality to potty jokes? Aside from artificial and unnatural creations by man's hands there are  numerous other one's by his mind. Earlier this morning on a discussion on yoga when someone mentioned chakras, I responded with two answers to explain my disinterest in them and as to how it appeared to be just a simple model of a complex issue and that I had no interest in it etc. Of my two answers one was a detailed spiritual and scientific answer, the other was a potty joke –

I told him that one should detest seeing gears go up one's  xxxx ---spine  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

How to sleep like a Baby

Sometimes, some persons, especially aging persons, have difficulty in getting a good night's sleep. Here is what this author has learned about improving the situation. Some of this is widely known and some is not,

  1. Ensure that your daily activities include physical exercise. If not, introduce regular morning or evening walks in your routine
  2. Eat as early as possible in the evening, preferably not much after dusk. Have a home cooked meal prepared from basics to avoid the crap that is being dished out in the market today and described in the earlier posts of this blog. Follow it up with a glass of milk or milk and water, half and half just before, or just after you move to bed, especially if you are a vegetarian. You can add spoon of coco powder to the drink and a spoon of sugar if you are not obese. A pinch of saffron, a pinch of ground green cardamom,  a table spoon of ground almonds may also be added, all of these or just one as a great health tonic.
  3. After dinner in the evenings do not think or discuss the next day’s activities.
  4. You may read a book that is interesting but not too exciting before bed if you like.
  5. Ensure your mattress is comfortable and that your pillows are soft and feathery, neither too fat nor too thin. Use two pillows adjusting their positions for maximum comfort
  6. Counting sheep or reciting a mantra after you have switched off the lights are a great aid

So far all this is widely known. Now here are a couple of more points that are not so well known

  1. Change your bed linen at least once a week to keep dust mites in control. Excessive amounts impede
    Lots of dust mites live on dirty beds and pillows
    sleep, block nasal passageways and disturb sleep. Just changing pillow covers is not enough. The dust mites from the sheets will just climb on. Sun your mattress and uncovered pillows from time to time to reduce the dust mite nests. All this is not a scientifically proved thing but my experience. Prefer single size bed sheets to double size ones even if you sleep in double beds to make their frequent cleaning and drying easier and so that they can be yanked in the air easily to shed off some of the dust mites every day when the bed is made. Always take the sheet off the bed and give it a good yank before spreading it again, rather than just smoothing it on the bed.
  2. Ensure that your head is not in the north. The action of earth’s magnetic field appears to disturb sleep in this direction. South appears to be the best and east may be good for some too. This author does not know fully the effect of a head placed west yet.
  3. Wish the world goodnight and a happy sleep and in case the wrongs of someone trouble you, forgive those who have wronged you or if you cannot, say xxxx  xxx  to them, period and let them go.Your guardian angels shall take care of them as necessary, you do not have to. Thank them for ever protecting you awake or in sleep but only if you believe in the Lord and His angels..

May the Lord fill your life with love and a nice restful sleep every single day of your lives !