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Medicine & Health Education
Essential Therapeutic Life Style Changes
For a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit
Some Simple Steps to Uplift the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.
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Part - 05
 
 
PART - 05: UNDESIRABLE HABITS AND CUSTOMS RUINING HEALTH
 
 
 
 

05.01: Distasteful types of food and drinking habits.

Alcoholic beverages are an unnecessary habit as part of our daily food intake. It causes harm to the human body even when taken in small quantities. It is quite easy to get addicted to the drinking habit in a short while. However, those who are already addicted victim to the liquor habit should restrict it to only two days a week and that too in a limited portion, just 4 ounces of wine or one can of beer or two shots of whiskey, consumed slowly. Those who are afflicted with diabetes or heart ailments should avoid even these small quantities of these beverages completely. Liquor has the potential of promoting stomach ulcers, liver failures, dilatation of heart and cancers. Also, booze has absolutely nothing to recommend for its consumption. Our metabolism cannot digest more than 10 cc of the libations as pure ethanol in an hour which is just half of the quantities recommended above. Drinking in excess of the quantum will get accumulation of acetaldehyde that will lead, in course of time, to organ failure like cirrhosis of the liver. So, all those who are not addicted to this habit must keep away in their best interest, irrespective of any specious reason that may be put forward.

05.02: Another unwanted novel habits relating to tobacco.

A number of Indians have developed a weakness for smoking. College students and even ladies have developed a proclivity in numbers unheard of earlier. This obsession is something to be shunned from the outset. Smoking affects the entire surroundings by a process called passive smoking in which others happen to inhale the smoke unavoidably. Those who have already been a prey to this repugnant habit may give a hundred reasons to justify their wont. Some common statements made by them are: "I don't smoke in excess"; "Only some 5% of smokers get lung cancer after two decades; so chances on my getting into any problem are remote" ; "I don't inhale much of smoke either" and so on. Unfortunately smoking not only affects the smoker but also all those who live close to them in the family or in the office or in public places. May be that only a small proportion of the smokers get affected by lung cancer but for these people, diagnosis comes too late in the day and becomes incurable. Most smokers, that are the other 95%, get lung congestion and frequent bronchitis with lung infection, leading to lung damage and emphysema. They will experience cough and difficulty in breathing on minimal activities. They may become bedridden and live a life like drowning in water.

Even for the larger numbers not affected by the lung affliction, disorders like blood sugar, hypertension get aggravated leading to other types of maladies. Blood clots become more frequent. Such clots occurring in the lower limbs may necessitate even amputation of the legs. The artery block in the region of the heart would lead to heart attack leading to fatal consequences. In the same way, blockages in the arteries of the brain will lead to stroke and paralysis of the limbs. Smokers will feel the effect of artery blockage more strongly than others and may occur at a much earlier age. Partaking of tobacco in other forms like chewing and nasal-powder, called "smoke-less" tobacco, are no different in their effects on our health as smoking and all these habits should be avoided. These habits can result in certain types of cancers of the mouth, tongue and neck areas in addition to general medical problems in the heart and blood vessels.

05.03: What are the significant transformations we should make?

As has been mentioned earlier, by their genetic effects, Indians are highly prone to be affected by diabetes, hypertension and related cardiac ailments. But these effects are always affected by our lifestyles and food habits. We have seen how our penchant for certain practices cause a variety of illnesses that we suffer from. To meet this, we have to make several important changes in our routine as a "Behavior Modification". But let us just call it "Lifestyle Changes". While good practices may bring about improvement in health, our mental obsessions, about the new way of having to do things, may lead to other types of diseases. Mental stress alone can aggravate several of these disorders.

Let us examine what type of life style changes are needed to bring about mental and spiritual improvements. For this, a good knowledge of our ancient teachings and traditional cultural and spiritual mores would be great help. The cultural standards might appear to be teachings for Hindus in praxis but the food habits and lifestyle practices are equally applicable to all other members of Indian community following religious paths as well. By way of illustration, it can be said that food habits have a lot of bearing on race, vocation and other such divisive factors like genes. These should not be based on caste or religious faith alone. Importantly, those having sedentary avocations - white collar workers - could adopt vegetarianism which includes milk, yogurt, ghee etc. Such people should avoid intake of meat and fatty items of food. Army men who have fought in wars and hard-working laborers and their families should give up non-vegetarian diets, if they retire or are in sedentary work like retail trading. People of Indian origin and ancestry who may belong to any faiths, who have made other countries their home, should have their diets laid out to suit their constitution and requirements.

 
   
   
 
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-- This is called Behavior Modification --
Essential Lifestyle Changes -- for a healthy Body, Mind and Spirit 0
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Thank You
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