A four-day comprehensive health fair on Ayurveda was held in Shillong from May 1, providing the visitors an insight into the treatment of various diseases.
The four-day comprehensive Health Fair on Ayurveda, Yoga-naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), called Arogya, was inaugurated by Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary at Madan Iewrynghep.
Officials of the state government, as well as those from the Union health ministry were present during the ceremony.
The fair was held under the Regional Arogya fairs scheme of the Government of India, and this is the first time that such a fair took place in Meghalaya.
The fair, which concluded on May 4, showcased the advancement in clinical practices, research and documentation, manufacturing and processes involved in these systems of medicine and the medicinal plants sector.
Experts on yoga, naturopathy, ayurveda, homoeopathy and unani delivered lectures on management of various diseases through AYUSH therapy.
Many AYUSH drug manufacturers, various state government departments and healthcare providers of the state participated in the fair.
In his inaugural speech, Mooshahary said the fair was a laudable objective, and would help promote the use of AYUSH medicines in curing diseases and improving the health of the people.
The Centre had released Rs 279 lakh under the scheme in order to improve the hospitals and dispensaries and allocated Rs 89 lakh for drugs quality control to Meghalaya during the 2008-2009 fiscal.
During the current financial year, Rs 165 lakh has been released under the scheme of development of hospitals and Rs 9.25 lakh under the scheme of setting up of dispensaries catering to the AYUSH programme.
At present, evidence suggests that the main route of human-to-human transmission of the new Influenza A (H1N1) virus is via respiratory droplets, which are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing.
Any person who is in close contact (approximately 1 metre) with someone who has influenza-like symptoms (fever, sneezing, coughing, running nose, chills, muscle ache etc) is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets.
In health-care settings, studies evaluating measures to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses suggest that the use of masks could reduce the transmission of influenza. Advice on the use of masks in health-care settings is accompanied by information on additional measures that may have impact on its effectiveness, such as training on correct use, regular supplies and proper disposal facilities. In the community, however, the benefits of wearing masks has not been established, especially in open areas, as opposed to enclosed spaces while in close contact with a person with influenza-like symptoms.
Nonetheless, many individuals may wish to wear masks in the home or community setting, particularly if they are in close contact with a person with influenza-like symptoms, for example while providing care to family members. Furthermore, using a mask can enable an individual with influenza-like symptoms to cover their mouth and nose to help contain respiratory droplets, a measure that is part of cough etiquette.
Using a mask incorrectly however, may actually increase the risk of transmission, rather than reduce it. If masks are to be used, this measure should be combined with other general measures to help prevent the human-to-human transmission of influenza, training on the correct use of masks and consideration of cultural and personal values.
It is important to remember that in the community setting the following general measures may be more important than wearing a mask in preventing the spread of influenza.
For individuals who are well:
Maintain distance of at least 1 metre from any individual with influenza-like symptoms, and:• refrain from touching mouth and nose;
• perform hand hygiene frequently, by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol based handrub 3 , especially if touching the mouth and nose and surfaces that are potentially contaminated;
• reduce as much as possible the time spent in close contact with people who might be ill;
• reduce as much as possible the time spent in crowded settings;
• improve airflow in your living space by opening windows as much as possible.
For individuals with influenza-like symptoms:
• stay at home if you feel unwell and follow the local public health recommendations;
• keep distance from well individuals as much as possible (at least 1 metre);
• cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, with tissues or other suitable
materials, to contain respiratory secretions. Dispose of the material immediately after use
or wash it. Clean hands immediately after contact with respiratory secretions!
• improve airflow in your living space by opening windows as much as possible.
If masks are worn, proper use and disposal is essential to ensure they are potentially effective and to avoid any increase in risk of transmission associated with the incorrect use of masks. The following information on correct use of masks derives from the practices in
• place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose and tie securely to minimise any gaps between the face and the mask
• while in use, avoid touching the mask− whenever you touch a used mask, for example when removing or washing, clean hands by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based handrub
• replace masks with a new clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid
• do not re-use single-use masks
− discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removing.
The Ayurvedic method for weight loss has stood the test of thousands of years, so it is unlikely to disappear the way that modern fad diets fade. The ancient Indian medical model succeeds because it approaches weight loss from an individualized perspective, taking into consideration the patient’s constitution. The aim is to bring the body into balance, eliminate toxins, and enhance proper digestion and metabolism for maximum absorption of nutrients.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Weight Loss
Ayurvedic treatment is based on exercise and a diet suited to the individual’s body type, the use of hot, penetrating herbs, and meditation. According to Ayurvedic medicine, to lose weight and maintain healthy digestion all food should be fresh, freshly prepared and light; water should be warm, and herbs should be pungent and bitter.
Ayurvedic physicians view obesity as an imbalance in the vata, pitta or kapha doshas, or body types. Vata types tend to be moody and thin, and benefit the most from warm, moist, oily, heavy, cooked foods emphasizing the sweet, sour and salty taste. Pitta types are intense and do best with cool or warm, dry food, moderately heavy textures and sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. Kapha types tend to be large and steady and benefit from light, warm and dry foods, raw, fresh vegetables and fruits, and foods with a spicy, bitter or astringent taste. Each dosha requires a different type of diet to keep digestion clean and efficient. Most people are a combination of a predominant and a secondary dosha. Both doshas are influential and need to be kept in balance for optimal health.
Basic Ayurvedic Tips for Weight Loss
* Drink hot water frequently throughout the day.
* Make lunch the largest meal of the day.
* Add fresh ginger, cumin, black pepper, turmeric and fenugreek to aid digestion.
* Eat a light evening meal with easy-to-digest foods.
* Avoid eating leftovers. They are low in life-force and harder to digest.
* Exercise daily to improve digestion, metabolism and elimination.
* Practice meditation and yoga daily to keep the mind and body balanced and to reduce food cravings.
* Go to bed by 10:00 p.m.
Ayurvedic Formulas for Weight Loss
Probably the most common Ayurvedic weight-loss formula is Triphala Guggulu. Triphala is a combination of three fruits with purifying and antioxidant qualities. Guggulu helps balance the metabolism and improves digestion. It is made from the gum of a tree related to the myrrh family. Other herbs that improve metabolism include Carthamus tinctoris, Careya arborea, and shilajatu. Turmeric, barberry, trikatu (a combination of black pepper, ginger and Indian long pepper) and catechu help rid the body of toxins.
Ayurvedic Weight Loss Diet for Vata Doshas
Vata types usually stay thin, but imbalances can result in weight gain. The best course of action for this type is to eat three warm, moist, cooked meals at the same time every day. Prepare foods by steaming, sautéing and boiling, adding coconut oil or butter. This will enhance the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients. Use mild spices, such as ginger, cumin, basil, tarragon, thyme, oregano and fennel. These guidelines will assist the Vata type to release extra weight.
* Ideal breakfast foods are sweet hot cereals or warm, sweet fruits such as berries, apples and pears. Add fresh bananas, apricots, grapes, figs and dates.
* Lunch should be about half brown rice, couscous, or whole wheat; 30 percent well-cooked vegetables, such as asparagus, beets, carrots, green beans, leeks, onions, sweet potatoes or zucchini; and 20 percent light proteins, such as seafood, chicken or turkey.
* A late afternoon snack might include hot herbal teas, or nuts with yogurt.
* At dinnertime, try whole-grain bread and butter with a hearty vegetable soup, or a cup of warm milk and fresh, light cheese.
Nepal has a glorious history of Ayurveda, and it is generally believed that most of the original understandings of the centuries-old healing process have come from the Himalayan nation.
It is endowed with rich medicinal plants; reports claim that about 1,700 plants with magical therapeutic value are found in Nepal. For decades, tourism boom in the picturesque Himalayan nation has also encouraged the growth of various services of Ayurvedic healthcare to the tourists.
In fact, like the herbal medicines, Ayurvedic massage is also miraculous, and serves the purpose of detoxification and rejuvenation of the human body.
Like Thailand, Nepal, too, over the years, learnt the art of blending the great tradition of Ayurveda with smart promotion, too earned the distinction of a massage destination for the western tourists.
Unfortunately, under the swathe of “great Ayurvedic tradition”, a section of devious businessmen in downtown Kathmandu, are now all out to make quick cash by selling sex.
The tourist district of Thamel has now emerged as the nerve-centre of a lot of sleazy massage parlours, which openly vend flesh trade. The clients in the parlours are mostly budget tourists and local youths as sexual services are offered at cheap rate.
“This is shameful,” Karma Sherpa, a tour-operator in Kathmandu said, adding that the massage parlours are earning bad name to Thamel’s vibrant tourism industry.
Illiterate and young rural girls, generally within the age of 16 to 20, are roped in for the ‘sexual massage’. Most of them are not trained as masseurs and are forced to work for their survival.
Surprisingly, the government as well as NGOs have been turning a blind eye to the problem. Some NGOs distribute free condoms in the massage parlours to prevent the spread of HIV.
Even the Family Health International has conducted surveys and studies on the massage parlours in Kathmandu, and has submitted its reports to the Nepal government.
Entrepreneurs in Thamel allege that the massage parlours do roaring business in the tourist district as the administration is weak. “It is shameful for us that we are forced to tolerate these sleazy massage parlours and dance bars in a country, which is the birth place of Lord Buddha and Sita,” Ajay Shah, a pashmina trader.
Shah demanded that the government should immediately raid the massage parlours and arrest the owners as they have been exploiting the young and illiterate girls. “The government should also try to rehabilitate the poor girls with different forms of vocational training,” he said.
Source: Hindustan Times
Dr. Sarita Shrestha is a classically trained ayurvedic physician from Nepal. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience in hospital, clinics and rural health camps. Specializing in women’s health, Dr. Shrestha has conducted trainings worldwide in ayurvedic medicine and yoga therapy. She has been teaching in the U.S. for eight years and is currently the only female ayurvedic OB/GYN who conducts trainings in this country. She was a speaker at the recent NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) conference held in Chicago.
MR: What is ayurveda?
SS: Ayurveda is a science with a goal of promoting individual health and maintaining health. It’s largely based on lifestyle, which includes diet, sleep, bowel movements, day-to-day life activities, emotions, spiritual practices and the way one deals with the energy of spirit, which people are not aware of at times. Lifestyle also includes behavior, such as how we treat others and how we behave toward people when others are around. Equally important in ayurveda when considering the individual are the environment, society, family and communication.
In ayurveda, we consider each person to have four components: a body, mind, senses and motor organs. Ayurveda sees a strong relationship between the mind and body. When the mind is not balanced, the physical body becomes mechanical, and a person begins to have problems. Spirit is the initial energy to maintain the function and work of the mind. Spirit, mind and body are like a computer. The switch is the spirit, the monitor is our mind and the hard drive is our physical body. Without spirit, the mind doesn’t work.
MR: How do yoga and ayurveda work together toward healing?
SS: Yoga and ayurveda are sister sciences. Between them, the mind and body are kept in balance. All eight limbs of yoga are connected to ayurveda. The first two limbs of yoga, yama and niyama, relate to daily observations and practices such as tapas (austerities), santosha (contentment) and ahimsa (causing no harm to ourselves and others). Likewise, in ayurveda, our attitudes and behavior can help restore our immune system through positive thinking, engaging in behavior that does not suppress the emotions and treating others with compassion and love. Our behavior becomes our tonic.
Type 2 diabetes and thyroid conditions can be balanced by yoga in ayurveda. In the U.S., diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death. By doing just one hour of daily exercise, some people with type 2 diabetes who require daily insulin injections or oral antidiabetic medications can reduce their dosage. And practicing 10 minutes of savasana (corpse pose) lowers blood pressure and gives the equivalent of one hour of relaxation.
Healing treatments should be holistic. None of the therapies are complete by themselves. However, too many therapies can cause more conflict and separation. It is best for doctors to work together. If surgery is required, we turn to modern medicine, which does research as well. If a person has a chronic condition like cancer, after treatment we can support the patient with ayurveda. Ayurveda can also be used for conditions such as arthritis. If there’s an energy blockage or a muscular disease, patients can turn to acupuncture. Or they can use ayurveda to regain their muscle strength.
In India and Nepal, doctors see people for five minutes or for 15 minutes, but here in the U.S., even a one-hour appointment is not enough. People have faith in the healer in India and Nepal. Here, there is more of a calculation of how much you pay and what you get for it.
In the U.S., emotions are not expressed, but are suppressed. When I see people, they cry. They are not able to cry in their daily lives, so they cry when they are with me. There is no one to listen; this is everyone’s main complaint. You go home and there is no one to listen to you. There is very little in terms of a support system. Humans are social animals, but they feel alone. Everyone has so much work, and they are rushing all the time. No one has time, though all the comforts are here. We don’t have all these comforts in India. Here, people are more often sick due to their mind rather than their physical body. At Mt. Madonna [a yoga conference and retreat center in Watsonville, California], I suggested that we have a class just for crying or listening.
MR: How can people incorporate ayurveda into their lives?
SS: They can start by living a simple life and eating food that is good for their individual ayurvedic body type. Don’t go to extremes in anything. In the U.S., we sometimes go to extremes with diet, whether it is solely juicing or macrobiotics. Food is bad if it is taken in the wrong way. People should drink milk if they are not lactose intolerant. Milk is the ideal food. Cooked foods are better than raw food. Salad should be eaten early in the day so it will have plenty of time to digest before bedtime. People should go to bed early and get regular exercise. Choose the right path, and do everything in moderation. The three main pillars [of ayurveda] are food, sleep and leading a simple life.
People need to think about what their body is telling them, rather than relying on information that is found on TV or in newspapers, brochures or magazines. We have to listen to our bodies as to whether food is appealing and whether it’s necessary.
MR: Why did you decide to become an ayurvedic doctor?
SS: I was guided. I never thought that I was going to be an ayurvedic doctor. I was more interested in music. Before I left for music school, I changed my mind and applied to an ayurvedic college in Nepal.
When I got there, the principal said that females don’t study this stuff; it’s very hard, very tough. You have to study math, science and Sanskrit. He said that ayurveda was a tougher subject [than those], so I had better quit now. . . . I felt that I was underestimated by virtue of being a female. It felt like a challenge, so I took it. I never looked back.
There was a choice to go into ayurveda or modern medicine. I went three years for a certificate in Ayurveda, Modern Medicine and Surgery and was first in my class. I was awarded a scholarship to study at a school near Delhi, where I got my BAMS (Bachelor’s of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) after five and a half years of study. Then I worked in Nepal for three years. Afterward, I got a chance to get my MD degree at Benares Hindu University, which was the first classical college of ayurveda. I specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN), which was a three-year program.
MR: What do you see as the future for ayurvedic medicine in the US?
SS: If pursued properly, then it’s very bright. It is time to be alert.
Panchakarma [a cleansing and rejuvenating process] is becoming very popular these days, but how many places are providing real panchakarma? There are a lot of spas out there that claim to be offering panchakarma.
When it comes to ayurvedic herbs, some practitioners know about some herbs, and they make formulas based on this knowledge. Yet, there has not been a deeper study. Every ayurvedic herb has specific qualities, a taste, after-taste and post-digestive effect. Many don’t know what an herb looks like or tastes like.
It is good to have detailed knowledge to help people and to educate people. There are people writing books without sufficient training. Do people have enough in-depth knowledge to write a book?
Everybody is becoming an ayurvedic practitioner nowadays. However, the public may not know who is authentic. Some clinicians have taken a week’s worth of training and don’t have sufficient knowledge. Others have only completed a correspondence course without any clinical training. How will they know disease patterns? For some, ayurveda is all about business.
Quality in education is a must, and only then can ayurveda go a long way. Now people want to learn, but they need to get real knowledge, not just be given a certificate. This is a lifesaving program. NAMA can help with setting standards.
Dr. Shrestha is the director of Devi Ma Ayurvedic Hospital in Nepal, which focuses on community outreach, provides scholarships for education and grows many of its medicinal herbs. Further information on Dr. Shrestha, including her teaching and consultation schedule, can be found at www.saritashrestha.org. To support her hospital, donations may be made through the U.S. non-profit organization The Growing Edge, www.growingedge.org.
Madhavi Rathod is a graduate and former staff member of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. She has also attended the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in North Carolina. She is an ayurvedic counselor, Vedic astrologer and Reiki master/teacher and has an MBA degree. Madhavi has directed a nonprofit organization in rural India and has worked as a university professor and an investment advisor. She assists people in achieving optimal physical, emotional and financial well-being through a holistic plan designed to meet their individual circumstances. She can be reached through her Web site, www.vedichealing.com.
Interview by: Madhavi Rathod
दरबारमार्गका केबी तामाङ, २६, ले चार महिनाअघि चाखे यार्चागुम्बा । आफ्ना घनिष्ट साथीसँगै बसेर वर्षौंदेखिको उत्सुकता मेटे उनले । खासै नया“ अनुभव भएन । तर, उनका साथीचाहि“ बिरामी परे । भन्छन्, "उसलाई त नर्भिक अस्पताल नै भर्ना गर्नुपर्यो ।"
सा“झ छिप्पिन लाग्दा दुइ भाइ मात्रै बसेर का“चै -प्रशोधन नगरिएको) यार्चाको स्वाद लिएको केबी सम्झन्छन् । उनी अनुभव गर्न खोज्दै थिए भने साथीचाहि“ सम्भावित नतिजाले उत्तेजित बन्दै थिए । उत्सुकता मेटिएपछि साथीलाई छोडेर केबी घर फर्किए । तर, राती नै उनलाई अस्पतालबाट खबर आयो । भन्छन्, "साथीको मुटुको धड्कन अचाक्ली बढेछ ।" उनलाई चाहि“ सुपारी खाएजति पनि भएन रे!
नया“ पुस्ताका युवकयुवतीहरू यार्चाको कुरा गर्न लाज मान्छन् । यौनशक्तिवर्द्धक टनिकका रूपमा हिमाली जडीबुटी यार्चागुम्बाको चर्चा अकासिएकाले नै उनीहरू खुल्न नसकेका हुन सक्छन् । सायद केबी तामाङलाई यही कुराले यार्चातिर तानेको थियो ।
शक्तिवर्द्धक भिटामिन पाउने उपाय धेरै छन् । आयुर्वेदिक, होमियोपेथिक, एलोपेथिक र प्राकृतिक उपचार विधिहरू पनि छ्यापछ्याप्ती छन् । तर, आजसम्म यौनशक्ति बढाउनका लागि कुनै पनि भिटामिन र्सवमान्य हुन सकेको छैन । र्सवसाधारणको पहु“चमा नभए पनि यार्चाको सकारात्मक प्रचार-प्रसारले यसप्रति सबैको ध्यानाकर्षा भएको छ । यार्चागुम्बा चियाको बिक्री यसको गतिलो प्रमाण हो ।
यस वर्षबहुमूल्य जडीबुटी यार्चागुम्बा टिप्न गएका दुइ जनाको प्राण गयो । जुम्ला तातोपानीका मनजिते कामी, २५, र रुकुम गोताम-६ का हिरे थापा, १५, दुवै चिसो र लेक लागेर मरे । डोल्पाका विद्यालयहरू यार्चा टिप्ने सिजन भएकाले बन्द छन् । कुनै गैरसरकारी संस्थाले टिप्ने ठाउ“मा नै घुम्ती विद्यालय चलाएको छ ।
राजधानीमा स्नातक तहमा अध्ययनरत गौरव ढकाल, १९, यार्चागुम्बा टिप्न जा“दा गाउ“ रित्तिएको र सयौ“ विद्यालय बन्द भएको समाचार पढ्दा अचम्मित हुन्छन् । बरु उनलाई यार्चाको खास कामचाहि“ थाहा छैन । उनले पनि यो यौनशक्तिवर्द्धक टनिकभन्दा बढी बुझ्न बा“की रहेछ । भन्छन्, "हिमालमा तीन सय रुपिया“जति र काठमाडौ“मा प्रतिगोटा चार सय रुपिया“जति पर्छ क्यारे †" किलोको आठदेखि १२ लाख रुपिया“ पर्ने भर्खरै थाहा पाएका छन् गौरवले ।
बहुमूल्य यार्चागुम्बाका बारेमा सुन्दासुन्दा कुमारीपाटी ललितपुरका मनिष तोदी, २०, को मनमा पनि छुट्टै किसिमको कौतूहल जन्मिएको छ । उनी पत्रिकामा खोजी खोजी पढ्छन् यार्चा । तर, इन्टेरियर डेकोरेसनको पसल सञ्चालन गरेर बसेका मनिषले अहिलेसम्म यार्चा देखेका छैनन् । भन्छन्, "टेलिभिजन र पत्रपत्रिकामा मात्र देखेको छु ।" विश्व आदर्श उच्च माविमा कक्षा ११ मा पढ्दै गरेकी दीपा बस्नेत, १७, ले पनि यार्चागुम्बा देखेकी छैनन् । त्यसो त उनले यसबारेमा सुन्न थालेको पनि भर्खरै हो । उनले जति जानेकी छन्, त्यो टेलिभिजन र साथीभाइस“गको कुराकानीबाट मात्र हो ।
सञ्चारमाध्यमले यार्चागुम्बालाई भिटामिनका रूपमा बुझाएका छन् । जुन भिटामिनले शरीरका हरेक अङ्गमा जोस र शक्ति दिन्छ । दीपाले बुझेको यार्चा यत्ति नै हो । भन्छिन्, "मल्टीभिटामिन भएका कारण यसको माग र चर्चा भएको होला ।" तर, यो भिटामिनको माग कहा“ होला - दीपालाई जानकारी छैन । भन्छिन्, "नेपालीहरूले यति मह“गो कुरो पक्कै खान सक्दैनन्, त्यसैले पठाउने त विदेशमै होला ।"
१२ कक्षा सकेका शिव ओझा, १९, लाई अझ जवाफ फेला पारेका छन् । भन्छन्, "यसपटक त धेरैजसो चीन गइरहेको छ ।" उनको भनँइमा यसै वर्षहुने ओलम्पिक खेलमा प्रथम हुने तयारीमा छ आयोजक राष्ट्र चीन । त्यसैले ऊ खेलाडीलाई सबै हिसाबले दक्ष बनाउन चाहन्छ । यस्तो जानकारी कमै तन्नेरीलाई थाहा छ ।
कुराकानीका क्रममा भेटिएका ११ जनामध्ये आधाले वनस्पति तथा केहीले जीवका रूपमा परिभाषित गरे । त्यसैगरी केहीले चाहि“ वनस्पति तथा जीव दुवैको 'फ्युजन' रहेको बताए । वैज्ञानिकहरू पछिल्लो परिभाषामा सहमत छन् । भक्तपुरका भास्कर उप्रेती, १८, को विचारमा पनि यार्चागुम्बा जीव र वनस्पतिकै मिलन हो ।
यार्चागुम्बाबारे युवाहरूले धेरथोर जानकारी राखेका छन् । तर, उनीहरूले यसलाई सामान्य औषधि वा भिटामिनका रूपमा मात्रै चाहि“ लिएका छैनन् । कतिपयले यार्चागुम्बा चिया चाखेका छन् । १२ कक्षाको अध्ययन सकेर सीए पढ्ने निहु“मा विदेशिन लागेका भास्कर भन्छन्, "चिया पनि केटाहरूले लुकीचोरी मात्रै चाखेका छन् । किनभने, थाहा पाउनेले गलत अर्थमा बुझ्छन् ।"