Category Archives: Featured

Medical Palmistry

Medical Assumtions through Palmistry
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Praying Hands  is a famous pen-and-ink drawing by Albrecht Dürer. A close look at the drawing makes several medical assumptions possible.

The person is middle-aged or older.

The hands have been used to manual labour.

The person is diabetic or will shortly become so.

Diabetes produces changes in the structure of the hands so that when they are folded, as in prayer, a small gap is visible between the two little fingers.

As people walk, they unconsciously move their arms. Watch to see the position of the thumb. If it is rotated inwards, the person has a body mass index (BMI) over 29 and is already obese or heading there.

The creases and lines on our palms, formed when the foetus is 12 weeks old, are genetically determined. Normally, three lines are formed. If there are only two lines (single palmar crease), the child must be followed up for Down’s syndrome, or other genetic abnormalities. It is rare for normal people to have a single palmar crease but some do have it only on one palm, a trait shared by many in the family.

Some people are prone to chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. They too tend to have only two lines but their single abnormal line is situated just above the thumb.

Hormone levels in the uterus influence finger length. A person (irrespective of sex) whose index finger is shorter than the ring finger will have had more testosterone (male hormone) in the womb and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will have had more estrogen (female hormone). The difference in the lengths can as little as two or three per cent but is important. Professional women and female scientists tend to have higher levels of testosterone relative to their oestrogen level, while the converse is true of men in the fine arts and social sciences.

Marfan’s syndrome is a genetic disease in which the person has abnormally long fingers (arachnodactly), like that of a spider. Congenital hypothyroidism, certain renal diseases and some forms of dwarfism are associated with a tripartiate hand where the index, middle and ring fingers are of the same length. Palmar creases, tripartate hands and archnodactly can be picked up on ultrasound examination after the 12th week.

All of five fingers are essential for the hand to function properly. The thumb is the most important as it helps us to grasp something securely. If there are extra fingers, they need to be surgically removed. They may be associated with internal organ abnormalities, particularly of the kidney.

The tips of the fingers have loops and whorls, some closed and circular, others open ended. No two individuals have identical fingerprints. Strangely, people with mental illnesses have more open loops and fewer whorls.

Smokers have yellowish brown nails. In chronic respiratory ailments or congenital heart disease, nails bulge with a convex parrot beak appearance and are blue in colour.

The skin of the palm may be yellow. Jaundice causes this. It can also occur because of excessive consumption of yellow vegetables and fruits.

Hard labour can make the fingers gnarled and knotted; housework, which involves dealing with harsh detergents, makes the skin rough. Office work makes the hands soft and smooth. Regular manicures keep the hands looking good. The occupation and financial status of a person can be determined by looking at the hands.

Fingers may get fixed in the flex position with sudden painful release, the “trigger finger”. The tissues of the hand may get thickened, causing them to contract. These conditions need to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon.

Osteoarthritis sets in with age and is commoner in women. The fingers become painful and work becomes difficult. This is a localised condition and other body systems are not affected. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in younger people. The joint deformities give the fingers a spindle shaped appearance. This disease can affect other organs as well. Treatment is long drawn and includes medication, physiotherapy and regular exercise. Most joint pains, whatever the cause, respond well to immersion in hot salted water and underwater exercises.

Involuntary shaking movements called tremors can be first seen in the hands and may be associated with tingling. Sometimes these are familial and harmless. Tremors can also be the result of too much coffee, medication induced or the manifestation of a neurological disease like Parkinson’s. Tremors need to be evaluated by a physician.

Hands reveal a great deal if observed carefully. No wonder palmistry is a successful profession!

Source :The Telegraph. May 21.2012
Written by Gita Mathai

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Brain attack (Stroke)

 

An elderly person’s worst nightmare is suffering a stroke. It conjures up visions of being confined to bed with the inability to move or speak and, worst of all, loss of bowel and bladder control. A cerebral stroke occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain stops for any reason. Though strokes can occur at any age, they are more common after 65 years. With the increase in life expectancy in India, the incidence of stroke has doubled from 175 to 350 per 1,00,000.

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Although it is uncommon for strokes to occur in young people, it can happen in youngsters born with a malformed blood vessel in the brain, brain tumours or those who suffer severe dehydration. Also, at any age, irregular heartbeats can lead to small clots in the brain called emboli, which can block vessels. The chances of having a stroke increase in those above 65 years if they have diabetes, hypertension, obesity, elevated blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), are smokers, take more than 60ml of alcohol a day and do not have an active life.

Pregnant women can also suffer a stroke because of an increase in clotting tendency . In fact, the number of such women having a stroke has increased internationally. This upsurge has been blamed on older age at first pregnancy, an inactive life prior to and during pregnancy and obesity.

The manifestations of a stroke are giddiness, weakness or paralysis of muscle groups, blurring of vision, inability to speak or loss of consciousness. This is followed by paralysis of a limb, or a side of the body. A stroke occurs when blood supply to an area of the brain is cut off, either as a result of a block or a bleed.
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Usually, there are a few warning TIA (transient ischaemic attacks) before a stroke or cerebral attack. There can be sudden blurring of vision, inability to speak or weakness of a limb. These signs are due to spasm of a diseased vessel in the brain or to small amounts of blood leaking. Many people do not take these symptoms seriously since recovery is spontaneous and complete. But appropriate preventive treatment at this point can prevent a full-blown stroke.

In the absence of treatment, TIAs are soon followed by the real thing — a stroke. The devastation caused by it depends on the extent of damage to the brain. This in turn depends on the site and size of the block or leak. Thirty three percent of stroke victims recover, 33 per cent have permanent disability and another 33 per cent die. Cerebral stroke is responsible for 1.2 per cent of the recorded deaths in India.

The most common effect is paralysis of a part of the face or one side of the body. Muscles in the throat and mouth lose co-ordination, making it difficult for the person to swallow and talk. Speech may become slurred and distorted. If the speech centre in the brain is affected the person may understand everything that is said but be unable to reply. Memory loss may make recollection of present events a blur. Quite often though past memories are intact. A person may also lose the ability to make judgements, reason and understand concepts. This makes them appear unnecessarily stubborn. A strange numbness or pricking sensations may occur in the paralysed limb. Since all these effects are because of damage to the brain, they are difficult to treat with medication.

All injuries heal given time and treatment, the brain is no exception. It is capable of rewiring itself so that lost skills are regained to an extent. A person who is predominantly right handed can learn to write with his left hand. Physiotherapy makes the paralysed muscles flexible and stronger. Since a few muscle spindles may be still active, they can be retrained to enlarge and take over the function of the paralysed muscles. The bladder can be trained to empty itself every 3-4 hours. By speaking slowly and using simple sentences, it is often possible to be understood. The brain can be stimulated with puzzles and poetry to enable faster healing.

Better still, try to prevent a stroke. :-

• Keep diabetes and hypertension in control.

• Take medications to reduce lipid levels.

• Take aspirin and clopidogrel, usually prescribed to diabetics and those with high pressure, regularly to prevent a stroke.

Walk, swim or cycle for at least 30 minutes a day.

• Stimulate yourself intellectually by learning new skills and doing puzzles.

When it comes to brain circuits, the correct mantra is “use it or lose it!”

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Cuddling May Be Key to Long-Term Happy Relationship

A new study that looked at middle-aged and older couples found that cuddling and caressing can boost satisfaction.  The study also revealed that:

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•Tenderness is more important to men than to women
•Men are more likely to report being happy in their relationship
•Women are more likely to be satisfied with their sex life
According to Yahoo Health:

“Both women and men were happier the longer they had been together and if they had higher levels of sexual functioning … Sexual satisfaction for both women and men was associated with frequent kissing and cuddling, sexual caressing by a partner, high sexual functioning, and frequent sex. For men, having had more sex partners in their lifetime was a predictor of less sexual satisfaction … Sexual satisfaction for women increased over time.”

Resources:
*Yahoo Health July 6, 2011

*Archives of Sexual Behavior August 2011; 40(4):741-53

Posted By Dr. Mercola | July 25 2011

How to Recover Your Cell Phone if it Drops in Water

Did you just drop your cell phone into water? According to Yahoo News, all may not be lost! Here are their suggested steps which might enable you to rescue a drowned phone:

Step 1: Do NOT turn on the phone

Step 2: Pull out the battery and SIM card

Step 3: Rinse quickly in freshwater if you dropped your phone in salt water (to rinse out the salt)

Step 4: Dry your phone using compressed air (DO NOT dry it in the oven)

Step 5: Cover your phone with uncooked rice (in a ziplock bag) for at least 24 hours (to absorb moisture)

Step 6: Turn your phone back on and see if it works!

Sources: Yahoo News June 1, 2011

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Hair Colouring

Grey Hair & Wrinkles

Grey Hair & Wrinkles (Photo credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina})

As we grow older several changes take place in our body, some visible, others not so visible. The most obvious one is the hair — and moustache in the case of men — turning grey from jet black. Unfortunately, nowadays it is not just senior citizens who are greying but also those in their twenties or early thirties. Twenty years ago, 18 per cent of adults under the age of 30 had started to grey. According to a recent report, that figure is now close to 32 per cent. Hair care brands have come up with a new mnemonic for grey haired over stressed twenty something — GHOSTS. The first grey hair stresses out GHOSTS even more as the current job market prizes youth — or at least looking youthful — over experience.

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The age at which one starts to grey is determined genetically. At that age the hair cells stop producing the colouring pigment melanin. This makes the shaft of the hair transparent. Light reflects off it, giving it its white appearance. Not all hairs stop producing melanin simultaneously. The mixed white and normal black makes the hair appear grey.

People who are exposed constantly to pollution and UV rays can get grey hair even before their genetically determined age to grey. The poisonous chemicals in tobacco kill the melanocytes, making smokers go grey before their non-smoking peers. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can also cause premature greying, as can a a peculiar type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia. Thyroid malfunction can also turn hair grey.

Grey hair has been cosmetically unacceptable for centuries. People used all kinds of natural dyes such as henna, indigo, walnut, curry leaves, gooseberries, tea, coffee, hibiscus flowers and arecanut either alone or in combination to colour grey hair. These natural products are used even today. Most, if used consistently, produce a dark brown colour. They are popular as they are inexpensive, can be applied at home, and are considered safe. But some people are allergic to even herbal products.

Hair can also be dyed with commercially available colouring agents. Temporary colours last a single wash. They can be funky colours like pink, blue or green but dark hair will not take these unless it is bleached first. Repeated use of these dyes without proper conditioning can, however, make hair brittle and lustreless.

Permanent hair colouring is the one usually used to disguise grey hair. It is a two-step process. First the hair is lightened using an agent like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. Then the dye is applied and fixed. The colouring lasts until the hair grows out. This can be anything between 4 to 6 weeks.

Some people are allergic to hair dyes. Redness, itching, burning or skin rashes can occur either immediately or within 48 hours. To prevent this, before applying a dye for the first time, or switching brands, do a patch test. Take a small quantity of dye and apply it to the skin [usually on the inside of the elbow] for a day to see if there is any reaction. Sometimes a person can turn allergic to a product that they have been using safely for many years.

If hair is being coloured at home, it is important to follow the instructions on the package implicitly. Before using the dye, apply Vaseline to the hairline and ears. This will prevent the skin from staining. Always use gloves to apply the colour. Leave it on the hair for the time specified. Then wash it off with water. Apply a conditioner and leave it on for 7-9 minutes. Shampoo the next day.

Most shampoos (particularly the anti-dandruff ones) are harsh and unsuitable for regular use on coloured hair. Special colour safe shampoos and conditioners should be used to preserve the health of hair and minimise fading.

Hair that has been damaged by excessive and improper exposure to chemicals becomes dry, rough and fragile. The only solution is to stop using chemicals and cut off the damaged bit.

Hair colour should also not be used to darken facial hair because its texture is different and also because using traditional hair dyes so close to the nose can be distressing because of the odour of ammonia and other chemicals. The best thing to use is a range of colouring products labelled “just for men”.

How to delay greying:
*Avoid stress
*Don’t smoke
*Avoid too much exposure to ultraviolet rays
*Exercise regularly
*Eat at least 4-5 helpings of fruit and vegetables a day.
*Take care of your stomach &  liver function
*Try to avoid pollution

You may click to see :

*Grey Hair – Why & How to Treat it

*Experts Uncover Cause of Greyness

*Going gray? Hair ‘Bleaches Itself as People Age’

*Why does hair turn grey?

*What Causes Grey Hair
Source :The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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