Tag Archives: Alter ego

Laser Therapy May Help Neck Pain

So-called low-level laser therapy (LLLT) entails using a laser‘s light — but not its fiercely concentrated heat — to stimulate tissue repair and ease pain.
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Doctors led by Roberta Chow of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at Australia‘s University of Sydney carried out an overview of 16 randomised trials that put this increasingly popular procedure to the test.

A total of 820 patients were enrolled in the trials, divided into groups that received either the therapy or a lookalike, dummy treatment. In five trials, patients given LLLT were around four times likelier to have reduced pain compared with a placebo, the paper found.

In the 11 other trials, for which there was a detailed analysis of pain symptoms, LLLT patients reported reductions of chronic pain by around 20 points on a scale of 100 points. The pain reduction continued for up to 22 weeks.

LLLT compares favourably with other drugs and other remedies for effectiveness and its side-effects are mild, says the study, which recommends that it be used in combination with an exercise programme.

Why LLLT works, though, is unclear. The authors suggest it could interfere with pathways of inflammation, muscle tiredness and the transmission of pain signals along nerves.

Between 10 and 24 percent of people suffer from chronic neck pain, inflicting a cost running into the hundreds of millions of dollars and highlighting the need for simple but effective treatent, the authors said.

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Source: The Times Of India

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Music Eases Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is high, do not fret. Just breathe slowly, turn on some quiet, slow rhythmic music and watch your blood pressure tumble drastically.

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According to researchers at the American Society of Hypertension’s 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2008), patients with mild hypertension who listened to just half an hour of classical, Celtic or raga music a day for four weeks experienced significant reductions in 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP).

Hypertension, a common disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally high, is responsible for causing at least five million premature deaths each year worldwide.

“Listening to music is soothing and has often been associated with controlling patient-reported pain or anxiety and acutely reducing blood pressure,” said study investigator, Prof Pietro A Modesti, Professor of Internal Medicine in the University of Florence in Italy.

“But for the first time, today’s results clearly illustrate the impact daily music listening has on ABP. We are excited about the positive implications for both patients and physicians, who can now confidently explore music listening as a safe, effective, non-pharmacological treatment option or a complement to therapy.”

At first, the patients wore a device that tracked their blood pressure for 24 hours. Next, they were given a CD of classical, Celtic, or Indian music.

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Music ‘can ease arthritis pain’

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Sources: The Times Of India

Stoking The Inner Fire

Turning Inward During Winter
In the depths of winter, we can forget that bare trees will once again be full with foliage, and grass and flowers hidden beneath a blanket of white or a deceptive covering of hardened earth will burst forth once again. While they slumber, nature is continuing its work at the center of each living thing. We can think of our blankets and warm clothes as similar protection—like the cocoon that surrounds a changing caterpillar—while we undergo our own inner transformational work. In the meantime, the lights that twinkle and the fires that warm us can serve to remind us of the flame of life that burns within us.

In order to stoke our inner flame, we can use the time indoors to focus our attention on our homes and families. We can become distracted by the world outside and forget that we need to nourish the lights that warm our hearts. Interacting at a soul level can be done by sharing stories from our hearts, doing projects together, dancing, or playing games. Devoting energy this way helps us build a stronger bond that will sustain us once the world allows us each to pursue our individual goals again.

Winter allows us to feed the flame in our own centers by reading or researching to nourish our dreams and plans for the future. This can mean catching up on all the quieter things we wanted to do but didn’t have time for, like reading books, watching movies, or listening to music. We may have set aside creative pursuits such as painting or writing that can be brought back to the center burner now. It is also a great time to do some journaling to look back on the year that has passed and perhaps the years before this one in preparation for forward motion in the coming year. Nature’s wisdom offers us opportunities to nourish our inner seeds of hope in preparation for our future, so let us enjoy the inner warmth and be grateful for it all.

Sources: Daily Om

Depressed? Have Some Soup

Time to be a Soup-o-holic!

Feeling low or bored, and don’t want to binge again? It’s time for your serving of soup for the soul! Move over that never-ending book series. Steaming fresh soups do a lot to keep you healthy and spirited. Whether it’s thick, rich and creamy or clear and light, these all weather stress-busters are a good bet to keep your taste buds alive without burdening the tummy. Here are some delectable varieties you must try…

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“Minestrone is my all time favorite”, says top restaurateur Ritu Dalmia. This classic Italian preparation is made from fresh beans, celery, carrots, tomato, onions and stock. “Cold soups are also a good option”, she adds, citing examples of the avocado and beetroot-strawberry soups she recently enjoyed on her trip abroad. I would personally recommend Chilled Cucumber soup which most French restaurants should offer. Other exotic varieties of the cold kind are the Andalusian Almond soup, which is thick and creamy with the flavor of raw almonds and sea salt, and the Iced Shrimp soup, a rarity which you must try wherever available.

And if you’d rather prefer a menu that’s closer home, you’re not alone! Model and former Miss India Nikita Anand swears by homemade soups. “I love my bowl of soup in winters. My mum makes great mushroom and chicken broth and clear spinach soup, and I prefer them to restaurant preparations because they’re simple, healthy and minimalist as far as spices and unnecessary ingredients go, she says. Tarla Dalal, one of India’s most successful cookery experts, echoes Nikita’s choice.  Light, clear varieties like the quintessential Lemon-Coriander soup are the healthiest”, she says. For her,   Soups are the best part of any meal !
Dalal also recommends cooking up your own versions by mish-mashing recipes. So get creative with chicken, mushroom, lemon, basil, lentil, garlic and lettuce… garnish the regular Talumein or Tomyum with your own additions and stew up your own unique consommé.

While you are at it, keep in mind that seasonal ingredients work the best with any preparation. “What is available at that time of the year makes for the best taste   says expert chef and restaurateur Moshe Shek.   The healthiest of soups are natural purees, like the ones we serve”, he adds. This means  no butter or cream, or white flour. His special recommendations include roasted corn soup with oregano and jalape±o for the monsoon and pea and fresh mint soup which is available round the year.

And if you thought soup-o-mania is a recent trend, let me tell you that the Greeks are believed to have sold soup as a fast-food on the street as early as 600 BC! The term   soup , however, came much later. People used to pour broth over a piece of bread in a bowl. That bread was known as sop, and thus   soup  was born.

Anyway, leave all the gyaan aside and relish your portion of this easy-to-cook appetizer which comes in an array of yummy forms. And, always follow celebrity chef and food writer Vikas Khanna’s tip:   Remember that a delicious and inspiring meal comes from a creative and adventurous mind!

Source: The Times Of India