Health Awareness

I recently attended a seminar on health awareness so that I can improve my health condition. I learnt some very useful things.

The morning was divided between the three health care speakers: Dr. Prashant, Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris Cambridge Center, Dr. Isabella Llewelyn, GP in North London, with a special interest in nutrition, cancer research and energy medicine, director of her own practice at Brent health care, and Helen Wall, from Birmingham, Five Elements Acupuncturist.

The talk began with an interesting statistic that more road accidents occur on the day that clocks move forwards and we lose one hour’s sleep! There were 17% more accidents on that day in US last year.

The reason being that lack of sleep has definite short term and long term consequences, and deprivation affects our concentration, mental health faculties and our performance, the blood pressure rises, there is an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes, may cause heart problems and weakens the immune system; it also pre-disposes us to obesity.

In this context, three factors make for good health:

Eat less, Exercise more, and observe adequate Sleep habits, because one-third of our life is spent in sleep.

Prashant shared other tips:

 If you want to cut down on sleep, you need to do it naturally by increasing your yoga in quality and quantity.

*  The general advice for adults is to sleep for 7 hours a day. Additionally, more than 8 hours sleep in adults is counterproductive.

*  One-third of our life is spent in sleep, hence we all need to know more on ‘the subject.

*  Contrary to earlier assumptions that the brain in some way is shut down during sleep, we observe that the brain is very active throughout sleep.

*  During different phases of the sleep cycle, the brain is very active; muscles go into spasms; heart attacks are more likely; and the risks of asthma attack is also increased.

*  There are three to four sleep phases: Alpha (light sleep), ThetaDelta(blood pressure low, temperature low) and REM (rapid eye movement). During the Delta phase – which is deep sleep – people are very disturbed if awakened.

*  during REM – a most important phase, the body is paralysed and the soul detaches from the body. When this phase is missed, the person will attempt to make it up the following day or during the week. Also, during the last 20 minutes of this phase, learning takes place. Hence, the saying when trying to solve a problem, “to sleep on it” as memories are processed and information consolidated.

*  Our sleep comprises a few cycles. Each cycle lasts for about 90 minutes. Duration may vary a little with individuals. It takes about 50 minutes to move from waking state to deep sleep.

*  It is best therefore to sleep in multiples of an average of 90 minutes so that we go through enough cycles of sleep– at the end of each sleep cycle, we temporarily awake – this can be observed by a change in snoring!

Drinking coffee during the day makes us experience deeper REM sleep.

Dr. Isabella Llewellyn – “Food for Health and Well-Being”

The following is a sample of the very rich talk:

*  The effects of plastics on our foods, microwaving foods which our body cannot assimilate because the body cannot recognize the changed molecules.**

*  Foods that are excellent for health, such as, berries – rich in nutrients, good for diabetes, reduce cholesterol, oxygenate the body

*  Grapefruit – has important nutrients ** good for diabetes.

*  Guava – which removes heavy metals, and good for cancerous cells

*  Apple –– the Malic acid increases cellular energy.

*  Sugar – makes you want to eat more and affects mood.

*  Belly fat – more dangerous than radiation is for the DNA – and Six hours of sitting (called sitting disease) – more dangerous than smoking

*  High fructose corn syrup is not good for the body- too much fructose can raise ‘bad’ fats in the blood, contribute to a high BP, high heart rate and raise insulin resistance, so contributing to diabetes; also fructose corn syrup lowers good cholesterol and affects nitrous oxide, and can precipitate gout due to high uric acid.

*  Turmeric decreases inflammation, normalises metabolism and improves beta cell function (pancreas) and so stabilises blood sugar and normalises metabolism – 1 teaspoon a day was recommended.

*  Apple cider vinegar is also anti-inflammatory, (organic) 2 tablespoons before and after meals reduces blood sugar and is anti-bacterial

*  Cinnamon is a digestive tonic and also a metabolism regulator.

 Almonds improve insulin sensitivity, lowers diabetic risk, and heart disease and lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol.

*  Ginger – helps migraines, nausea, fatty liver, and benefits the heart

*  Coconuts – provides healthy fats

Helen Wall – “Timetable for Good Health”

Five Elements Acupuncture is a system based on balancing the elements of the body to restore good health. In the presentation, it was explained how the energy flows in the meridians during the 24 hours of the day and how by aligning ourselves with the flow of energy we are helping to restore health.

Each of the five elements ether, fire, earth, air and water, within the Chinese system are also considered as changes in consciousness. In Chinese medicine, Ether is Wood and Air is Metal. The elements are considered to be processes of change like the seasons. For example, when you start a project, this is the birth of it or initiation of it represented as Spring/Wood (Ether), then the growth phase is Summer/Fire; late summer, when the fruits mature, and are harvested, is the Earth element which nurtures humanity; then in Autumn/Metal (Air), indicates the time that we throw out what we don’t need. The Winter/Water element is a time of rest and being quiet.

According to this system, 3-5am is the best time to change your personality habits. 5am – 7am is the best time to empty your bowels. 7am-9am is the best time for your main meal. From 11am -1pm is the best time for intellectual and spiritual transformation. It is also the time for the soul to get maximum power.

May you have good health!

The seminar taught me about the influence of sleep, food and time on health. Here at the Brahma Kumaris we recommend a vegetarian diet. This is better for your health and it is better for Mother Nature.

If you want to learn about vegetarian cooking, you could try the following cook books:

The Food Magicians’ Spell Book

To Feed the Soul

Simple Vegetarian Recipes

Food & Soul

Shantivan Cookbook

Pure & Simple Cookbook

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