Sedentary habit and decline in memory

This research from PLOS establishes clear evidence between sedentary lifestyle and decline in memory. This is especially insightful since so far, the guidance on health asks us to be active 5 hours a week. However, this research indicates that 5 hours of activity per week is not enough.

Recent research from PLOS (Public Library of Science) has focused our attention on sedentary habits and thinning of the Medial Temporal Lobe, responsible for (recent) memory. This blog captures the importance of activity and memory. Also, you may visit the primary research link from the provided reference.

Atrophy of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) occurs with aging, resulting in impaired episodic memory. Aerobic fitness is positively correlated with total hippocampal volume, a heavily studied memory-critical region within the MTL. More sedentary non-demented individuals have less MTL thickness, spending all day in your desk chair — were linked to changes in a part of the adult brain that’s critical for memory.

Specifically, the new study linked sedentary behavior to thinning of the medial temporal lobe, a brain region involved in the formation of new memories. Sitting for extended periods of time was closely associated with thinning in the medial temporal lobe, regardless of one’s physical activity level. In other words, the study suggests that “sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the [medial temporal lobe] and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods,” the researchers said in the statement.

Action Item:  “reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target for interventions designed to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sedentary behavior associated with reduced medial temporal lobe thickness in middle-aged and older adults.

PLOS (Public Library of Science) was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit Open Access publisher, innovator and advocacy organization with a mission to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. PLOS represents the best scientific values. One that focuses on bringing scientists together, to share work as rapidly and as widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole.

Sudden Cardiac Standstill

Recently, I heard a lot of cases due to sudden cardiac arrest. Almost all are young adults, one was 21 year old, the other 29 year old, the third one 39 year old and now Sridevi, who was just 54.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is getting common by the day. Often we think it is unlikely to happen to us. We are so remotely concerned, that we never realize it may happen within our close circle – family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. It is not remote possibility, it can happen anytime within our network.

Too often, we are under a wrong notion that the EMR (911) will be there and fix it. However, their response time varies according to the circumstances and often, it is late. Can we think of avoiding such grievous situations before they happen? Right from the causes, the identification while we are developing that vulnerability and finally, to manage while it actually happens until the EMR (911) is there to manage further?

What do you say might be the causes?
What can be done to protect?If that does happen (right now in front of your eyes), are we adequately prepared to handle it?

There are several causes, but knowing your understanding and readiness to handle is important. Please read what you need to do, just in case you meet with this eventuality.

Do we know the cause and are we adequately prepared to handle that? Of course, this is not a replacement for professional advice or management. An immediate action is to get professional doctors to help.

Earlier, we lost one of the most talented and venerated actress due to sudden cardiac arrest. What can we learn from such an unanticipated loss? Someone responded saying,

SriDevi

Despite all efforts sometimes we are helpless. However, efforts are the only thing we have in our control, having said that, as I was talking about this earlier, we all need CPR training. However, I avoided directly prescribing before knowing the awareness.

During the initial phase itself, several amongst us live in that risk zone. How do we identify if we fall in that zone? How deeply are we exposed and impacted to that risk? What is it that drives us into and out of that risk zone?

Second, what do we do once we have identified our own risk? How best to reduce? Will it happen overnight? Is overnight fixing possible? How do we plan and implement a roadmap towards better health?

The last and the most important, for several months now, I have been evangelizing the cause of CPR, which I talked before posting the generic concern this morning. Often CPR given at the right moment is helpful. If late (around 7-10 minutes), becomes ineffective, not that heart cannot be revived but irrevocable damage has already occurred by then. If someone continues the pumping until medical help arrives, that becomes a god send opportunity.

Spirituality and good practices play a significant role is establishing or rebalancing. However, that what goes through those seven openings is only one aspect. We definitely need a comprehensive approach and plan.

While I have no knowledge if she was indulging in any of that, I am sure she had access to expert guidance on how best to do that. Though rumor mills are ripe with speculations, botox, plastic surgery and liposuctions are unlikely to do that. Metabolic drug, especially anabolic steroids  have severe damning effect though. It is wise to presume, that she had access to professional advice. Sridevi is just an example of sudden cardiac standstill. Last night, I lost an extended family member who was 39. Earlier around new year, we lost a 21 and 29 year old in Irving.

Whether it is Sridevi, a 39, 21 or 29 yr old, do we know the precipitating factors? How can we stop walking that path? And if that happens in your presence, what would you do to stop it?

Its time to audit and fix.

Islamic Veil

Placeholder – radicals are not true believers, they can desecrate the very values for which they stand for primarily because they submit to the outcome and not the means. Whereas, religion is about means and not about end.

It is not true to construe that they haven’t understood their religious tenets. Religious tenets are sublime and are simple for a common man to understand. They have decidedly made a choice to override those tenets.

Islam is not the only religion dispersed with radical profanity. Hinduism is showing a significant rise in radical dominance and polarization.

Radicalization is not just related to religion. Even political ideology is getting fenestrated and infested with radical and aggressive thoughts gradually establishing as mainstream philosophy.

Can these man respect the sacred religious belief of their own religion?

At least three men disguised in burkas arrived in a rickshaw and entered the Peshawar Agriculture Training Institute on Friday morning.

Pakistan attack: Gunmen storm Peshawar training college
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-42191487

Why Stairs?

Walking Stairs – One of the most potent, no cost, no frill, ubiquitous, climate tolerant, readily available exercise that provides potential benefits. Though seemingly innocuous, walking stairs helps tone the core muscles plus enhance your stamina and build your endurance, in addition it also provides an easy means of burning three times extra calories as compared to walking or taking a stroll.

This blog provides an understanding about the benefits of walking stairs, calorie consumption, options while walking stairs and the tips for engaging in correct mechanism while doing so. It provides illustrations and reputed citations at the end of the blog.

Someone said it right, ‘The elevator to health is out of order, you need to take stairs’.

Disclaimer:

Before you embark on ‘Climbing Stairs’ as a form or exercise, I presume you have consulted your physician or cardiologists and you have their authorization to do these. If not, I strongly advise you to consult your doctor and get his approval before you initiate this.

Benefits of Stair Climbing

Where can I find Stairs?

Obviously an absurd question, you can almost find stairs anywhere – at home, work, recreation, shopping mall, schools, public places, or even walking up/down the knoll. Despite being ubiquitous, there is no money involved in enjoying climbing stairs. Running up and down a flight of stairs can raise your heart rate quickly.

Climbing Stairs – What does it offers?

Climbing stairs is one of the most potent aerobic exercises that I see after running, swimming, jogging and high intensity sports. Our lifestyle or other constraints often forbid us from participating in these high intensity sports, however, it is possible to engage in climbing stairs in our day to day life. Often, I see folks reside in two storied homes or live in apartments or work in office or offices with multiple floors. If you don’t have one, find one.

While I walk down the Valley Ranch trail, the entire hillock rolling down to the flat terrain, amounts to 13 floors. If you are working or live on the higher floor, may be walk couple of those. Stairs help you increase the heart rate faster than walking, providing 3 times increase in workload in a similar period of time.

Why Stairs?

Stairs exercises the core and antigravity muscles; it helps keep them healthy plus the bigger antigravity muscles such as the thigh and abdominals burn significant calories. Remember, antigravity muscles are the cornerstone of all our daily activities. Weakness in these causes us to slouch, get tired or even change our body contour. Walking stairs enhances and reinforces your core muscles such as abdominals, hamstrings, quadriceps, and soleus (calf muscles). Remember, it is utmost important to keep these muscles healthy for sustaining energy and long periods of work. Mere bulky muscles are not a strength of healthy muscles. Gyms and resistance training keeps your muscles ‘BIG’, whereas climbing Stairs keeps those healthy.

Calories burned – Walking and Stair Climbing compared

For 150 lbs. person, 30 minutes of walk on an even surface burns 90 calories. It is 30 calories extra for the one weighing 200 lbs.

For those amongst us who are 150-160 lbs., can use below approximation to count calories burned while climbing stairs

  • 3 flights of Stairs = 15 calories
  • 60 minutes, four days a week – could burn roughly 532 calories per session
  • 532 x 4 = 2218 calories/week
  • You lose about one pound in a week and a half

Stair options

Nanoworkouts Stair Options

  1. Climbing two stairs at a time increases not alone calorie consumption but also provides an additional exercise to the core muscles and the antigravity muscle.
  2. Increments of 10 minutes will offer sudden bursts in metabolism and help with possible weight loss.
  3. Walking down the stairs requires you to control your body from sliding down. This effort initiates your quadriceps and hip flexors to control the downward movement. They have to stabilize the torso from rolling down.
  4. You can almost blend other exercises such as raising your arms, carrying dumbbells, or twisting your body while walking down. Blending increases the calories burned. However, blending is to be avoided while walking downstairs
  5. Try to tuck your tummy in while climbing up and down the stairs, these will increase the tone of your abdominals (which help you sustain an erect posture) and also burn more calories

Remember these six tips while climbing stairs

  1. Put your entire foot on the step, leaning slightly forward, engage your core and tuck your tummy.
  2. Keep your toes straight rather than splaying them right or left.
  3. Though it sounds easy, give enough time while you are climbing down
  4. Always be well hydrated and adequate on calories, too much loading is bad, as is walking too many stairs while fasting.
  5. If you feel tired, skip a day but take an easy walk on an even surface.
  6. Fatigue sets in quickly and it’s important to maintain good form. Completing steps using bad form will stress/overload your body and potentially injure you. Always start small and increase gradually.

Summary:

One of the most potent, no cost, no frill, readily available exercise available that provides great benefits. It helps provide tone to the core muscles plus enhance your stamina or endurance in addition to providing an easy means of burning three times extra calories as compared to walking or strolling.

This and other health blogs are written for increasing an awareness within the community. There are no direct or indirect material benefits from this blog/s.

Illustrations are taken from StepJockey and Nanoworkouts.com.

Citations:

8 Way climbing Stairs

Exercise Tips for Harvard Stadium Stair Workout

Interesting Articles

Fitness for less: Low-cost ways to shape up

Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common challenges

Exercise Activity Calculator (American Cancer Society)

How Many Calories do I need? Calorie Counter (from American Cancer Society)

Calorie counting made easy

Walking: Your steps to health (Harvard Health Publishing)

How to Burn About 150 Calories (Harvard Health Publishing)

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights

List of skeletal muscles of the human body

Build Anti-Gravity Muscle

Abdominal fat and what to do about it: Are you Pear Shaped or Apple Shaped?

Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night’s rest

Stretching: 35 exercises to improve flexibility and reduce pain (Harvard Health)

Marching orders: How to start a walking program

 

 

 

 

Should We Question Our Guru?

Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who has provided that eternal milieu for growth and realization.

Prologue

All religions are deeply embedded with humane perspective, ethical values and principles. We follow religion what is told to us and as followers, we come up with questions. Often, religious practices or preachers forbid us from asking questions. In fact, in the interest of your faith, you should question your tenets or those who impart those principles of religion and at times, we should oppose something that does not appeal to our morals or sense of judgment. Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who provides us that eternal milieu for growth and realization. More on the importance of asking questions to understand your faith.

The Importance of Guru

Guru or a teacher is a must in every aspect of life and living. When we are born, the one who holds us, our Parents, are our Guru. When we learn to walk and run, and play in the field, we need a Guru or alternately, we are continuously guided by someone in the form of Guru. As we graduate through different levels of learning, we realize, several learned folks have contributed in making us what we are at that snapshot of time. At no point in our individual journey of life can we claim that we are on our own. We develop as an amalgamation of outside forces, the learning and our own ability to comprehend internally what emerges from within the milieu we exist. Be it science, arts, technology, business, politics or spiritual. Selected few are beneficiaries of dedicated didactics whereas, most are imbibing the radiance emanated from these folks, through books, discourse, artifacts analysis, on the ground lessons, hands-on learning etc. and as time progresses, we transition into Guru. In fact, we should consider that as one of our most noble social responsibility while build that continuity. There is no invitations, you simply offer yourself to the devotion of dissipating and spreading that wisdom, knowledge being one aspect of it. Do we need Guru to interpret religion? Obviously yes, this journey would not be a journey without a Guru and life would have no meaning without the presence of Guru.

Should Guru Charge for the knowledge?

Some do it selflessly, while others do it with collateral. However, irrespective of an exchange is occurring or not, it is pertinent that the transfer of wisdom should transition from generation to generation as does the genomic material. As is clear from the foregoing, the day you destroy that genomic transcription, the world will cease to exist and time will come to standstill.

What are the essential traits of Guru?

I strongly believe, we need Guru to interpret religion. We need a Guru to interpret religion. Please correct me if I am wrong but I presume, Guru is at a level sufficiently evolved that the disciple, second Guru is above material attachments and third, Guru is above biases. If all of these qualify, I presume, we still have occasionally people born with precocious intelligence and they interpret life beyond the box, those are the same folks who expand that envelop, that’s how Buddha came into being and I presume, the entire edifice of Sanatan dharma was built upon.

Should we be restricted within the confines of Guru?

No one helped Einstein with his quantum physics or theory of relativity. History of science is adorned with several such examples. In fact, when a disciple takes it beyond the confines of imparted knowledge, the disciple honors his Guru and the stature of their Guru too rises beyond an act of deliverance of knowledge to the one of evolving the tenets, a supreme contribution to the cause of mankind.

Do we question Guru?

Definitely Yes! You may notice that ‘definite’, and if we don’t, we will initiate the degradation and degeneration.

Why Spiritual Guru’s should be above material attachment? Knowledge is so pristine and supremely inspiring and awakening, that it often lures the acquirer into installing the beholder onto higher pedestals. During such times, it makes sense to not be attached or be minimalist in his/her attachment to the material world. If the Guru’s are not, disciples land up encountering Guru Ram Rahim. Power corrupts and religious power corrupts absolutely. That is how we got Guru Rajneesh.

Only if Lord Shiva would have registered an IP or Patented Yog

Our Age Old Yog (So called Yoga) is a case in point. Yog are taught, not in the comfort of conditioned environment but in the temple precincts and after paying due obeisance to Lord Shiva. Western world has corrupted it to Yoga, followed with a liturgy of similar distortions from Rama, Krishna, Arjuna. Our original words is Yog, Ram, Krishna etc.

Let me come to the point – Yog originated from Lord Shiva as a primeval knowledge and mechanism for the uplifting of human living and existence. Lord Shiva initially transferred the understanding to Lord Parvati and upon her insistence to the Seven Sages, after they went through severe penance, devotion and commitment. Yog was thus born not as a religious preaching or kinesthetic principles but as a spiritual science. Yog does not adhere to any particular religion, belief or community but as a mechanism for inner wellbeing.

What’s wrong with today’s Guru’s?

We see the likes of Ramdev, SadhGuru and others, who through their Siddhi bestowed on them, are prophesying Yog but indulging in material gain. If only Lord Shiva patented Yog. They specially fall out since they are acclaimed Siddha Purush (enlightened). Other lesser mortals can definitely do business but I don’t consider them enlightened.

Guru Shishya Vyavastha in Prachin Bharat Varsha

It is important to understand the origin of Guru, Disciple and Gurukul tradition. In ancient India Guru held their own learning institutes called Gurukul. Disciples stayed with their Guru and imbibed the learning as it was imparted. These Gurukul were supported by Bhiksha and the ruling kings. It is wrong to say Gurus were Brahmins. Disciples often served the Gurukul with day to day activities. Gurus were the learned class and a Brahmin was considered learned class devoid of any material attachments as they were supported by alms and the state. Guru Dakshina was part of the tradition and it never meant material repayment to the teacher. It meant a respect that may have included some material form, irrespective of the value.

Guru GuruKul

If you notice, the entire edifice of Guru and his learning ecosystem are based on the percept of selfless dedication, irrespective of the players – Teacher, Disciple, Institute or the Community that benefitted from the posterity.

Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who has provided that eternal milieu for growth and realization.

You may also like Who Am I? – Swami Sarvapriyananda from Mandukya Upanishad

Citations:

Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development

 

Sanatan Dharma – a journey through time

Sanatan Dharma

Sanatan Dharma is an evolution and a confluence of several spiritual streams and the process itself has gone through significant innovation and evolution, by a steady stream of religious reformers or social scientist (we call them Rushi Muni Tapasvi). Those were not gifted folks but they had thorough understanding of the existing tenets and the different facets of life, evolving the ideology of religion to the form it existed or that we know about Sanatan Dharma.

Of course, such deep realization cannot be understood by common man and it required state support plus ritualization through artifact generation.  As with every religion, these were relevant to the life scenario of those times and a system was formed that achieved homeostasis.  It’s pretty much akin to blockchain technology or to simply say, one brick over the other to build a beautiful castle.

Sanatan Dharma and Offshoots

It was in this milieu that Buddhism, Jainism and other deviation of practices emerged. It was this character of Sanatan dharma that provided the ripe environment for other offshoots. If I am not wrong, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. had very few or occasional opposition in erstwhile Bharat, the prime reason being Sahishnuta and acceptance of difference of ideology. It’s not a timid concept, its way up in ladder of evolution. It is a reflection of deep respect and freedom and the practice of individual practices and ideology. Such is the deep seated respect for individualism in Sanatan Dharma.

Amidst the cauldron of these evolutionary changes within the religious ideology, (barring few examples), we notice that state craft, despite its support, interfered very little to influence ideology and religious ideology interfered little with state craft. That fine balance was maintained, possibly because those ethos’s were absorbed as a character of the milieu. Over a period of time, we forgot those principles and clung to those artifacts and as we see today, we have become artifact worshipers. That’s not with us alone. Many religions show similar transformation.

Distortion and Exploitation of Justice

Sometimes, I strongly realize, except our genomic and ethnic composition, ideologically we are not the true legacy of our Sanatan Dharma. Those who call themselves the true followers are in fact far off from the true concept propounded by religion. It’s an irony that those deviating from this truth are in fact guardian of the religion. State craft is synonymous with faith and ideology. That’s the degradation and degeneration we witness today, that edifice is crumbling, every day, since the times we froze the ideology and started worshiping the artifacts, the time we fossilized ‘Varna Paddhat’ and exploited masses, the time we eschewed patriarchal society and diluted the importance of women. Unless we correct our fundamental fallacies, we cannot rise as a nation and if at all we see few metric or KPIs (like GDP) improving, those are but material reflection and not our true state of spiritual mental evolution.

Of all the atrocities, ‘Varna Paddhati’ and nebular organization into ‘Patriachial System’ are the ones which have inflicted the most deep seated grave insult to our society. This is despite the individual freedom respect for individualism. These two aspects limit the respect for individuality and individualism. (Please read my blog on Varnapadhati…)

Our Idols in Sanctum Sanctorum

In our daily lives, we often see a dichotomous hierarchy wherein women are often second in command, be it home, offices, social or polity. However, followers of Sanatan Dharma will notice that is a deviation from the original preaching. We never see Lord Sita outside the Sanctum Sanctorum, whereas Lord Ram is inside. Lord Shiva takes it several steps above this. He considers himself incomplete without Lord Parvati. Lord Parvati being the other half of Lord Shiva, a devotion so sublime that it transcends science, philosophy and imagination and a preaching that lays the foundation for humanity for eons.

Women, that feminine aspect of continuity is a completely different creature. Rudimentary cultures often see her as a fertile ground for sowing seeds, as a homemaker and one who rears the siblings. However, in true philosophical sense, she is the Janani and the bearer of this Mother Earth, the continuity of time and the essence of life. Emancipating and enabling women is our prime responsibility as is our responsibility to rear the next generation.

Lesser offsprings of Sanatan Dharma

One of the most lurid exploits of times – I find the imagination, creation and subsequent fossilization of the lesser classes created by guardians Sanatan Dharma as one of the most gory acts of tribulation. It is repugnant to see how in the best of the senses can mankind create such a deed? How in the best of senses and justice could this find continuity across ages and how the system froze it to the best of individual advantage? That is so repulsive, heinous so barbaric and so inhumane. That we let this act to continue despite the system of social justice, is truly a unique blemish on our evolved system. The injustice is so deeply rooted, that all other Varnas should be tried similar to the Nazis for War Crime. I find it repulsive when we oppose ‘Equal Opportunities’ or ‘Reservation’ as those are labeled depending upon the country of origin. However, time has come to overthrow and dismantle that system and usher into a new era of justice for all. We all will have to make sacrifices and offering our rightful meritorious place and finding an alternative spot should be part of our struggle, if we truly believe in this heinous crime committed over eons.

Excerpts from ‘Varna Vyavastha: Class System Of Vedic Society’

“In the beginning, there was only one varna in the ancient Indian society. “We were all brahmins or all sudras,” says Brhadaranyaka Upanisad (1.4, 11-5, 1.31) and also Mahabharata (12.188). A smrti text says that one is born a sudra, and through purification he becomes a brahmin. According to Bhagavada Gita, varna is conferred on the basis of the intrinsic nature of an individual, which is a combination of three gunas (qualities): sattva, rajas, and tamas. In the Mahabharata SantiParva, Yudhisthira defines a brahmin as one who is truthful, forgiving, and kind. He clearly points out that a brahmin is not a brahmin just because he is born in a brahmin family, nor is a sudra a sudra because his parents are sudras. The same concept is mentioned in Manu Smrti. Another scripture Apastamba Dharmasutra states that by birth every human being is a sudra. It is by education and upbringing that one becomes `twice born’, that is, a dvija. Link here.

Lord Krishna, in Bhagvad Gita Chapter 4, Verse 13, said:-

“Chatur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah,
Tasya kartaram api mam viddhy akartaram avyayam”

Lord Krishna said, the four categories of occupations were created by me according to people’s three qualities and activities (guna and karma). Although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal.This verse from Gita clearly states that caste is assigned to people not on the basis of their birth but on the three attributes and profession carried by them. No child is automatically bound to the same caste as his parent. The purpose of allotting caste is to enable the person to do his specific karma and reach towards ‘Moksha’ i.e. Liberation. Arjun asked Lord Krishna if mixiing of the caste creates a progeny that does not help with salvation of the pitrus. To this Lord Krishna said,

“klaibyam ma sma gamaḥ partha naitat tvayyupapadyate
kṣhudram hṛidaya-daurbalyam tyaktvottiṣhṭha parantapa”

To translate, it meant, “O Parth, it does not befit you to yield to this unmanliness. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O vanquisher of enemies.” Lord Krishna clearly denounced caste system, the way mankind has interpreted and frozen it to their benefit. Lord Krishna has not alone denounced it but also, supported intercaste marriages as it does not support his view of establishing varna padathi.

Is Sanatan Dharma under threat?

Religions grow and prosper under uncertainty. In the Western World, the numbers of atheist have grown due to existential stability with high economic, political, education and access to technology.

However, Sanatan Dharma (the one that never ends), as the name indicates, got even deep rooted with prosperity and stabilization of erst while society in Bharat Varsha as it revealed greater meaning of life and living. If we revisit Maslow’s Self Actualization pyramid, we realize, as human being rises through those hierarchies, the needs change too. Sanatan Dharma offers that foundation for change through various phases and elevations of life.

An argument often made by politicians and religious hegemonist, that our religion is under threat. That is an easy ploy to garner the undecided votes (an indirect booth capturing mechanism). We may lose few folks due to proselytization but Dharma will never lose. Dharma may lose, due to its intrinsic weaknesses, not due to an external threat or attack as long as we are strong nation.

With deep reverence and adoration, I respect those who hold the cause of Sanatan Dharma. However, I humbly urge that they understand the nature of this Dharma and protect its ethos (atma). To be a true believer, let us go beyond artifacts; let us drive towards the principles. Until then, it is all muddled with politics and selfish gains. I truly believe, protection of one’s faith is with the believer.

(The blog below reflect my thoughts as I discussed those with my college batchmates).

If you liked this, you may also like The Hijacking of Faith

Specific Citations:

Sanatan Dharma – The Eternal Way of Being

Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development

Humanity – A Universal Religion

General Citations on religion:

Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not By Robert McCauley

 “Nones” on the Rise Pew Research Foundation

Will religion ever disappear? BBC, an interesting read

Why Flu may be bad during 2017-18 winter

Ever wondered why you vaccinated every year against influenza? Well, a short answer is changes in the virus composition that occurs every year. For 2017, the predictions for Influenza are ominous. Trusting reliable news outlet like CNN, early indicators point towards a likely pandemic in Northern Hemisphere for 2017. It may very likely be pandemic and it makes sense to get the vulnerable vaccinated by late September or early October.

Note:  The author presumes that you have read the disclaimer at the bottom of this blog if you have read this note and subsequent article.

Flu MicroMagnetFSUEDU

Ever wondered why you vaccinated every year against influenza? Well, a short answer is changes in the virus composition that occurs every year. A long answer provides the small changes that occur in the Type A & B virus strain (called antigenic shift) or a major change that occurs in Type A or Type B viruses. Multiple flu viruses circulate each year and serial infections with different strains in the same person in a single season are possible.

Why should it matter?

Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Especially for those who are vulnerable, it may have prolonged and severe problems. You should consult your doctors for understanding your vulnerability.  However, generally Flu is a cause of concern for young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with preexisting heart of lung conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.

As noted earlier, all those vulnerable are vaccinated early on in the winter against a combination of Type A and Type B virus. Since those small changes occur every year (antigenic drift) so a new vaccine is made every year. Generally every 3 – 5 years, the virus undergoes major mutations and since the population is not exposed to these new viruses, they are vulnerable (called absence of herd immunity in medical parlance) and results in pandemic.

How do scientists predict the right combination for the upcoming year?

While the Northern hemisphere is going through its summer and hurricane/tornado season, the Southern hemisphere, that includes Australia and New Zealand, are already undergoing winter with epidemic or endemic existence of Influenza. These same virus travel north, along with international travelers, and infect the population Northern hemisphere during their winter.

What is the prediction for 2017?

If you look at the prevalence of Influenza in Australia and New Zealand, the severity as well as the incidence if 2.5 folds more as compared to earlier year. That portends ominous signs for the Northern hemisphere winter.

What do we do?

Well, a simple answer is get vaccinated on time. Ideal time is before the onset of winter. Ideally, for full immunity to take effect, you need to give at least two weeks for the body to respond. So, if we are presuming the virus to start spreading and infecting the population, you should ideally take the vaccine at least by Sept end.

Who should be vaccinated?

According to CDC barring those with reaction to influenza vaccine and children less than 6 months of age, should not be vaccinated. According to CDC (Center for Disease Control) ‘everyone 6 months of age and older are recommended to get the flu vaccine, including even the healthiest adults. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of serious influenza complications or people who live with or care for people at higher risk for serious complications’.

Disclaimer:

This is voluntary awareness service program. You should consult your health care professionals for determining the timing, indications, type and amount of dose. Efforts for this awareness are voluntary and not supported by any commercial or other organizations.  Readers are advised and encouraged to discuss any health related issues with their doctors.

References:

What Australia’s bad flu season means for Europe, North America Sept 3, 2017

Flu season: Why it’s been a particularly bad year for influenza

Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2017–18 Influenza Season

Influenza vaccines — United States, 2017–18 influenza season

Vaccination: Who Should Do It, Who Should Not and Who Should Take Precautions

Key Facts about Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) Influenza Vaccine Recommendations

To understand the difference between Flu, Cold and Allergy, visit link here from Harford County Health

Visit Influenza factsheet here