Sunday, January 31, 2010

Indo-Swedish health week to start from tomorrow

The Indo Swedish week, to commemorate the first anniversary of the signing of the MoU between the two countries,is being observed from 1-5 th February. Ms. Maria Larsson, Hon’ble Minister of Elderly Care and Public Health, Government of the Kingdom of Sweden would leading a delegation.She would also be accompanied by Ms. Karin Johansson, State Secretary to the Minister for Health and Social Affairs,and around 70 delegates from Sweden. The health week would be inaugurated jointly by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad and the Swedish Minister on Monday .

The two countries have their traditional strengths which they would like to share. India would like to offer its expertise in traditional medicines like yoga and ayurveda as well as good quality and cheap generic drugs; while Sweden would like to offer its expertise in the field of diagnostics and medical education.

The two countries have identifed common areas of collaboration for which thematic workshops in six fields viz antimicrobial resistance, pharmaceuticals, medical research, health policy research, alcohol policy and adolescent health is being organised at the National Institute of Health and family Wellfare on the 2nd February. Activities for the week are planned at Hyderabad, Bangaluru and Mumbai.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Invite for US experts to learn Ayurveda
Anuradha Mascarenhas(

Pune The Union Health Ministry has invited a team of US-based medical experts on January 27 to encourage Indo-US ayurvedic research and give them an opportunity to understand ayurveda and its practice. The government will also send a team of ayurveda experts to US where they will impart lessons of yoga, meditation and oil massage treatments.
The five-day visit will explore the possibilities of introducing evidence-based ayurveda, yoga and meditation in the United States medical education, research and patient care areas and promote research between the two countries under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

Dr Navin Shah, former president of American Association Physicians of Indian Origin, told The Indian Express via email, that the Health Ministry has invited top medical experts and researchers to New Delhi. Shah will lead the delegation — Dr David Eisenberg, Harvard Medical School, Dr Anastasia Rowland-Seymour, Johns Hopkins University, Dr Benjamin Kligler, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr Aviad Haramati, Georgetown University, Dr Victoria Maizes, University of Arizona and Dr Anne Nedrow, Oregon Health and Science University.

“Under Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), in some of the US medical schools, information is provided on herbal medicine, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. However, no recognised course on ayurveda is taught in the US medical schools,” said Shah.

The presentations will focus on benefits of ayurveda in five major diseases and benefits of five herbs (simple or in combination) in treating various diseases. A special lecture will deal with the role of diet in both health and diseases.

“The team will scrutinise 10 proposals put forth by ayurveda experts for joint Indo-US research. This will help Indian ayurveda institutions and faculties to interact with their US counterparts for research collaborations,” said Shah.

“The National Institute of Health, USA, has also evinced interest in such joint projects,” Shah said adding the delegation will visit Ayurved Medical College and Hospital in Jaipur. India has 150 ayurveda colleges; 50 post-graduate ayurveda institutions; 70,000 students; 10,000 faculty members; and 3,000 ayurveda hospitals.

The delegation will also visit one ayurveda pharma factory to understand the drug formulation, production, preservation, safety, and research areas.

Two ayurveda professors from India will visit six US institutions and provide evidence-based lectures to medical students, faculty members, and the practicing physicians.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Food and mood: Awareness can lead to healthier path

Cindy Sutter Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 01/12/2010 10:52:40 AM MST

If you made a New Year's resolution, chances are it had to do with your how you eat -- the perennial No. 1 change people say they would like to make in surveys.

And chances are that almost two weeks into that resolution, you may be wavering a bit when it comes to your healthy intentions. Maybe you feel cranky, irritable and hungry, even though you're eating healthy food and the right number of calories. Or perhaps you just don't feel satisfied by what you're eating, even though you're stomach is full.

That could be because you haven't stuck the right balance between food and mood.

"It's kind of like the chicken and the egg," says Esther Cohen, a nutritionist and holistic wellness coach. "They both have a profound effect on one another."

Nutritionists describe the food-mood cycle of the typical American diet thusly: The day starts with coffee and a high-carbohydrate breakfast, which leads to a mid-day crash, and a hurried lunch, often with more carbs and caffeine. A mid-afternoon crash is fixed with a bar or candy, the energy from which dissipates just as the harried worker arrives home to interacting with the family's similar cycle. That might lead to a glass of wine, a quick dinner and the urge for something sweet afterward.

It's this real estate bubble-like relationship with food that led to the cabinet currently being full of whole grains and the fridge full of fruits and veggies. Yet, perhaps that great feeling you were expecting hasn't quite arrived.

Quality food

Cheer up. Every school of nutrition agrees that whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats are the building blocks of healthy, sustainable eating habits, whereas processed foods never will be.

"The more refined a product is, the more it has been altered from its whole or original state, the more rapidly it, too, is processed within us, causing a greater insulin imbalance and a greater stress on neurotransmitters, which are what affect our mood," Cohen says.

You just need to figure out the best way to consume that bounty of whole foods.

First they should taste good.

Nutritionist Jennifer Workman of the The Balanced Approach in Boulder, combines western nutrition and sports medicine concepts with Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old Indian nutritional framework that takes into account with a person's individual constitution and the seasons of the year. It also stresses the taste and enjoyment of food.

"Is your diet balanced? Do you have all six tastes," Workman asks. "If you're only eating sweets, you're going to set yourself up for cravings."

The six tastes, according to Ayurveda are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.

"Most people know when they sit down to a decent meal," Workman says, adding that such a meal would be a healthy protein such as tofu or chicken, vegetables, good spices and flavors, finished with a cup of tea.

"If (people are) grabbing bars, eating the wrong things at the wrong season, it sets them up for cravings and feeling out of balance."

Listening to your body

Understanding your own body and how food affects it is key to finding balance in your diet.

"Everyone is different," Workman says. "There has yet to be the one diet that's going to fix everybody. Individuation is very important, finding the right balance for a person."

Finding that balance is made easier working with a professional who has knowledge of food and can spot trends in your personal habits, but you can learn to listen to your body and draw some conclusions yourself.

Feeling the effect of a particular type of food is an intuitive part of being human that has been lost to busy schedules, food marketers and diet books, not to mention the siren call of concentrated sugars our evolutionary ancestors never encountered.

Cohen, who also is director of Seven Bowls School of Nutrition, Nourishment and Healing, says she frequently has clients who tout a particular nutrition book they've just read.

"They're so removed from having any type of body sense," she says. "It's really wonderful ... to begin to experience how our foods feel ... as opposed to reading (how to eat.)"

Cohen says it's important to eat slowly and consciously.

"Maybe the food is perfect, but if I'm eating standing up and talking on my cell phone, I'm not getting the benefit," she says.

She recounts the story of one client who ate a lot of fast-food burgers.

"Once he had to sit down and chew, he discovered he really didn't like them," she says.Nutrition Counselor Debbie Sarfati-Steinbock says one key to body awareness is noticing the effect of a food on your mood, energy and level of cravings afterward.

"When we evaluate how a food is, we can't only evaluate it on taste," she says. "That would be like walking into a store (and saying) 'This sweater is soft. I want it,' without looking at the price or size or color."

She says many people who complain of low energy are spiking up their energy with caffeine and sugar, so that they don't know what healthy energy feels like.

"They're used to so much artificial energy," she says. "(Healthy energy) is not elation and depression. It's a much more consistent type of energy."

A good start

How, then, to get on that healthy path and to figure out what works for you?

Sarfati-Steinbock advises starting with breakfast. She has clients try a high-carbohydrate, whole-grain type of breakfast one day and a high-protein breakfast such as a vegetable omelet the next.

She says which is best depends on individual metabolism. Clients are asked to pay attention to how they feel by lunchtime. If that bowl of oatmeal lasts till lunch, they should stick with that approach. If they feel better with more protein, fewer carbs and some fat, that the path to stay on.

One of her clients, Rachel Smith, who lives in Westminster, noticed a big change in the way she felt when she started eating according to Sarfati-Steinbock's advice. Smith originally sought out the nutritionist when her then-6-year-old son was experiencing behavior problems. In the process of changing his diet, the whole family got a nutrition makeover, mainly adding more fruits and vegetables.

Before changing her diet, Smith says she had problems such as skin rashes.

"I would get headaches. I felt tired, grouchy and kind of overwhelmed," she says.

Smith tried the breakfast test, and realized she felt much better eating a higher protein breakfast. A typical breakfast now might be a large plate of sauteed kale with a couple of eggs cooked in.

"I noticed I had more energy when I ate protein and vegetables in the morning," Smith says.

She also found that she ate less during the day and felt more satisfied. The higher carbohydrate breakfast left her wanting more.

"I'd open the cabinets, sort of looking for something," she says.

Now she eats her carbs later in the day when she wants to wind down.

"I might eat oatmeal as a bedtime snack," she says.

Cohen says paying attention to what we eat can be life changing. She asks clients to tell her what foods make them feel good and then suggests similar foods to help boost their system.

"Often the food chooses us, rather than us choosing the food."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Take Help of Ayurveda

It's a week and more into 2010 – what's happened to your New Year's health resolutions? We usually make the same ones year after year: to lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking, etc. And we find that most of our resolutions have fallen by the wayside in a month or two.

So to help break that habit, we have borrowed from ayurveda, a science of medicine from ancient India that has been in practice for more than 6,000 years. This form of medicine seeks to re-establish the harmony between the mind, body and environment. Ayurveda's premise is that keeping this balance maintains health, and, conversely, a loss of balance leads to physical ailments

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Online Ayurveda Courses

There are many alternative healing, and holistic healing educational programs out there. From Massage Therapy, Reiki, Aromatherapy and Oriental Medicine – the list is endless.

However, Ayurveda – the health system from VEDAS and India is still catching on. Besides Deepak Chopra, Dr. Vasant Lad, and California College of Ayurveda, there are still no big Ayurveda Course providers.

This is why we are SO excited to bring you the past, present and future of AYURVEDA through website-