2018 – Ring in the New Year

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Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow. The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true”. Let 2018 be the year to inspire people to good health, good cheer and serenity. It is optimum physical fitness and vigour that can best be described as a precursor to all good things that one can work on to achieve. So let this be the year to bring on well-being, fitness, and inner tranquility that may help us enjoy the best of everything else this year.

HERD Foundation wishes good health to be the focal message for the year ahead. Let us begin the New Year with single mindedness towards making physical fitness a year round target. We can devote ourselves to this end by making good choices through diet, activity, and healthy routines to augment these overarching undertakings that will change our lives for the better.

All you would need to do is to build up reserves of your immense will power to prioritize yourself and your good health above everything else. It is very much possible to do this since the human body is so designed as to respond to health care at any age and at any point in time. Good physical care changes and revs up the body to gain the benefits of healthy eating, exercise, and proper care to make necessary alterations right down to our cells.

Alongside, let mindful serenity become the signature tune for 2018. Read books, enjoy music and at every opportunity relax in Mother Nature’s arms. Enjoy the kind of physical activity that suits you. Enjoy simple strolling down the street. Put away the digital devices for some time and enjoy the company of fellow beings around you. Sing your heart out – whether in the shower or a karaoke.

What you need to in-build inside your psyche is to feel good!  Research suggests that any form of movement or activity of any kind is essential for human well-being. Studies also say that people feel happiest when they are up and about and moving around compared to when they remain seated or remain still. So take up opportunities to get off that chair and move around.

As the year begins resolve to make yourself a better person – physically. Do the simple things that will lay the foundation in place for a rock solid support to your resolve. Here are tips that will help you to promote self-care and good health.

  • Mark out January each year to get a complete profile of your health status. It is important to know where you stand and to get a first-hand account of your medical condition – inside out. New Year is the time to focus on your health. Find the time to do this and maintain your health all year long.
  • Drink more water and less of other kind of drinks. You will feel energized and positive. It is essential to stay hydrated and many of us forget that water is the best drink around. Water levels are critical and staying hydrated will have drastic effects on your overall health.
  • Make it a point to sleep better. Lack of sleep is an underlying reason for health problems. From stress and anxiety to weight gain and low immunity – more problems erupt for lack of proper sleep. Resolve to plan out a strict sleep schedule and stick to it. Eat early dinners. Put away devices. Shut off the TV. Certain bodily functions occur only when the body is asleep that keep our health in good order.
  • Practice good mindful eating habits. Improve your diet patterns and eat healthy foods. Stick to your scheduled hours and eat authentic food. Mindful eating is to learn what to eat when you are hungry, and to know when to stop when you are full.

So let this New Year be the year when you transform yourself to become a new you.

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Raise Dopamine – Get Moving

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Why do many of us not feel like exercising despite promising ourselves to get going? When it comes to the crunch why do we feel all de-motivated? Our alarms get shut and we prefer the shut eye when it comes to stepping out of bed. Studies now suggest that Dopamine is to blame!! Now what exactly is Dopamine?

Well Dopamine is an organic chemical of that plays several important roles in the brain and body. It is an amine synthesized by removing a carboxyl group from a molecule of its precursor chemical L-DOPA, which is synthesized in the brain and kidneys. Dopamine is also synthesized in plants and most multicellular animals.

So what precisely is the role of dopamine in the brain? The truth is it functions as a neurotransmitter – a chemical released by neurons or nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior.

Most types of rewards increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and many addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine pathways are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of various hormones. These pathways and cell groups form a dopamine system which is neuromodulatory.

It is true for many of us that working out a disciplined exercise regimen is one of the most difficult things to do. Now scientific research offers the reason why we lack motivation to accomplish the most simplest of acts that ought to come so naturally to us. Despite knowing full well the best benefits of physical activity we still remain unmoved! It is believed that regular exercise can reduce risks associated with severe illnesses that include diabetes and certain heart diseases. In fact exercise can even raise out levels f endorphins in the brain improving our mental health and even longevity. If one is looking to control weight the benefits are remarkable.

Well here is research that suggests that maybe dopamine can explain lack of physical activity. The premise explains that something else contributes to physical inactivity. It is actually a hypothesis that states that a dysfunction in dopamine system might be responsible for lack of will power for physical activity. It appears dopamine is critical for movement.

Low dopamine levels can lead to lack of motivation, fatigue, addictive behavior, mood swings and memory loss. Learn how to increase dopamine naturally. Here’s a list of foods, drinks, and spices known to increase dopamine – almonds, apples, avocado, bananas, beets, chocolate, coffee, fava beans, green leafy vegetables, green tea, lima beans, oatmeal, sesame and pumpkin seeds, turmeric, watermelon, and wheat germ. You may naturally enhance dopamine levels with natural probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and raw sauerkraut that will also be beneficial.

Vision Impairment & Correctable Disabilities

Magnitude of The Problem

Magnitude of The Problem

HERD Foundation works periodically through affiliated medical institutes for correction of disabilities. In the past we have done far-reaching work on lip-cleft surgical repair interventions. We are now keen on working on vision impairment for teaching communities to maintain eye health. We look ahead to embrace the challenges in this connection that hopefully will serve in servicing people with vision disabilities.

We reinforce positive attitudes to look on persons with visual impairments to be included for these services. In the hope of creating user friendly approaches for people with visual impairments we have been ruminating to understand that very many visual disabilities are correctable conditions. This would mean we could promote an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

HERD Foundation visualizes doing this in three ways. We are working on partnerships that support medical care for vision disabilities and for prevention of conditions lead to impairments. We will improve access to healthcare, education and rehabilitation services for people in need of vision care. We want to be part of efforts that mainstream visual disability in all aspects and to empower persons with these disabilities.

It is on humanitarian grounds that HERD Foundation wishes to take an active role in the communities through their inclusion for such development projects, and to involve them in all such initiatives that will benefit them. Disabilities can thus be addressed by good Samaritans to benefit people facing barriers in finding solutions to their vision related health problems.

Our hope is to assist disadvantaged people suffering from impairments. It is really essential to help such people as they do not know that they can be treated and rediscover the full potential of their limitations. This means that HERD Foundation will offer support and play a role in breaking down prejudice towards people with disabilities.

Imagine a situation where a person with correctable visual impairment is further disabled by the attitudes of others around him. Such people can be readily treated rather than facing isolation, mistreatment and maybe even ridicule. HERD Foundation seeks to improve access to eye care, eye-care education and rehabilitation services for persons with visual impairments. We want to mainstream this disability in all aspects of empowerment for the afflicted persons.

Facts about Visual Impairment:

  • Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired due to various cases; 39 million of them are blind.
  • 121 million are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
  • 90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 51% of all blindness is due to age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness. (Statistics taken from World Health Organization website)
Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment

Sushruta – Medical Pioneer of Ancient India

Sushruta – Medical Pioneer of Ancient India

Sushruta – Medical Pioneer of Ancient India

Sushruta is considered one of the earliest surgeons in recorded history and has been the first individual to describe plastic surgery in his famous ancient treatise ‘Sushruta Samhita’. He is said to have lived nearly 150 years before Hippocrates, and his renowned compendium written in 600 B.C. spells out surgical procedures in minutest detail. He is also credited to be the first surgeon to perform plastic surgery!

Many believe plastic surgery to be a new specialty. However its origins are ascertained to have existed over 4000 years back in India. The Vedas compiled in Sanskrit language between 3000 and 1000 B.C. comprise of the oldest sacred books of the Hindu religion. Of the four Vedas – ‘Sushruta Samhita’ is a part of Atharvaveda. The treatise describes ancient Indian tradition of surgery and remains a most brilliant compilation in Indian medical literature.

The treatise contains detailed descriptions of teachings and practice elucidated by this great ancient surgeon said to have been practicing in Varanasi. It also provides surgical knowledge that is of relevance to this day. As a pioneer in the field of surgery, Sushruta expounds prolifically on the healing arts that were grounded on physiology and medicine. He studied human anatomy with the help of dead bodies! Much as in medical colleges today.

The Samhita specifically describes methods for selecting and preserving dead bodies to be studied. Cadavers of elderly or severely diseased were not taken up for purposes of study. Bodies needed to be perfectly clean and were preserved with barks. They were placed in cages, hidden carefully in the river for currents to soften them. After seven days they were retrieved, cleaned with brushes for inner and outer body parts to be seen clearly.

Over 1100 diseases are mentioned in this ancient tome including 26 types of fevers, 8 kinds of jaundice and 20 different urinary disorders. There are 760 plants inclusive of roots, bark, juice, resin, flowers etc. that are described in detail for treatments. These also include common household remedies like cinnamon, sesame, peppers, cardamom, ginger and more. Additionally the treatise offers descriptions of 101 instruments used in surgery.

Sushruta’s greatest contributions were in the fields of plastic surgery and removal of cataracts. In a time when cutting of nose or ears was a common punishment, restoration of these parts and even limbs lost in wars was a common medical practice. There are detailed and accurate step-by-step descriptions of such operations. Strikingly these are the very steps followed by modern surgeons doing plastic surgery even today.

Serious procedures were undertaken like drawing fetuses out of wombs, repairing damaged rectums and removing stones from bladders. Surgical techniques included incisions, probing, extraction of foreign bodies, cauterization, tooth extraction, excisions, draining abscess, draining hydrocele, removal of prostate gland, urethral stricture dilatation, hernia surgery, management of haemorrhoids, fistulae, intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines, and accidental perforation of abdomen. Students were given knowledge of relevant branches of medicine to attain proficiency in allied subjects.

Sushruta Samhita remains an important text on medicine that is also a foundational text for Ayurveda. This seminal text was translated to Arabic as Kitab-i-Susrud in the 8th century. The Arabic translation was received in Europe by the end of the medieval period when Renaissance Italy became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta Samhita. Among other translations since then, more recently in 1999, P. V. Sharma undertook an English translation of this ancient Indian medical treatise.

First Surgeon Performing Plastic Surgery!

First Surgeon Performing Plastic Surgery!