keralaayurvedashram

AYURVEDIC TREATMENT for beauty and wellness


Crowning a dish with the right herb Confused about the kind of herb that needs to go with your dish? Here are a few tips. The Indian market no longer, just offers the staple trio of herbs-coriander, mint and curry leaves. It's been flooded with exotic herbs from across the world. And with so much to choose, it gets confusing to team the right kind of herb with a certain dish. The delicate flavour can seem out of a place if the herb used in a dish it's not meant to be in. It's yet unthinkable to sprinkle curry leaves on pasta, although there's possibility of it happening in the future. But as of now, a conservative approach is what a beginner should use before going to that level. After all, it's unthinkable to have dish without an herb. They are full of vitamins, Notably Vitamin C and minerals (Iron, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium), and extremely low on calories. These are herbs that you could team with a certain dishes to give it the perfect taste. Parsley: Curly parsley makes a pretty garnish, is flavoured and is eaten raw. It can be used in salads, fish, and works well as an accompaniment to vegetables and fruit. Thyme: It's an herb that needs to be heated to release its aroma. Thyme is perfect herb as a stuffing for the marinades used to cook meat, fish vegetables, fruit and cheese. It can also be used in pasta. This herb is also be used in pasta. This herb is also said to have antiseptic properties. Chives: One of the most popular herbs, the subtle flour of Chives works well with eggs, especially while preparing an omelette, fresh cheese, fish and vegetables. They are also used for vinaigrettes. Dill: Fish lovers cannot miss out on this herb to get the perfect taste. But one needs to cultivate a taste for herb like dill. If the dish is creamy, dill is just right to bring out all the flavour in it. Don't hear it for too long, or mix it other herbs like garlic; it would lead to a clash of titanic flavours. Though it is mostly used to season salads, marinades, you can and create your own flavours using dill. Basil: Though Basil, known to us as tulsi, is available in plenty in our markets it's more worshipped than cooked. If at all it's cooked, it's more worshipped than cooked. If at all it's cooked it's used to spice up the tea, or as an antidote to cure the common cold. Au contraire, the Italians go the full hog with this herb. It's blends perfectly with other Italian favourites like olive oil and lemon, and can be used for to perk up any dish-veg-stables, fresh chees, meat (raw and cooked), eggs, fish, fruit pasta and soup. Try teaming strawberries with basil, and you will have discovered something anew. Mint: Another well known herb, mint is used for its fresh taste. Regular or peppery mint is widely used in desserts to boost the flavour of chocolate, citrus fruit and tropical fruit. It's also good with goat's cheese, yoghurt, fresh cheese and savoury dishes. Try with lamb and rabbit, for example. But take care not to overdo it, as mint can be very strong. Peppery mint is an excellent antiseptic and antispasmodic. Tarragon: Its strong flavour is lovely with fish and poultry and in sauces. Tarragon is one of the rare herbs that handle heat well. Use it in your stuffing or marinades too. Tarragon loses its flavour when it dries out, so best to use it fresh or frozen. Garlic:You can't do without garlic in the kitchen Its strong flavour enhances all dishes such as meat, stuffing and vegetables. Garlic handles heat very well and strengthens its taste when cooked for too long its loses its flavour. The shoot is not digested well so make sure you remove it Garlic is also a proven anti-septic and anti-bacterial agent. Let Sweat not be a threat There are ways to deal with excessive sweating problem. Read on... With humidly not showing any signs receding in the city, perspiration is a major problem that Mumbaikars have to deal with every day. Excessive sweating also known as hyperhidrosis, may be caused due to hormonal imbalance, high emotional excitement, spicy foods, exercise, or stress. While everyone perspires, only some of us sweat and that is when it becomes a problem. Here are a few things you could follow to ease out the problems. Wearing cotton clothes helps your skin to breath and can help you deal better with excessive sweating. Avoid fabrics that are likely to create irritation and heat up the skin. Causing excessive sweating. Start eating healthy and lose weight as excess weight leads to excessive sweating. If your weight leads to excessive sweating. If your weight is normal then you need to include more to include more fibre to your diet and avoid spice. This kind of a diet helps you to flush away all the toxins from your body. Drink a lot of water. This not only cleanses your body, but also prevents underarm odour. In addition, having at least two showers is hygienic and will help combat excessive sweating and help your body get rid of the offensive odour. Lime helps you reduce sweating, prevent body odour and whiten your under arm. You could rub one half of a lime (not too ripe) on your armpits. However, if you are suffering from rashes in your armpits, avoid using lime, as it could cause mild irritation. Alternatively, you could apply vinegar on your armpits before you sleep at night and then let it dry naturally. Wash it off the next morning. Applying apple cider or vinegar on your armpits, too can help solve the problem of excessive sweating gradually. Antiperspirants and deodorants do help to an extent in treating perspiration and keeping body odour away, but this does not hold true for everyone. Antiperspirants usually work by clogging the pores which stops sweat from reaching the surface of your skin. Though they help get rid of perspiration immediately, they could cause side effect in some cases like discoloring of the skin and irritation as they contain chemicals. Visiting your doctor and getting a test done would help you find out the exact cause for excessive sweating. After all, sweating is just a regular function of our body that helps regulate body temperature. Yoga RX: YOGA & DIET Macrobiotic dietician and yogalates instructor Shonaalii Sabherwal gives tips to tackle some of the most common women’s health issues with the diet and yoga approach. With the stressful lifestyles women lead, it is no wonder the queue outside the gynecologists clinics are getting longer. While these problems are not totally unavoidable, you can control them to a large extent by simply eliminating a few items from your grocery shopping list, making an informed choice of what you put in and mastering some yoga poses. Here's how: ENDOMETRIOSIS It is: A condition where tissue resembling the lining of the uterus is found in the abdomen and other organs. It results in severe pain, especially menstrual cramps. Endometriosis is known to have a strong inflammatory component and is influenced by estrogen. Eliminate dairy foods (allow at least three weeks for improvements). Eat foods that have no estrogen like animal foods. Emphasise whole soy foods in your diet, but not too much of soymilk. Limit alcohol intake. Drink a cup or two of red raspberry leaf tea daily to help relieve cramps. Yoga Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle pose) creates space in the pelvis and allows cleansing blood to enter this area and remove swelling and waste products. THYROID PROBLEMS It is:The thyroid gland products hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. Disorders in this gland involve either hyperthyroid (over production of the hormone) or hypothyroid (underproduction). Hypothyroidism symptoms include sensitivity to cold, constipation, slowing of hair and nail growth and moderate weight gain,. In hyperthyroidism, women exhibit nervousness, heat sensitively, moderate weight loss and bulging, eyes. Make sure your diet is low in animal protein. Eliminate polyunsaturated(may onnaise, margarine, salmon) and trans-fats (most snack foods which are hydrogenated, butter, lard) Reduce goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid hormone production: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, peanuts, soybeans. Avoid sugar, oil, excessive fruit. Avoid alcohol completely. YOGA Marichyasana- Saga Twist---tones abdominal organs especially spleen, pancreas, kidneys and liver, stimulating digestion. Twists wring out the body and thereby assist in releasing enormous amounts of tension. They are deeply cleansing and nourishing. LEUKORRHEA It is: A discharge of white mucous material from the vagina; an indication of infection resulting from inflammation of the membrane lining female reproductive system. Most of these secretions are related to lifestyle and diet though you need to take care if they are blood-stained or foul smelling. Normally the quantity of vaginal secretions varies throughout the menstrual cycle, peaking at ovulation and increasing when under stress. Cut out animal protein and meat products. Avoid junk food. Avoid strong stimulants like coffee, alcohol and black tea. Stick to herbal teas. Focus on good hygiene and cotton underwear. Always have protected sex. Crowning a dish with the right herb Confused about the kind of herb that needs to go with your dish? Here are a few tips. The Indian market no longer, just offers the staple trio of herbs-coriander, mint and curry leaves. It's been flooded with exotic herbs from across the world. And with so much to choose, it gets confusing to team the right kind of herb with a certain dish. The delicate flavor can seem out of a place if the herb used in a dish it's not meant to be in. It's yet unthinkable to sprinkle curry leaves on pasta, although there's possibility of it happening in the future. But as of now, a conservative approach is what a beginner should use before going to that level. After all, it's unthinkable to have dish without an herb. They are full of vitamins, Notably Vitamin C and minerals (Iron, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium), and extremely low on calories. These are herbs that you could team with a certain dishes to give it the perfect taste. Parsley: Curly parsley makes a pretty garnish, is flavored and is eaten raw. It can be used in salads, fish, and works well as an accompaniment to vegetables and fruit. Thyme: It's an herb that needs to be heated to release its aroma. Thyme is perfect herb as a stuffing for the marinades used to cook meat, fish vegetables, fruit and cheese. It can also be used in pasta. This herb is also be used in pasta. This herb is also said to have antiseptic properties. Chives: One of the most popular herbs, the subtle flour of Chives works well with eggs, especially while preparing an omelette, fresh cheese, fish and vegetables. They are also used for vinaigrettes. Dill: Fish lovers cannot miss out on this herb to get the perfect taste. But one needs to cultivate a taste for herb like dill. If the dish is creamy, dill is just right to bring out all the flavor in it. Don’t hear it for too long, or mix it other herbs like garlic; it would lead to a clash of titanic flavors. Though it is mostly used to season salads, marinades, you can and create your own flavours using dill. Basil: Though Basil, known to us as tulsi, is available in plenty in our markets it's more worshipped than cooked. If at all it's cooked, it's more worshipped than cooked. If at all it's cooked it's used to spice up the tea, or as an antidote to cure the common cold. Au contraire, the Italians go the full hog with this herb. It's blends perfectly with other Italian favourites like olive oil and lemon, and can be used for to perk up any dish-veg-etables, fresh chees, meat (raw and cooked), eggs, fish, fruit pasta and soup. Try teaming strawberries with basil, and you will have discovered something anew. Mint: Another well known herb, mint is used for its fresh taste. Regular or peppery mint is widely used in desserts to boost the flavour of chocolate, citrus fruit and tropical fruit. It's also good with goat's cheese, yoghurt, fresh cheese and savoury dishes. Try with lamb and rabbit, for example. But take care not to overdo it, as mint can be very strong. Peppery mint is an excellent antiseptic and antispasmodic. Tarragon: Its strong flavour is lovely with fish and poultry and in sauces. Tarragon is one of the rare herbs that handle heat well. Use it in your stuffing or marinades too. Tarragon loses its falvour when it dries out, so best to use it fresh or frozen. Garlic:You can't do without garlic in the kitchen Its strong falvour enhances all dishes such as meat, stuffing and vegetables. Garlic handles heat very well and strengthens its taste when cooked for too long its loses its flavor. The shoot is not digested well so make sure you remove it Garlic is also a proven anti-septic and anti-bacterial agent. Let Sweat not be a threat There are ways to deal with excessive sweating problem. Read on... With humidly not showing any signs receding in the city, perspiration is a major problem that Mumbaikars have to deal with every day. Excessive sweating also known as hyperhidrosis, may be caused due to hormonal imbalance, high emotional excitement, spicy foods, exercise, or stress. While everyone perspires, only some of us sweat and that is when it becomes a problem. Here are a few things you could follow to ease out the problems. Wearing cotton clothes helps your skin to breath and can help you deal better with excessive sweating. Avoid fabrics that are likely to create irritation and heat up the skin. Causing excessive sweating. Start eating healthy and lose weight as excess weight leads to excessive sweating. If your weight leads to excessive sweating. If your weight is normal then you need to include more to include more fibre to your diet and avoid spice. This kind of a diet helps you to flush away all the toxins from your body. Drink a lot of water. This not only cleanses your body, but also prevents underarm odour. In addition, having at least two showers is hygienic and will help combat excessive sweating and help your body get rid of the offensive odour. Lime helps you reduce sweating, prevent body odour and whiten your under arm. You could rub one half of a lime (not too ripe) on your armpits. However, if you are suffering from rashes in your armpits, avoid using lime, as it could cause mild irritation. Alternatively, you could apply vinegar on your armpits before you sleep at night and then let it dry naturally. Wash it off the next morning. Applying apple cider or vinegar on your armpits, too can help solve the problem of excessive sweating gradually. Antiperspirants and deodorants do help to an extent in treating perspiration and keeping body odour away, but this does not hold true for everyone. Antiperspirants usually work by clogging the pores which stops sweat from reaching the surface of your skin. Though they help get rid of perspiration immediately, they could cause side effect in some cases like discoloring of the skin and irritation as they contain chemicals. < Visiting your doctor and getting a test done would help you find out the exact cause for excessive sweating. After all, sweating is just a regular function of our body that helps regulate body temperature. Yoga RX: YOGA & DIET Macrobiotic dietician and yogalates instructor Shonaalii Sabherwal gives tips to tackle some of the most common women's health issues with the diet and yoga approach. With the stressful lifestyles women lead, it is no wonder the queue outside the gynecologists' clinics are getting longer. While these problems are not totally unavoidable, you can control them to a large extent by simply eliminating a few items from your grocery shopping list, making an informed choice of what you put in and mastering some yoga poses. Here’s how: ENDOMETRIOSIS It is: A condition where tissue resembling the lining of the uterus is found in the abdomen and other organs. It results in severe pain, especially menstrual cramps. Endometriosis is known to have a strong inflammatory component and is influenced by estrogen. Eliminate dairy foods (allow at least three weeks for improvements). Eat foods that have no estrogen like animal foods. Emphasise whole soy foods in your diet, but not too much of soymilk. Limit alcohol intake. Drink a cup or two of red raspberry leaf tea daily to help relieve cramps. Yoga Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle pose) creates space in the pelvis and allows cleansing blood to enter this area and remove swelling and waste products. THYROID PROBLEMS It is: The thyroid gland products hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. Disorders in this gland involve either hyperthyroid (over production of the hormone) or hypothyroid (underproduction). Hypothyroidism symptoms include sensitivity to cold, constipation, slowing of hair and nail growth and moderate weight gain,. In hyperthyroidism, women exhibit nervousness, heat sensitively, moderate weight loss and bulging, eyes. Make sure your diet is low in animal protein. Eliminate polyunsaturated(may onnaise, margarine, salmon) and trans-fats (most snack foods which are hydrogenated, butter, lard) Reduce goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid hormone production: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, peanuts, soybeans. Avoid sugar, oil, excessive fruit. Avoid alcohol completely. YOGA Marichyasana- Saga Twist---tones abdominal organs especially spleen, pancreas, kidneys and liver, stimulating digestion. Twists wring out the body and thereby assist in releasing enormous amounts of tension. They are deeply cleansing and nourishing. LEUKORRHEAIt is: A discharge of white mucous material from the vagina; an indication of infection resulting from inflammation of the membrane lining female reproductive system. Most of these secretions are related to lifestyle and diet though you need to take care if they are blood-stained or foul smelling. Normally the quantity of vaginal secretions varies throughout the menstrual cycle, peaking at ovulation and increasing when under stress. Cut out animal protein and meat products. Avoid junk food. Avoid strong stimulants like coffee, alcohol and black tea. Stick to herbal teas. Focus on good hygiene and cotton underwear. Always have protected sex. YOGA Ustrasana—Camel Pose---in-creases circulation throughout the body, stimulates kidneys and adrenal glands. PELVIC ORGANS PROLAPSE It is: A sliding of the uterus /bowel/bladder from its normal anatomical position (the pelvic cavity) into the vaginal canal because of weak supporting tissues. This may cause incontinence (leaking urine), frequent or urgent need to urinate or difficulty in urinating. A prola0pse of the small or large bowel (rectum)may cause constipation. One of the main reasons it occurs is due to tissue trauma sustained during childbirth, especially with large babies or difficult pregnancy. Avoid: meat, dairy, sugar white flour, beverages and alcohol as these promote an acidic blood condition. Avoid too much bread and hard baked snacks which induces constipation Try kegel exercises which, involves breathing in (balloon belly)-breath out and engage the muscles that stop you from urinating. Repeat 10 times daily. Avoid standing for long periods of time; try wearing a girdle. For a flawless skin Dr. Purnima Mhatre speaks about acne and the reasons which cause it What is acne? Acne is a red, irritating skin rash primarily affecting teenagers and young adults. It can, however, occur at all ages. It affects people between the ages of 12 and 17 years have at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple. However acne is more serious. In fact, by their mid-teens, more than 40 per cent of adolescents have acne sever enough to require treatment. There are several myths about acne. Here are a few busters: Acne is not a result uncleanliness or infrequent washing. Acne does not result from too much dirt on the skin or in the pores. Too much scrubbing may actually make acne worse. Acne does not come from eating lot of so-called bad chocolate or fried foods. No foods cause acne or make it worse. You just have to let acne run its course. The truth is, acne can be cleared up. If the acne products you have tried haven’t worked, consider visiting a dermatologist. Factors that can make acne worse Changing hormone levels in women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts. Oil from skin products (Moisturisers or cosmetics) or grease encountered in the work environment (for example, a kitchen with fry vats.) Pressure from sports helmets or equipment, backpacks, tight collars, or tight sports uniforms. Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity. Squeezing or picking at blemishes. Hard scrubbing of the skin and stress. DR. Purnima Mhatre says that her clinic, they design treatments as per the individual patient, which include the topical treatment carried out exclusively. The procedure includes cleaning of face (or the area where patient is suffering from acne); application of AHA mask (which is prepared by doctor herself containing most effective ingredients). Comedo extraction. (This prevents scarring), followed by application of cooling mask (which is a preparation made out of herbal medicines and aromatic oils prepared by doctor herself. Special treatments. Acne surgery may be used by your dermatologist to remove blackheads and whiteheads. Do not pick scratch, pop, or squeeze pimples yourself. When the pimples are squeezed, more redness, swelling, inflammation, and scarring may result. Microdermabrasion may be used to remove the upper layers of the skin improve the upper layers of the surface, contour, and generating new skin. Chemical peels with salicylic acid or glycolic acid help to unblock the pores, open the blackheads and whiteheads, and stimulate new skin growth injections of corticosteroids may be used for treating large red bumps (nodules). This may help them go away quickly. Laser acne treatment Acne is generally successfully treated with a variety of topical and oral medications. Inflammatory acne and oral often requires the chronic use of antibiotics by way of the mouth. Laser treatment can usually lead to a lessening of the amount of required antibiotics. Laser treatment can improve not only the inflamed acne, but also leads to improvement in acne scars. How many sittings are required? Most patients required approximately 5-7 monthly treatment to see the desired improvement. Periodic re-treatments will be required as acne flares. Improvements are guaranteed, but time and degree of result vary from skin to skin, calims Dr. Purnima. YOGA Supta baddha konasana-reclining cobbler pose-stretches the pelvic floor and lifts up prolapsed pelvic organs. How can I prevent acne on the face before periods? Early PMS symptoms like pimples, bloating and even depression are common among most women. A one odd pimple is normal and you can choose to ignore it. If it's severe, treat it with consultation from a qualified doctor. Doctors usually prescribe oral contraceptive in different combinations, depending on your age, level of sexual activity, etc. to normalize the hormonal imbalance. Avoid oily food and chocolates to fight acne. Massage therapy for stressed out executives. Stressed out executives. SO SPA SO GOOD STYLE STATEMENT My style statement is comfort. It's about being comfortable with what you are wearing. When I am working at my spa, I am more comfortable coming dressed in casuals. I like wearing jeans and a simple T-shirt. But of course, I dress according to the occasion. I believe it is more about attitude than what you wear. MY SPA-CE: My spa means a lot to me. I've always been into wellness and fitness. I think that because of the stressful environment we work in, It's very important for us to de-stress and spend time on ourselves. It gives me great happiness and pleasure to provide people with this service. IF you find that you're slipping your feet out of those killer shoes or stilettos under the table at work, yawning at 11am and trying to conceal those ever-present dark circles, what you need is a spa break. After all, who wouldn't love being treated with rose petals at their feet? Says Nisha Javeri, owner or Myrahspa, " Poor posture is the main reason for body ache, especially in case of working professionals, so, if you've felt the aches and pains in your body after a hard day’s work, I think nothing can beat a super massage. The only time we suggest not taking one is when you have an injury." Getting a massage at a spa is very different from the one you might indulge in at home. It’s all done in a special environment with scented candles, special scented oils, and creams to rub on your body along with special soothing music to calm your mind and body. Obesity, arthritis, spondylitis and body ache are some of the most common problems working people complain of. Nisha says, " Most massages, unless they are therapeutic, are basically for relaxation. A full body massage with aromatherapy or a Swedish massage is very relaxing. If you workout and want to stretch your body a little, then you should go in for thigh massages. If you’re on your feet the whole day, then foot reflexology is best for you. “Even Presso Therapy is good for people who’re on their feet the whole time." Pritika Guranathan, accountant executive, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd says, “I think spas are great to get a massage. I am a massage freak. I know quite a lot of people who actually think twice before spending on a massage. But I think it's totally worth it!" She adds, "I make it a point to visit a spa close to my home at least twice a month. It rejuvenates and relaxes me." Another executive agrees with Gurunathan. Says Deep Menon, investment executive at Group M-Maxus, "I sit and work the whole day, because of which I have this terrible backache problem. only a good massage relieves my pain. So if you've been complaining of aches and pains, you might want to try a spa massage. But Nisha stresses that any time is a good time to get a massage. You don’t need to wait until you’re stressed out. A regular massage can be your cure to cope with stress and to remain healthy. SPA ETIQUETTE Never arrive late: You are lessening your spa time. Arrive at least half an hour early to change your clothes and relax Switch off your cell phone: Remember, spa time is your time to relax Retrain from talking: Talking will definitely not relax or distress you Do not discuss other spas: You might be a member of other spas. However, it's better not to discuss them while you are visiting another one DOS & DON'TS If you get a massage at a spa or a hotel, a 15 per cent tip is standard. You don't have to undress in front of your masseur. You can ask him/her to leave the room for a while You can choose the sex of your massage therapist. If you feel that masseur is not applying the right pressure, You should tell right pressure, You should tell him/her Discuss your problem areas with your masseur beforehand MYRAH SPA Head, back, shoulder and foot massage Rs 1,250 (plus taxes) Body massages Rs 2,500 Other massage range from RS 1,900 to Rs 4,000 for an hour. AURA SPA AT THE PARK Head massage Rs 950 Back massage Rs900 Foot massage Rs 1,200 Other Massages range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 JASMINE SPA AT ROYAL PALMS Feet massage Rs 600 (plus taxes) Head and shoulder massage Rs 600 Ayurvedic body massage Rs 1,300 Rejuvenation body massage Rs. 1,500 Other massages start From Rs. 600 to RS 3,000 Ayurvedic nursing is hot career option in Kerala; institutes pump up training Therapists in Great Demand As Resorts & New Ayurveda Players Dot Countryside The ancient system of ayurvedic healing is no longer a secret that only l the traditional vaidyasalas were privy to. Growing interest in the West as well as India has led to a mushrooming of ayurvedic spas and has a attached a growing tribe of youngsters who look at it as a full-fledged career option. A huge section of ayurveda therapists and masseurs hails from South India, particularly Kerala, which has not just been a repository of healing knowledge but also a crucible of institutions practicing its techniques. Nursing has for long been a popular career option for people in the state; It is only now that ayurvedic nursing is being explored as an option. Close to 80 institutes in the state offer training three-to-six-month courses for those interested in a career in ayurvedic nursing. The Government Ayurveda Collage has even proposed a one-year course. The ayurvedic industry in the state is thriving, with a Rs. 600-crore turnover, and there is a huge demand for trained therapists, says Anilkumar, managing director, Kerala Ayurveda. However, industry estimates peg supply at half the current demand for close to 10,000 professionals, as new players grow their business and resorts incorporate healing spas. The demand for well-trained therapists will touch 20,000 from Kerala alone in the coming years, says Sajikumar, managing director, Dhatri Ayurveda. “The supply could improve in the coming years as the government’s ayurveda colleges have stated offering these courses,” he said. With 30 centers, kerala Ayurveda is finding it difficult to meet the demand for good therapists and masseurs. The company has started its own training institute called Kerala Ayurveda Academy, which is offering a six-month course in ayurveda therapy. Most institutes have updated their course content to include modern spa treatments. The minimum qualification for the course is a companies offer an all-inclusive salary of around Rs 7,000 per month. “Since the demand s is mainly from outside the state, the employees are also given accommodation days Anilkumar, adding the annual demand for Kerala Ayurveda is close to a 150 therapists. What makes the course attractive is the fee structure. “For allopathic nursing, the fees would be close to Rs 4 lakh, while here, it is in the 5000-10,000 range for the entire course,” says Nandakumar, who runs Ayurcare Institute of Panchakarma Therapy. However, allopathic nursing still has an edge as opportunities and salary structures are better overseas. State ayurveda centres to don a new look From Stress Management To Diabetes control, They will Provide Authentic Services Mumbai: Spas and wellness centres will have to brush up on their act as they are in for tough competition from ayurveda centres at medical collages. Finally waking up to the idea of clubbing ayurveda with medical tourism to attract revenues, the state government-following in Kerala footsteps—plans to revamp the centers at medical collages so that they can claim a pie of the booming wellness industry. All set for a makeover, the state's ayurveda department has proposed to don a commercial look and approach the Panchakarma centres at medical collages where spa treatments will be doled out to those looking for the little pampering. P anchakarma or the techniques of the detoxification of the entire body have made their way into the catalogues of almost every spa and wellness centre in the city, through experts are not too convinced about the authenticity of many, And, not to forget the unbelievable rates charged at private centres. "This is where we plan to step in. Government collages practise the most authentic form of ayurveda but it has limited target," said Vijay Kumar Gavit medical education minister, " No our Panchkarma centres will wear the look of modern spa, charge market rates and provide the most authentic services. Right from stress management to obesity or diabetes control, these centres will have every treatment.” Gavit added that the government would make a special allocation to the tune of crores of rupees to give these centres a facelift, making to ready for the competition with private rivals. In Mumbai, that Institute of Special Panchakarma and massage Centre inside the government-run Podar Medical College, Worli will be first to undergo the change. The five-bed centre, which till now, charges nominal amounts for the various treatments under Panchakarma, will soon be armed with more manpower, beds and a swanky look. The centres will be manned by qualified people trained under teachers of ayureda under teachers of ayurveda collages and experts from the hospitality industry. There are four government run ayurvedic medical collages and 19 government-aided institutes in the state, where these plans are supposed to take shape. Of them, three colleges---one government and two aided---are within Mumbai limits. K.G. Mittal Collage at Charni Road and Ayurved Mahavidalaya at Sion, can emerges as the new spa hubs if the centre at Podar college yields expected results. "we have already asked for a price revision from the authorities of Podar Medical Centre," said Dr. K R Kohgli, directreotr of ayurveda department, Maharashtra. "For instance, currently, a body massage at the Podar centre using herbs cost about Rs 250, while the same service is provided outside for at least thrice and even five times the amount. We will try to re-evaluate the prices but at the same time, keep it within affordable range." Kohli added that what was most needed for these revamped centres were facilities meant for basic hygiene such as clean towels and washrooms as the treatments involves the usage of a whole ranmge of oils. "The state officials practically want to replicate the success of ayurveda and medical tourism in Kerala. There, a planned growth of such centres has led to the mushrooming of a booming cottage industry," said Kohli. TIME TO UNWIND What will be on offer? Remove toxin from the using various techniques such as massage with ayurveda oils, heat, detoxification with herbal paste and aromatherapy. Will offer programmes that will include a set of therapies such as abhyanga, swedana an shirodhara. Under the supervision of qualified practitioners, personalised treatments will be offered. EXISTING rates Consultation charges Rs 100 per day Whole body massage Rs 150 per sitting Full-body fomentation Rs 100 per sitting Vaman vidhi (induced vomiting Rs 500 to emit toxin) Shiro Dhara Rs 200 per day Jalouka (leeching) Rs per leech Panchkarma packages Rs 5,000 Yoga Basti Rs 400 for 8 days City collages in for makeover Podar Medical Centre, Worli (Sate) 210beds K G Mittal Collage, Charni Road (aided) 150 beds Ayurveda Mahavidyalay, Sion (aided) 200 beds Schizophrenia to dandruff: Sweden hits nail-bed for cure The famously pain-resistant Vikings might have approved of the latest fad sweeping Sweden. Nail beds are becoming popular with health conscious consumers convince that lying on rubber pads embedded with sharp, Plastic pins is good for them. Hindu fakirs favour a wooden bed, bristling with metal nails, but the spiky foam version does the job nicely, says Catarina Rolfsdotter -Jansson, a 46-year-old yoga instructor and writer who uses one every day and describes it as being " quite painful actually". "The back looks picked at, if with a fork," when a person gets up off the mat. But then" you relax and feel nice again", she told the New York Times. Users often claim relief from insomnia, migraines and asthma, while amroe zealous group believes that the mat can cure everything from schizophrenia to dandruff. At times these Nordic nail bed devotees seem like a cult:3,000 of them gathered recently in a Stockholm park, placing their mats in the form of the rays of the Sun. The participants sang mantras and fell asleep. Not everyone is convinced of the benefits of nail beds, however. The Svenska Dagbladet newspaper concluded recently that there was "nothing that even approaches a scientific proof for the effect" of the nail bed. In response, the largest manufacture is organising medically supervised trials to monitor 30 regular users. "We're doing a clinical test to see what happens in the body" said Max Hoffmann, who recently gave up a job at IKea, The furniture giant, to become marketing director for Shakti mats, named after the Hindu fertility goddess. The mats measures 16in by 28in, contain from 4,000 to 8,000 spikes---the fewer the spikes, the more they hurt ---and range in price from $30 to $70. Several brands are sold in Stockholm fitness shops and over the internet. Swedes have been buying them since, many in the hope of soothing aches and pains associated with the cyber-generation. "Swedes sit too much in front of the computer, they don't walk enough, they don't stretch enough," said Rolfsdotter-Jaansson. 'People find this (nail bed)helps." Weight gain can lead to fibroids Mumbai: A women who puts on 10 kg of extra weight increases her risk of developing fibroids by 18%. Also, women who delay pregnancy until their mid-thirties are more prone to fibroids, "said Dr. Rakesh sinha of BEAMS Centre in Khar. On the occasion of Women's day on Saturday, doctors highlighted that fibroids, which affects 25 million women across India, was indeed a worrisome problem. A Mumbai-based hospital study also found that the incidence of fibroids was three times moiré in red meat-eating population than vegetarians. "A10 Kg rise in weight from the normal expected weight of the women had 18% increase of fibroids," said Dr Prakash Trivedi, who conducted the study. Dr Rakesh Sinha said that "women are delaying child birth until 35 or 36 years and continue to ignore symptoms such as pain and heavy bleeding during their periods." Fibroids are mass of tissues that are found on the wall of the uterus (or womb). Although these are tumours, they are not cancerous. They are painful and can cause hormonal imbalance. " As there are minimally invasive methods of removing the fibroids, women over 25 years of age should go in for an annual ultrasound screening," advised Sinha. The condition is commonly. found in the 25 to 45 age group, with an incidence of 40% in this age group. Dr. Trivedi's research carried out on 2,142 patients with fibroids found that diet , weight, hypertension had a bearing on incidence of fibroids produce prolactin and certain hormones that are detrimental to fertility," said Dr. Trivedi of NILES, a Ghatkopar- based hospital that conducted this study over 13 years. Diet goes hi-tech Technology has made it a lot easier for us to get the maximum benefits out of foods, but caution needs to be exercised, writes Norbert Rego Nutrition and a balanced diet promote a healthy mind and body and save one from ailments, especially the stress-related ones. Due to advanced technologies, today one can serve one's family healthy and wholesome food without having to rough it out in the kitchen for hours. There is a plethora of websites and gadgets that can help you wisely plan your diet. Ratin Mathur, vice-president, Alive Eating Restaurant, VLCC, says,"The electronic calorie kiosk, launched by my company, has made accessible lowcalorie nutritious food for consumers who have a penchant for a variety of cuisines, but are conscious about their diet. When the food option is clicked, it displays the related calorie count for that particular dish. So you no longer need to suffer from the guilt of enjoying scrumptious food at the cost of piling on calories." There's CalorieKing Nutrition and Exercise Manager software, which is available in Windows and Palm versions. When you install the software, it asks you to create a profile. You tell the programme your height, age, current weight and activity level, and it sets a calorie level for you, which you can change if you'd like. Today, digital nutrition scales are a good choice for people who are conscious about the intake of foods. They can display nutritional values for multiple food entries and allow you to track your food intake for long time periods. These scales have a disply unit and weighing surfaces. The wighing surfaces most often come with stainless stell platters that can be easily removed for cleaning. Take for instance, the Salter Nutriweigh & Go. It calculates calories, percentage of calories from fat, cholesterol, fibre, proteing, GI valvues, sugars, net carbs, sodium and carbohydrates for over 1400 foods, ingredients and liquids. Just put your food on the scale, select the food you want ot look up, using the word prompt feature, and with a touch of the button on the scale, you will be able to view the nutritional value of your food. The My Weigh NutriScale nutritional scale has nutritional information for over 800 foods and ingredients. Provides seven nutritional values and tracks and stores diet intake information up to 99 entries. The Escali Cibo Nutritional Scale counts the calories and other nutritional content of your food, and calculates the total nutritional value of up to 99 different meal components. However, Purwa Duggal, chief dietician, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai, says,"The reliability of the websites and digital nutritional scales may be ascertained based on the following-who is the designer, whether it is the work of a nutritional expert; what are the parameters that on is looking for and whether they are consistent with nutritional guidelines. Since the scales are often programmed, the results obtained are more likely to be generalised. They may not be customised to satisfy individual needs.'Seeking additional professional help would be most advisable. In today's diet and health-conscious environment, there is need to demarcate betwen fact and myth. The Healthy Living Council, which is the brainchild of like-minded specialists from the medical fraternity, has created a platform to address all issues relating to lifestyle diseases and a healthy way of coping with them. The council includes cardiologists, obesity consultants, diabetologist, fitness trainers, dieticians etc. Through its website http://www.healthylivingcouncil.com, it plans to provide health related information and support to whoever has a query. DIET & NUTRITION Low-Fat or Non-Fat, Milk, Yogurt, Fresh Cheese and fortified Alternative Group 2-3 servings Eat Moderately Vegetable Group 3-5 servings Eat Generously Whole Grain Bread, Cereal, Pasta and Rice Group 6-11 servings Eat Liberally Vegetable Fats and Oils Sweets and Salt Eat Sparingly Legume, Nut, Seed and Meat Alternative Group 2-3 servings Eat Moderately Fruit Group 2-4 servings Eat Generously. O.5-4.7 MICRO UNIT/ML That's the scale where your thyroid level(TSH) needs to show up at. All above the age of 30 need to take a thyroid test, once a year. More so, if you are woman suffering from hormonal problems. An underactive or an over active thyroid are both dangerous conditions that can eventually affect the heart. Treatment usually involves oral medication. 5 That's the number of servings of fruits or vegetables a healthy adult needs each day. Studies show that those who stick to this number have reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, regular bowel movements and also improved blood sugar level. Fresh vegetables and fruits are a must in your diet. Your best bet are raw fruits. As for veggies stay away from deep-fried ones. Also since fruits contain natural sugars they satisfy the cravings of those with a sweet tooth. 25 KG/M² This is the target Body Mass Index (BMI) recommended by the World Health Organisation. Those with a BMI of 25 also tend to feel healthier with higher energy levels. Since most of us in the cities fall prey to a sedentary lifestyle, weight control is not an easy problem to tackle. But with calorie control and exercise, you can definitely touch the 25 mark. 25-30 That's the ideal hand grip strength for a healthy young adult. If your grip strength, which is a measure of muscle and bone strength, is lower than this, you are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. To improve grip strength, increase your calcium intake. 200 MG OR LESS Your total cholesterol levels, inclusive of both good and bad cholesterol need to be below 200 mg. Your blood cholesterol level refers to the amount of fat in your blood. If your levels are too high then you are at a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. According to research, lowering your total cholesterol level by 10% may reduce the incidence of heart disease by 30 percent. Your daily fat intake should be less than 30 per cent of your total caloric intake, with less than 10 percent coming from saturated fats. The best way to monitor this is to check the labels of the foods you are eating. To lower your cholesterol levels, eat a diet that is low in fat. If you do eat fats, avoid saturated fats, which are found in products such as milk. Moderate exercise can also lower your cholesterol levels considerably. 10,000 Walk at least 10,000 steps a day. A brisk walk every day that adds up to this figure, takes about30 minutes a day and will leave your refreshed, energised and yet rather relaxed. In fact the U.S.Centres for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation recommend that all healthy adults should get 30 minutes of exercise most days(but not less than 5 days per week). Studies have also shown that people who include exercise in their daily routine live longer and face a lower risk of diabetes. TOP MEDICAL MYTHS BUSTED Vitamin C won't help cure your cold, and eating at night won't pile on the pounds, says a new book Chewing gum sticks in your gut for years, right? And lifting heavy weights gives you a hernia? Actually it's all complete nonsense. A new book,Don't swallow your Chewing Gum And Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll & Dr.Rachel Vreeman, debunks some commonly accepted health myths we've all grown up with- including some trotted out by misguided doctors. Here's a selection of the best... VITAMIN C, ECHINACEA AND ZINC STOP COLDS We wish there was something we could recommend to prevent the sniffles. Unfortunately, science does not suggest that any of the above things are going to help you. YOU USE ONLY 10 PER CENT OF YOUR BRAIN Different types of brain-imaging confirm that no area of the brain is ever completely silent or inactive. Much more than 10% of the brain is busy at work virtually all the time. PULL OUT A GREY HAIR AND TWO MORE GROW The truth is your grey hairs will multiply as time goes on. Each hair grows out of a single follicle. This means that pulling one hair out is never going to make two hairs grow out of that one follicle. FLU VACCINES CAN GIVE YOU THE FLU The flue vaccine uses a dead virus to protect you from influenza. Dead viruses cannot make you ill. BUTTER MAKES A BURN BETTER Butter is one of the worst things you could smear over most burns because it holds in heat. It may also increase the chance of the burn getting infected as bacteria will thrive in it. MEN THINK ABOUT SEX EVERY 7 SECONDS When you think about it, this myth is simply ludicrous. If we assume that the average male is awake for 16 hours a day, each man would have to think about sex more than 57,000 times in 24 hours. Someone with sex on the brain that often would be incapable of performing any other taks at all. MEN WITH BIG FEET ARE BETTER ENDOWED A study of 3,100 men found that there is no relationship between the size of a man's shoes and the size of his manhood. SHAVED HAIR WILL GROW BACK THICKER Clinical trials show that shaving has no effect on hair growth . When you slice off the hair, it leaves a sharp end. Because these shaved hairs lack the tapered look of unshaven hair, it appears that the hair itself is thicker. The hair may also have a rougher feel because of that sharp edge. HAIR AND FINGERNAILS GROW AFTER YOU DIE No, it's just an optical illusion. After you die, skin dries out and shrinks- it's this retracting of the skin around the hair and nails that makes them look longer or more prominent. EATING AT NIGHT MAKES YOU FAT People gain weight when they eat far more calories than they burn. A study of around 2,500 people of all sizes found the time of day that they ate their meals had nothing to do with whether or not they gained weight. LADIES SPECIAL Nutritionist Sneha Jain lists some super foods that promise to help you sail through common womanly woes From your mother's list of must-dos to the how-to-be - healthy mail of the week, everyone is know to give out nuskaas for combating regular gynecological problems. Be it a certain a asana to fight that monthly moster, or a face pack to baish an ugly pimple. If nothing seems to help, head to your kitchen for a change. All you have to do is stock up and munch! FLAXSEEDS Flaxseeds are full of essential Omega 3 fatty acids, which help in balancing hormones in the body. They also protect women from heart problem that are one of the leading causes of premature death among women. The dietary fibres in flax, called lignans have antioxidant properties that detoxify the body and give you a glowing skin. It also boosts your fertility. Omega 3 releases prostaglandins (a hormone like substance) which provide comfort an drelief from pain associated with menstruation. The essential fatty acids are very fragile, unstable, and liable to oxidation if exposed to light and air. Within the whole seeds, the oil is protected. So buy it fresh. BEANS Beans are almost cholesterol and fat free, so a must have for women on a diet programme. Beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein and fibre. With more and more women getting affected with colon cancer than breast cancer each year, the fibre and phytoestrogens (a natural plant hormone) present in beans protects against cancer. CITRUS FRUITS Bright fruits like orange and papaya are rich in Vitamin C that delays the ageing process. So chuck the botox and reach out for a glass of fresh lime water. Oranges are an excellent source of folate, an element that lowers the risk of birth defects and memory loss. These fruits also contain beta carotene that accumulates in the skin to act as a natural sun block. GINGER Ginger's forteis to treatnausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It also helps in hastening the recovery post delivery. Add it to your regular diet to ward off stomach cramps and acidity. You could toss a few slices in your bowl of dal or mix it with fresh fruit juices. BROCCOLI Broccoli is a great source of calcium and Vitamin B, both of which play an important role in bone health. These green florets contain sulphurophanes that helps prevent cancer and clears any excess estrogen. Excess estrogen in the body can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalances and an increased risk of breast cysts and breast cancer. CRANBERRIES These tiny berries have the power to fight severe urinary tract infections that trouble women more than men. Cranberry juice is loaded with Vitamin C that acidifies urine and reduces the chances of developing irritation. They also help in treating minor flue and stomach aches. SPINACH One of the best sources of folate, spinach prevents birth defects, heart disease, dementia, and colon cancer. Lutein (an antioxidant) in spinach prevents our skin from heat-damage, delays wrinkling, roughness and dehydration- the common symptoms of skin-fatigue. WHEAT GERM The heart of the wheat kernel is a gold mine of nutrition. A half cup serving of tasted wheat germ supplies more than half of a woman's daily magnesium needs. It plays an important role in reducing stress, building bones, and regulating thyroid function (which affects 20 per cent of postmenopausal women). Magnesium also aids in the production, release, and activity of insulin. LOW-FAT YOGURT In women over 45, osteoporosis is a concern since the rate of bone loss speeds up post menopause, as estrogen levels falls. Getting enough calcium is paramount in preventing osteoporosis and yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Rich in probiotics, yogurt encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, thereby boosting immunity. FATTY FISH Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These help reduce the risk for blood clot formation that can occur due to a prolonged use of contraceptive pills. In pregnant and lactating women these fats help in optimal brain and vision development of the baby. Omega 3 also boosts levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical and aids in fighting postpartum depression. Live it up with Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is an alternative form of medicine containing plants and other forms of essential oils used for improving a person’s mood or health. Here are some physical as well as psychological effects that aromatherapy can have on you… Aromatherapy helps by quickly healing skin disorders due to the presence of anti-bacterial properties in the essential oils. It also assists in getting rid of the residual toxins in the body due to enhancement of blood circulation Aromatherapy is an effective treatment for curing aches and pains in the muscle and joints It can relieve muscular fatigue and boost stamina and energy levels. It also helps in treating hormonal imbalances and metabolism conditions Studies say that aromatherapy helps create a positive labour experience among pregnant women. It is an excellent stress reliever as the different fragrances can clam down various effects leading to stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy can help you get sound sleep a s the fragrances have a soothing effect on the mind of a person. An ideal relief formula for insomniacs. It can ease illnesses as it essential oils possess certain sedatives that have positive effects on the body, mind and soul. Yoga taking over botox business New York: For a Friday evening , the small, intimate workout room at the New York Health & racquet club on East 57th Street was comfortably full. A dozen people sat, their chins pointed toward the ceiling, their lips puckered as if preparing for a kiss. Later, they took their index and middle fingers and tapped their mouths five times, hopping to increasing lip fullness and colour. If done each day, they had been injected with collagen. "The resistance is what firms the muscles, " Annelise Hagen, the teacher, said of Revita-Yoga, which combines yoga and facial exercises and is billed as a way to combat frown lines, wrinkles and sagging. Each pose, stretch or exercise is designed to relax the muscles and release the patterns people unconsciously etch into their skin. Want to sculpture and narrow your nose? Alternate breathing out of each nostril, Revita-Yoga teaches . Have crows-feet? Open the eyes wide to smooth the lines. As pale as the winter sky? A dose of down ward dog can add colour to the complexion while oxygenating the skin. In an era when aging is treated as a disease and yoga is often touted as a cure-all, it is hardly surprising to see people combining the two, classes are sprouting up all over the US and so are books, marketed to the portion of the population that wants the benefits of the knife and the needle without the costs or the risks. That t works is unlikely, say doctors who specialize in skin or facial physiology. But it does relax practitioners while playing into their desire to do something about perceived flaws in their desire to do something about perceived flaws in their skin. "People want a healthy alternative to looking good without artificial substance," said Hagen, a former actor whose book ,The Yoga Face, is to be published this August by Avery, the health and wellness division of Penguin. "And they want to be in control a of their appearance rather than relegating it to an authority. I'm teaching mu students to consciously release muscles rather than paralyzing them, which is what Botox does." "Nothing is going to have a lasting benefit like Botox or filler or colagen injections," said Dr. Dennis Gross, a Midtown Manhattan dermatologist, the author of "your Future Face’ and the creator of a skincare line. But there are short-term improvements, he said. "facial stretches and yoga reduce the neurological impulses associated with stress and the grimaces that lead to the lines in your forehead,” he said.” The plumping of your lips is more a massage and only adds colour for a few minutes." And once the foot hits the pavement during rush hour, or the BlacBerry is back in hand, the face automatically tenses up, and the benefits of deep breaths and relaxation wear off. WORKOUT YOUR WORK-OUT A regular exercise schedule is key to maintaining not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME FOR AN EXERCISE SCHEDURE 1. Always walk where possible. 2. If you work in at the desk all day, make sure you get up every 20 to 30 min to get some movement and activity. This will help to get you active as well as prevent back pain and muscle imbalances. 3. Do household work whenever possible, try at a more vigorous pace. 4. Use stairs instead of the elevator. If you live or work on a higher floor, start by climbing a few floors first depending on your fitness level, and their increase the number of fights gradually. 5. Over weekends, indulge in some sort of sport. IF YOU LOVE TO EXECISE. About 20-30 min of the following activities, three times a week is recommended, increase duration to 45 min to an hour five days a week gradually, 1. Brisk walking – preferably on grass, mud tack or sand. Great for beginners but increase pace gradually. 2. Aerobic dancing – is low impact and preferred so as to avoid injury. 3. Jogging-Not appropriate for beginners and those with orthopedic concerns. If you are suffering from heart or lung disease or are a smoker, consult your doctor first. Preferably avoid this activity. 4. Recumbent cycling and swimming Low to moderate impact aerobic activity and sage for people with orthopedic concerns. 6. Spinning-Good aerobic activity with less weight bearing on joints and also prevents boredom due to music which is used in most spinning classes. 7. Weight training and resistance training-Also makes the heart stronger. Circuit training can give you a good aerobic workout. TRY THESE YOGIC ASANAS… 1. Hastasana-Lie down on your back with legs together and hands by the side of the body and palms facing the floor. Raise hands six inches above ground and hold for five to eight breaths. To make the exercise tougher gradually increase the hand level to 30 degrees above shoulder level and further progress to hands close to the ears (above the head). This asana improves strength and elasticity in chest muscles, improves blood circulations and eases the stagnation and clotting of blood. 2. Sulabhaardhadronasana-Lie on your back with toes pointing to the ceiling, palms facing the ground and hands close to your body. Raise shoulders above the ground by six inches without rounding the back. Raise left hand up in line with the shoulder and parallel to the ground and right leg up at the same time. Hold the pose for three to five breaths. Alternate arm and leg and repeat each three to five times, Eases blood circulation and strengthens neck and chest muscles. 3. Bramahmaudra-Sit upright on a chair, keep hands on your waist keep your shoulder and torso steady. Now turn only your neck to the right and hold for three to five breaths. Repeat the same on the left. Now throw your neck back slowly and hold for three to five breaths. Repeat the same on the left. Now throw your neck back slowly and hold for three to five breaths. Repeat the same by bringing the chin as close to the chest as possible. This mudra helps to remove the blood stagnation, makes move the blood stagnation, makes move the blood stagnation, makes the cranial nerve more active and controls blood pressure. Hastaparshwasana- Stand at ease with back upright, keep hands forward, elbows straight and hands forward, elbows straight and hands parallet to the floor, palms facing each other. Take hands towards the back at a moderate speed an try to join palms if possible. The asana can be performed with hands at a lower or higher angle to the shoulder also. Hold the position for three-five breath and repeat five ten times each angle. This asana strengthens the cardiac muscles, eases congestion of blood and maintains the blood pressure. 4.REMEMBER: 1. It is very essential to stretch the muscles after any aerobic activity to maintain flexibility in the working muscles and to avoid muscles imbalance and injury. 2. Always consult your doctor and exercise under the supervision of a qualified fitness consultant. BENEFITS OF CARIDOVASCULAR EXERCISES Decreases resting heart rate and increases heart volume Increases oxygen consumption, capillary density and blood flow to active muscles Maintains blood pressure Lowers cholesterol and Triglycerides Tones muscles Increases energy and builds stamina Reduces or prevents back pain and improves posture Improves blood circulation Increases metabolism and thus helps to loose weight Reduces risk of heart and lung diseases. Smokers will find it easier to quit smoking when they taken up an aerobic exercise program. However one must consult a doctor for intensity of exercise or it can cause harm. Decreases symptoms of anxiety tension and depression. STYLING TRESSES The hair industry is booming as personal grooming has become the new age mantra. With a plethora of styling products available in the market, and a mushrooming of salons, a career as a hairstylist is a popular choice. Hairstylist Hakim Aalim says, "Hair styling is a happening career. Unlike a decade ago, people now look upon this profession with great respect and it’s also creative and fun. Hair cutting is like balancing one's whole personality—one has to consider the client's age, hair texture, skin color, face cut, and profession while designing his or her hair. "Aalim who has created the look of many Bollywood starts in movies like Ek Ajnabi, Chocolate, Omkara and salam Namaste believes, "Today hairstyles have acquired a whole new dimension for both men and women. Long hair, short hair with spikes, coloured hair the styling list is endless." BUILDING YOUR FOUNDATION: "To enter the field of hair dressing one must acquire professional systematic training from a reputed institute and train with an expert. Your success mantra should be practice, practice and more practice since hair cutting and styling is a complicated procedure. You must have a good judgment about face structure and hairstyle is a complicated procedure, You must have a good judgment about face structure and hairstyle," believes Aalim. Sunita Motwani, Director, Schnell Hans Beauty & Hairdressing Schools & Salons says , "The various components of hair-dressing have evolved. Hair coloring and chemical treatments such as Rebonding and Perming are en vogue. Bridal hairdressing and hairstyling for films and television is also very much in demand. Hair extensions are another upcoming trend. Hair Spa treatments with use of specialized products and massages are also very popular so one must do a professional course and tanning to acquire knowledge on the various hair treatments. "Noted fashion and advertising hair stylist Dorris Godambe adds, "There are institutes all over the world and so many in India where one can learn all the basics of hair dressing. Then it depends on the individuals’ creativity and how they improvise the skills learn from basics". WHAT NEXT? As a qualified hairdresser, one can work in a salon in order to gain some experience and build a client base. While rising in the hierarchy from being a junior stylist to a senior stylist, one can hone additional skills and qualifications, and then even freelance or go on to become a trainer or salon manager. Hairdressing offers a range of diverse opportunities from in-house hair styling to professional shoots for TV, films and fashion events. "Working for a multinational hair products company or becoming a film and TV hairstyle is another area of specialization. This can also be a part-time profession for ladies who have domestic obligations or can be an add-on career for working women. College students and even professors have made a second career out of hairdressing," informs Sunita. REQUIRED TRAITS For a hairdresser who only takes care of hair cutting and blow-drying, all one needs is a pair of scissors, comb, brushes and a hair dryer. One can work from home or even in a restricted space. However, professional hair treatments may require some equipment. "To avail of the multitude of employment opportunities, one does not need much investment. Of course to start your own salon, one needs property and considerable investment ,"opines Sunita. In addition, a hairstylist must work hard at developing his or her skill and a professional attitude. "I use hairstyling as a tool of art to created new look each time. For this to work well you need to have communication skills in order to talk to clients, have a friendly Manner and be a good listener," states Dorris, who style hair for many a Miss India winner. Dorris' son Suraj Godamabe who gave up an MBA to enter this field says," I am enjoying my work, hair dressing is immensely satisfying as a profession. "The young stylist who has trained with Tohi and Guy, Sunday and also at juice, already has many TV stars as his clients. He admits that it is "rigorous training to which I attribute my professional exploits today. A career in hair requires focus and a knee eye for international trends." "The satisfaction is tangible when you see a client who is happy with your work. Hairdressing as a career allows you to showcase your creativity, to earn name, fame and good money" believes Dorris Godambe."It provides a great opportunity for growth and you also have the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things. It's a wonderful career where no day dull!" INSTITUTES (indicative) Bharat N Dorris, Mumbai Nalini & Yasmin, Mumbai USEFUL TIPS FOR ASPIRING HAIRSTYLISTS Research your city/town for institutes that offer training, and then choose the one that best fits your expectations and budget. Don't restricts yourself to only one area – hairstyling is all about variety and experimentation. If you're fresher don't choose a crash course, instead go in for a 6 month training program. Keep yourself abreast with the latest in the hairstyling industry by attending work-shops and seminars. Practice on family and friends to perfect the art of cutting, colouring and styling hair. Watch and Learn: Observe your seniors with their clients and pick up handy tips. Invest in a good pair of scissors and a comb and brush set. Remember that theory is as important as practical. You have to know about the types of hair in order to apply the right style for the right hair type. Develop a rapport with your clients and understand their needs both in terms of cut and colour. Know your products because no styling can ever be complete without hairstyling products. Scan the market for the latest products recommended by experts in the field and try them out Mousse, gels and sprays are some useful must-haves. Finally, hairstyling is serious business, so don't take up the training if you are unsure of yourself. Inclination is a must for the development of skill in every field, and hairstyling is no different. Instant refreshers A few healthy options that help you drink your way to good health. With weather conditions varying so much our bodies are constantly being tested. What makes it difficult for human bodies is the sudden drop in temperatures. This tends to cause problems like dehydration, high body temperature, energy loss, body pain and headaches. How can one remain fit without too many changes to one's lifestyle? Regular exercise sand regulated diets is a crucial element. The latter includes a regular fluid intake as well. This is because the human body does not store water like it does calories (as glycogen or body fat), so we need a constant supply every day. The body loses on average the equivalent of 6-12 cups of water each day. Most healthy adults need about one and a half litres to three litres a day so aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily. Apart from water, there are a few drinks that help you stay fighting fit. Buttermilk (chaach/lassi): Butermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus. Those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk, as it is more quickly digested. Buttermilk has more lactic acid than skim milk. One cup of buttermilk has 99 calories and 2.2 gm of fat, whereas whole milk has 157 calories and 8.9 gm of fat. It is also an excellent source of protein and calcium. Fresh lime (nimbu panni): Low on calories and high on health count, nimbu paani is the healthiest way to quench your thirst and refresh your body. Lemon is high on vitamin C and 'nimbu paani' acts as a natural hydrant in these harsh weather conditions. But make it fresh each time and avoid buying from street vendors since that can cause stomach infections. Aam Panna: A traditional preparation of roasted or boiled raw mangoes, aam panna' is a great digestive aid and an instant energy infuser. It also helps prevent heat strokes, dehydration and dryness of mouth and tongue in acute summer conditions. If your schedule prevents you from making aam panna at home, then try the packaged variety. Fruit and vegetables juices: Rich in minerals and essential micro-elements, these juices contain substantial amounts of carbohydrates, which supply energy to human body. Fruits and vegetables contain generous amounts of vitamins that regulate metabolism and help in the conversion of the fats and carbohydrates into energy. Fruit and vegetables juices are also known for their therapeutic benefits. So, don't let the weather bother you; get on with these instant' refreshers'. What your feet reveal A random peek at your feet can tell lots about your overall wellness It may sound ridiculous at first , but our feet which more often than not we love to overlook, can speak volumes about a person's health. Doctors suggest that you can detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies just by examining the feet. So, don't ignore the signs! 1. Toenails with indentations A common issue for women, anaemia or iron deficiency often can be indicated by unnatural, concave shaped toe nail beds. This is due to insufficient haemoglobin. Internal bleeding or heavy menstrual periods can be a trigger. Nails may also be brittle and the feet may feel cold. Fatigue is the number-one sign of anaemia as are dizziness and headache. 2. Constant cramping of feet A sudden foot cramp can be due to improper exercise or even dehydration. But if it is recurring, it could mean that your diet lacks sufficient calcium, potassium or magnesium. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to this. 3. A store that won’t heal on the foot This could be an indication of diabetes. High blood glucose levels lead to nerve damage in the feet, which means that minor scrapes and cuts often go unnoticed. Study your feet carefully for foul-smelling cuts that have been there awhile. Other symptoms of diabetes include persistent thirst, consent need for urination, fatigue, extreme hunger and weight loss. 4. Cold feet cold feet is an especially common complaint among women and may indicate a thyroid problem. Women generally have a slightly lower core body temperature than men, which makes them more vulnerable. Females over 40 who have cold feet often have an underfunctioning thyroid the gland that regulates temperature and metabolism. Poor circulation is another possible cause. 5. Thick m yellow toenails Yes, the nails do tend to lose colour as you age but this is a vital sign of a fungal infection and unkempt nails. Onychomycosis can persist painlessly for years. Nails may also smell bad and turn dark. Those most vulnerable are diabetes patients and those with immune-deficiency disorders. 6. Enlarged big toe This is mostly a sign gout and contrary to popular perception it doesn’t just affect the old. Gout is a form of arthritis that's caused by too such uric acid. The built-up uric acid forms nee dle-like crystals. Men in their 40s and 50s are especially prone to this condition. 7. Numbness in feet If you are unable to 'feet' your feet or have a heavy pins-and-needles sensation, it could indicate damage to the peripheral nervous system. This could occur due to diabetes or excessive intake of alcohol. 8. Dry, flaky skin If you are prone to dry skin, don't take this lightly. You could contract athlete’s foot , a fungal infection that starts as itchy skin that then progresses to inflammation and blisters. 9. Toes that change colours In cooler weather, Reynaud's disease cause the toes to first go white, then blue, and finally appear red before returning to a natural hue. The blood vessels in these areas overreact, causing the change in colour. They also feel cool to touch and go numb. Street can be a trigger of Reynaud’s attacks. 10 Pain in feet while walking Foot pain could be a result of undiagnosed stress fractures. Discomfort can be felt along the sides of the feet or in the doles. Fractures may be caused by a decrease in optimum bone density or some kind of malnutrition. Yoga from Head to Toe Yoga asanas are not to be viewed as mere physical exercises. There is a much deeper significance and process to them. Asanas work on the physical body to activate and balance its energy flows. They are specific postures that purity, stimulate and align your energy for optimum health, vitality and expansion of consciousness. They also prep the body for the more subtle experiences and higher practices of the discipline. There is a very subtle and effective group of asanas developed and taught by the Bihar yoga tradition, called the Pawanmuktasana Series. Pawan means "air", or prana("vital force".) The first part of Pawanmuktasana stimulates and enhances free flow of energy through the body. It activates our blood circulation and immune system, too. It , makes the whole body alive, refreshed and vibrant. It is a great starting point for beginners, as well as for advanced practitioners to become aware of a the finer, energy currents within. But let us first start with two crucial aspects of asanas: awareness and breath. AWARENESS Yoga is awareness; or the quality that separates this discipline from a merely physical stretching exercise. Be aware of every movement, just as a scientist observes each effect and reaction. High awareness makes the practice an exciting discovery and an engrossing journey. Breath Use breath as a tool deepen the experience. Coordinate your movements with it, allowing it to guide body movement. Move in a beautiful synchronicity of mind, body and prana. Some of the benefits of an asana: Brings about a state of equilibrium in the body. Strengthens postures, builds stamina, develops poise, flexibility, balance, concentration, tranquility and dynamism. Keeps the spinal cord in a healthy condition. Balances all body systems (circulatory, digestive, respiratory, nervous, etc.) Increases blood circulation and energy flow through the body, consequently enhancing one's immune system. This series works to release energy blocks in the joints. The stretching, rotating, tensing and relaxing of all the associated joints, tissues, ligaments and muscles, activates and promotes free flow of energy and blood circulation. These asanas are best performed in synchronization with breathing and with a deep meditative awareness on breath, movement and count. To begin the practices, you should preferably sit in the base position described. If not, you may even perform some of these asanas while sitting on a chair. The body should be symmetrical and relaxed and the mind should be ware and focused on the practice. Base Position All the Pawanmuktasana Series 1 asanas for feet and legs are done in this positions. Those for the arms, shoulders and neck may be done in this posture or in a comfortable cross-legged sitting meditative posture. Sit on the floor on your yoga mat, spine straight and legs stretched out in front of you. Place your hands by the sides of the hips, With the palms facing down, Your entire body should be relaxed and comfortable. After every two to three practices, sit quietly in this Position with those parts of the body that have been moved. Toe Bending Only bend the toes, not the feet inhale and spread toes drawing them towards you. Exhale and clench toes tightly, pointing them away from you, Practice 10 rounds. Ankle Bending Inhale and move both feet backwards, bend from the ankles. Exhale and move feet forward, stretching them towards the floor, Practise 10 rounds. Ankle Rotation Rotate both feet together clockwise; inhale on the upward circular movement, exhale on the downward movement. Precise 10 rounds in the clockwise direction and then reverse the direction, practicing 10 rounds in the anticlockwise direction. Precaution! The knee is mainly constructed for front and back bending, not for side movements. People with rheumatic/arthritic stiffness should be careful, and avoid the next butterfly asanas. Neck Movements Forward and Backward Inhale as you bend head forward, exhale as you roll it back. Rotation: Coordinate one breath, inhaling when you roll your head forward, exhaling when you roll it backwards. Practice five rounds in each direction. Precaution! Those suffering from cervical spondylosis must not practice these neck movements, or do so with extreme care. if any giddiness is felt during rotation, move more slowly, lessen backward bend or stop completely. Hand Clenching Stretch arms out in front of body as shoulder level. Open hands, palms down, inhale and stretch out fingers as wide as possible. Exhale and clench hands with thumb in. Do 10 rounds. Wrist Bending Stretch arms out at shoulder level. Keep plams open and fingers straight throughout. Inhale and be nd hands backwards from wrist, exhale and bend hands forward, fingers pointing downward. Do 10 rounds Wrist RotationFold fingers over thumb to make a fist and rotate hand at wrist level. Wrist remains steady, facing upwards throughout . Rotate five times clockwise and five times anticlockwise. First practice with each hands separately, then with both hands together. Do 10 rounds. Shoulder Rotation Bend arms and place fingertips to touch the shoulders. Rotate arms five times clockwise, then five times clockwise, inhale during upward movement, exhale during downward movement. No IRONING Required Want to stay wrinkle-free from nine to 70? Of course, me can tell you how! Why wrinkles happen Wrinkles appear on parts of the body that have gone through maximum sun exposure; face, neck, back of hands, and top of the forearms. This is called photoageing. But there are also other factors which contribute to wrinkles. Some you can control, some you can't. They are: Genetics: some families are simply more 'wrinkly' than others. Can't be helped. Skin colour: light-skinned people wrinkle faster because they are more vulnerable to sun damage. Be thankful for your dusky complexion! Skin type: oily skin can be annoying in youth, what with acne and other eruption, but because it is rich in essential oils, it stays youthful longer. Smoking: That's because smoking restricts adequate blood flow to the skin. This in turn means fewer nutrients, and early ageing. Now this one you really can reverse. Quit now, no ifs and buts. Your hairstyle: surprised? Well, it makes sense: some long and fulsome hairstyles do cover the sides of the face and the back, thus reducing sun exposure . A valid reason for you to resist going choppety-chop at those Rapunzel locks! Your dressing habits: Same logic as haircuts; long dresses, full sleeves, wide brimmed hats+ more sun protection. Still want to strut about in those minis? Your lifestyle: staying indoors playing Monopoly means less sun exposure. Para-sailing and rock-climbing? well, all that fun in the sun does add up to more lines on the face. Nine wise ways to wave wrinkles away 1Eat fruit, avoid sugar: Make 'fresh' your mantra when it comes to food. Fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants which fight free-radical damage and keep skin young. By the same logic, you should absolutely avoid greasy, fatty fries and cakes. 2Keep your skin hydrated :as long as skin is' plump' and elastic with lipids and moisture, you won't face wrinkles and crinkles. Drink plenty of water, use a good moisturizer day and night, and treat yourself to healing aroma massage with essential oils from time to time. 3Stretch every day: good circulation keeps nutrients flowing nicely throughout your body, helping skin maintain its elasticity and youthfulness. 4.Roll stress away: Keep a rolling pin (belan) under your bed. Every night, before going to sleep, gently rock your tired feet on the belan to and fro for five to 10 minutes,. Feel the stress ebb. You can also fill a small tub with marbles and roll your feet on those. Stress-free skin is cease-free, too! 5 Put on a mask: Every week, slather on a nice, rich, fruity mask on your face to keep skin glowing. For example, crush a few grapes and smear them on your face and neck. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse off and follow with a good moisturizing cram. If you cannot find the time for a weekly ritual, book yourself in for a fresh-and-natural facial once a month. 6Roll over : sleeping on your tummy can literally press wrinkles onto your face. The best position is straight on your back, but if you simply cannot help curling up, turn sideways and tuck your knees under. 7. Turn that frown upside down: furrows on the forehead do not make a pretty face. A smile? Now that's lovely! so turn the corners of your mouth upward whenever you can. 8. Protect your peepers: If you don't shield your eyes, all that squinting will etch early wrinkles under the eyes, So go ahead and buy a really good, stylish pair of sunglasses. But, hey, don't keep them perched atop your head: it's not your hair that needs the wrinkle-relief! 9. Shun the sun: Some sun is essential for healthy bones, but do avoid exposure at Peak hours(between 11 am and 4 pm). Sunblock lotions do help, but cannot keep away all the harmful UV rays from hitting you. Lab –tested Wrinkle-fighters Cosmetic-store shelves brim with anti-wrinkle' and 'anti-ageing' creams. Most of them contain these power ingredients: ? Tretinoin, derived from Vitamin A. A prescription ingredient , it helps improve skin's texture, tone, and colour. ? Retinol is a similar but less potent medication available in over-the-counter creams such as Retino A. ? Alpha-hydroxy acids (and beta-and poly-hydroxy acids), derived from fruit. They help remove the top layer of old, dead skin cells and stimulate the production of collagen. ? Vitamin C. This vital antioxidant protects skin from sun damage. It may also stimulate collagen production. ? Coenzyme Q10. A naturally occurring molecule found in skin cells, believed to help contain wrinkles. ? Vitamin E. an antioxidant. Nature's Medicine Set to hit market within a year, Bangalore-born Gangagens natural bacterial killer could spell the end for antibiotics Escherichia Coli, which can cause fatal disease. Gangagen products stops it in its tracks. Few businessmen would spend a lot of time talking about a harmless virus. But this virus, called a phage, kills bacteria that are dangerous to human beings. You could use it as a drug , if we knew how to tame it and get it to the right place. Some institutions and a few companies have tried to do it for decades, but with limited success. But now, an Indian-founded company seems to have achieved just that. Within a year, it will launch the first, phage -based antibacterial drug in the world. Born in Bangalore, registered in Delaware, US and with an office in the Silicon Valley, Gangagen is still an oddity among technology companies. Few companies would be brave enough to bet an entire business on phages. It was born when J. Ramchandran, after retiring from Bangalore-based AstraZeneca R&D, decided to take up a challenge that everybody had left unfinished: conquer the mighty bacteria. It was a brainwave while watching a programme on the BBC He knew nothing about phages When he set up the company. He still got $2 million (Rs.8.8 crore) form Silicon valley-based ICF Ventures. Ramchandran got scientists excited about his venture. In Ottawa, Canada, where he set up a subsidiary, he got some very experienced hands. Michel Chretien, well-known physician and brother of former Canadian prime minister jean, became the chairman. Rainer Engelhard scientist and entrepreneur, became the president of the Ottawa company. Kishore Murthy, biologist and experienced phage researcher, became the chief scientific officer. This team along with a few more scientists in Bangalore, took Ramachnadran’s initial ideas and developed them into veterinary applications. Its first drug, to treat Escherichia coli in cattle, is in advanced clinical trials. Between them and few other friends and board members, they also managed to raise substantial funds. After ICF Ventures, most venture capitalists did not share the excitement of their scientists. Gangagen also refused to do services till it finished developing its products. Yet, its team managed to raise money after the initial rounds: $ 1.9 million in 2003 from board members and other initial investors ;$2.5 million (Rs. 11 crore) in early 2006 from a few more investors; and $4.5 million (Rs 19-8 crore)in September 2006 from several other individuals. what puzzled VCs was that Gangagen had no drug in the conventional sense. Old Science, New techniques The Russians, during the time of Stalin, were the first to sue phages to treat infected wounds. Even now, former Soviet Union countries use phages for therapy. The Tbilisi Institute in Georgia is a specialist institution for researching phage therapy. But the method has not caught on worldwide because of several scientific and business reasons. There is no treat bacterial phage product that can treat bacterial infection either in humans or animals Gangagen's would be the first. And aims to treat the problem. At the source. The gut of a cow is a reservoir of E. Coli o157:H7. The cattle do not fall ill, but the bacterium runs amok when it emerges from the animals. The dung of cattle is rich in E. Coli, which seeps into the ground water. It also containments vegetables when . It also contaminates vegetables when dung is used as manure. When the cattle are slaughtered, the bacteria contaminate the meat, which is a major source of infection in developed countries. If you could also reduce the chances of infection in humans. Gangagen had patented some ingenious methods of using phages to teat humans, but those will come later. Veterinary applications are easier from a regulatory point of view. It is not as if other companies had not tried to treat cattle using phages. OmniLytics, a company based in Utah, ahs a formulation that is sprayed on the skin of the animal. This method does work to an extent, but cannot kill the bacteria inside the animal's body. Gangagen has developed pellets mixed with the feed-using a patented method—that take the phages directly to the source. The pellets are stable inside the cow's stomach, but release the phages when inside the intestine, where they wipe out the E. Coli. The phages are so selective that they kill only E. Coli 0157:H7, leaving other bacteria alone. Says Ramchnadran:" The best thing about phage therapy is the specificity. Unlike antibiotics, phages do not kill useful bacteria. Gangagen has tried the method in about 80 animals. The pellets are given every day to the cattle one week before slaughter. Thus, their guts are cleaned of E. Coil by the time they are killed. by the end of the year, it would have conducted trials on 400 animals. It is also developing phage-based products to treat salmonella and campylobacter infections. The veterinary market for treating infections is large. In North America alone, the dairy industry loses over $3 billion a year due to infections. Around $5 billion is spent on treating antibiotic-resistant infections in domestic animals. Gangagen has tied up with Elacnco Animal Health, a deivision of Eli Lily Canada, to market the veterinary products all over the world. Incidentally, Eli Lily was the first company in the world-in the 1930s ---- to pursue phage therapy. It later gave up because the commercially viable at that time. Gangagen, however, has solved these problems. With some recent research and patents. The major scientific problem is that phages skill bacteria and then come out of then in amounts numbering in the hundreds of thousand, and scattering bacterial toxins in the process. The commercial problems was that phages were known long ago-one cannot get patents on old knowledge. Gangagen, however, found new technique; which stops the phage from coming out of the bacterium after it kills it. It was then granted a few more patents, including one to use the phage from coming out of the bacterium after it kills it. It was then granted a few more patents, including one to use the phage as a vaccine. Gangagen had solved both the commercial and scientific problems in one stroke. The End of Antibiotics? Sometime next year, Gangagen could start human trials on topical applications of phages. A specific target is the bacterium staphylococcus, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes smoldering infections in wounds, particularly when acquired from hospitals. Staph, as this bacterium is usually called, lives in our nasal cavities and is a major cause of infection after surgery. Use of nasal sprays a few days before surgery could eliminate the problem. To keep the costs down, Gagagen had not used its patented genetically-engineered phages on the veterinary product. But human applications would necessitate the use of its genetically-engineered phages that kill the bacteria but not scatter the toxins. Antibiotics were once considered magic bullets to cure any infection. However, it is now apparent that humans are losing the battle against bacteria. Phages are natures own cure, which is preferable even in animals. Says Tim Guichon, managing partner, Feedlot Health management Services in Alberta, Canada."There is a feeling among the public chat large – scale use of antibiotics in animals increases the chances of resistance in human infections as well". If phage therapy becomes widespread in a decade, Gangagen would almost certainly be the pioneer. Ayurveda doyen tradition archived Bangalore: They are the last of the Ashtavaidyas-the great ayurvedic scholar-physicians of Kerala. Preserving their knowledge for posterity is certainly a hallmark of cultural sensitivity. Thanks to two scholars of the national Centre for Biological Sciences(NCBS), Annamma Spudich and indudharan Menon, health scholars and medical practitioners around the world will still have access to the medical practice and tradition of the legendary but fading Ashtavaidyas of Kerala. With very few of the original 18 Ashtavaidya families left, Spudich and Menon undertook interviews of the last of these great scholar-physicians and documented their tradition of medicine. They say the Ashtavaidya tradition of ayurveda could last a decade at best, and if it had to survive, preservation had to begin instantly. The Ashtaviadyas are unique in that they are scholars as well as physicians –theoreticians and practitioners—of ayurvedic medicine. "Their medical tradition is a combination of text-based ayurveda practices and regional-folk medical practices born out of Kerala's rich medicinal flora," said out Geoff Hyde, visiting scholar at NCBS. Spudish observes that the Ashtavaidyas were responsible for Kerala becoming a prominent ayurvedic centre, but were compelled to give in to change, " changes in contemporary certification requirements for ayuraveda physicians in India today have hot helped perpetuate this ancestral system of transmission and practice. As a result, this centuries and practice. As a result, this centuries –old scholar-physician tradition is about to die out." Spudich interacted with two Ashtavaidyas of kerala , Olassa chiratamon Narayan Moos and vayaskara Aryan Moos for four years, between 1997 and 2001. Inspired, she decided to document their vanishing scholar-physician tradition. She teamed up with indudharan Menon and conducted extensive interviews with the community last year. They interacted with Vaidyamadham cheriya Narayanan Namboodiripad, "the doyen of the remaining Asthavaidyas of Kerala", his brother , junior physicians of his family and other associates . They recorded all aspects and science of healing, there in practices and culture of spirituality in the Ashtaviadya tradition. HEALING TOUCH Ashtavaidyas , the traditional physicians of kerala, are so called for they are supposed to be prominent in the eight branches of ayurvedic systems of medicine. Belong to legion of disciples of vagbhata Acharya who was one of the three great scholars of ayurveda, the other two being Charaka and Susrutha Contrary to popular belief, Ashtavaidyas do not belong to eight families, they are 18 in number It is believed that the word 'Ashtangavaidya' was commuted to Ashtavaidya over time. Ayurvedic medicine ? check again Doctors warn what is being sold as Ayurvedic medicine may contain high levels of toxic metals, which could lead to poisoning ;side effects include depression, memory loss, loss sensation. The next time you decide to consume what is sold as a Ayurvedic medicine, be cautious. It may contain high levels of toxic metals, which could cause side effects like depression, memory loss and loss of sensation. Rohan Dhukle, a 40-year-old chartered accountant, took what he presumed were ayurvedic medicines to cure his acidity, but suffered temporary memory loss, loss of balance, depression and abnormal behavior. He could not understand what led to the problem till a doctor at Bombay Hospital told him high levels of mercury could have caused them, and its source could be the 'Ayurvedic' medicines. Doctors say that most people assume Ayurvedic medicines do not have side effects. But some of them contain high levels of toxic metals that cause poisoning. Dr. P U Deshmukh, dean at R A Podar medical college and Hospital, worli, that specialises in Ayurveda, said people should buy only scientifically prepared drugs approved by the pre Food and drugs Administration, and take them under medical supervision.: The drugs that we use are prepared using scientific processes and principles. On the other hand, bhasma prowess sold on the roadside as Ayurvedic medicines, could contain high levels of lead, mercury iron, gold and copper," said Deshmukh. Dr. Nirmal surya, neurophysician at Bombay Hospital sees five cases of medical complications a year, due to the use of such medicines. In Dukle's case, his habit of using Ayurvedic medicines made doctors suspicious that they could be the cause of this health problems. They sent a sample of his blood to the Indian Institute of Environmental medicine, which detected abnormal levels of lead, copper gold arsenic and mercury in it. " The mercury which was present in very high levels near the nerves around the brain, probably caused the depression and memory loss," said Dr. Surya. Dukle will need treatment for one or two years. Before he met Dr. Surya, he consulted at least 50 doctors. "I even met a psychiatrist to treat me for depression that had affected my work," said Dhukle. Jaswant Modi, a 70-year-old businessman from Surat, who took a medicine called Bhasma for indigestion, almost lost the sensation in his les. " I would not know when feel like I was walking on cloth," said Modi, who also met doctors at Bombay hospital. They found high levels of lead in his blood. Modi has stopped taking the medicine, but he still faces short-term memory loss. However, doctors say they are not suggesting that people stop taking Ayurvedic medicines. "Ayurvedic preparations are particularly used as a quick fix solution for sexual dysfunction. However, all medicines, whether allopathic or Ayurvedic, have to be taken under medical supervision," said Deshmukh. Ayurveda cooking is new buzz in mom’s kitchen Few know that Methi if Added To Pumpkin Can Prevent Acidity New Delhi:It's back to the spice route in more ways than one. Taking grand-ma's gharelu nuskhe'(home remedies) to a grander level, ayurvedic cooking-all about the right mix of spices and foods-is the new right mix of spices and foods-is the new buzz in the kitchen. Cooking the ayurveda way is sheer chemistry: Food properties, what type goes with which spice , how to snap the time, temperature and mix right and mapping all this to a person's constituency. " It's about rediscovering basic principles," says 27-year-old kaushani Desai, a Mumbai SNDT Food & Nutrition graduate, now ayurveda cooking instructor with ART of Living. Wrong combinations counter food’s good properties while right combinations nullify the bad ones , says Desai For instance, adding methi to pumpkin can kill its tendency to trigger acidity. Fruit-milk combines are a compete nano ,replace chees with grated mix of potato, nutpowder and salt; replace meat with a combination of root foods like potato, jimkand and sweet portato: for the same satisfaction are some quick tips. Eating opposite to your nature is key, says Desai. So, a hot, light and dry diet is for those on the heavy and oily side. Desai also sees the time a person has for cooking and what’s available (you can't have a grocery in your kitchen)to prescribe the balance. With wrong cooking techniques, the healthiest diet won't yield any result. Recent convert 45-year-old Sangeeta Anand , for instance, always believed she ate right. A persistent back problem troubled despite a diet of fruits and nuts."I had to sort out what was going wrong with me," she says. Healthier for having switched to holistic eating, she says," I never realised that my simple milk-tea and rusk in the morning were bad, Milk-tea takes a day to digest , while the soda bicarb in rusk triggers acidity, "says Anand. She was comfortable with cheesy stuff, instant noodles and the like, says shatakshi Chudhary, 32, but everyday pains nagged. She never believed the way she cooked or when she ate."It's about using spices intelligently," she says. Having once gone into the kitchen with newfound zeal, she says she need no special diet. Her aches and pains disappeared. "I am not overeating or craving the wrong food," she says. Realising the need for people to snack, Smita Naram started Swadshakti in Mumbai's Malad---an ayurveda restaurant, one of a handful. But with growing interest in holistic eating more restaurants are one ht cards. Modern-day nutrition paradigm is fundamentally flawed, says Desai. It categories people on the basis of their disease. So all diabetics are clubbed together, as are heart patients. "But that's not how it is in real life. Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is unique in how he/she responds to food. That's realistic," she says. Finally, the acid test or any a cook is to have boys sampling the wares. " My sons loved it", says Tripta Dhawan, of tawa-fried cutlets coated in magaz, a powdered mix melon, pumpkin, cucumber and sunflower seeds. Her kitchen now is an ayurvedic lab of sorts. Ayurveda sports medicine to go global Kochi:Daisman ayurveda, known for its services in the field of health and fiftness for sportspersons, is now launching a software that delivers one's body composition analysis. The Kondotty-based Ayurvedic centre that had been providing injury management and training for athletes and coaches, in a tie-up with the Sports authority of India (SAI) since 2000, would be going national and international is association with a larger Ayurvedic group. The group had been working on this software since 2002 that delivers an analysis of the fat content in the body under the skin, unlike the lipid profile gained by doing a blood test. The inputs are height, weight, waist size an dthe skin folding measurements taken from at least three or four places in the body. The software provides the range of one's Body Mass Index, fat content and lean body mass in percentage. Training camp Daisman had participated in a camp in Bangalore last year at the SAI in which national coaches attended the training for management of sports injuries and nutrition management for athletes. The centre's sports medicine attracts a lot of patients when the football season is on, said Arshad P., in-charge of the Centre for Sports Medicine, Bone and Joint Disorders, Obesity and Nutrition. "There are at least 30-40 sports injuries that come up daily," he said. The Ayurvedic centre provides school-level treatment too in association with Malappuram Sports Council. They are also the health and fitness trainers of Malabar Special Police, physical education department of Calicut University. While the state government has only recently started with the concept of Ayurveda management of health and fitness of sportsperson, it is a beginning that they would like to carry on in a professional manner, according to the district head of Ayurveda in Ernakulam. Special sports massage, kalari massage and marma treatment are also included in maintaining physical and mental fitness. Playing a videogame? No, it's modern health therapy Raleigh (North Carolina): Videogames are known to improve hand-eye coordination but can they help someone quit smoking or lose weight? Hot on the heels of Ninetendo's smash sucess, 'Wii Fit', game makers are introducing new titles with a healthy focus, such as French game publisher Ubisoft's "Allen Carr's Easway to Stop Smoking" that hits on Ninetendo DS in November. Over 10 million smokers worldwide have turned to Allen Carr's Easyway books, clinics or DVD in order to stop smoking but now smokers wanting to quit can instead play 14 mini-games. The games, designed by Ubisoft's Quebec studio and Allen Carr's team, focus on why people smoke rather than why they shouldn't. "Each game has been designed to be very accessible, using only the stylus on the Nintendo DS, so a non-gamer can have fun instantly," said Denis Dore, producer of the game. "We are not talking here about a game that will allow you t gain virtual rewards, but one that can in fact help you quit smoking." Robin Hayley, CEO of Allen Carr's Easyway International, said research has shown that people absorb information better when they are actively and enjoyably engaged in a learning process. In addition, the game could attract younger smokers who are less inclined to visit a clinic or read books to quit the habit and being played on Nintendo DS makes the games protable. "Some games explain and illustrate the points better than is possible in a book as, using the senses of touch and vision," said Hayley. Ubisoft is also putting weight loss in your palm this summer with My weight Loss Coach'. This game comes with a pedometer that gamers can wear all day then plug into their DS to feed that data into a game. If a player walks enough, the game will let them know when they've navigated the equivalent of the Great Wall of China. In addition to mini-games and quizzes on fitness, the virtual weight loss coach makes suggestions like taking the stairs rather than the elevator and parking farther away from the store. "My Weight Loss Coach' is designed to help players develop healthy lifestyle habits like eating well and staying active," said Ubisoft spokesman Tony Key. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of such characters as Mario, Donkey Kong and Link, has made exercise fun with his latest creation, "Wii Fit'. The game uses a balance board that tracks shifts in weight. In addition to the recent 'We Ski' from Namco Bandai, various new games, including Ubisot's 'Shaun White Snowboarding' and Electronic Arts' 'SKATE IT', will use the board. Like the Wii console, 'Wii Fit'has been sold out since it shipped in North America last month. The game's already sold over 688,000 units, according to The NPD Group. Before Wii revolutionized the concept of physically participating in games with a motion sensor controllers, Konami introduced the dance mat game 'Dance Dance Revolution' to Japanese arcades in 1998 which migrated to North America a few years later and made its console debt on Playstation in 2001. The game is still going strong and is even bought by schools. Spice, spice baby! BT lists the benefits of some popular spices Indians are known to like their food hot and spicy. So to imagine your food without spices is rather unimaginable, isn't it?! They say wherever you find an Indian, chances are you will find a ranjge of aromatic spices. But along with the taste that spices and herbs provide, they also have several medicinal benefits as well. Spices have been used for centuries for their medicinal qualities and researchers continue to study their healing properties. Here are some of their benefits: Chili Powder: It relieves painful joints. Research shows that capsaicin, found in chili pepers, has an anti- inflamatory effect, which may help ease arthritic swelling and pain. Cinnamon:Protects against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A study has discovered that about half a teaspoon lowered blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Garlic: Improves your heart's health. Garlic consumption can lower your choesterol and triglycride levels by an average of 10 per cent. Cloves:Clove oil is a well known treatment for toothache, and its antiseptic properties make it an excellent mouthwash. The main ingredient in the oil is eugenol, which is anti-inflammatory and can help ease the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis. It is a warming spice, which can help reduce congestion and stimulate digestion. Ginger: Ginger contains antioxidants and can help protect against diseases. It calms down spasms and reduces flatulence in the digestive system. It is also an excellent treatment for nausea associated with travel sickness, pregnancy and hangovers. MASSAGE FOR MASSES Four Fountains Spa focuses on affordability to woo customers If you believed spas were only for the Richie-rich, here's time to rejuvenate your thoughts. Three years ago, three friends in Pune decided to give spas a fresh treatment and some essentials oil, scrubbing and waxing later, they came up with the idea of spas for the masses! Sunil Rao, Anurag Kedia and Saurabh Garg were around three years into wellpaying jobs at companies such a Hindustan Unilever and KPMG, when they founded The Four Founatins Spa through their venture-funded company CMYK Health Boutique. "Household incomes were rising, with almost a half (47%) of the households in the middle to upper middle class segment as compared to a fifth five years ago. So we thought it would make good business," says Mr. Kedia, who is incharge of new projects. It was indeed an opportune time. The attitudes of people towards wellness was attitudes of people towards wellness was changing. Going to the gym, for instance, was considered indulgence 10 years ago. But now it is a part of the wellness routine. "People now also understand the benefits of spas and are fast making them a part of their wellness routine. This trend will go beyond metros," Mr. Kedia says. A Four Fountains spa costs Rs.45 lakh to build, compared to Rs. 10-20 crore for a high-end spa. With affordability its main differentiator, the concept picked up, driving the trio to open four outlets and a hotel spa in Pune. "Spa therapies offer concrete health benefits, just as eating right or exercising. So we decided to make them affordable for the masses," says Mr. Rao, who's director, marketing, in the company. Four Fountains spa treatments start at Rs. 449, while typical spas will charge nothing less than Rs. 3,000. The company also has a strategy of locating its spas only in residential neighbourhoods, so that the common man got acess to them easily. The founders put valuable insights from their combined experiences in Hindustan Unilever to work in this venture. To overcome the negative connotation associated with massage parlours, they brought a policy of same-gender therapies, with disposable garments and shower enclosure for each therapy room. "People had inhibitions about spas since they were earlier limited to standalone outlets. It was a hard task convincing them, but initiatives like sampling and workshops, among others, proved useful," Mr. Rao says. What came as a big surprise was that their spas became a hit with men. When they started, they were expecting 80% of the guests to be women. But around 70 of the first 100 guests were men. "Today men make for half of the clientele. And about 75% of the visitors are working or self-employed professionals" he adds. With a model in hand, the company is now expanding to cities such as Mumbai, Aurangabad, Goa, Lonavala and Manali. It will adopt the business partnership model, claiming 'guaranteed returns without operational hassles' for the partner. Most brands require the franchisee to not only invest but also be involved in day-to-day management of the business. In this case, however, the partners only need to invest in the spa, while the company will handle operations." In return, we will give them fixed returns and also return the investment after the agreement term," says Mr. Kedia. After expansion to Mumbai and other cities, Four Fountains is looking at a national footprint by 2014, with 300 spas in 50 cities. VC fund Fulcrum has invested in the holding company. The promoters said they would not be able to disclose the value. Their revenues have topped Rs. 2 crore already. YOGA GOES UNDERWATER Fitness fads have come and gone, but yoga has always stood its ground as a rich, unique ancient form of fitness through several centuries. The surge of interest in yoga not only seems to eclipse every other fitness form, it’s resulted in some interesting modern offshoots. For instance, what does the names yogilates, hasya yoga, beauty yoga or even dance yoga evoke in you? Amusement, perhaps. But are they just gimmicky terms, or do they have any merit? For instance, Kasia Wierzbica conducts beauty yoga classes. Ask her what she means by that, and she explains,"These yoga classes are women-centric. I've programmed the format in such a way that it includes asanas and movements that deal with women issues. So, you'll find a lot of hipopening exercises, squatting and chest exercises. Why are fibroids so rampant among women? Why do they still recur even after a surgery? It's because women nowadays have to learn to become comfortable with their bodies, relax and remove the feeling of guilt from their system." It is her role as hypnobirthing practitioner that made the Polish yoga expert come up with a programme that was women-centric. However, yoga master, Bharat Thakur had reasons of his own to come up with the modern yoga and postures with cardiovascular movements for endurance, strength and flexibility. Artistic monotonous. By including the dynamic movements of kalaripayattu, they are receptive as it is challenging. They get a high from performing some of the difficult stretches in it. In this way, the combo takes fitness to another level where the person gets both mentally and physically fit," explains Pradeesh. However, Namita Jain, who teaches yogilates, a combination of yoga with pilates, does not think that every form of fusion will work. ”Yoga and pilates are similar and synergise very well together. But you can’t do the same with yoga and dancing. Both are unique and should be kept separate. Dancing is an energetic form of activity, while yoga is a softer therapeutic form. It should not be mixed. In swimming too, yoga stretches can be done in water, but just a few of them, not the entire gamut of yoga exercises. If these fusions are getting popular then one cannot anything about it. Finally it's all about different strokes for different folks," concurs Jain. TYPES OF FUSION YOGA Yogilates It is an integration of yoga with pilates. Since both the forms stress on posture, breathing and alignment it helps to build the core strength, endurance and flexibility as well as lose weight. Artistic Yoga A Bharat Thakur creation, artistic yoga blends ancient yogic techniques like asanas, pranayams, bandhas, kriyas and mudras with cardiovascular training and partner stretches to achieve a high level fitness on the physical as well as spiritual level. Water Yoga In this fusion, yogic postures and asanas are performed in water. Yoga done in water is said to be more challenging than doing yoga on land. Water yoga expert Harish Chaturvedi says that the form finds a mention in Mahabharata. Those who practice water yoga are always energetic and free from diseases. Shakti Yoga This yoga fusion combines hatha yoga, kundalini yoga with kalaripayattu, the ancient martial art form from Kerala. This was created to suit the modern palate for a dynamic form of yoga, and to make them “not just physically fit, but also mentally fit." Dance Yoga This yoga fusion combines the rhythmic and artistic form of dance with the healing techniques of yoga. It's usually a series of graceful movements. In India, the most popular dance form used in this yoga is kathak or bharatnatyam. Abroad, it is the combination of African dance with hatha yoga that is most popular as dance yoga. Beauty yoga This yoga fusion strives to make the ancient form very women-centric. Its programmes specially focuses on asanas and exercises that address women issues to help them release tension from their bodies, especially in the hip and chest area. It also tries to help women to become comfortable with their bodies. Hasya Yoga Considered to be the easiest form of yoga, hasya yoga is not just about laughing out aloud, but also using the controlled breathing techniques of yoga while doing so. It helps to reduce stress, strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves the blood circulation. Us docs relocate fat to create bigger breasts Procedure Finds New Followers In The Noughties The latest kind of recycling has nothing to do with soda bottles. It entails liposuctioning fat from, say, thighs or buttocks and injecting it into breasts to augment them. After being condemned in the early ‘90s, this procedure is generating newfound excitement among the handful of doctors across the US who offer it and patients keen to enlarge their breasts without resorting to implants. Almost 20 years ago, the association now known as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a warning to its member doctors to not inject suctioned fat into patients' breasts, for fear that mamnograms would be misread. Since come injected fat dies and calcifies, he thinking was that radiologists would not be able to distinguish between those calcifications (or calcium deposits’) and suspicious ones that may indicate breast cancer. A second concern was that too little injected fat survived being transplanted, because techniques or harvesting, refining and placing fat were not advanced enough. But this year, the plastic surgery society reversed its former position. A statement from the society turned a red stoplight into a yellow one, signaling to plastic surgeons: Proceed with caution. And so some have. "The best way to create a normal breast is to use your body's own tissue," said Dr. Sydney Coleman, a Manhattan plastic surgeon who is an advocate of fat grafting. So much so that he no longer offers breast implants. Sarah, a petite. 34 –year-old woman who asked that only her first name be used, considered implants, but said she didn’t want her breasts to "look hard or fake or extremely unnatural". So she had Dr. Roger Khouri, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in charge of the Miami Breast Centre, take fat from her thighs and buttocks to fill out her chest."I love that it’s just mine, my own fat," she said. This kind of breast augmentation is a two-fer: Trim fat where you don't want it and put it where you do. Another advantage is not having to worry about an implant breaking or hardening. But the disadvantages cannot be discounted. It's usually more expensive than implants, it takes a year to see how much fat survived, and breast volume can fluctuate with weight. Dr. Scott Spear, the chairman of the plastic surgery department at Georgetown Universtiy Hospital, has enlarged a patient’s breasts only to have the patient undo his handiwork."They decide to run a marathon and their breasts go away," he said. Surgery to set gender right gets cautious acceptance Meena Roy (name changed) had a strange problem that the 12-year-old hesitated to share either with parents or friends. Over the years, and much to her embarrassment, her clitoris was taking the shape of a penis. But after suffering in silence for about two to three years, Meena finally confided in her mother, who in turn took several moths to discuss it with Meena's father. After a visit to a general practitioner and a subsequent visit to an urologist, the family realized the problem could be corrected . The mother later admitted that Meena was actually born with a genital defect which they had chosen to keep under wraps. Several other families with children or even adults born with some genital malfunction at birth, have started opening up an dare seeking treatment for the same. To some extent, awareness about corrective surgeries or gender reassignment surgeries have also reached the rural areas. Several other families with children or even adults born with some genital malfunction at birth, have started opening up and are seeking treatment for the same. To some extent, awareness about corrective surgeries or gender reassignment surgeries have also reached the rural areas. Consultant urologist and andrologist Dr. Sanjay Pandey from the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital said they treat at least 3-4 cases of ambiguous genitalia or congenital defects a month now. But, things get complicated when a child, who has been brought up in a particular gender is required to undergo a change. A senior surgeon from one of the civic hospitals recollected how a male child was born with a split penis that resembled a vagina. The child was brought up as a girl for 8 years through all his internal organs were of a male, the surgeon said. Such cases do not merely remain surgical but become complicated social problem after a while, the surgeon said. By the time many cases reach a specialist, they are mostly in their puberty, said Pandey. Sexx reassignment surgeries can correct conditions where a child is born without penis, vagina, or their genitals are ambiguous, but age remains the most crucial element. The best time to carry out such surgery is when the child is between 3-4 years of age or, even before a lot of imprinting takes place in the brain as the child grows up, said paediatric surgeon Dr. Amrish Vaidya. There have been cases in medical science where doctors and family might have assigned one gender to the child, but when the child grew up he/she demanded to be given back the original gender, he said. Then gender reassignment surgeries have their own challenges. Penis reconstruction remains by far the most difficult, as compared to vagina creation. The surgery entails lot of pre and post-operative tests and counseling. Openness to talk about these problems is missing even in urban areas, said cosmetic and plastic surgeon Dr. Sunil Keswani. He said in many instances where males have been brought up as females as their genitalia was vague. It is only when the child grows up and expresses his dissatisfaction or discomfort, that families consult a specialist. But he said with advanced technology and tests like genetic, karyo typing, etc, chances of error are negligent. If chromosomes show the child is male, most doctors will thrive to make him a male child, he said. But, the challenge remains in ensuring that such children, who are few in millions, reach a doctor in time. Botched-up Operations can ruin lives. Mumbai: For years doctors have debated on the repercussions of botched up gender-reassignment surgeries. For people like the Sules of Sangli who have seen it too closely, the scars may never heal. R Sule’s son was born without a penis. After consulting many physicians, sule landed up with his son Akhil at one of Mumbai’s public hospitals. Doctors clearly told sule that they cannot make a penis but could definitely create vagina and give the surgery and Akhil was rechristened as Abhilasha (Name changed) . As Abhilasha grew up, she developed a disgust for feminine clothes, long hair; and had even stopped going to school as she was made to sit with girls. One day she was thrown out from school as she hit her teacher with a stone for having been told to behave like a girl. The Sules held the doctors responsible for ruining their lives. When TOI contacted Sule, he refused to speak anything related to his daughter. The family left Sangli a year after the surgery and had cut all ties with their relatives. Abhilasha’s case ridicules the once-accepted theory that infants are born neutral and so they can be moulded into any gender. Experts now believe that gender reassignment surgery involves more of counseling and explaining the repercussion before going ahead. The first few sessions in such surgeries are devoted only to explain and seek consent from the child and the family, especially if the child is grown up in a particular gender. An endocrinologist and a psychiatrist along with the surgeon should be a part of the team handling such a case. President of the Bombay Psychiatrist Society Dr. Kersi Chavada said that some mandatory vital personality tests are carried out before deciding on the reassignment surgery. The tests evaluate if the patients are depressed, anxious, etc before the gender change is finally decided, he said. However, worries multiply if the gender reassignment is from a male to a female child. Dr. Vasant Mundra, Consultant psychiatrist, P D Hinduja Hospital said when a child is changed from the male to the female gender, the main concern is that they will never be able to conceive. Both family and the child can slip into severe depression and also become suicidal if the child is assigned a wrong gender, he said adding that the margin for error is however, negligible. City in nip “n” tuck mode to greet 2008 Cosmetic surgeons are reporting a nearly four-fold increase in the number of men and women wanting to undergo lunch-hour procedures to look attractive. Looking brand new and attractive for Christmas and year-ender dos has entered the nip and tuck territory. Cosmetic surgeons in the city are reporting a nearly four-fold increase in the number of patients coming for lunch hour treatments. "More than 60 per cent of my patients ask for glamorous and attractive looks within the shortest possible time and the answer to that is Botox," says Dr. Viral Desai, cosmetic and plastic surgeon. Botulinum A toxin or Botox injection eliminates facial wrinkles and is the most sought after cosmetic enhancement. This non-surgical procedure treats frown lines between eyebrows, lines around the eyes and creases on the forehead. Desai has been getting 10-odd patients everyday asking for rejuvenated looks. Usually such enquires were 2-3 patients a day. The demand for lip, nose and cheek fillers have also gone up."Lip and cheek fillers are in high demand as they add a luscious look to the lips and fullness to cheeks," added Desai. When injected, these fillers plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. Interestingly, apart from housewives, executives and celebrities, the bug to loot attractive seems to have bitten even the godmen."Gurumatas and babas also demand Botox shots as they want to look glamorous and in the best of their physique,' said Dr. Vijay Sharma, president, Indian Society of Cosmetic Surgeons. There is a rush for liposuction from would be brides and grooms, as the marriage season is just round the corner. Quoting the instance of one of his patients, Desai spoke about Resosh, 26, who wanted a tummy tuck as his marriage was just 10 days away. "It is difficult to explain to even educated people that surgeries cannot be done in a hurry," said Desai. Liposuction surgically removes fatty deposits from the body and is most favoured in the age group of 25-35 years. Desai's clinic saw 17 patients for hair implants in the last nine days. Of these, about 11 were getting married in January. Chemical peeling has also caught the fancy of college students, housewives and executives. It cleans up the face and brings in a glow."It is a day care thing and people drop in during their lunch hour and get it done," Sharma said. And, this is the future Stem cell therapy, gene therapy and nanotechnology will change the way we look at youth and beauty, predict doctors and plastic surgeons. Gene silencing is a concept which wone the Noble Prize in 2006. Antineoplaston, a specialized chemical, when given in a particular does, can “Silence or switch on” the gene. It can be applied in skin creams, through which cells producing collagen can be 'switched on', which in turn will make the skin look years younger. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is another new-age technique which involves using bacteria with a genetic code identical to the humban body, and therefore has no side-effects. This replaces the hormones responsible for ageing and even reverses the effects of ageing. Medical Tourism gets a facelift It isn't just Mumbaikars who want to smoothen away their wrinkles and plump up their cheeks. Doctors are also reporting an increase in number of people coming from abroad for such treatments. Hiranandani hospital for instance, has seen a 30 per cent increase in the number of people coming for cosmetic surgery from the US and the UK in the last three weeks. "Mumbai is becoming the preferred destination for people wanting quick-fix solutions within a week," said Dr. Milind Wagh, plastic aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, Hiranandani hospital. The increase in the number of medical tourists can also be attributed to the vacation season across Europe and the US. Even though air tickets are costly, people fly down as the effort is compensated by the economical treatment here. There are cases where nationals from UK, USA and gulf countries have flown down to Mumbai only for Botox shots. “It is because Botox is available for one-third of its cost in those countries,” said Dr. Vijay Sharma. Also, there is an increase in the number of people asking for liposuction."NRI or medical tourists first opt for non-surgical treatment and later on opt for surgical ones when they are confident of the doctor's expertise," he added. Whether it's removal of scars or tummy tucks, India seems to have taken the centre stage."This year itself, there were more than 1,200 cosmetic surgical procedures undertaken across the country all thanks to medical tourism," said Sharma. This is about a four-fold increase as compared to the last year. "Our expertise at providing excellent health care at affordable prices is the guiding force behind this industry," said Wagh. Gemma Murray, 52, from Canada rushed to Mumbai a fortnight ago to get a nose job done after she met with an accident back home. "Hospitals in Canada had put me on a six month long waiting list and so I decided to come to India at the suggestion of one of my friends," she said. Get what you want in thirty minutes From silky smooth skin to fuller lips, cosmetic surgery is like instant noodles. Lunch-hour procedures are so named for the time they take, or rather do not take. Short, sweet and quick, these procedures are usually over within 30 minutes. "The effects may last for up to four months," said cosmetic surgeon Dr. Arjun Talekar. "Bollywood has a huge impact on people. These days when patients come to us asking for skin lightening, it is not just fair skin they want. What they want is skin with even tone, free of pimples and pigmentations. Like Bipasha Basu, they often say," said another cosmetic surgeon Dr. Purnima Mhatre. And if you think money is the determining factor, think again. With jobs increasingly requiring candidates with good looks, even the middle class has started affording these treatments. 'I have benefited from Botox, it makes me feel good' I am severely neelde-phobic. I was terrified of the idea of letting someone sticking needles into my forehead. But being in a profession that puts my face under minute scrutiny, that too in front of the camera, it is important to me that I look good. A couple of years ago, there were three huge creases on my forehead that had been bothering me for quite sometime. And I wanted to get rid of them. I opted for Botox after doing a bit of research on it. I was very scared, but my first two experiences with Botox put me at ease. My forehead was anaesthetized with the help of a cream. After ensuring that there was no sensation on my forehead, they marked it with an ointment and delivered the shots. It was all over in a matter of minutes. There was no swelling, no blinding headache, no droopy eyebrows. However, I would advise people getting Botox to be cautious while 'taking the plunge.' There are a number of counterfeit products in the market, therefore it is important to ensure that the 'Botox seal' is present on the bottle. Because of the nature of the product, it is extremely important to have an experienced practitioner doing the needful. There are very important veins and nerves involved, which might be affected if an inexperienced person handles the process. The effects of Botox last for four months. Therefore, how it is done is of utmost importance. I have benefited through Botox tremendously, and I'd like everyone to know that there is no need to let age get to you. Carved by a surgeon's scalpel Rachna Bish-Rawat sits through a tummy tuck surgery at Studio D'Image, Golden Palms, and emerges shaken as well as stirred by the extent to which people are going to look slimmer. "Can we watch the surgery," I ask Dr. Brooke Seckel, Chief of Plastic surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, who by his own admission has done four noses and one tummy tuck in the two days he has been in Bangalore. He is just finishing his coffee before going in for the next. "Why not," he smiles. And before I know it, a green robe and pyjamas are being thrust into my hands. Dressed to cover to cover the operation, I try to fit my note pad and pen into the large pocket provided on the sterilized robe front and fail miserably. Accompanying me is staff photographer Bhargavi dressed in similar operation theatre garb, looking grim and menacing and straight out of a Robin Cook novel. Her face is covered by a surgical mask, eyes glinting brightly in the white light piercing through the dark corridor. She holds one kilo digital SLR like a gun. We are told not to touch anything in the OT and stay out of the way of operating doctors. The tummy tuck procedure is on. Dr. Brook Seckel accompanied by Dr. MS Venkatesh are at work, completely covered and hence unrecognizable. A cut has been made at the patient's bikini line and holding a narrow electric cautery like a writing pen Dr. Seckel is slowly burning his way up to the breast bone. It is fascinating to watch the white fat melting under the cautery as it cuts its way up. Some blood vessels that are sliced and start sprouting thin spurts of red are quickly sealed by running electrical current through the cutting instrument. Excess blood is mopped up using gauze pieces. A request is made to have the patient lifted from the back by bending the operation table. Once it’s open like a flap, Dr. Seckel pulls down the stomach skin of the patient to check how much of it is in excess. He marks it and then proceeds to slice the extra length (almost half a foot) off. The remaining skin is pulled down tightly and stitched back. Dr. Seckel also creates a new belly button for the patient since the old one has gone in the skin that was chopped off. The patient is bandaged and sent back after the surgery. The bandages will stay on like a corset till the skin sticks back on the muscle layer. The patient will have a slimmer tummy, one is told. There is an air of bonhomie as the surgery has been dubbed successful. There is an offer for poolside lunch but strangely enough we have very little appetite left. Scalping out fat for a well sculpted body Liposuction is a surgical procedure that's used to enhance the body shape by removal of excess fat. Dr. Jayashree V on the dos and donts of the popular cosmetic technique. With advancements in technology, increasing affluence and changing cultural values, efforts to look good have gained more importance. Liposculpturing is one such methods of enhancing the shape of the body which includes both liposuction and fat injections. Liposuction has emerged as one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the recent times. Here are a few FAQs about the procedure: What is liposuction? It is a surgical technique that improves the body's contour by removing excess fat deposits located between the skin and the muscle. It involves removal of unwanted lumps, bulges and areas of fat using thin suction tubes (cannulae) that are placed into the body fat through small incisions. A vacuum is applied through a hose attached to the cannula which draws the fat out of the body. Is it an alternative to weight loss programmes? No, liposuction is not intended to be a weight-loss technique. It is commonly used to remove stubborn, diet- and exercise-resistant fat deposits so as to sculpt the body into a slimmer profile. It should be clearly understood that liposuction is a cosmetic surgical method of improving the shape of the body and not a method of reducing weight. Why is liposuction required? Fat located in some areas of the body, especially the abdomen, hips and under the chin, is often resistant to diet or exercise. Similarly, after pregnancy, the fat on the abdomen and hips may persist despite concerted efforts at dieting and exercising. Further, localized accumulations of fat are often inherited and frequently impossible to eliminate by exercise or dieting. After the age of 30, an individual often gains fat according to a genetically predetermined pattern. For these people, liposuction is the best way of significantly changing the body’s silhouette. What are the common areas in which lipsocution is found to be helpful? The most common areas in women include abdomen, hips, thighs and knees, whereas in men it's the love handles (flanks), abdomen and enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia). Some of the other areas in men where liposuction is found to be helpful include arms, neck and the face. Interestingly, sweat glands in the underarm can also be removed through liposuction to reduce excessive sweating. Chin is another area which can be corrected through liposuction. What are the different methods of liposuction? Liposuction can be accomplished in several ways. Conventionally, liposuction involved the use of large cannulas under general anaethesia . Due to the use of larger cannulae to remove fat, it was faster. However, it had several disadvantages. As the method involved general anaesthesia, the patient had to be hospitalized. Also, with the use of large cannulae, there was a chance of causing damage to the tissue, leading to heavy bleeding. Since large cannulae were used to suck out fat rapidly, these needed large incisions had to be stitched, leaving behind significant scars. The recovery time was also slow, as with any other any procedure under general anaesthesia. Microcannular tumescent liposuction through local anaesthesia is another method. In the tumescent technique, a large volume of very dilute solution of local anaesthesia (lidocaine and epinephrine) called Klein solution is infiltrated (injected) into the fat beneath the skin, causing the targeted area to become tumescent (swollen and firm). The fat is then removed by using small cannulae, with microincisions. This technique has several advantages. Local anaesthesia is so effective that patients no longer need intravenous sedatives, narcotic analgesics or general anaesthesia. Also there is minimal bleeding during and after the surgery. This is a major improvement in the liposuction technique compared to the older methods that use general anaesthesia. Also tumescent anaesthesia provides pain relief for several hours after the surgery as the anaesthetic fluid persists in the fat. What is the amount of fat that can be removed through liposuction? About three to four litres of fat can be safely removed through this procedure. The greater the volume of fat removed on a single day the greater the risk of complications. If a patient requires more fat to be removed, it is safe to divide liposuction into separate surgical procedures, each one separated by three to four weeks. Can more than one area be treated in the same session? Generally, it is advisable not to undergo the procedure for more than one area in the same session. Large or mega liposuctions( for more than one area) are associated with an increased risk. It is important to keep in mind that in any cosmetic procedure including liposuction, safe and satisfactory result is far more important than quick results. How long does it take to recover after liposuction? Healing is a gradual process. However, one can start walking the next day itself. One could also do all the household chores form the very next day. Activities that are more strenuous can be started after a week. Most patients will be able to see 90 per cent of the ultimate results of liposuction within one to three months after surgery. Full results can be seen after six months. Have nose, will sneeze Experts say you cannot escape a cold, but can reduce the risk of catching one often. Read the facts With the average person sneezing their way through over 200 colds in their lifetime, is there anything we can do to prevent them? And with the temperature dropping a wee bit, incidences of cold and flu are only likely to shoot up. Here are answers to common questions about a common illness that most say has no cure. What's the difference between a cold and flu? Even experts can't tell the difference between a bad cold and mild flu just by looking at the symptoms. A cold virus can cause severe flu-like symptoms, while a flu virus can be experienced as a mild cold. The real difference is in the type of virus, which can only be diagnosed under a microscope. Cold viruses are with us all the time, but seasonal flu only appears during the winter months, with a different strain causing each year's main flu outbreak. Will we ever have a cure? There are 100s of different cold and flu viruses, and we're constantly discovering new ones, which is why experts say we'll probably never find a cure. As long as we have noses, we will have colds, say doctors. But there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of catching them. Is it easy to catch a cold? Colds are not really as contagious as you may think. You need prolonged and close contact, which is why most colds are caught from your children or partner. This is also why kids at school tend to get more colds, averaging seven-12 per year, compared to adults who suffer between two and five. We used to think that colds were transmitted when infected people sneezed or coughed virus particles into the air. But the latest research suggests you are far more likely to pick up a cold by touching a person or contaminated surfaces, such as doorknobs, and then touching your eyes or nose. How often should I wash my hands? Washing your hands each time you touch something isn't really a practical solution. The sensible approach is to wash your hands when you can with soap and water. Keeping a sanitiser gel handy when you're out and about can also help. Is Vitamin D worth trying? There is sufficient research that Vitamin D is a vital vitamin for the immune system, and external supplements may help to support it during winters when you are short of this nutrient. We get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight, but it is also found in certain foods such as oily fish, eggs and breakfast cereals. Although it is hard to get enough through diet alone. Are herbal remedies effective? TExtract of pelargonium root is an ancient Zulu remedy that research shows could speed up the rate at which your body gets rid of the cold virus. Other research suggests black elderberry extract, an antioxidant, may reduce flu duration by 50 per cent. Does regular exercise help? TIt depends how much you do! A gentle jog can cut your chances of cold or flu by up to a third. But a recent study by Loughborough University found extreme exercise, such as running a marathon, makes you up to six times more likely to become ill with a virus as it lowers your defences. If you have a mild cold, light workouts may be more beneficial than resting, and help ease a blocked nose. But never overdo it. What about eating spice? Latest research shows tucking into spicy foods - or using strongly flavoured cough syrups or lozenges - could be a good way to ease symptoms. Strong flavours such as pepper or menthol activate specific receptors in the mouth known as TRP channels. This promotes salivation, loosens mucus and can help to soothe the throat and airways. Will antibiotics help to shift it? No, because they only target bacteria, and can't kill the viruses that cause colds and flu. But if your cold develops into a chest infection, you will need antibiotics and should see your GP. Do I need the flu jab? Not if you're under 65 and in good health. It's actually better for you to catch flu because you'll get lifelong resistance against that particular strain. Vaccines will wear off in about six months. Hair Care Cosmetologist and hair expert Dr. Aparna Santhanam recently unveiled her book 'Let's Talk Hair' in association with Parachute Advansed Knowledge Center Parachute Advansed Knowledge Centre in association with leading health and beauty writer, the famed Dermatologist, Cosmetologist and hair expert Dr. Aparna Santhanam, today launched her book titled 'Let's Talk Hair'. The ravishing actress and brand ambassador of Parachute Advansed Knowledge Centre, Chitrangada Singh unveiled the book and revealed some interesting elements of 'Let's Talk Hair'. 15 ways to relax your hair Trina Remedios , Health Me Up Indian climate, pollution and spending most of your time in air conditioned offices can damage your hair. Give your hair a break! We list out 15 hair care tips that will help de-stress your hair and make it stronger . Hair care: Ways to relax your hair #1 What can cause stress to the hair Pollution can play havoc to the texture of your hair. When dust and chemicals from pollution settles on your hair it can damage it. Women tend to cover their hair with a scarf, but summer heat will only make it unbearable with a scarf around your head. Ayurveda treatment for dandruff cure Dandruff is caused by unclean scalp, daily stress , dry skin and hair products. Hence to wash off dandruff you need some natural remedies for this skin problem. With the help of Ayurveda treatments you can reduce and prevent dandruff. Frequent baths can eliminate dandruff? No. Frequent head baths can only control the dandruff as a head bath does involve a bit of a head massage, which will disturb the natural habitat of dandruff and hence control it. But this doesn't mean you are allowed to take a head bath every second day to end this problem. Best monsoon skin and hair care tips for men and women It is crucial to take care of hair and skin during the monsoon to avoid dryness which could badly damage them . Dr. Manjiri Patankar Puranik, M.B.B.S., M.D., Founder, InstaSculpt shares expert tips on how to keep your hair, skin and face in the best shape this monsoon. Skin care tips for monsoon Coming to skin first, because of the humidity in air being increased the skin has a tendency to become dry very easily. Skin requires regular cleansing in order to keep it looking fresh and healthy. Managing your curls during the rains Are you fretting over your curls during this monsoon season? Follow the basic rules of hair care and see the results. Are you brooding over your curly hair during this rainy season? You need not fret over it. Instead follow basic rules of hair care during monsoons and you will not have a bad hair day. Excessive moisture is the biggest culprit when it rains. It affects your hair even if you remain indoors, especially on days when the humidity is high. For people who are living in high humidity places, this can be a constant problem during the monsoon season. Tips for monsoon hair care One must take extra care of their hair during monsoon. Here's how... 1. Use the right comb to untangle your hair - wide toothed combs with less static. 2. To avoid breakage, comb your hair at the bottom and then start combing from the roots. 3. Make sure your hair is fully wet before you apply shampoo and use warm water for this. 4. Like your skin, your hair also needs hydration. Drink plenty of water. 5. Eat a balanced protein rich diet, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Hair care: Chemicals to avoid in hair products Experts suggest that certain chemicals in hair products can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue and even cancer. Quite startling, since hair products are such a regular part of our daily personal care. Today, Dr. Nipun Jain, Senior Consultant in Dermatology from Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Delhi lists out the chemicals to avoid in hair products. So the next time you head to the store, check the label. If you find the following chemicals, we advise you to choose a safer product. Monsoon skin and hair care tips After the terrific heat of summer, come the cooling monsoons. But these drops can really be frustrating when these drops can damage our hair and skin. It is very crucial to take care of both hair and skin in the monsoon to avoid dryness, which could damage them badly. Dr. Manjiri Patankar Puranik, M.B.B.S., M.D., Founder, InstaSculpt, shares easy tips to care our skin and hair this monsoon. Monsoon care: Dry skin Keeping the skin hydrated all the time is very important. Google: 24 million women in India use internet daily MUMBAI: About 40 per cent of the 150 million internet users in the country are women and close to 24 million of them log in everyday to check emails, interact on social networking sites and shop online, according to a study conducted by search giant Google. "Around 60 million women in India are now online and use the Internet to manage their day-to-day life. With easy access to internet at homes, cyber cafes, offices and growing adoption of smart phones, Internet is being used by women for a variety of things," Google India VP and Managing Director Rajan Anandan told reporters here. Tamara launches own hair-care label 'Show Beauty' Tamara Ecclestone recently made her corporate debut with the launch of her luxury hair-care label 'Show Beauty' at Harvey Nichols. The F1 heiress was dressed in a white Alaia frock, golden Christian Louboutin pumps, rose-gold accessories and perfectly tousled hair, Gulf News reported. Ecclestone told the weekend tabloid that she takes it very seriously and she wants the product to be a huge success. The 28-year-old said that her dad, Bernie, has personally used it and he loves it. The happy Ecclestone said that she chose everything - from the fragrance, to the packaging and to going to Paris to sample the odour. Scrubs and face packs for a glowing skin (Scrubs and face packs for) Shine and glow like a festive diva in this season of light and celebration, and get glowing with lustrous skin. This time illuminate your skin not with make-up but with a natural glow. 1. Clean that dirt: Oatmeal is the most common non-soap cleanser. It is very gentle and is especially useful to those with sensitive skin or problematic skin conditions. Grind the whole oats into fine powder and apply a thick paste by mixing in lukewarm water. You can also add the powder to bath water for a full body treatment. 2. Oatmeal cinnamon scrub: Suitable to all skin types this organic scrub rich with antioxident and protein benefits is very good for the cells of your skin and can give you instant glow . Mix 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar, oatmeal flour, ½ tbsp milk and a pinch of cinnamon. Make a thick paste and massage it well onto your face for a smooth skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash your face with cold water. 3. Green tea scrub: This scrub is suited for dry, normal and combination skin types. To exfoliate your skin to ward off dead cells and get a fresh glowing skin you need to mix 3 tbsp of green tea, 2 tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tbsp of a nourishing cream. Apply this paste and leave it on for 15 minutes. Scrub your face in gentle circular motions while removing the paste and then wash it off with cold water. See yourself transformed with this scrub. 4. Get that fresh look: Mix 1 egg white, ¼ cup of whole milk, 2 tbsp of baking soda and ½ a cup of water in a small bowl and blend well. Refrigerate it for a short while and then take a small amount onto a wet washcloth; gently massage it on your skin. After 10 minutes rinse well with warm water and pat dry your skin. 5. Jojoba oil moisturiser: Jojoba oil has some very distinguishing properties which will result in a beautiful glowing skin. Natural oils like Jojoba often contain anti-ageing nutrients that help repair damaged skin and prevent further damage. Apply the oil as a moisturiser with deep circular motions and let your skin absorb the smoothness of it. 6. Buttery delight: Shea butter is a thick, creamy oil that comes from the shea tree; it is widely used as a moisturiser. Get the buttery smoothness by rubbing shea butter onto your skin as it forms a barrier between the elements and your skin while sealing the moisture inside your skin. Shea butter is widely recommended by natural therapists for its ability to heal scar tissue produced by stretch marks and hyper-pigmentation. 7. Almond facial mask: Soak almonds overnight and take their skin off the next morning and grind them into a paste; while making the paste add rose water to it. Apply onto the skin and let it dry for 20 minutes. Gently wipe off the mask with a damp wash cloth or rinse with lukewarm water. India's guide to the perfect smile! Tags: A welcoming smile can win hearts! And if you are contesting in a beauty pageant, the curves of your lips play an integral part in your winning or losing. Ever wondered how every 'beauty queen' manages to flash a 'high-voltage' smile all the time? Well, just like it takes some time and loads of effort for a girl to transform into a winning beauty, so does her smile. Not every contestant has a perfect smile, yet having a pleasant smile is not that tough" says Dr Sandesh Maikar, who'll be responsible for the magic that'll take over the stage when the 18 contestants of Pantaloons Femina Miss India smile on the deciding night of 30th April, 2010. So, what goes into the 'making of that million dollar smile' of the contestants of Pantaloons Femina Miss India, let's find out directly from the man behind it... Apart from a sparkling set of pearly whites, the way you open your mouth, also makes a difference. The girls are guided on nitty-gritty's of smiling vis-à-vis when to smile, how much to smile and where to smile. A constant full smile is not just impossible and it also looks artificial. So, the contestants are made to follow a 'Six steps guide to smiling.' Step 1: Relax your neck. When the neck muscles are relaxed, your complete face gets relaxed and gives a natural look to your features. Smile spot: When the contestants are still in the wing. Step 2: In the second step, the corner of the mouth is turned into a slight horizontal position. Smile spot: When the contestants move towards the show area. Step 3: Open your mouth so much so that the edges of your upper teeth rest upon the lipstick line of the lower lip. If you have a round face, open your mouth a little more. Smile spot: While they are making an entry on the stage. Step 4: In step four, position reached in step 3 is further widened by stretching the corners. Smile spot: When they have reached half way the stage but are still far from the audiences. Step 5: Mouth gets wider. Smile spot: When they are in the center of the stage. Step 6: In this , your mouth should open into a full-on welcoming smile. Smile spot: When they are the center of attraction or they are introduced by the comparer. The contestants are suggested to go back to smile positions in step 4 &5 after a few moments of step 6. This will relax your facial features and help the audiences take a good glance of your face in that state. Following these steps, at no point during the pageant a contestants' smile looks artificial or forced but a hearty one. While, the above mentioned maneuvering can make your smile better, dental care can do wonders. Here are a few pointers: Brushing: Horizontal brushing of teeth forcing the brush to hit the cheeks can lead to cavity formation, so avoid that. Brush your teeth in up-down or vibrating motions. Floss: Flossing of teeth is as important as brushing them. Roll a 18-20 inches long thread in your middle finger and not index finger of both hands. Now, using your index finger and thumb, direct the floss between teeth. Ready to wed? Go under knife first Tags: 1) Yogeeshwarappa 2) plastic surgery 3) Deepika Padukone 4) Apollo Hospitals BANGALORE: Proposing to your sweetheart comes at a price. If that precious rock on the finger, candlelight dinner and flowers cost a fortune, think again. There's more coming. IT professional Vashisht R (name changed), 29, had to cough up Rs 90,000 for a surgery before he could go down on a knee and pop the question to his girlfriend and her father. I underwent a hair-transplant surgery in June before asking my girlfriend's father for her hand. I had almost gone bald. My girlfriend feared her family would reject me on this count. Moreover, I wanted to look good on my wedding day," says Vashisht. Rehana (name changed), 26, had to be put on a ventilator to gain those perfect curves. "I weighed over 60kg and looked bulky. Wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I wanted to look perfect for that. I underwent mini-liposuction to shed 8kg. With my flat tummy, I'm all set for the day," she says. Prospective brides and grooms in the IT city are leaving no stone unturned to look perfect on the big day. Getting their hair and makeup done is just not enough and many are going under the knife. Experts say the number of pre-wedding surgeries has doubled in the past couple of years. Gynecomastia, liposuction, lip augmentation, double-chin correction, body sculpting, dimple creation and hair transplant are just some of the pre-wedding surgeries that are sought after. "We get around 400 enquiries daily during wedding season about various cosmetic surgical procedures. Although the conversion rate is 25%, it still is a huge number. Surgeries like tummy tuck and six-pack abdomen, and nonsurgical and surgical hair transplants are popular among men; women opt for breast augmentation and body sculpting," says Bani Anand, founder director, Hairline International Treatment and Research Center. According to experts, while most of these surgeries are risk-free, it is important to reach out to the right person and get the right advice. "While some surgeries can be performed three weeks prior to the wedding date, others take time to conceal. Surgeries like body sculpting and liposuction should be performed at least three months before. These surgeries do carry a risk factor, but if performed by qualified hands and with good facilities, they are safe," says Dr Ashok BC, consultant plastic surgery, Manipal Hospital. No tattoo please Getting rid of old inking is also a part of pre-wedding surgeries now. "A good number walks in for tattoo removal surgeries. Since they are about to get engaged or married, they come to erase their former lover's names," says Dr Yogeeshwarappa, consultant plastic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals and Columbia Asia. Kin want to look good too Close relatives of brides and grooms are also going that extra mile to look flawless. "While young family members come for procedures like dark circle removal, older ones opt for wrinkle removal and Blepharoplasty (correction of upper eyelid)," says Dr Ashok BC, consultant plastic surgery, Manipal Hospital. Awareness is key "Earlier, surgeries were not a part of wedding preparation. But today, prospective brides and grooms are not hesitant due to high level of awareness and bundle of information available at a click of a button. Moreover, looking at the expanding market, more and more international players have reached the city with advanced techniques, making these procedures safer. | Bani Anand, founder director, Hairline International Treatment and Research Center "Can we watch the surgery," I ask Dr Brooke Seckel, Chief of Plastic Surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, who by his own admission has done four noses and one tummy tuck in the two days he has been in Bangalore. He is just finishing his coffee before going in for the next. "Why not," he smiles. And before I know it, a green robe and pyjamas are being thrust into my hands. Dressed to cover the operation, I try to fit my note pad and pen into the large pocket provided on the sterilised robe front and fail miserably. Accompanying me is staff photographer Bhargavi dressed in similar operation theatre garb, looking grim and menacing and straight out of a Robin Cook novel. Her face is covered by a surgical mask, eyes glinting brightly in the white light piercing through the dark corridor. She holds one kilo digital SLR like a gun. We are told not to touch anything in the OT and stay out of the way of operating doctors. The tummy tuck procedure is on. Dr Brook Seckel accompanied by Dr MS Venkatesh are at work, completely covered and hence unrecognisable.. A cut has been made at the patient’s bikini line and holding a narrow electric cautery like a writing pen Dr Seckel is slowly burning his way up to the breast bone. It is fascinating to watch the white fat melting under the cautery as it cuts its way up. Some blood vessels that are sliced and start sprouting thin spurts of red are quickly sealed by running electrical current through the cutting instrument. Excess blood is mopped up using gauze pieces. A request is made to have the patient lifted from the back by bending the operation table. Once it's open like a flap, Dr Seckel pulls down the stomach skin of the patient to check how much of it is in excess. He marks it and then proceeds to slice the extra length (almost half a foot) off. The remaining skin is pulled down tightly and stitched back. Dr Seckel also creates a new belly button for the patient since the old one has gone in the skin that was chopped off. The patient is bandaged and sent back after the surgery. The bandages will stay on like a corset till the skin sticks back on the muscle layer. The patient will have a slimmer tummy, one is told. There is an air of bonhomie as the surgery has been dubbed successful. There is an offer for poolside lunch but strangely enough we have very little appetite left. Rejigging nerves could restore bladder control Chinese Doctor To Visit Mumbai To Perform Revolutionary Operation Mumbai: For ten Mumbaikars and their families, Christmas week will hold a special hope. A Chinese surgeon, who is making waves in the world of medicine, is coming to town to operate on these Mumbaikars who are patients of spinal deformities and other problems. Dr Xiao Chuanguo's technique fixes a basic problem, which is also one of the most worrisome and embarrassing problems for patients with spinal trouble-control over the urinary bladder. He offers hope to patients with paralysed bladders. Instead of using a diaper or the intricate catheterisation procedure to empty out their bladders at regular intervals, these 10 handpicked patients-eight paediatric and two adult-may soon be able to pass urine normally. The families will have to wait for six to 10 months before the mini-miracle of sorts is possible: Dr Xiao's 'rewiring' of nerves means that patients just have to stratch their thigh to make the bladder respond. "Dr Xiao has reported 90% success in the 1,500 patients he has operated on so far. Many of these were those rendered paraplegic in last year's earthquake in China, says Dr Amrish Vaidya, paediatric surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Andheri, who convinced Dr Xiao to come to Mumbai after hearing him at a surgery meet in Detroit last year. The special five-day camp for the procedure-which is still in the clinical-trial phase-begins on December 22. Dr Ketan Parikh points out that studies in the US have reported lesser success with the Xiao technique. "US doctors have reported 60 to 70% success rates, but the parents we contacted are willing to take the chance to ensure a better life for their children, says Parikh. There also have been adverse reports about the operation leading to weakness in the leg. Santa Cruz resident Manisha Parab and her son are among those ready to take the chance. Her 10-year-old son, Nitin, was born with spina bifida (a neurological condition in which the spinal cord is incomplete). He walks with specially fitted calliphers and uses the catheter every three hours to empty his bladder. "My son is great at studies. We only worry about urine leaks and medication he has to take for bladder control. It be better to have him urinate normally," says Parab. Sewri kid Priti, 10, was also born with spina bifida. "She has had three major and three minor operations so far. Considering that girls have issues with using a catheter, we feel it is best to try the procedure," says her father Dinesh Pant, a civic employee. The fact that the sugery's expenses are being borne by NGOs and KDAH makes it easier, he admits. Louisana-based neurosurgeon Dr Ravish Patwardhan, a former Mumbai boy, has seen the full effect of the Xiao procedure (See, 'New Sensations'). One of his patients, a sevenyear-old girl, who was crippled after she was mistakenly shot in her spine, was operated on by Xiao last year. "I called him to the US and within four months the parents reported that the child had gained bladder control," says Patwardhan. Parikh and Vaidya are already planning to make the Xiao procedure a part of their hospital’s offering. "There is, of course, the six-month wait before we know the results of the first surgeries, but it is slowly making its way to various countries, including Australia," they say. Suddenly struck by paralysis, Chembur boy hopes for operation's success Watching his widowed mother struggling to make ends meet, 21-year-old Chembur resident Vishal Vasudevan stepped out to look for a job. But he, unfortunately, found himself in Sion hospital with drastic spinal cord injuries and a paralysed frame. In the first week of January, Vishal, who was doing his TYBCom and pursuing a computer software course, started looking for a part-time job. On January 8, he lost his balance while hanging out of a train. "I fell near the tracks at Kurla," says the wheelchair-bound youth, who has been living with the Paraplegic Foundation near Sion hospital since then. Life changed completely: he failed his exams but learnt the nuances of living in a wheelchair. He has been most disturbed by his failure to control his bladder and bowel movements. So when doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital visited the foundation to talk about the Xiao procedure, he agreed. "Even if only my urine condition, and not my full condition, is set right, I'll feel better," he says. His mother knows the procedure is still in the clinical-trial phase. "There is a 20% chance it will fail, but what if it works?" she asks with a sad smile. In good health India's healthcare industry is valued at about $23 billion, which is almost four per cent of the GDP and is expected to grow at 12–13 per cent over the next five years. Health expenditure in India is to a large extent (close to 70 per cent) private payer dominated and the public sector, especially the state governments, contributes less than 30 per cent. The Government of India (GoI) plans to improve health infrastructure by upgrading and increasing the total number of hospitals, clinics and clinical laboratories in urban and rural areas. This is expected to drive growth in this sector. According to industry estimates, 65 per cent of the Indian manufacturers can be classified as belonging to the SME sector and their average annual sale volume is not above $100,000. Forecasts assume a 3–7 fold increase by 2010. Pharmaceuticals The Indian Pharmaceutical industry has been witnessing phenomenal growth in recent years, driven by rising consumption levels in the country and strong demand from export markets. The pharmaceutical industry in India is estimated to be worth about $10 billion, growing at an annual rate of nine per cent. In world rankings, the domestic industry stands 4th in terms of volume and 13th in value terms. The ranking in value terms is due to the low prices at which medicines are sold in the country as compared to their global counterparts. Most pharmaceuticals available in India are already off-patent, and generics are likely to dominate the market for the foreseeable future. The organised sector accounts for just five per cent of the industry with around 300 players, while a huge 95 per cent is the unorganised sector. A large number of players in the unorganised segment are SMEs and this segment contributes 35 per cent of the industry's turnover. The driving force for the SMEs was the pre-patent era where they were free to make generic versions of patented products and sell at a low cost in India. But with the establishment of the product patent laws in India these SMEs have to consider becoming contract research and manufacturing service (CRAMS) providers to the larger companies as an option. Nicholas Piramal, Shasun Chemicals, Divi's Lab, Dishman Pharma, Cadila Healthcare, Lupin, Matrix Lab and Aurobindo Pharma are some of the companies, which have witnessed impressive growth in revenues from their CRAMs business under various tie-ups with global pharmaceutical majors. Biotechnology India's biotechnology sector is several decades old, and has been nurtured since its inception by the GoI. India is today emerging not only as a destination for new generation pharmaceuticals, biotech products and diagnostics but is also fast becoming an international hub for contract research and manufacturing. A number of start-ups have entered the industry over the past 4–5 years, inspired by the success of India's leading biotechnology company Biocon. The Indian biotechnology market is estimated to grow with an expected global market share of 10 per cent by 2012. This growth in the SME sector of the biotech industry will be brought about by factors such as education and Government initiatives. Although the government has allocated funds, it should develop some mechanism to ensure that adequate funding reaches SMEs. Emerging SME sectors in healthcare The pharmaceutical and human health industries constitute about 60 per cent of the biotech sector, and continue to grow. (Bio-agriculture is the next largest component). The medical devices and equipment market in India is estimated to be around $1.8 billion and about 80 per cent of this is met through imports. Telemedicine services are also expected to grow, which in turn, are creating a demand for diagnostic medical equipment such as X-ray machines, CT Scanners, Doppler's and others. Leading international companies market most of the high value equipment and have local support. They have expanded their Indian operations and have established manufacturing facilities to assemble equipment units for the domestic market and export sales. Pathology-Important Advances in Clinical Medicine The Scientific Board of the California Medical Association presents the following inventory of items of progress in pathology. Each item, in the judgment of a panel of knowledgeable physicians, has recently become reasonably firmly established, both as to scientific fact and important clinical significance. The items are presented in simple epitome and an authoritative reference, both to the item itself and to the subject as a whole, is generally given for those who may be unfamiliar with a particular item. The purpose is to assist busy practitioners, students, research workers or scholars to stay abreast of these items of progress in pathology that have recently achieved a substantial degree of authoritative acceptance, whether in their own field of special interest or another. The items of progress listed below were selected by the Advisory Panel to the Section on Pathology of the California Medical Association and the summaries were prepared under its direction. Pathology labs take corporate test mumbai: next time you visit a pathologist, chances are you will get tqm along with the bill and blood test report. tqm stands for total quality management -- a corporate concept that seems to be gaining popularity in the antiseptic world of diagnostic laboratories. the promise of tqm__ "correct results, faster service and lower costs" - follows the growing corporate interest in the largely unorganised sector, which comprises 25,000-odd pathology labs around the country. pharmaceutical majors, foreign players and home-grown laboratory chains have been buying into the indian pathology sector over the last five years. speciality ranbaxy laboratories (srl), pathnet of dr reddy's laboratory and gribbles, nicholas piramal, raptokas brett are some of the companies competing with mega-chain laboratories like thyrocare, metropolis and dr lal's for a share of the indian pie. business is booming if one considers the case of thyrocare, which has grown by 200 per cent every year since it was set up in 1996. it ended the last financial year with a turnover of rs 15 crore. this also explains the corporate interest in the indian para-medical field. a note written to the australian stock exchange by gribbles group last year about its joint venture, pathnet, with dr reddy's laboratories, said, "studies indicate that there is an increasing demand for pathology tests as the (indian) population grows and ages with a concurrent rise in the middle class consumer group. this demand is expected to grow further with the advent of foreign investment to provide affordable health insurance." gribbles estimated that the target market in india is in the excess of 315 million people. pathnet started operations in india last year, with one central laboratory and 24 collection centres in the delhi sector. the entry of corporate players is likely to transform this health-care segment. "we will see the emergence of national players in the hitherto unorganised sector," said dr sushil shah of metropolis laboratory. he said that most pathological work in the u.s. was done by the small, private pathologists until the last decade. "but today you mainly have corporate groups or chains of laboratories, " he said. dr A. velumani of thyrocare added, "in the next decade or so, the diagnostic laboratories segment will resemble the pharmaceutical industry, with only ten or so national players.' 'corporatisation will undoubtedly give a fillip to the health insurance sector, say medical activists. "the insurance sector has opened up, but most of the players have still not entered the health segment because it is unorganised. the current trend to standardise business practices will boost the diagnostic market and help health insurance," said arun bal of association for consumer action on safety and health. in western countries, insurance companies only recognise tests conducted by accredited labs that promise quality tests and results. but does the emergence of the big player only spell good news for the consumers? "big laboratories will only concentrate on the big cities for business reasons. what about 70 per cent of the indian population who live in rural areas?" pointed out dr bal. an inherent flaw in the high-volume-big-laboratory outfits is that a bad reagent could result in negative results for a large number of tests, said haffkine research institute director dr s.m. sapatnekar. ideally, the big chains and the cornerstore pathologists should be able to co-exist in a country like india, said additional director p.p. dhoke of the directorate of health services. but in order to ensure that consumers get the best service, every laboratory should be asked to observe certain quality standards, he added. the final answer, it seems, lies with the tqm mantra. Free MRI diagnostic service for poor MRINetwork, a search and recruitment company, announced the opening of a new affiliate office, MRINetwork Insource Solutions in New Delhi. Led by owner and managing director Vikram Singh, the firm specializes in search and recruitment for the information technology, healthcare, FMCG, retail, banking and manufacturing industries. Despite huge amounts of money being pumped into the sickle cell control programme in the state, the services given to the patients in the region have experienced a progressive degradation. In the financial year 2012-13, Rs 18 crore have been extended towards this programme under the National Rural health Mission while the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has spent around Rs 27 lakh on it. Organ Organ transplantation is the moving of an organ from one body to another or from a donor site to another location on the patient's own body, for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or absent organ. The emerging field of regenerative medicine is allowing scientists and engineers to create organs to be re-grown from the patient's own cells (stem cells, or cells extracted from the failing organs). Organs and/or tissues that are transplanted within the same person's body are called autografts. Transplants that are recently performed between two subjects of the same species are called allografts. Allografts can either be from a living or cadaveric source. Organs that can be transplanted are the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, and thymus. Tissues include bones, tendons (both referred to as musculoskeletal grafts), cornea, skin, heart valves, nerves and veins. Worldwide, the kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs, followed by the liver and then the heart. Cornea and musculoskeletal grafts are the most commonly transplanted tissues; these outnumber organ transplants by more than tenfold. Organ donors may be living, brain dead, or dead via circulatory death.[1] Tissue may be recovered from donors who die of circulatory death, as well as of brain death – up to 24 hours past the cessation of heartbeat. Unlike organs, most tissues (with the exception of corneas) can be preserved and stored for up to five years, meaning they can be "banked". Transplantation raises a number of bioethical issues, including the definition of death, when and how consent should be given for an organ to be transplanted, and payment for organs for transplantation.[2][3] Other ethical issues include transplantation tourism and more broadly the socio-economic context in which organ procurement or transplantation may occur. A particular problem is organ trafficking.[4] Some organs, such as the brain, cannot be transplanted. Transplantation medicine is one of the most challenging and complex areas of modern medicine. Some of the key areas for medical management are the problems of transplant rejection, during which the body has an immune response to the transplanted organ, possibly leading to transplant failure and the need to immediately remove the organ from the recipient. When possible, transplant rejection can be reduced through serotyping to determine the most appropriate donor-recipient match and through the use of i MyFitnessPal: You are what you eat. That extra samosa, the peanuts you munch, or even that slice of cake at the office party - all of it adds to your calorie intake. MyFitnessPal has a handy Calorie Counter to remember what you consume. First, key in basic information like age, height and weight. The app then asks if you want to maintain your present weight, decrease or increase it. It also asks you about your lifestyle habits: Do you spend the whole day sitting in an office, or if you have a more active schedule that involves moving about. Depending on the data, it sets a daily calorie intake for you. After that, regularly update the app with the food you have eaten, and it automatically adds up the calories. You can also add your exercises, so MyFitnessPal can reduce the amount of calories you've burned from your daily total. The only issue is that many Indian food items might not have a comprehensive profile. Still, we found common dishes like aloo paratha, chole bhature, medu wada, and even Maggi noodles. Besides, you can always add items manually. RunKeeper: Whenever you step out for a morning walk or a quick jog, RunKeeper keeps track of your activity with the help of the GPS function on your phone. It tracks how much distance you've covered, your walking/running pace and how many calories you burned. The last bit is important because you can feed that information into MyFitnessPal. Instant Heart Rate: While you are running, jogging, or exercising, it is important that you don't stress your heart. But how do you monitor your heart rate when outdoors? Well, use Instant Heart Rate. The app uses your smartphone's camera and flash to measure how fast your heart is beating. The process behind the app is seemingly simple: With the flash focusing on your finger, Instant Heart Rate uses the camera to record subtle changes in the blood colour of your fingertips. This gives it a way to measure your heart beats. It seems almost magical, but this app works and is pretty accurate. It also informs you about safe heart rate zones so that you don't go overboard during exercise. However, this is a broad idea of your heart-health - it is no match for a proper electrocardiogram/heart-rate monitor. Zombies, Run : This one is actually a game that encourages you to run. Put on your headphones and turn on the app - and before you know it you're right in the middle of a zombie attack. Audio narrations being piped in your ears give you the impression that you are being chased by the undead, and the more you run, the more supplies you can collect in the form of ammunition, medicines, etc. State government may fail to revive Deccan Odyssey MUMBAI: The state's plans to revive the Deccan Odyssey may flop unless the Indian Railways agrees to new, shorter routes and lower haulage charges. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) board on Tuesday passed a resolution to revive the luxury train's tour of Maharashtra. But MTDC sources said they had submitted a plan to the railways four months back, whereby rail tourism could be revived and haulage charges reduced. "Till date, there has been no response and unless the railways agrees, the Deccan Odyssey is unlikely to happen," the sources said. The train was a joint venture between the state tourism department, Union ministry of tourism and Indian Railways. The 21-coach train was built at a cost of Rs 32 crore and became operational in 2005-06. It was initially run on an equal profit-loss sharing basis. In 2008, Indian Railways announced haulage charges, which include payment for the use of tracks, platforms, water, electricity and other railway facilities. For every weekly tour, it had to pay Rs 52 lakh as haulage charges when using 21 coaches and Rs 45 lakh for 18 coaches. "Even with 70-80% occupancy, it was impossible to break even owing to the high haulage charges," the sources said. The train was being run for 30 weeks in a year. November 2008 sounded the train's death knell as the Mumbai terror attacks saw the cancellation of all bookings. The train was in a rail yard till MTDC decided to rent it out to travel companies. GW Travels, London, uses it for a Darjeeling tour and Luxury Holidays for the Golden Triangle tour, which includes Mumbai-Delhi-Agra-Jaipur. The train is rented out only if Ajanta-Ellora is included in the 14-day itinerary, the sources said. MTDC also offers eight tours but there are few takers for the service as the entire train has to be chartered, which comes for a rent of Rs 25 lakh, besides haulage charges. Some Japanese groups take up the offer, said sources. At Rs 1.4 lakh per person for a week, Indians are not interested in the tour of Maharashtra. "For the same price, one can go on a 10-day tour of Europe, Australia or New Zealand. Why would an Indian tourist spend that kind of money to see Maharashtra," asked an official. MTDC has worked out three routes of 3-4 days each that will cost around Rs 60,000 per person if the haulage charge is reduced. "This will certainly interest honeymooners and corporates who offer complimentary holidays to staff. But unless the railways gives the go-ahead, we cannot market the scheme," the sources said. Sceptics point at false positives Finance minister Pranab Mukherjees offer of a tax sop for an annual preventive check-up has stirred the debate on whether the tests bring any benefit.The health diagnostics sector is predictably happy;the budgetary move promises a spurt in growth.Super Religare Laboratories CEO Dr Sanjeev K Chaudhry said the initiative augurs well for the diagnostics sector,which plays a key role,both in preventive health segments and national health screening initiatives. Dr Nilesh Shah of Metropolis Laboratory hoped the budget spark would improve the numbers coming in for health checks.At present,the numbers opting for preventive checks are too small, he said. Preventive healthcare checks should be looked at as fitness checks, added Shah.No one can know whether they are low on vitamins D3 and B12 without a blood test, he said.The industry offers 85-plus tests to ascertain if people are healthy or not.From blood tests to quick CT and MRI scans to rule out cancers,heart problems,liver and kidney failure,the diagnostic sector offers them allof course, for a price.The promise is that higher the volume of tests,cheaper it would be for individuals. Sceptics and health economists are not sure if the larger picture looks healthy.The major drawback of tests is that they are not very accurate.They produce a large number of false positives patients whose test results are abnormal but have no illness in reality, said Dr Aniruddha Malpani,who is the medical director of Health Education Library for People.It leads to a merry-go-round of further tests and consultations to determine whether the original result has any significance,wasting even more money, said Malpani. A cancer doctor said many 50-year-plus men are asked to take the prostate-specific antigen blood test.But a decade after the test became popular,the medical fraternity has realized that it can detect very small cancers that take up to a decade or more to actually become a threat to life.If a cancer is detected in a 75-year-old,do we need to put him through the treatment he asked.Dr Abhay Shukla of the NGO Cehat finds the tax sop irrational.India should invest in mass screening programmes for diseases like diabetes and hypertension.Instead,the middle classes are being encouraged to spend on an irrational idea of preventive health checks. Malpani felt that these tests have become popular as they are profitable for hospitals.But Dr Arun Bal of the Association for Consumers Action on Safety & Health feels they should be available to all and not just to the hightax paying corporate types.Nearly 80% of Indians live in villages that dont have standardized laboratories, said Bal. Vitamin B12 eludes 8 out of 10 Indians Cosmetologists, hairstylists and orthopaedics claim 80% of their clients suffer from a B12 deficiency Ity Aggarwal, the 32-year-old proprietor of a salon in Kemps Corner has been recently playing doc in addition to her role as hairstylist. Several of her customers who drop in for a haircut have complained of excessive hair fall, poor texture and brittle strands. After a quick chat about whether they suffer from thyroid or polycystic ovaries, or if they are on an extreme diet, Aggarwal suggests they go in for a vitamin B12 deficiency test. So many of them have returned to tell me they were in fact, severely deficient in B12," she says. Dr Sadanand Naik is hardly surprised. The head of bio-chemistry at KEM Hospital, Pune, has been researching the malaise among urban Indians. A 2010 study conducted among middle-class men in Pune revealed that 81 per cent were B12 deficient. A follow up study that he and his team of researchers conducted earlier this year among 120 young post-graduate male and female students from Pune, all vegetarian or whose diet did not include food of animal origin, found half the subjects to be deficient in the vitamin. Professor and head of neurology at KEM Hospital in Mumbai, Dr Sangeeta Ravat sees an average of four B12 deficient patients a week. Vitamin B12, an essential micronutrient, plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells and maintaining the health of the nerve tissue. It's what the body needs if it mustn't fall prey to anemia. Efficient functioning of the central nervous system that's responsible for maintaining alertness and memory recall also requires healthy doses of B12. Neuroscientists say B12 has built a reputation for elevating the mood, since it helps manufacture neurotransmitters like monoamines that help regulate the mood, and reduce incidence of depression and anxiety. It's about what you eat Mumbai-based nutritionist Pooja Singhania says the deficiency is marked by gradual but distinctive symptoms, and is born out of dietary habits. Non-vegetarian food (meat, eggs, fish), milk and dairy products are the only dietary sources of B12 for humans. Vegetarians are at a higher risk, say experts. Although milk and milk products are available to them to meet their B12 requirements, they don't consume enough. Dr Naik suggests vegetarians consume four glasses of milk a day in the following ways: Drink one glass of milk, have a bowl of yoghurt along with lunch, down a glass of buttermilk around evening, and drink another glass of milk before bedtime. Dr Ashish Babhulkar, a Punebased shoulder and joint replacement surgeon, says it's important that the milk you drink be plain and devoid of supplements or chocolate flavouring. At the helm of a seven-year-old research into vitamin B12 deficiency among urban Indians, Dr Babhulkar says, he has witnessed a rise in incidence of muscular skeletal problems. "B12 is crucial for nerve nutrition, and plays a key role in neuromuscular transmission. It therefore determines how strong or weak your muscles will be." Pigmentation and tell-tale signs The symptoms of this deficiency often overlap with those of other diseases. "Often, women also show signs of hypothyroidism," says Dr Babhulkar. Look out for signs of fatigue, skin pigmentation, memory loss, tingling in the limbs, cramps, giddiness, palpitations, mouth ulcers and loss of energy. Mirror's comprehensive guide to this season's hottest haircuts and how to wear them So, the party season is just hotting up with allnight Navratri dancing, chased by Diwali taash parties, and New Years to wrap it all up in a neat glittering bow. You've got yourself a fresh wardrobe. You can't get yourself a new face. But, you can radically change the way it looks by getting a mint new haircut. Depending on whether you are in the mood for a few snips of a full-on carving session, here's an 8-style chart to help you pick the crop of your choice. THE DON DRAPER It's the side part synonymous with the 60s, made popular by the ad executive who wants to stay in power. Ask your barber to give you the simple scissor trim, to take it tight at the sides and leave it log at the top. Here's the styling that's key. Start by washing your hair with an oil-free shampoo. Rub a 50p size blob of gel into it and use the edge of your comb to pull your hair back and make the side parting. Be precise. Comb the top section over to the side, and the side section down, and back. The front needs a lift. When you comb it, raise it slightly into a soft quiff. THE POMPADOUR UNDERCUT Here, the sides and the top are treated as distinct identities. What this does is gives you more length on top, say five inches, and shorter sides. The hair is swept upwards from the face to create height on top. It can be worn textured or straight. For styling you need a volumizer, a blow dryer and your fingers. Blast the dryer on high and use your fingers to work your hair upwards. Pull it forward and bend it back so you get the quiff shape (dry your roots too). Keep working your fingers through the roots to create movement from within. A generous dollop of gel will stiffen the pomade. Think Shammi Kapoor, and Elvis. GORDON GEKKO SLICK BACK Inspired by the character played by Michael Douglas in the 1987 hit Wall Street (who never left home without his suspenders, bold striped shirts and slicked-back hair), the Gordon Gekko works on straight hair and slightly long hair (short, and it veers towards spikes) and spells power-dressing. A good quality hair gel is your weapon. Use it on dry hair and then run a pump of hair serum over the top. Rake it through with your fingers backwards, and you are good to go. THE JAMES FRANCO This one's for those who have a bit of a wave. Ask the hairstylist to keep it trimmed on the sides and back but longish with jagged layers on top, so that it can be fashioned into a coif with a bit of gel to hold it down. It allows the natural wave to fall in place. Looks best on those with a lean face and prominent jawline. THE LONG BUZZ This is the grown out version of the buzz. No styling, no combing. Just shampoo and go. Make sure the back is styled well. You don’t want to end up looking like the politico who went to a ‘saloon’. THE BETTER CAESAR This one is a laidback shape. Get the sides to be short (you can even opt for clippers) and leave the locks above lengthier. Think Julius Caesar but better styled. Live it up with Aromatherapy! Aromatherapy is an alternative form of medicine containing plants and other forms of essential oils used for improving a person's mood or health. Here are some physical as well as psychological effects that aromatherapy can have on you... Aromatherapy helps by quickly healing skin disorders due to the presence of anti-bacterial proper. It also assists in getting rid of the residual toxins in the body due to enhancement of blood circulation. Aromatherapy is an effective treatment for curing aches and pains in the muscles and joints. It can relieve muscular fatigue and boost stamina and energy levels. It also helps in treating hormonal imbalances and metabolism conditions. Studies say that aromatherapy helps create a positive labour experience among pregnant women. Aromatherapy helps addressing the problem of male impotency causing an improvement in sexual response. It is an excellent stress reliever as the different fragrances can calm down various effects leading to stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy can help you get sound sleep as the fragrances have a soothing effect on the mind of a person. An ideal relief formula for insomniacs. It can ease illnesses as its essential oils possess certain sedatives that have positive effects on the body, mind and soul.

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