Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.
Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.
Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.
Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!
Pranayama: the science of breathing
Learning to breathe Correctly
Breathing is so much a part of our lives that we tend to take it for granted. Ancient philosophers and yogis through their calmness and intellect discovered the powers of controlled breathing techniques. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide - each time we inhale the body receives oxygen which gets converted to fuel to charge or activate the body parts. Each time we exhale the body throws out toxic wastes in the form of carbon dioxide.
Most of us use only a fraction of our lung capacity while breathing. Many of us put a lot of pressure on our body system unknowingly while breathing. Quick shallow breathing results in oxygen starvation which can lead to a poor immune system, sleep disorders, fatigue, heart diseases and also premature ageing.
Deep breathing reduces stress, deepens insight, expands consciousness and increases intuitive perception. Shallow breathing blocks energy whereas deep, rhythmical breathing generates energy.
In all situations, breathe. Be aware of your breath. If you are in a conversation, take a moment to breathe before you respond. Focus on slowing your breath, and you will find that you are establishing contact with your own internal energy.
Simple breathing exercises
If you wish to make deep, abdominal breathing an integral part of your daily life, first familiarise yourself with natural abdominal breathing, which involves four distinct stages: Inhalation, retention, exhalation and pause.
- Inhalation: One of the most common errors during inhalation is to try to fill the lungs completely on each inhalation. One should never force inhalation beyond comfortable capacity. About two-thirds full is the right measure for an inhalation.
- Retention: If properly performed, even brief retention of breath provides profound therapeutic benefits to every organ, gland and functional system in the body. Taoists refer to breath retention as - womb breathing because the lungs dont move. The fetus in the womb receives oxygen and energy directly through the umbilical cord, not the lungs. Breath retention for 3-4 seconds slows down heart beat, reduces blood pressure substantially, and triggers cellular respiration.
- Exhalation: This is more important than inhalation as one has to first thoroughly empty in order to fill the lungs properly with fresh air. Empty lungs in reverse order of inhalation, starting at the top and ending at the bottom.
- # Pause: When the lungs are completely empty, pause for a few seconds to permit the abdominal wall and the diaphragm to relax again, then commence a slow inhalation.
The complete breathing process should be slow, will expand the abdomen and ribcage while inhaling and follow just the reverse process when exhaling: Breathe out the air while letting the abdomen cave in. But to get the maximum out of breathing it has to be pranayama , which extends much beyond the process of complete breathing.
A stressful lifestyle makes us breathe more quickly and less deeply. We get emotional too easily. Our negative reactions make us easily excited or angry, causing shallow and fast breathing. When one is restless, troubled or confused there is more prana outside the body than within. Prana is the energy which regulates life: It symbolises the combination of physical, mental, intellectual, cosmic and spiritual energy.
Pranayama or breath control signifies stretching, extending and regulating our breathing process. Pranayama can be used as a preparation for meditation wherein it cleanses the body and the mind. It also helps to maximise the benefits of the practice of yogasanas and also focusing the mind.
There are many different methods of pranayama, and we recommend that you should look for an experienced teacher to guide you initially through some of these ancient highly beneficial methods.