While it may sound weird to tell people with depression to go outside and garden, there is a considerable amount of clinical evidence which suggests that spending time with plants improves our mental health, particularly depression. Even spending time with indoor plants works wonders to alleviate both mental and physical stress in people of all ages.
Vinayak Garg, Founder, Lazy Gardener says: "Many researchers have found that gardening or ï¿½green care' stimulates our bodies' natural development of happy chemicals, which may help keep depression and anxiety at bay, with unexpectedly amazing results. Even during this pandemic, each nation is battling a war where the enemy is not visible nor are the weapons. In these times, along with other safety measures, why not turn to the potential benefits of gardening as a way to help in the mental and physical war against coronavirus."
Also, Read► How To Incorporate Exercise In Your Inactive WFH Day
Here are some interesting and the creative way to fight depression and anxiety, suggested by Garg.
Getting Your Hands Dirty!
Getting your hands dirty in the garden boosts your serotonin levels, according to studies. Serotonin is a happy chemical that also serves as a natural antidepressant and immune system booster, lack of which is responsible for depression. When you come in contact with soil, a particular soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, causes serotonin to be released in our brain, making us feel better and happier from within. At the very least, now we understand why people prefer to garden without gloves and always enjoy the sensation of getting their hands into the dirt and compost heap.
De-Stress Therapy at Your Doorstep
Gardening is an awesome diversion from our increasingly technologically driven lives. Spending time gardening and enjoying nature can help us mentally de-stress by keeping us involved. When you directly contribute to the nurturing of the buds and witness the plants grow gradually, believe me, your happiness and contentment will know no boundaries and you'll keep coming back to it. This is a small yet a very powerful exercise to even boost your self-esteem, leaving no space for stress at all.
Building Your Creativity
How about simply finding out how to keep those garden pests away and improving soil quality to keep the garden healthy? How about deciding what kind and colour of a pot will suit your favourite plant the best? Get yourself into it once and this green care will take care of your positivity, creativity, mood upliftment, skill building, and ultimately help you fight depression naturally and gradually.
Building Your Strength
Working in the garden improves dexterity and strength. Digging, raking, and mowing are especially calorie-dense activities and the aerobic exercise involved will easily burn the same amount of calories as a gym workout. During gardening, physical exercise is combined with social contact. You get exposed to nature and sunlight. Sunlight works two way on your body: reduces blood pressure while also increasing vitamin D levels, and the fruits and vegetables grown have a positive effect on the diet. Sounds healthier right?
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One of the most common changes post-pandemic is the global adoption of the 'work-from-home' (WFH) culture. As professionals set up their indoor workstations, their overall physical activity has reduced.
The shutdown of public spaces like gyms, beaches and parks, coupled with restrictions on other outdoor activities such as walking, jogging or cycling, has further added to the problem, says Dhara Tanna, Senior Vice President of Fitternity. Advocating for inclusion of varying forms of exercise in one's daily routine, Tanna believes individuals can achieve their fitness goals right from the safety of their homes.
Here are some workouts that she suggests you can easily include in your WFH regime to seamlessly achieve the balance between work and well-being.
Also, Read► Boost Your Well-Being While in Isolation
Before Starting Your Work Day
It is essential to start your day with a calm and relaxed approach. Engaging in some breathing exercises like pranayama or anulom vilom will help you stay focused and stress-free. Further, practicing these will ensure lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and risks of depression. These exercises are also known to better the symptoms of diabetes and effectively lower chronic pain. They help in keeping the body adequately oxygenated, which is very necessary during the present times.
Walk And Talk
With most office meetings turning into conference calls, you end up staying seated for longer time periods. You can start taking your calls while walking around your workspace to stay active. Apart from improving your blood circulation, it will also help you benefit from the much-needed break from screen time. Additionally, walking induces the release of healthy endorphins or happy hormones in the body as well as helps in loosening muscles. You can even increase your steps by going to the kitchen for water; instead of sitting with a bottle. You can also keep yourselves motivated by having a healthy competition with a friend or family member on who achieves the most steps.
Replace screen time while you take your in-between breaks with some quick stretches. They are beneficial for both the mind and the body. It will provide muscles and joints with the required movement while simultaneously breaking the monotony of sitting in one position for far too long. It even reduces soreness and stiffness. Some of these exercises like neck rolls, side stretch, back and upper back stretch, seated hip stretch, spinal twist are a few stretches that can be performed right at your desk. Just like our body, our eyes also need some rest.
Eyes Need Rest Too
Eyes have muscles which also require proper exercising in order to stay strong and healthy. One such easy exercise to reduce eye strain while working from home is the 20-20-20 rule exercise. One should practice to look away from the screen after every 20 minutes and focus on any object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will surely work as a strain relief to your eyes.
To stay fit, people need to include at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week; or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly. You can pick from a wide range of workout regimes that can be easily done at home. Some of these workouts include Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Functional Training, and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) among others. To stay on track and enjoy the best results, you can even join online classes. Most such digital platforms even offer the option of one-on-one training with instructors.
With fitness being the top priority of many, these are just a few things that one can include in their daily lives. Professionals can make adjustments in this plan depending on their specific work routines, says the Fitternity expert.
However, to regularly engage in some form of physical activity is something you can't afford to compromise. Consistency is the primary ingredient in the recipe for a healthy life. Exercise not only improves a person's physical health but also works wonders for their mental well-being.
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Chandigarh, June 18 (IANS) To tackle the emergent situation of Covid-19 pandemic, the Punjab government on Friday decided to allow specialist doctors of medicine, anaesthesia and TB and chest to continue their services, after their superannuation on completion of 58 years of age till March 31, 2022, on clinical posts.The move is aimed at ensuring effective management of Covid isolation facilities in the state.The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who said the services of these doctors were required to ensure timely and proper treatment to the patients.The state government could not afford to take any risk in view of the continuing spread of the pandemic, leading to heavy burden on government hospitals and dispensaries, he added, as the cabinet took note of the fact that the recruitment advertisements had not received encouraging response and it was necessary to take urgent steps to prepare for a possible third wave.The cabinet also granted post facto approval for extending the services of nine Group-C employees (para-medical staff) who are retiring in June in Government Medical Colleges at Patiala and Amritsar.To provide nutrition to children in 0-6 years age group, pregnant women and lactating mothers across the state, the Cabinet gave approval to extension of 184 posts, approved under 'Poshan Abhiyaan' (National Nutrition Mission) till June 30.--IANSvg/vd
In view of the second wave of Covid-19 that has put extreme pressure on diagnostic path labs, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently approved Covid-19 home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). The self-use test can be used by symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of confirmed cases as per the ICMR guidelines. Users of this test will not need sample collection by a healthcare professional. This will ease pressure on overburdened labs and reduce delays in testing. However, these tests should be done wisely and in lieu of the said Covid-19 norms.
According to the ICMR, individuals who test positive using the home testing kit may be considered as true positives, and no-repeat testing is required. All symptomatic individuals who test negative must get tested by RT-PCR, as RATs are likely to miss few positive cases.
Also, Read► One in 100 deaths is by suicide: WHO
How Does The Home Testing Kit Work?
Each kit provides all testing materials, instructions to use (IFU) leaflet and a biohazard bag to be safely disposed of after testing. The test is designed to be done using a nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) to reduce the discomfort. The kit is supposed to provide results in 15 minutes and people who test positive should immediately isolate so that they do not infect others, and quickly contact the local municipal bodies and their healthcare provider. Those who test negative and continue to experience Covid-like symptoms should seek follow-up care from their healthcare provider and conduct an RT-PCR test.
How Do You Know When The Result Is Positive?
The kit has a control line and a test line that will indicate the result. If both Control Line C and the Test Line T appear in the cartridge, the presence of novel coronavirus antigen is confirmed, and the result is positive. This takes up to around 15 minutes for results to appear.
How Do You Know When The Result Is Negative?
If only quality Control Line C appears but the Test Line T does not appear, this indicates that novel coronavirus antigen has not been detected and the result is negative.
How Do You Know When The Result Is Invalid?
For invalid results, if the quality control line C is not observed, it will be invalid regardless of whether there is a test line T. In this case, the test shall be conducted again.
What Do Positive Results Indicate?
Positive results indicate the presence of viral antigens. People who test positive with the home Covid-19 Antigen Test should self-isolate and seek to follow up care with their physician or healthcare provider for further action.
What Are The Possible Disadvantages Of These Tests?
There could a possible discomfort while sample collection, if you do not do it correctly. Also, RATs have the tendency to interpret incorrect results. The other possibility is that people may test positive and resort to self-medication which could be harmful to them.
Are There Any Preparation To Do Before The Test?
Firstly, it is important that you find a clean place to do the test.
* Identify a table and sanitise the surface thoroughly.
* Wash your hands with soap, and make sure that your hands are dry before you perform the test.
* Tear the pouch and lay the contents of the kit on the table.
* Before you proceed with the test, please download the app mentioned in the testing kit, fill in the credentials and then proceed with the test. This is important so that no positive case is missed.
Always remember that there are many factors that come into play when it comes to home test kits. These tests work best with people who have symptoms of Covid-19. If you test a little early or say if you are asymptomatic, most likely your test may show negative and that might give you a false sense of reassurance that this negative test means you are not transmissible, when you really could be. So, if you are sick, it is important to seek medical aid from your healthcare provider, and report the findings of the test to the local municipal body.
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Annoyed by pimples? Here’s an ayurvedic guide you need to achieve that flawless skin By Dr. Tabassum Hasan. Do you remember the last time when you were planning to attend a wedding function? From dresses to matching shoes you took care of everything and were ready to dazzle everybody. But guess what? All of a sudden on that very day you got a new pimple on your forehead. Yes, we know how it feels. Those pesky red pimples seem to always appear before any important event in our lives. Almost every one of us suffered this embarrassing situation at some point of our existence, especially in our teenage years. But is there any solution for it? Can we avoid them? What are the causes? Let’s find out answers to all these questions.
Table of contents
• What is Acne?
• Causes and Risk Factor of Acne
• Symptoms of Acne
• When You Need to See Your Doctor
• General Tips For Acne
• What to Eat and Avoid
• Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
What is Acne?
In ayurvedic literature, acne has been described as yuvan pidika or tarunya pitika because it primarily affects adolescents or young people. In some texts, it is also called mukh dushika because it spreads mainly on the face of a person and has inflammation and scarring.
Acne is characterized by saruja (mildly painful), filled with meda (pus or oily secretions), shalmali (Salmalia malabarica) thorn-like eruption on the face. These pilosebaceous follicles are distinguished as comedones, papules, pustules, and scars. It mainly affects the cheek, chin, forehead, nose, and upper trunk of the body.
According to global burden of disease (GBD) study, almost 85% of young adults aged between 12-15 years get affected by this dreadful condition. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, but it impacts the social life and emotional well-being of the affected individual.
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Causes and Risk Factor of Acne
According to classical ayurvedic texts, acne is manifested due to vitiated vata dosha and kapha dosha. These doshas further vitiate rasa-raktadi dhatu, primarily rakta dhatu(blood). As result, there is excessive sweda(sweat) production, which obstructs the skin pores. This leads to local swelling and microcomedones formation. Rupture of these micro comedones leads to scarring. Vata dosha and rakta dosha also causes hyperpigmentation.
The factors which lead to all of this are mainly divided into 4 types:
• Time or age factors- young age or adolescents, summers or spring season.
• Dietary pattern- excessive sweet and spicy, heavy and oily food, milk and its products, meat and alcohol.
• Lifestyle factors- Insomnia, holding natural urges, excessive sleep, excessive sunbath.
• Psychological factors- Anger, stress, depression, and behavioral changes.
Other than the above factors, few other factors are also responsible for acne like genetics, hormonal changes, etc. Furthermore, menstrual cycle, anxiety and tension, oil-based makeup, exposure to pollution, skin allergies due to certain medication, hot and humid climate, greasy hair, and squeezing the pimples will make these conditions worse.
Symptoms of Acne
Acne is described under kshudra rogas (minor ailments) in Ayurveda. Kshudra means minimum that means these diseases happen with minimum causative factors, signs and symptoms, and requires minimum medical intervention. Acne also doesn’t have deadly symptoms but it surely affects your self-confidence. Some of these symptoms are stated below-
• Shalmali kantakakara pitika- acne resembles with the thorn of salmalia malabarica as it’s an eruption in a conical shape
• Saruja- These can be mild to moderate painful lumps.
• Ghana- The eruption is hard, thick, or indurated due to vitiated kapha.
• Medogarbha- Due to obstruction of pores or pilosebaceous glands, it is filled with pus.
• Yuna mukhe- This disease usually affects young people or adolescents.
Apart from these symptoms, some associated symptoms are also there like itching, burning, and secretions. Mental health is also affected as it has a huge impact on someone’s looks.
When You Need to See Your Doctor
Generally for acne, people prefer to have OTC (over-the-counter) products. Mild to moderate acne will calm down after the use of these gels or creams in the course of over 4 to 6 weeks. But what if these products stopped working or you have stubborn nodular or cystic acne? Then you definitely need to see your dermatologist. Also if your physical appearance is taking a toll on your mental health, a doctor will help you to combat this situation.
Also, Read► How Stress Impacts Skin: Side Effects & Prevention
General Tips for Acne
Everyone dream to have smooth, silky, and radiant skin. But having acne is a big hurdle to achieve that flawless skin. In this scenario, you can take the help of ayurvedic tips to get rid of those pimples:
• To flush out toxins (ama) in your body, you should take warm water in the morning. Mixing lemon juice in it will also give you a daily dose of vitamin C.
• To balance your body doshas, you can take Triphala. It will remove toxins and reduce your acne. Take 1 teaspoon Triphala powder with warm water.
• Shatavari is also a good ingredient to balance hormones. It will also help in pacifying pitta dosha and treat hormonal acne. You can take one teaspoon of Shatavari powder and boil it in one glass of water. When this will reduce to half, you can consume it.
• Ashwagandha is a popular herb for skin disorders. Its anti-inflammatory, detoxifying properties make it suitable for acne treatment. Take one teaspoon of ashwagandha powder and take it with water or honey.
• Apart from these, blood purifiers told in classical ayurvedic literature like sariva, manjishtha, draksha, and neem are also beneficial for acne treatment. You can include them in your daily routine to purify the blood and balance your doshas. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
• Drinking amla juice daily can help you as amla helps in balancing your doshas. Amla also contains vitamin C which is a potent anti-oxidant. This will reduce harmful free radicals and will keep acne at bay.
• Fennel seeds and coriander seeds concoction is also a good option as it will cool down your body heat. Take one teaspoon of both and boil it in one glass of water. When it will reduce to half, take it after it cools down.
• As clogged pores are the cause of acne, you should wash your face at least twice a day. Use gel-based mild cleansers according to your skin type.
• Avoid touching your face as your fingers usually have bacteria on them. Touching your face can lead to transfer of those bacteria to your face and this can result in infection.
• You should avoid squeezing the pimple. Yes, we know that you have a strong urge to pop that pimple. But always remember that it will lead to more scars.
• Always use a broad spectrum SPF if you are stepping out of your house. Even inside your home, you should at least wear sunscreen of SPF 30.
What to Eat and Avoid
As the saying goes, what you eat appears on your face. This is definitely true in the case of acne. Our skin health says a lot about the way we eat. So if you are someone whose diet is full of junk food and sweetened beverages, then you need to reconsider your food choices. Follow these dietary rules to get rid of your skin ailments and for a healthier complexion-
• Always eat homemade fresh food. Make it light and less spicy.
• Amaranth, barley, oats, rice are healthy grains for you. Include them in your diet.
• Fresh vegetables like bitter gourd, leafy greens, cauliflower, peas, okra, bell peppers are good for your skin and health.
• Soaked almonds and nuts are also a good option as they contain healthy fats that your body needs.
• Eat fruits like apple, oranges, mango, watermelon, dates, figs, pineapple, cherries, grapes, and lime.
• Turkey, salmon, and freshwater fish are the best options if you are a non-vegetarian.
• Always avoid refined grains and sugars like white bread, pasta, noodles, sodas, and artificial sweeteners.
• Heavy and spicy diets create an imbalance between doshas, so try to avoid them.
• Consuming dairy products is also not advised if you are suffering from acne.
• Fast foods like burgers, chowmein, French fries, nuggets, and soda drinks are a big NO if you want to have good and healthy skin.
• Avoid meat (especially red meat) and alcohol consumption as these create havoc on your skin.
Other than that you should keep track if you are allergic to any particular food, foods that may cause bloating or increase inflammation in your body. Just follow these simple rules and you will start noticing a positive difference in your skin soon.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q1. How acne scars can be removed?
Ans. In Ayurveda, there are several local applications for acne scars like haldi, sandalwood, multani mitti. However, in modern medical treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, micro-needling, fillers, punch excision, and laser resurfacing are prescribed for different types of lesions. Topical treatments like antibiotics (clindamycin and erythromycin), benzoyl peroxides, and vitamin A acid derivatives like tretinoin are also helpful for mild to moderate scars.
Q2. Why acne occurs on the face?
Ans. Acne occurs when your pores get clogged by oil, pus, dead skin, or bacteria. It's like a small red protuberance with pus at its head. This can happen on your shoulders, back, and chest too.
Q3. Which acne cream is best for oily skin?
Ans. Creams with active ingredients like neem, tea tree oil, aloe vera, turmeric are best suitable for acne. In Ayurveda, there are different types of face masks for acne. Some of those are vachaadi lepa, dhanyakaadi lepa, lodhraadi lepa, jayaphalaadi lepa, manjishthaadi lepa and kumkumaadi taila etc. Other than these, you can look for ingredients like bakuchiol, Centella asiatica, honey, colloidal oatmeal, willow bark extract, and resveratrol in your acne products.
Q4. Can acne scars be removed permanently?
Ans. Most of the acne scars get faded over time. As our skin gets renewal after almost 5-6 weeks. That means dead skin cells get replaced by new skin cells. So our scars naturally go away. But in the case of severe scarring, one should get treatment by a dermatologist. They can surely help you to reduce the appearance of your scar.
Q5. Can acne scars be removed naturally?
Ans. Several home remedies like lemon juice, potato juice, turmeric powder, aloe vera, and gram flour are used for ages to remove hyperpigmentation and scars.
• Acharya Sushruta, SushrutaSamhita,AyurvedTatva Sandipika Hindi commentarytranslated by Ambika Datta Shastri, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan Varanasi, Reprint edition. Nidanasthana, 1995;1(13/38):287.
• Acharya Sushruta, SushrutaSamhita, Acharya YadavjiTrikamji, Choukhambha publication, Varanasi. Edition 2005, Nidanasthana 2005;13/ 39:323.
• Acharya Vaghbhata, Astanga Hrdayam, Dr. Brahamanand Tripathi. Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, Delhi, Reprint edition, Sutrasthana, 2009;1(25):19.
• Agnivesh, Charak Samhita, revised by Charak and Dridhabala with Ayurveda Deepika commentary, by Chakrapani Datta, edited by Vd. Yadavaji Trikamaji Acharya, Chaukhamba Surbharati Publications, Varanasi, reprint 2002, Sutrasthana 18/24, S S11/49.
• Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles. Albuquerque: The Ayurvedic Press, 2002
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New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) In an attempt to speed up Covid vaccination process in his constituency, a BJP MP has promised additional development of Rs 20 lakh as an incentive to the first village for achieving 100 per cent vaccination target.BJP Lok Sabha member from Fatehpur Sikri, Raj Kumar Chahar announced additional development work of Rs 20 lakh as per wish of residents from his MP Fund.In a letter to the District Magistrate of Agra, Chahar wrote, "Development work of Rs 20 lakh will be done as agreed by the residents of the village which will become first one to achieve 100 per cent vaccination."As per Agra district administration, there are 233 active cases on Wednesday. City has reported a total 25,731 cases and 435 fatalities till Wednesday, with a case positivity rate of 2.54 per cent and case fatality rate of 1.69 per cent."I have decided to carry out additional development work in the first village of my Lok Sabha constituency, which achieves complete vaccination, with an amount of Rs 20 lakh. It is a privilege to participate in the free-vaccination campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.Chahar, also National President of BJP's Kisan Morcha, believes that development incentive will speed up the vaccination process in his constituency and also reduce the vaccine hesitancy among people."100 per cent vaccination in a village or country can be only achieved through community participation. Wish that to receive an incentive of additional development work on becoming first village to achieve 100 per cent vaccinations, will encourage people to take the vaccine shots," Chahar appealed to residents of his constituency to achieve 100 per cent vaccination at war footing. "By vaccinating everyone, we will defeat Coronavirus. Vaccines are safe and made available free of cost by Prime Minister Modiji. People must come forward to take the vaccine," he said.In a tweet, Agra district administration said, "In order to create awareness about Covid vaccination, Lok Sabha member Raj Kumar Chahar stated a new initiative of additional development work of Rs 20 lakh as an incentive in the first village or basti to achieving 100 per cent vaccination in the targeted age group."--IANSssb/skp/