Showing posts with label Women's Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women's Health. Show all posts

Yoga and Pregnancy

The practice of yoga can help you prepare your mind and body for labor and birth as this helps you focus, to concentrate and keep you healthy. The Yoga Postures are gentle ways of keeping your body active and supple and minimize the common Pregnancy Symptoms like morning sickness and constipation. It can also help in ensuring easier labor and smooth delivery by relieving tension around the cervix and birth canal and by opening the pelvis.

Yoga Precautions During Pregnancy
For the first trimester, standing Yoga Poses are advised as this will help strengthen the legs, enhance circulation, generate energy, and may reduce leg cramps.

During the second and third trimester, you may reduce your time spent for practicing the Asanas to prevent fatigue and overwork. Instead focus more on breathing and meditation.

It is also not advised to practice from the tenth through the fourteenth week of Pregnancy since these are crucial times. Do not overstretch the abdomen; the emphasis of your twisting poses should be on the shoulders and the upper back and not on the abdomen. Avoid doing inversion.

Always consult your physician or yoga teacher before starting the programme to find out the set of suitable yoga postures and yoga regime that suits to your body.

Some general tips before you start:
  • Avoid postures with excessive pressure on the abdomen
  • Keep the abdomen well extended
  • Do more of deep breathing and shorter meditations
  • Listen to your body and practice accordingly
  • Breathing techniques in Yoga provide more oxygen to the body, which is much needed during pregnancy
  • The foetus gains the benefit of the blood full of oxygen which flows through the body immediately after Yoga
  • Relaxed mind and lack of stress are the after effects of practicing Yoga. Moreover this calmness is passed to your baby. You and baby are more aligned physically as well as mentally
  • Back and pelvic muscles are at stake during pregnancy and after. Regular yoga practice helps keep those toned and healthy
  • The gentle toning and stretching prepares your body to take care of the baby before pregnancy as well as after delivering it.
Yoga Poses During Pregnancy
The following are the Yoga Poses that can help you in dealing with the symptoms of pregnancy, ensuring smoother and easier delivery, and faster recovery after childbirth. Poses that put pressure on the abdomen and other difficult poses should not be done during advance stages of Pregnancy. You do not have to do all these Asanas and remember to listen to your body and just do as much as you easily can.
  1. Sukhasana
  2. Shoulder lifts
  3. Neck excersises
  4. Ujjayi breathing
  5. Full yogic breathing
  6. Bhramari
  7. Cat pose
  8. Vajrasana with ujjayi
  9. Mountain Pose
  10. Konasana-1
  11. Konasana-2
  12. Trikonasana
  13. Veerbhadrasana
  14. Paschimottan asana
  15. Gentle Butterfly
  16. ViptritKarni (against the wall)
  17. Shavasana (Final Relaxation)
  18. YogNidra
  19. NadiShodhanPranayam
  20. Meditation

    Click here to view videos for Pregnancy Yoga

    Recommended Books for Yoga & Pregnancy

    Yoga for Working Women

    Do these sentiments surface sometimes for you?

    1. "I'm unable to manage home and work."
    2. "I feel low on energy by the time I'm home."
    3. "I can hardly find time for myself."
    4. "I'm so stressed!"
    5. "My health problems are causing a hindrance."
    Of all the working population around the world, women are the most affected. The mere fact of balancing work and family responsibilities takes a toll on the body. This is the main reason why most working women have such problems as high stress levels and overweight. You are likely to suffer such problems due to lack of exercise. While you may wish to exercise, you may be limited by time considering the fact that you have to attend to family matters and issues once you come home from work.

    Yoga exercises produce power and strength; they enable your body to achieve a high level of relaxation. The psychological and physiological benefits of yoga cannot be underestimated; you attain a wonderful working relationship between your body and mind, leading to a high level of peaceful body and mind.The advantage with yoga exercises is that you do not need to go out for performance; you can easily perform them right at home or at work and obtain the benefits that accrue.

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    Invest in yourself!
    In the long term however, there is no other choice. You have to find ways to rejuvenate and energize yourself. Here is our recommendation for you –

    Shavasana – This type of asana tones your nervous system. It has the effect of increasing your mental energy, which is necessary for effective work performance both at work and at home. You need to perform Shavasana at least twice everyday for between 15 to 20 minutes. In performing Shavasana, lye down on your back on a comfortable material with both your legs and hands free. Avoid any thoughts and focus on relaxing your mind and body. Performing Shavasana regularly is a perfect way of managing hypertension.

    Ardha-halasana – This type of asana has the effect of burning excess calories in your body. It is therefore a very good exercise for achieving physical fitness. It is very effective in preventing overweight, which leads to the occurrence of such health problems as heart attacks, diabetes and hypertension. To perform it, lie down on a comfortable material on your back. Let your hands stretch along your body, slowly raising your legs simultaneously, making angles of 30, 45 and 60 degrees. Rotate your legs both clockwise and anti-clockwise three to five times. Doing this regularly burns fat deposits in your abdomen and hips.

    Trikonasana – As a working woman, you are likely to experience varied pain especially on your back and neck areas. Such pain is mainly caused by regular commuting, sitting for long hours and a lot of house work. You can easily combat such pain by performing Trikonasana, a type of yoga asana that you perform while standing in an erect position with feet slightly apart. Raise your hands to shoulder level. You start by turning slowly to either direction with your hands stretched, touching your big toe. Do not bend your legs in the process. Repeat the same with the other hand. Performing this asana on a regular basis loosens your loin muscles in addition to improving your waistline.

    Dhanurasana- Lie on your abdomen with chin resting on the floor and arms placed alongside the body. Raise your head. Bend legs at the knee and hold the ankles. Raise the chest backwards and pull the ankles upwards resting the whole body on the abdomen.

    This Asana, a fine combina­tion of bhujangasana and shala­bhasana, stretches the body and tones up the spine and the visce­ral system. It is also recommend­ed for backache and flatulence.

    Chakrasana-Stand erect with feet together and hands stretched sideways alt shoulder level. Raise your left arm slowly till it touches the left side of your head, keeping left arm straight, and gradually move it and the head sideways to the right. Bend as far as possible without strain. As you do so, slide your right arm down your right leg as far as you can. Hold the position for five to 10 sec­onds. Then return to the original position and repeat with the right hand.

    Do three to five times. This is an excellent exercise for the lateral part.

    If you wish to see yoga asanas videos click  here

    People of all ages can do these asanas. They can be done either in the morn­ing or in the evening. There should be a half-hour gap after tea or coffee, and after a heavy meal about four to five hours. One can eat within 15 to 20 mi­nutes after doing the asanas.

    They should be practised slow­ly without any jerky movement, maintaining the normal breath­ing pattern.
    All physical exercises should be suspended during the month­ly period and any illness.

    A daily routine of 20 to 25 minutes of yogasanas can relieve many of your minor chronic ail­ments and make you feel more energetic, fresh and light.

    A few minutes of yoga can leave you energized all day long and add an extra hour to your day. "When you meditate, the same work that you normally perform in four hours, you can do in two hours. So two hours more are given to you to balance between work and family.
    Maintain a balance in life." Yoga postures, breathing techniques, and meditation will serve as handy tools while balancing your work and home life.
    Recommended Books

    Delayed & Irregular Menstruation| Menstrual Disorders Ayurveda

    Irregularity in menstruation can be due to a number of causes. There may be underdevelopment or congestion of genital organs. Constitutional diseases, like anemia, tuberculosis and even chronic malaria are some diseases also commonly responsible for causing scanty menses at prolonged intervals.Some women suffer from endocrinal disorders, like hypothyroidism, toxic goiter, PCOS/ PCOD and other hormonal disturbances. The best thing for those who are bugged by the problem of delayed and irregular periods would be to consult a gynecologist who, after thorough check-up, can find out the cause and treat you accordingly.

    According to Ayurveda, poor diet and inefficient digestion are the main causative factors for these disorders. Improperly digested food leads to the production of toxins in the body. These toxins are circulated by the blood to the deep tissues and channels, where they cause blockages and stagnation. Ayurveda recommends different types of treatment to treat menstrual problems. These include nourishing and toning herbs as well as rejuvenation treatment in accordance with the nature of the disorder. Massage and the incorporation of meditation and yoga may also be beneficial for permanent elimination of the problems. It is important to address these menstruation problems because a woman expels a large proportion of her wastes and toxins through this process. If these toxins remain in the body, they cause further stagnation and blockage within the body.

    Factors that are responsible for this condition include the increased intake of sour, salty, hot, pungent, heavy, and fermented food; meat of fatty and domestic animals; alcoholic beverages; indigestion; and eating before the previous meal is digested. Psychological conditions such as grief, anger, lust, and anxiety are also known to play a key role in aggravating menstrual problems.

    Diet & Lifestyle Advice
    • Try and avoid all the causative factors mentioned above. 
    • Any kind of physical and psychological stress should be strictly avoided. 
    • Avoid tea, coffee, and icy cold drinks. Instead, have drinks at room temperature and that have cooling properties, such as peppermint tea. 
    • Cooling showers and bathing with sandalwood and mint essence are helpful.
    • Eat lots of leafy vegetables, raw vegetables, potatoes roasted in sand or over coals, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach in uncooked form, oranges, pineapples, musk melons and mangoes should be the mainstay.
    • Do not take refined flour products, sugar, and milled rice.
    • Raisins, figs, dates and gur should be taken in place of sugar.
    • Milk and milk products should be taken in abundance.
    • Taking walks, exercise to improve the shape of the abdomen, sun bath in the morning and hot and cold hip baths can help. Use tubs, one containing water at a temperature 8 to 10 degrees higher than the body temperature and the other cold water. Alternate the tubs: five minutes in cold water and two minutes in the hot water tub. Repeat it four times and then take a cold bath.
    • Last but not least; don't over strain yourself mentally or physically.

    You may try some of these effective Home-Remedies
    1. Take ½ teaspoon finely ground cinnamon (dalchini) every night along with 1 cup milk.
    2. Powder 1 teaspoon dried mint (pudina) leaves and take with 1 teaspoon honey, thrice daily.
    3. Green unripe papaya is also useful in case of a delayed or late period. Cut a few pieces of raw papaya and eat half a bowl of such pieces or else you can make a simple salad from papaya and have it. However if you cannot get unripe papaya, you can make do with ripe ones as well, but unripe ones are most effective.
    4. Intake of aloe vera juice is found to be highly effective when one has a problem of irregular periods. One should start having half a glass of pure aloe juice on an empty stomach once in the morning and another half glass in the evening. Organic aloe vera juice from the market (Baba Ramdev's aloe vera juice is also good) and have it regularly twice a day as mentioned above.

      Another way is to scoop out some fresh aloe gel (excluding the yellow part) and mix it with some of jaggery (Gud) and have it regularly on an empty stomach in the morning and one more time in the evening.
    5. Til (Sesame ): A decoction of cumin (jeera) and gingelly (sesame) (Til) seeds, sweetened with jaggery helps to set off menstruation. Add 1 tbsp each of jeera and Til in water and boil it till the water reduces to three fourths. Add some jaggery to taste. Alternatively you might try making Til (Sesame) ladoos and have 1 such ladoo, the first thing thing in the morning followed by half a glass of cow's milk.

      Take equal quantities of Til (sesame seeds), Pippali (Long Pepper), Black Pepper, Dry Ginger and Bharangi. All these can be procured from an Ayurvedic pharmacy. Powder them and store it in a bottle. Have 1 tsp of this powder with jaggery 2 times a day, the first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and once in the evening.
    6. Amla (Indian Gooseberries): Chew fresh, ripe Indian gooseberries (Amla) early in the morning. If fresh ones are not available, you can make do with Amla juice as well. Take 3 tsp of Amla juice and mix it with 3 tsp of honey and have it. You can use Amla juice from Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali pharmacy or any other organic shop. Do not eat anything for at least one hour after that. Since fresh Amla is not available at all times, you can use dry Amla powder as well. It’s readily available at any Ayurvedic pharmacy. Mix 3 grams of dry Amla powder with water or honey and have it at night after your dinner. Regular intake of Amla removes toxins from blood, aids the formation of red blood corpuscles, relieves urinary problems and helps in irregular menstruation. Try this for 2 months at least and you’ll notice the difference. You’ll feel more youthful and energetic as well. 
    7. Fenugreek (Methi): Soak 1½ tsp of fenugreek (methi) seeds in water the previous night and in the morning you can see that they swell up. Have it regularly on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can try fenugreek tea. You can use soaked fenugreek seeds for this prupose also. Boil a cup of water and add 1½ tsp of fenugreek seeds and let it simmer on a low flame. When the water reduces to three-fourths, turn off heat and have it in sips when it is sufficiently hot. You may add jaggery/ molasses / brown sugar for taste if you wish. Have this fenugreek tea twice a day, once on an empty stomach and once at night before going to bed.
    8. Fenugreek tea is especially helpful for those who are bugged by PCOS / PCOD problems as it helps normalize blood sugar levels. If taking fenugreek seeds in the morning or fenugreek tea is not viable for you, you may take it once in the afternoon by mixing a tsp of fenugreek seeds powder in a glass of thin buttermilk. Having Fenugreek helps in resolving menstrual problems including irregular and late periods as well as leucorrhoea or white discharge. It also reduces swelling in the uterus and cleans the uterine vessels.
    9. Horsegram is also called Hurali in Kannada and Kulith in Konkani / Marathi. Eating dishes that have Horsegram (Kulath) can also bring about your period as horsegram is believed to be heat-producing food as per Ayurveda. It’s also good for diabetics.

      Other Herbal Remedies for tackling irregular menstruation 
    10. Make a decoction of the aerial roots of banyan and consume with half a glass of cow’s milk at bedtime for at least 3 menstrual cycles.
    11. Take a decoction of the roots of bitter gourd (karela) at least twice a day; this usually makes the period to commence.
    12. Saunf (fennel) seeds also found to be helpful in menstrual irregularities.
    13. Boil the roots of the fig (anjeer) and take the filtered decoction for a few weeks to normalize the cycle.
    14. A small cupful of the decoction prepared from the leaves or the seeds of coriander (cilantro) thrice a day is found to be useful in regulating the menstrual cycle. 
    15. A cup of grape juice everyday is also believed to bring regularity of the menstrual cycle.
    16. Take a teaspoonful of radish seeds and grind it with water to make a fine paste. Mix this paste with a cup of buttermilk and drink
    17. In scanty menses: Drink a decoction of Manjistha / Indian madder roots for an entire cycle i.e. everyday to correct anemia, if any and establish a healthy flow of menstrual blood. [Manjistha is available at any Ayurvedic pharmacy in India. You can also buy from Amazon - Manjistha root Powder 
    18. Eating raw carrots also stimulate menstruation. A week before menses eat 1-2 carrots regularly.
    19. For irregular menstruation, make a hot infusion of neem bark and take one cup in the morning, noon and evening until cured.

      For painful and irregular menstruation
    1. A piece of fresh ginger (adrak), ground and boiled in a cup of water. The infusion is taken thrice daily after meals along with sugar.
    2. Boil 1 teaspoon saffron (kesar) in ½ cup water. Let it reduce to become 1 tablespoon. Divide this decoction into three portions and take with equal quantities of water, thrice daily for a couple of days.
    Recommended Yoga Asanas
    However all these asanas have to be learnt under a competent yoga guru and not to be attempted on your own.

    Menopause: Herbs that Heal

    Triphala:  This blend of herbs is a powerful tonic for the digestive system. If you are feeling sluggish, dull or occasionally constipated, chances are that toxins are building up in your body. Toxins accumulate when your digestion — and elimination — are out of balance, which can lead to skin breakouts, menstrual cramps, fatigue, feelings of sadness and many other health issues. Triphala is the every-night, overnight detox and digestion balancer, supporting assimilation, balanced agni and ojas. 

    Organic Amla Berry-According to the ancient Ayurveda , Amla has 20 times the Vitamin C content of an orange. Good nutrition requires a balance of the six Ayurvedic tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Amla is one of just a handful of herbs that contain five of the six taste categories — all except salty. Such balanced nutrition means that Amla helps balance all three of the basic operating principles (doshas) of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

    Amla produces total health benefits. It helps strengthen the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; boosts cellular regeneration; and promotes a positive nitrogen balance for improved growth of muscle tissue.

    Anti Kapha Herbs include bayberry, cayenne, cinnamon, guggul, motherwort ,mustard and myrrh.

    Anti-Vata Herbs include ashwagandha, arjuna, astragalus, cardamom, comfrey root, garlic, ginseng, guggul, hawthorn berries, licorice, myrrh, rehmannia, sandalwood and zizphus.

    Anti Pitta Herbs to be used include aloe vera, arjuna, barberry, golden seal, gotu kola, saffron, sandalwood and shatavari.

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    Menopause: Basic Ayurvedic Fundamentals of Wellness

    Three key principles to long-term balance and wellness in Ayurveda are broadly summed up in three lifestyle tactics:

    Reducing ama (toxins)
    Balancing/strengthening digestion (agni)
    Significantly lowering stress
    Each of these plays a powerful role in supporting long-term, life-changing wellness, according to Ayurveda.

    To accomplish these goals, Ayurveda offers you lots of enjoyable options. Each of these choices has the power, in the Ayurvedic model, to gradually, naturally support and restore Ayurvedic balance in mind and body. These lifestyle choices include changes to diet; stress-reduction practices like yoga, exercise and meditation; and traditional Ayurvedic herbals, to name just a few.

    Digestion is a central long-term, priority focus of Ayurveda. Great emphasis is placed on keeping digestion (agni) balanced. In this sense, ‘balance’ means functioning at its absolute optimum. That’s because digestion (agni) is the engine of transformation and assimilation. This transformation ‘engine’ isn’t found just in the stomach — it is found in every cell in the body. It is an extremely intelligent engine, too. It transforms and metabolizes food nutrients and food intelligence into you, and selects out that which isn’t useful to the body and mind. Depending on the strength of agni, the ‘transformation engine,’ either toxins (ama) or ojas (the beneficial biochemical of balance) will be created. Ojas is the finest and most-valued by-product of digestion in Ayurveda, supporting immunity, happiness, the feeling of connectivity (union or yoga) and emotional stability.

    If you are prone to Pitta-based problems, such as hot flashes or excessive irritability, follow a Pitta-pacifying diet: avoid foods that are spicy, such as chilies, cayenne and black mustard seed. Salty foods and foods that are sour, such as yogurt (unless it is diluted and sweetened in a drink called lassi) and sour fruits such as ketchup, mustard, and other salad dressings and condiments made with vinegar should also be avoided.

    Favor foods that are bitter, astringent and sweet, as these are cooling to Pitta dosha. Bitter and astringent foods include most vegetables. Sweet foods include rice, milk and cream, sweet lassi, and wheat products. Sweet, juicy fruits such as pears and plums also pacify Pitta dosha. Cook with Pitta-reducing spices, such as cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, fennel and small amounts of cumin seed.

    If you experience Vata-related symptoms of menopause such as memory loss or vaginal dryness, you'll want to work at bringing Vata dosha back into balance. For this, you'll want to eat foods that are cooked, warm, and unctuous (meaning that they have a small amount of good fats such as ghee and olive oil). Eat foods that are sweet, sour and salty, as this balances Vata dosha.

    Apana Vata, which governs the genito-urinary tract, elimination, and menstruation, is a key area to attend to when preparing for menopause. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day. Eat plenty of cooked, leafy greens, as this helps elimination and is also a good source of calcium. For both Pitta and Vata imbalances, a breakfast of cooked apples and prunes and figs is a good way to start the day, as it balances the doshas and cleanses the digestion.

    It is also important to keep your digestion strong and free of ama. Avoid eating foods that are packaged, processed, frozen, canned or left over. Eat organic foods that are cooked fresh each day. The bulk of your diet should consist of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes and light dairy products such as milk, lassi or paneer for protein. This type of light but nourishing diet will aid your digestion and avoid the build-up of ama. Avoid heavy foods such as meat, cheese, yogurt and frozen desserts like ice cream, especially at night.
    • Eat foods that are easy for the body to digest, suitable for your Ayurvedic body type and the season.
    • Eat the main meal at mid-day, when the digestive fire (agni) is strongest.
    • Favor fresh organic foods. Avoid leftovers.
    • Avoid cold or iced drinks with meals, as these decrease the digestive fire.
    • Increase intake of Vitamin D as this is an important for incorporating the calcium into the bones. Ayurveda advises 15 minutes of sun exposure daily to at least 15% of the skin area. This is equivalent to the face and arms. Postmenopausal women need about 400 to 600 IU daily; for those who are never in the sun, the larger dose (600 IU/day) is better.

    A balanced and individualized diet is required to maintain the structural and functional integrity of the various bodily tissues. For example, the amino acids hydroxyproline and glycine are needed for collagen production, B12 is needed for nervous function and hemoglobin production, and hundreds of other examples exist. Osteoporosis risk, as we all know, can be averted by an adequate intake of calcium starting as a teenager. Along with adequate dietary protein, calcium builds bone density, mass, and tensile strength which peaks in the mid-20’s. This bone density then decreases by about 0.5% per year.

    As women reach menopause it is still vitally important for there to be adequate calcium in the diet. It is recommended that postmenopausal women consume 1200 to 1500 milligrams of elemental calcium daily. The average American women aged 50-65 currently averages about 700 mg/day. Calcium is best obtained from low-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) unless it cannot be tolerated for some reason. Although green leafy vegetables do contain some calcium, it is generally unrealistic to expect to get the full 1500 mg from that source alone. If sufficient calcium is not found in the diet, a calcium supplement is an excellent idea. Taking up to 1500 mg of calcium in the carbonate or citrate form in divided doses with meals will not increase the risk of kidney stones, but adequate water intake is certainly advised. Do not take calcium together with food containing high fiber or iron content.

    Menopause As Per Ayurveda | Causes | Treatments | Herbal Remedies

    Menopause is a normal part of a woman's natural aging process and occurs as hormone levels in the body decline. It marks the end of a woman's menstrual periods and her ability to become pregnant without assistance from technology. Menopause is a process that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and begins 2 to 5 years before (perimenopause) a woman's last menstrual period. It is considered complete (postmenopause) when 1 full year has passed without a menstrual period.

    The symptoms of declining hormone levels can occur before menstrual periods have ended. This 2 to 5 year period of declining hormones is called the climacteric or perimenopause. Perimenopause can last several years and often includes irregular menstrual periods and other symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

    What Causes Menopause?
    Menopause is caused by the natural declining function of the ovaries, which gradually produce lower and lower levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This causes the total serum levels of these hormones to also decline in the woman's body. Decreasing levels of estrogen cause many of the long-term health problems, such as osteoporosis and heart disease that can occur after menopause.

    Menopause-Ayurveda Perspective
    Menopause happens. It's a natural transition, says Ayurveda, and like all transitions, menopause has to be managed to minimize discomfort.

    Since menopause is the transition from the Pitta phase of life to the Vata phase, if a woman already has a significant Pitta or Vata imbalance in the years before menopause, things are likely to get worse during menopause, which is a period when hormonal and other natural changes take place in the body.

    Another factor leading to menopausal imbalances is the accumulation of digestive impurities (ama) in the physiology. Ama blocks the channels that transport nutrition to the cells and remove waste from the body, and thus contributes to menopausal problems.

    A third factor is the misuse or overuse of the mind, body, emotions, or senses. Basically, this happens when a woman strains her mind too much, is under too much ongoing stress or pressure, or is doing work that is too "heavy" for her body, or is under tremendous emotional stress.

    Menopausal Symptoms
    Although some women have very few noticeable symptoms of menopause besides the cessation of her menstrual periods, most women will have some degree of other symptoms. Symptoms may come and go, and more may develop, over the course of the menopausal years. They include:
    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Vaginal changes (atrophic vaginitis)
    • Difficulty concentrating/memory loss
    • Emotional changes (depression, anxiety)
    • Sleep disturbances (insomnia)
    • Changes in sexual desire (increased or decreased libido)
    • Rapid, irregular heartbeat (heart palpitations)
    • Generalized itching
    • Joint and/or muscle pain
    • Headaches
    • Urinary changes (urinary frequency)

    Vata-type Menopause
    Symptoms – Nervousness, anxiety, panic, mood swings, vaginal dryness, loss of skin tone, feeling cold, irregular periods, insomnia, mild or variable hot flashes, constipation, palpitations, bloating and joints aches and pains.

    Pitta-type Menopause
    Symptoms - Prone to Hot Temper, anger, irritability, feeling hot, hot flashes, night sweats, heavy periods, excessive bleeding, urinary tract infections, skin rashes and acne.

    Kapha-type Menopause
    Symptoms - Menopausal Weight Gain , sluggishness, lethargy, fluid retention, yeast infections, lazy, depressed, lacking motivation, slow digestion.

    Diet can be a crucial tool in menopause management. 
    Basic Ayurvedic Fundamentals of Wellness
    Three key principles to long-term balance and wellness in Ayurveda are broadly summed up in three lifestyle tactics:

    Reducing ama (toxins)
    Balancing/strengthening digestion (agni)
    Significantly lowering stress

    Each of these plays a powerful role in supporting long-term, life-changing wellness, according to Ayurveda.
    To accomplish these goals, Ayurveda offers you lots of enjoyable options. Click to Know More

    Lifestyle tips for balance
    Sleep is important for the woman entering menopause or going through menopause, because both Vata and Pitta imbalances can cause sleep problems that will only make menopausal imbalances worse. To keep both doshas in balance and to sleep more deeply at night, be sure you're in bed before 10: 00 p.m. and that you arise before 6: 00 a.m. This is the time of night when sleep comes easier and is more restful. If you stay awake past 10: 00, it will be harder to fall asleep, and you'll also increase any Pitta imbalance, because because 10: 00 p.m. to 2: 00 a.m. is the Pitta time of night, when the body needs to be at rest in order to cleanse and purify itself.  During this time a natural detoxification takes place.

    The morning abhyanga or ayurvedic oil massage is extremely important for preventing menopausal problems.

    Use the Youthful Skin Oil for Women. This oil is designed to increase circulation, calm Vata dosha, and provide needed moisture to the skin.

    For both Pitta and Vata dosha, it's important not to skip meals, and to eat your main meal at noon, when digestion is the strongest. Try to eat at the same time every day, and go to bed and wake up at the same time.

    Be sure to get lots of rest during your menstrual cycle as you approach menopause, because this will keep Apana Vata in balance and avoid the more serious complications of menopause.

    Daily exercise (gentle for Vata and not too overheating for Pitta) is also important for keeping all doshas in balance. Exercise need not be a complicated or time consuming affair; it can be in the form of brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, aerobics, dancing, tennis, weight-training, rollerblading, ice-skating, or even gardening. Any activity which raises the heart rate and/or works against gravity can help maintain a healthy heart, skeleton, muscle tone, immune system, and body weight.

    Exercise can promote more restful sleep, reduce depressive thoughts, retard osteoporosis, ameliorate hot flashes in some women, and improve cognitive function. The single, most important key is to develop an enjoyable, realistic exercise plan appropriate for your individual constitutional type, which is conducive to long-term compliance.

    There are three general types of exercise and most women should try to incorporate examples of all three: (1) aerobic, (2) anaerobic (or weight-bearing), and (3) flexibility exercises. 

    Weight Management
    Obesity, or sthaulya, is a multifactorial complex of imbalances affecting both an individual’s physiology and psychology which results in an increase of body weight to more than 30 per cent above “normal”. This increase is due to the systemic accumulation of fat throughout the body.

    Overweight and obesity are associated with virtually all of the most common diseases which have been on the rise over the past 50 years: type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, coronary heart disease, polycystic ovary disease, hyperandrogenism, gallstones, osteoarthritis, infertility, fatigue, low back pain, shortness of breath, esophageal reflux, depression, colon cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, and endometrial cancer.

    Being overweight means you have developed an imbalance in one or more of these physiological enzyme/hormone pairs in the direction which favors energy storage. This unhealthy shift in one’s metabolism is known to accelerate during menopause. Simply losing weight will not correct this imbalance and the amount of weight loss will always be limited because the underlying problem has not been corrected.

    Ayurveda offers a program which combines general principles of hygienic living with specific individualized constitutional guidelines. Overweight conditions are effectively addressed by understanding these conditions for what they truly are--an accumulated toxin with both physical and mental roots which are unique for each person. The molecular structure of human fat which deposits in different individuals may be identical, but the unhealthy habits, attitudes, misconceptions, and stored emotional experiences which promulgate obesity are unique and singular. These weight loss measures are presented succinctly in The Ayurvedic Approach To Diet and Weight Loss: The Sattva Program

    Panchakarma Chikitsa
    Panchakarma (“five therapeutic actions”) chikitsa (“treatment”) are physical therapies that thoroughly cleanse and purify the physical and mental impurities from the body and mind. Normally the body has the innate ability to efficiently process and remove these waste materials, including the vitiated doshas. However due to one's repeated dietary indiscretions, hormonal changes, poor exercise patterns, lifestyle, and genetic predisposition, the digestive enzymes, metabolic co‑factors, hormones, and agnis which regulate the body's internal homeostasis become disorganized. This can lead to the accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the physiology-resulting in disease. Click to Know More

    Herbs that heal
    According to the ancient Ayurveda, the nature has some powerful herbs that helps balance all three of the basic operating principles (doshas) of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Click to know more

    Herbal Preparations
    Ayurvedic preparations are completely different in their intention and their action. They are mixtures of natural substances which can correct an underlying imbalance. They promote an energetic adjustment which is at a level of intelligence higher than the molecular level. Reestablishing balance at this subtle energetic (i.e. doshic) level of human function removes the push at the physical (i.e. molecular) level toward discomfort and the symptoms are eliminated at their root. Click to know more on Herbal formulations that helps balance all three of the basic operating principles (doshas) of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha. 

    Women around the world are now living approximately one third of their lives after they reach menopause. Every women can benefit during these years from a balanced diet tailored to her specific constitution, an appropriate form of regular exercise, intelligently selected plant-based Ayurvedic preparations, and additional dietary calcium and vitamin D. Most women will also derive great benefit from Panchakarma therapies followed by rasayana therapies every 2-3 years. Depending on one’s risk factors, women should have a Pap smear and mammogram every 1-2 years and check her thyroid function, lipid profile, and have a colonoscopy every 3-5 years. 

    Menopause: Herbal Preparations | Herbal Formulas

    Ayurvedic preparations are completely different in their intention and their action. They are mixtures of natural substances which can correct an underlying imbalance. They promote an energetic adjustment which is at a level of intelligence higher than the molecular level. Reestablishing balance at this subtle energetic (i.e. doshic) level of human function removes the push at the physical (i.e. molecular) level toward discomfort and the symptoms are eliminated at their root.

    Ayurvedic preparations are made from various materials in Nature: roots, rhizomes, seeds, flowers, stems, leaves, barks, minerals, resins, and even some metals.

    Most Ayurvedic preparations are combinations of several different materials, sometimes up to fifty. Each root, leaf, or mineral component can be thought of as an “information bit” and when combined together form an “information bundle”. Applying the correct information bundle for your energetic imbalance in the proper dosage, at the right time, and for the correct duration, is the key to rebalancing your physiology. Although to accurately determine which herbal medicines are precisely indicated requires a full knowledge of both the patient and the condition (rogarogi pariksha), knowing a woman’s constitutional type (prakriti) allows us to choose some basic therapeutic materials. Many of the plants below contain one or more phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived substances whose chemical structure is similar to endogenous human estrogens. They are categorized into four main groups: isoflavones, lignans, coumestans, and resorcylic acid lactones (although the latter is not a true phytoestrogen). The formulas below can include all or some of the listed ingredients.

    Herbal Formula For Vata Types
    Ashoka (Saraca indica)
    Lodhra (Symplocos racemosus)
    Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
    Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
    Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
    Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
    Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
    Sveta musali (Asparagus adscendens)
    Nagbala (Grewia hirsuta)
    Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
    Jiraka (Cuminum cyminum)
    Bala (Sida cordifolia)
    Vidari (Pueraria tuberosa)
    Nilotpala (Nymphoae stellata)
    Asparagus adscendens (Sveta musali)

    Herbal Formula For Pitta Types
    Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
    Lodhra (Symplocos racemosus)
    Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus)
    Sveta musali Asparagus adscendens
    Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris)
    Ashoka (Saraca indica)
    Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
    Brahmi (Bacopa Monniera)
    Hibiscus rosa senesis
    Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica)
    Prisniparni (Uraria picta)
    Rakta chandana (Pterocarpus santalinus)
    Shivalingi (Byronopsis laciniosa)
    Vanga Bhasma

    Herbal Formula For Kapha Types
    Ashoka (Saraca indica)
    Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
    Mahat Panchamula (the 5 large roots: bilva, agnimantha,synonaka, patala, kasmarya)
    Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
    Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
    Guggulu Commiphora mukul)
    Shankhpushpi (Evolvulus alsinoides)
    Satapushpi (Peucedanum graveolens)
    Sweta Chandana (Santalum album)
    Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
    Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)
    Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
    Abhraka bhasma

    Suggested Lifestyle Changes for Menopause Treatment

    Mental attitude has a lot to do with how well a woman adjusts to menopause. If it is seen as a tragic end to youth, fertility and sexuality, it can cause significant disruptions in one's day-to-day life, and create the temptation to "solve" the problem with unproven therapies that promise eternal youth. If menopause is seen as simply the natural transition to the next phase of life, it can be readily accepted and more easily handled. The risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy should be carefully considered, and many women do quite well without any medical intervention for menopause treatment. Following an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate aerobic exercise, and relaxation practices can help address the many practical problems that menopause can bring. Menopause is not a disease, and there is no reason for it to decrease interest in or enjoyment of sex. Vaginal dryness can make intercourse more difficult, however, and an over-the-counter product such as Replens Vaginal Lotion, as well as lubricants such as Astroglide can help. Your doctor can also prescribe a topical estrogen cream which will restore normal vaginal tissue.

    Nutrition and Supplements - Herbs for Menopause

    Try the following natural remedies and herbs for menopause: 

    Soy foods. The isoflavones in soy foods help balance hormone levels and have some estrogenic activity. There is ongoing research about the safety and efficacy of isolated soy isoflavone supplements. While the initial results look promising, we currently recommend using natural soy foods rather than supplements. Choose from tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts or tempeh.

    Flaxseed. Substances called lignins in flaxseed are important modulators of hormone metabolism. Grind flaxseed daily in a coffee grinder at home and use 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.

    Dong quai. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is known both in China and the West for its ability to support and maintain the natural balance of female hormones. It does not have estrogenic activity. This is one of the herbs for menopause that should not be taken if a woman is experiencing heavy bleeding.

    Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa). One of the best-studied traditional herbs for menopause, black cohosh is used to help alleviate some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Black cohosh seems to work by supporting and maintaining hormonal levels, which may lessen the severity of hot flashes. Many women report that the herb works well but it isn't effective for everyone. While any therapy that influences hormonal actions should be a concern, black cohosh does not appear to have estrogenic activity and thus may be safe for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer.

    Vitamin E. A daily dose of 400 IUs of natural vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols) can help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes in some menopausal women.

    B vitamins. This group of water-soluble vitamins may help women deal with the stress of menopausal symptoms.

    Evening primrose oil or black currant oil. These are sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that can help influence prostaglandin synthesis and help moderate menopausal symptoms.

    Women Health: Menopause

    Once women reach the menopause years, typically around the age of 50, a variety of physiological changes and menopause symptoms occur that can have a profound impact on their lives. Menopause is a term that refers to the end of menstruation, the result of the natural decline in the hormones (estrogen, progesterone and others) produced in the ovaries. After years of preparing and releasing eggs, the ovaries eventually reach a point where they end their monthly routine. As hormone levels decrease, a number of symptoms may emerge, although their presentation and severity varies greatly from woman to woman. The most common menopause symptoms are hot flashes, depression, insomnia, vaginal dryness, irritability, mood swings and headaches.

    Most women report that they experience hot flashes during pre- and perimenopause. Hot flashes typically begin to occur when women start to have irregular periods, and usually end one or two years after menstruation has ceased. Sometimes women will experience flushing or warmth in their faces and upper bodies, others might actually have sweating and chills. Hot flashes can occur at any time of day or night. While it is not entirely clear what causes hot flashes, some researchers suggest it might have to do with mixed signals from the hypothalamus, a region in the brain that regulates body temperature and sex hormones. The hypothalamus may be reacting to decreasing levels of estrogen, and this may explain why hot flashes cease when estrogen replacement is given.

    There are two tests that your doctor can perform that will determine if a woman is "officially" in menopause. One is to test the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level. This hormone increases significantly after the ovaries shut down. Another procedure is to take a Pap-like smear from the vaginal walls and check for any thinning and drying out of the vagina.

    Health Nutrition for Women Over 30: Eat Right to Look and Feel Your Best

    Author: Aloysius Mah

    It has been said countless times that the women are in the prime of their lives when they are in their early twenties. Once you go past 28, you then start dreading turning 30, because you'll start feeling "old" or that time is flying faster than you think. One of the reasons why women dread turning thirty is that they believe their metabolism slows down, making them even more prone to weight gain, and making it more difficult to lose weight.

    Women over 30 need not to fret too much about this, because in truth, the way to a healthy diet that makes your glow and look your best is eating the right food at the right intervals, in good combinations. Many women ask experts how to maintain a healthy diet and sometimes even spend loads of money enrolling in different diet programs, but in reality, one does not really have to spend a truckload of money just to shed off those extra pounds. Information and self-education can go a long way in helping you remember what and what not to eat.

    So how do you maintain a healthy diet? It's all about good choices. It boils down to regularly eating well-balanced meals and food that is full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals-things that your body needs in order to function properly and at its maximum. Do some research on the Internet and you will find plenty of informative and easy-to-understand guides on how women over 30 can watch their figures by eating well. You can choose from a variety of sources, from blogs to e-zine articles and e-books.

    The best part of knowing how to maintain a healthy diet is that inner and outer beauty follows. If you feel good about yourself, knowing that you are taking very good care of your body, you will feel beautiful inside and out. This makes you attractive, as this increases your level of self-confidence and self-esteem.

    At the end of the day, what is most important is your belief in yourself and your ability to take care of your health at 30 by eating properly and always knowing what is good for your body. If your friends approach you and ask you "How do you maintain a healthy diet?" the answer is simple: "It's a matter of choosing to only take in food that your body will benefit from." Crash diets or fad diets are not the answer to your worries. All these will do is to make you drastically lose weight, only to come back tenfold after.

    So remember-it is completely up to you. Maintaining a healthy diet at 30 is something that anyone can do. All it takes are the motivation and determination to make this a regular habit.

    Some Important Resources
     Article Source: Articlesbase

    How Happiness May Prevent Breast Cancer?

    According to a new study, happiness and optimism may play a role against breast cancer while adverse life events can increase the risk of developing the disease.

    Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer after lung cancer and starts in the cells of the breast in men and women. The mainstay of its treatment is surgery and cancer drugs. The study has been conducted at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel and published in the British journal BMC Cancer.

    During the study, researchers asked women about their life experiences and evaluated their levels of happiness, optimism, anxiety, and depression prior to diagnosis. Further, the researchers used this information to examine the relationship between life events, psychological distress and breast cancer among young women.

    A total of 622 women between the ages of 25 and 45 were interviewed: 255 breast cancer patients and 367 healthy women. The findings of the study show that there was a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease. On the other hand women who suffered two or more traumatic events had a 62 percent increased risk of the disease.

    The researchers think that young women who have been exposed to a number of negative life events should be considered 'at-risk' for breast cancer and treated accordingly.

    However, there's a possible pitfall that since the women were interviewed after their diagnosis, it could have made them recall negative events more readily. Also, recently, in a different study, the researchers had discovered that disclosing breast cancer diagnoses is itself quite a challenge.

    Despite the skepticism the scientists believe that it's safe to say that experiencing more than one severe and/or mild to moderate life event raises a red flag of risk for breast cancer among young women. However, a general feeling of happiness and optimism may have protective effect.

    Additionally, the mechanism by which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behavior and external events affect these three systems is not fully understood. And it needs more research to figure out answers to these questions.

    Recently, there's been some eye opening finds as a result of cancer research. For instance, see: Moisturized Mice Mean Skin Cancer. And that aside from the conventional pharmaceutical drugs, there's also the Power of Naturals Against Cancer.

    Breast Cancer Disclosure: An Emotional Battle for Women

    Women, conventionally socialized to play the role of caregivers, often find it difficult to spontaneously disclose the diagnoses of their disease to family members.

    Not only is it an onerous task for them to confess it to their family, but when they actually break the news they do it tactically, an American Sociological Association (ASA) research uncovers.

    When women learn about the diagnoses, even though they are themselves in the need of support and reassurance, they have to make an emotional effort and consider the vulnerabilities of their family members too while informing them.

    Aside from emotional support it's also the progress being made in cancer research and cancer drugs these days that's reassuring. In fact the power of some natural compounds has also shown promise.

    To conduct the research, the scientists comparatively and qualitatively examined how breast cancer survivors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds went about sharing the news of their illness with family, friends and acquaintances.

    Research participants included 164 breast cancer survivors, who were examined for the “emotion work” involved in disclosing a breast cancer diagnosis. The mode of data collection was interview. Furthermore, The survivors were a mix of racially diverse women born in the United States and immigrants.

    On the one hand women found it difficult to share the news with their family, but on the other, these women reported to have shared their diagnosis with their peers quite spontaneously. And following which they were themselves surprised by the extent of the support they got as a result of these spontaneous conversations from their own social networks.

    The researchers believe that those women who limit their emotions in discussing their breast cancer diagnosis also limit the possibilities for support they might receive. So the take away seems to be, that involving others in an illness, increases intimacy among friends and family in addition to opening up newer doors to get additional support that is so much needed at times of stress, such as during breast cancer diagnoses.