Welcome to Good Vibes, our weekly look at all things Deep Health. We bring two tool kits this week on Breathing and Happy and Healthy mouth. We are curating some great insights from experts and emailing them to you once a week. So take some time and enjoy the read.
Have a great week ahead.
Do you easily feel cold? Then you need to get uncomfortable to feel comfortable. A recent research shows 11 minute cold water submersion (2-3 sessions per week) is all it takes to see health benefits. It increases metabolism, improves cold adaptation, lowers (adapted) immune response, reduces insulin production, accelerates glucose metabolism, among other benefits .People, who regularly do deliberate cold exposure, increase their brown fat stores. Brown fat is a healthy, mitochondrial enriched fat storage compartment that assists in heating the body using white fat (the typical type stored around belly and elsewhere) for energy. Tools you can use;
- Swimming in cold water
- Sleeping in cold room
- Shower with cold water
- Physical activity in cold weather
You can read the whole research here
From The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown.
- Sit up straight.
- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen.
- Imagine a piece of string guiding you upward from the top of the back of your head. Imagine the space between your ribs gently widening.
- As you breathe in, gently guide your abdomen out. Keep your chest movements to a minimum.
- As you breathe out, gently guide your abdomen in, still keeping your chest movements small.
- Follow each breath in and out through your nose.
- Tune in to the amplitude of each inhalation and exhalation. Try to get a sense of the size and frequency of each breath.
- As you breathe, exert gentle pressure with your hands against your abdomen and chest. This should create extra resistance to your breathing.
- Breathe against your hands, concentrating on making the size of each breath smaller.
- With each breath, take in less air than you would like to. Make the in-breath smaller or shorter.
- Breathe out with a relaxed exhalation. Allow the natural elasticity of your lungs and diaphragm to play their role in each exhalation. Imagine a balloon slowly and gently deflating of its own accord.
- When the in-breath becomes smaller and the out-breath is relaxed, visible breathing movements will be reduced. You may be able to notice this in a mirror.
By using a simple exercise like this you can reduce your breathing movements by 20 to 30 percent. If your stomach muscles start to feel tense, contract, or jerk, or if your breathing rhythm becomes disrupted or out of control, then the air shortage is too intense. In this situation, abandon the exercise for 15 seconds or so and return to it when the air shortage has disappeared. Do not be concerned about the number of breaths you take per minute. Ideally, this should not increase. Practicing 2 sets of 5-minute exercises is enough to help you reset your breathing center and improve your body’s tolerance of carbon dioxide.
If you want to learn and know more about the science and art of Breathing, you can order the book at https://amzn.to/3coOWIw
Oral cavity or mouth is the gateway to body and forms an important part of physical appearance. A good smile often forms a lasting impression, shortens the distance between two people. In spite of being so important, the health of oral cavity is neglected due to many reasons, mainly because of lack of awareness. Though this article I would like to emphasize the importance of oral hygiene and various methods to maintain a good oral health.
Dental plaque, commonly known as tartar, is a biofilm made of microorganisms embedded within a sticky matrix. It tends to accumulate around tooth surface and beneath gums till it is mechanically removed through oral hygiene aids. Two most common dental diseases, tooth decay (caries) and gum disease (pyorrhoea/periodontitis) are directly caused by plaque accumulation. Prevention of these diseases is based on controlling plaque formation around teeth.
Oral bacteria that normally reside in our mouths are symbiotic that is they don’t cause disease. When oral hygiene is neglected and plaque keeps on accumulating, the pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria take their place and release substances that are detrimental to teeth and gums.
Importance of oral hygiene:
- Prevents buildup of tartar (dental plaque) which causes oral diseases such as caries and pyorrhea
- Buildup of dental plaque can lead to worsening of systemic disease such as sugar control in diabetics
- May cause complications in pregnancy
- May cause infective endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of heart) in susceptible individuals
- Prevents tooth loss and maintains quality of life.
- A healthy smile helps boost confidence and ability to interact
For Effective control of plaque and prevention of oral diseases following strategies can be adopted:
- Mechanically remove all plaque with use of oral hygiene Aids
- Use of medicinal mouthwashes to control disease causing bacteria
- Alteration of oral environment to prevent bacterial overgrowth of disease-causing bacteria
1. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste, once in the morning and once before going to bed. Fluoridated toothpaste can be avoided where borewell water is being used especially in North India (endemic for highly fluoridated water)
2. Brushing for two minutes in a prescribed way is enough. Avoid overbrushing
3. Never use toothbrush with hard bristles, hard bristles abrade the tooth surface
4. If your tooth brush frays in less than three months, you are applying excessive pressure. Only a mild pressure is required for brushing.
5. Change your brush every three months
6. Floss at least twice a week to clean interdental area
7. Mouthwashes can never replace tooth brushing. Use mouthwash only on the advice of a dentist.
8. Cleaning your tongue is equally important part of oral hygiene routine as is toothbrushing.
9. Drink sufficient water at regular intervals (hourly half a glass would be good)
10. Visit your dentist every six months.
Dr Veenu Madaan Hans, is an Associate Professor, Dentistry in a reputed Government College.She is a periodontist with 16 years of experience in treating patients especially those with gum diseases. You can connect with her on Twitter at @dr_veenu.
What we fear most? Obviously death. We are evolutionary designed by nature to avoid situation where we can get hurt. When I stood at the edge of the approx. 200 meter drop, I wanted to drop out. I was facing my life’s greatest fear. And the idea of facing it head on excited and terrified me. When they strapped me on the ankle and perched me on the edge, I was shaking. On top of the jump board it was written – Live more, Fear less. And I plunged. 11 seconds of most intense moments, I had ever experienced. Terror turned into Euphoria. This was one of the most significant moments of my life. I realized it was not as scary as it looked. This was the most eye opening moment for me. Life begins at the end of comfort zone. Whenever now I hear my inner voice apprehensive or fearful of something I wish to do – I take a deep breath and tell myself – it’s not as scary as it looks. And I push myself away from my comfort zone a bit more further. We are afraid to leave the safety of our routine to pursue something greater because of our fear of failure. Ask yourself, ”Will you regret not doing this?” If the answer is yes, go try. We are all looking for fulfilment and the path to the same is outside of our comfort zone.
To Reduce the Strain of Overwork, Learn to Listen to Your Body
Can learning how to engage with your body differently help with symptoms of overwork? Research on two groups of people taking yoga teacher training shows that learning how to “let go” during training also helped participants do the same in their work lives. Further, this “third space” of training with others provided a much-needed space to unpack and manage harmful work norms. The lesson: seek out communities beyond work and home that counter the trends of excessive striving and all-encompassing work schedules, and that bring awareness to your body.
“Management was ruthless,” she shared. “It got to a point where there was no work-life balance, I was coming home, working all night, yelling at my kids…the stress just seeped into my family life. I ended up having anxiety issues. My health went down[hill].”
Read the article here
Making changes in how you spend, save, earn, and give takes time and discipline. Some small actions you can do to manage your money better.
1) Invest some money this week. Maybe in stock market. Choose a good stock for long term.
2) Check your last few credit card statements. You will be surprised how some of the things you spent money on, were impulsive and you actually didn’t need the things or services.
3) Check things at home that you don’t use and can be sold off. There are many market places where you can sell them and you will be surprised how quickly you can convert your clutter into cash.
4) Cancel one subscription. We all have now so many subscriptions from Netflix to Prime to Hotsar and more. You may put on hold some of these. I paused my Tata Sky service in guest room TV as no guests were expected and just top up whenever needed. Still have a landline phone that you rarely use. Surrender that. An app you subscribed but don’t use any more.
5) Avoid eating outside this week. We don’t realise but we spend lot of money on unhealthy packaged food. Make it a rule not to spend on these food items for a week.
6) Don’t spend any money this week. You’ve probably got enough food in your fridge and pantry to last that long. If it sounds difficult try for two days.
Incremental small changes eventually amount to big changes.