August 25, 2008
Why do we exercise? Answers to this question are endless. Each of us have different workout goals depending on our age, body type, body mass index, state of mind, lifestyle and health problems.
Exercising and injuries go hand in hand. Most people injure their muscles or suffer from muscle strain and muscle tear frequently. They ignore it thinking that it will heal automatically. The body does repair it on its own but sometimes aiding it can bring better results.
Simple Muscle Healing Tips:
1) Treating simple aches and pains can be best handled with rest. Applying the affected area with ice limits swelling, bleeding and encourages rapid healing. It is always recommended to wrap the ice in a towel to avoid direct contact with skin.
2) Compressing also works well. This can be effectively done using a stretch bandage to compress the injury. Care should be taken to make sure that the bandage is not too tight, but sufficiently tight to lend support to the injured area.
3) Elevating the affected limb higher than the hip level also helps in pain relief.
Rehabilitation is crucial many times. Ignoring the pain and constantly exercising can lead to muscle, ligament and cartilage tear. Most people ignore the pain and avoid certain forms of exercises as they know the pain will reoccur. This is a signal that the body gives out indicating that this is serious. Whether it is a nagging back pain, a frozen shoulder, stiff neck, nerve pinch on the hamstring or a wobbly knee, such signs should be checked by a physician. The pain reoccurring in such areas need special care.
Follow the instructions of the doctor and complete the recommended healing process. This is the best way to prevent old injuries from surfacing again. Most of the time, these occur due to that particular muscle being weak. This could be a result from an old injury which didn’t heal in the right manner.
Regular exercising is crucial in everyone’s lives and so is getting proper rest. Rehabilitation should not be ignored because you are prolonging your agony. So it is best that you nip it at the bud and seek professional help.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
August 22, 2008
The movie, The Ring was one of the most chilling movies that I had ever seen. The girl crawling out of the television screen troubled me for many nights, of course in my thoughts. Then it was followed Grudge and its second part. I really didn’t understand why the ghosts had long hair. Did they signify something? Many such unanswered questions were systematically sorted out when I came across this article in The Japan Times. The following is an extract from the original piece.
What do Japan’s ghosts look like?
Called “yurei” (faint spirits), ghosts typically wear a white garment and triangular forehead cloth. This is rooted in the way the dead are traditionally laid to rest in white Buddhist burial kimono, and is the preferred attire for the deceased to travel to the other world.
Japanese-style haunted houses at amusement parks will most likely feature a pale-looking ghost with wild black hair, arms stretched forward and wrists dangling. Japanese ghosts are also usually legless. Experts theorize that this is a reflection of their supernatural powers.
How do Japanese and non-Japanese ghosts differ?
Most ghosts are generally considered to be wandering souls of the dead that are deprived of a peaceful rest. But religious backgrounds and concepts of death lead to significant differences, said Haruo Suwa, a professor emeritus at Gakushuin University.
While Western religions, including Christianity, and even Islam of the East, believe in the existence of one deity, divinity is omnipresent in Shinto. Beliefs held in Japan include the notion that men can be transformed after death into supernatural beings.
Whereas Western ghosts may be regarded as the extension of one’s self after death, a yurei was originally believed to be godlike.
This belief can be observed in the fact that Japanese ghosts are usually depicted without legs or only from the waist up, to demonstrate the individual has been transformed from what it was when alive.
Why are ghosts often depicted as being vengeful and bearing a grudge?
According to Suwa, whose published works include “Nihon no Yurei” (“Japanese Ghosts”), ghost tales have been documented since the early eighth century in the Heian Period.
The yurei of ancient times was considered harmless and even favorable. They only manifested grudges and eeriness with the spread of Buddhism throughout the country.
“The religious perception of heaven and hell came into Japan” with the new religion, Suwa said, noting the Buddhist theory of reincarnation and folklore-inspired supernatural beasts helped redefine the concept of yurei. Ghosts “eventually became visually terrifying.”
Folklore, in which ghosts are portrayed as the soul of someone robbed of life and deprived of a peaceful afterlife, also influenced the characteristics of Japanese ghosts. Today it is widely believed a yurei returns to the world to exact revenge, and will not stop until its goal is met.
One notable tale is “Yotsuya Kaidan” (“Yotsuya Ghost Story”), which is probably one of the most famous in Japan.The tale of vengeance takes place in Edo Period Tokyo in the Yotsuya district, featuring Oiwa and her husband, Iemon. Eager to marry an affluent neighbor, Iemon poisons Oiwa, causing her hair to fall out and leaving her face disfigured. Oiwa dies but returns as a ghost and exacts her revenge, killing her husband. The story was originally written as a play in 1825 and was later adapted for kabuki and movie scripts.
How can one stop being haunted by ghosts?
In the Christianized West, holy water and crosses may help ward off ghosts, but they won’t keep their Japanese counterparts, buried under Shinto or Buddhist rites, at bay. Instead, “ofuda” strips inscribed with Buddhist sutras are believed to be effective in keeping evil spirits away. Some Shinto shrines also provide “oharai,” a purification ritual that removes bad omens with wooden wands and chants.
Ghosts are everywhere. I think that knowing how to help them to get their peace is the best way to look at the situation.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
August 19, 2008
Indian curries are known to satiate its natives and also the international palates. Indian cuisine has crossed every barrier to make its presence in the global market. Britain’s most talked about food is the Indian curry. Indian food plays a vital role in their dining experience.
What makes Indian cooking shine out amongst so many international culinary styles? Well, this cannot be answered in one sentence. One of the main reasons for Indian curries being such a hit is due to the different varieties of spices. Our spices have a way of healing the body while providing the palate a delicate and unique flavor. It doesn’t matter whether it is north indian cuisine or a south Indian one, each has a distinct aroma which makes it traditionally Indian. Besides, there is love, nurturing and the way Indians feel about their food, reflects in their cooking.
Indians eat a variety of food all at once. It is not one dish with bread like the westerners eat. The Indian Thali consists of dal, a dry vegetable, a curry or gravy, rice, chapattis or puris. Our accompaniments are not sauces or salt and pepper. It is usually pickles, chutneys which are again classified into sweet, sour and spicy. There is papad and raita. This is a very standard food that most people eat. Next is the dessert which is made from milk and milk products. This whole meal has numerous varieties depending on the state that a person belongs to. The combination of vegetables, spices, pulses, legumes, rice and wheat makes a balanced meal. It contains innumerable, proteins, vitamins, minerals that some people are still exploring and testing in labs.
Ayurveda and its practices laid down by our seers and sages is still practiced partially through Indian cooking. The medicinal properties provided by turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, peppercorns mixed with ghee or clarified butter still binds us with some their teachings.
So go ahead, try Indian cuisine and ponder over its taste. Find out what makes it really so special and infer with my conclusions.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.