Health

Medical Neuroscience

I completed the intense and very difficult 12-week Medical Neuroscience course designed by Dr Leonard White (faculty member of the Duke University School of Medicine).

Overall, my experience of Medical Neuroscience 2016 was especially self-motivating, and rewarding. I liked the many excellent and creative contributions from participants that helped my own learning process. The culturally diverse cohort course of 2016 represented an historic opportunity to participate in a cohort before the closure of the session-based platform for Medical Neuroscience. It also represented an opportunity to receive a certificate with distinction, which was awarded to a grade above 90%.

Circle of Willis

Graha and Dhātu

In the traditional system of Āyurveda, the sapta dhātu (seven support) model describes the structural constituents of the body.

Symbol Graha Type Taste Dhātu Endocrine Gland
Sun (Sūrya) Hot Pungent Bone Tissue (Asthi) Pineal
Moon (Čandra) Cold Salty Blood (Rakta) Thymus
Mars (Maṅgala) Light Bitter Marrow (Majjā) Adrenals (& Pancreas)
Mercury (Budha) Hetero-geneous Savoury Lymph Tissue (Rasa) Pituitary
Jupiter (Bṛhaspati) Heavy Sweet Adipose Tissue (Meda) Gonads
Venus (Śukra) Oily Sour Reproductive Tissue Thyroid
Saturn (Śani) Dry Astringent Muscle (Māṃsa) Prostate/Cervix
La Reproduction Interdite (René Magritte, 1937)
Channel (Srota)
Digestive System (Anna-vāha)
Water (Ambu-vāha)
Respiratory System (Prāṇa-vāha)
Lymphatic System (Rasa-vāha)
Haematopoietic System (Rakta-vāha)
Muscular System (Māṃsa-vāha)
Adipose System (Medo-vāha)
Skeletal System (Asthi-vāha)
Nervous System (Majjā-vāha)
Reproductive System (Śukra-vāha/Artava-vāha)
Excretory System (Purīṣa-vāha)
Urinary System (Mūtra-vāha)
Sweat System (Sveda-vāha)
Mind (Mano-vāha)
Lactation System (Stanya-vāha)

Thought of the Day

Forget what you know about meditation practices; much of mainstream preoccupation with what constitutes a “meditation” practice is largely based on male doctrine (or dharma) sometimes in the religious ideal for salvation.

Here is the Thought of the Day. I want you to bring an awareness of the trajectory of your own life as your meditation practice, because your life is inseparable from you.

Yoga meditation, like the days and rhythms in your life, takes on the form of mandala (or circles) based on numerology. Your body has the inherent intelligence to regulate hormones. It is a living, breathing miracle of pranayama and meditation in daily life.

Nevertheless, the human body can experience a hormonal deficit or imbalance in the system associated with, for example, menstrual cramps and menopause.

In the pancha mahabhuta model, we can relate these symptoms to a dominance of the aspect of tejas (fire), which describes the living and loving condition of the relationship between the human body and the external environment that supports the body. Furthermore, an ayurvedic therapist must not discount the state of the spousal relationship, which could affect the degree of spaciousness (ākāśa aspect) to help settle down tejas in the relationship.

Let your living meditation practice be your daily choices of what foods to prepare and eat. In terms of Yoga, food consumption is not dissimilar to breath consumption; both are considered pranayama, the hathayoga practice of consciously restricting the intake of acidity by the body. Ayurveda recommends consuming less rajasic foods, also known as acidic foods. Over-consumption of rajasic foods places more stress on the body to bring pH balance to the system, resulting in metabolic depletion and fatigue, associated with conditions such as acne and panic attacks. If you are irritable and not fun to get on with, please avoid coffee and smoking, since these bad habits surely bring more heat into your body. Moreover, do you know that ice cold frappes do not cool down your system, but instead, turns the heat up to regulate the internal body temperature?

The key to longevity, the basis of a regular pranayama practice, is regulating the pH balance in your body. Excess acidity provides an ideal environment for microbes and bacteria, as well as cell degeneration. By reducing the level of acidity in your body, you improve the delivery of oxygen to cells and, as a natural consequence, extends life.

Every one dies eventually, but how often do we make the conscious choice to restrict what we put into our bodies that will eventually kill us?

Thank you for reading my Thought of the Day.

Detailed list of acid/alkaline forming foods

Spring, allergenic rhinitis, and new Asics

Spring is definitely in the air, when my allergies flare up severely. I must stock up on Loratadine (allergy relief pills) for however long it takes and bear endless severe bouts of sneezing, runny nose, eye tearing, nasal congestion, etc.

My new Asics GT2140 black shoes arrived today. Compared to my Asics GT2110 shoes, even though they are both of the same size (9) and width (2E), the new pair fits more snugly and I am able to run faster with them. They fit almost as well as my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 6 (size 9.5), which remain one of my favourite shoes. I am going to be running in the Blackmores Bridge Run and Rebel Sport Run4Fun in a few weeks.

I am trying to enrol in a yoga teacher training course, so I have a new mobile phone number!