Life & Breath

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With Delhi and Beijing  choking on toxic air, S R JINDAL shares with us some natural solutions for preventing acute respiratory conditions

 

Are we killing ourselves in a world of our own creation? Modern ecologists say ‘yes’. The ever-increasing percentage of atmospheric pollution all around the globe is aggravated by the needs of an artificial lifestyle. Increased industrialisation, machines and motor vehicles are constantly adding to the percentage of carbon dioxide, other poisonous gases and minute particles of suspended solids in the air. Ecologists are also worried now as to how to stop depleting the ozone layer covering the earth’s atmosphere. There may be a time in future, when a man will have to come out wearing astronaut suits fitted with oxygen masks, if conditions are not improved drastically.

Air pollutants are mainly responsible for the development of acute conditions of the respiratory system, starting from the common cold to chronic conditions like bronchitis. When the bronchi turn sensitive to atmospheric irritants or allergens, bronchitis develops. In due course of time, the sensitivity increases to an extent that wrong signals are sent when even nontoxic smells such as perfumes or pollen enter the bronchi along with inspired air.

 

Common Cold

The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a filterable virus and is defined as acute nasal catarrh or acute rhinitis. The cold usually commences with a running nose, sneezing, watery eyes, chills, headaches, body aches, and when accompanied with cough, fever and muscular pains, may turn to flu. The cold virus enters through the nose either directly or by rubbing of the eyes. Virus-infected fingers in the nose or eyes readily transplant infectious agents. The virus is present in the infected person’s nasal discharge or in his sneeze or cough. Handkerchiefs, pencils, staircase railings, telephone receivers, hand shaking for instance can get contaminated with the shedder’s virus-laden mucus. Thus, others who come in contact with these droppings get the gift of infection. It only makes common sense that allergens such as dust, fumes, chemicals, drugs, cosmetics, perfumes, varnish, paints, smoke and pollution, be eliminated, but if the body’s immunity is not strengthened, the individual will become allergic to other agents.

The most important measures in preventing cold or reducing its severity are fasting, enema and, later, selective diet and yogic kriyas plus exercises — all of which can be learnt very easily. Natural living habits are the best guarantee for good health and of course, for freedom from cold. Every time cold is suppressed unnaturally, like with medicines, it would inevitably lead to serious illness. If we suppress this, where does the accumulated harmful material go? Obviously, it will be driven into glands, muscles, joints and organs or retained in the body to play havoc again. So it is entirely justifiable to say that safety valves should not be closed or blocked by suppressing cold. Fasting and enema should be resorted to intermittently. Eat less and eat light food. Do kunjal followed by jalneti daily.

 

Bronchitis

Neglected or untreated cold and sinusitis often develops into an acute bronchitis which gives rise to high fever, wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, cough and difficulty in breathing. The bronchial tubes get congested and irritated requiring longer periods of healing. The procedure and treatments suggested under common cold apply here also but should be pursued under the guidance of a naturopath. Ignoring it or giving incomplete treatment may lead to chronic bronchitis and other complications. Hot foot and arm bath besides chest pack twice daily for two to three weeks, breathing exercises and strict diet control, fasting and enema, are very essential.

Modern-day industrialisation has brought along with it an equal degree of pollution, stress and tension and an unnatural lifestyle due to which many are suffering nasal allergies like sneezing, running nose, besides rhinitis, sinusitis, and asthma — all commonly termed as respiratory disorders.

Take hot foot and hot arm bath simultaneously. One should do kunjal twice or thrice a week during an attack. Do jalneti daily for 60 days and thereafter twice a week. Steam inhalation brings out sticky mucus and gives relief to the nostrils. Take a brisk walk for at least 20-30 minutes and do yoga,  asana and pranayama daily.

(S R Jindal is founder, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru)

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