Thursday, November 10, 2005

Migraines and Cardio Vascular Strengthening

I responded to an emailed request about migraines and cardio- vascular strengthening for an older devotee.

Migraines are difficult to deal with. One thing is to try identifying triggers. These may be stress, or some foods. Keeping a log and referring to it to see if some event is usually preceding the onset may be useful. Do a google search on migraines and trigger foods and see if his diet includes any of them. Off the top of my head the one I remember that devotees may eat are hard cheeses. But an individual's trigger food may be something not found on general lists, so sometimes it is recommended to go on a cleansing fast, then very slowly add foods back into the diet and see if one is a trigger. Allow for coincidence in such an approach and replicate the experiment but eliminating triggers is important...


I went and googled and here is an excellent site with trigger foods and a systematic approach to identifying them:

For migraines, eating a fresh feverfew leaf daily would have been the only herbal recommendation I could have made. Dried feverfew is useless – if fresh not available, tincture would be required

For strengthening the heart - care should be taken that not too abrupt an addition of rigorous activity be attempted. Best would be to have a physician do some base line testing and then slowly add. What would be appropriate for a young man in good health could be fatal for an elder man with a family history of heart disease or a lifetime of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Slow and easy.

The type of exercise is less important than doing it regularly and incorporating into daily life. If someone attends arotik regularly, a gradually increased physical participation would be good. (and I am too old fashioned to approve much of some of the artless and vigorous dancing that has replaced the elegance of the Lord Chaitanya style). Even doing some light dancing on the side if the main group of devotees is too much.

Walking to and from places one normally goes instead of taking a vehicle. And yes, I have no objection if someone with a mind that is adverse to physical activity needs to be involved in some sport to overcome the mind's resistance to physical activity.

Oils and the heart. Good oils = good heart. Avoid transfats and oxygenized fats as if they were poison. One to two tablespoons of ghee a day (include all sources - one cup whole milk = 2/3 tablespoon of ghee, one sweet ball = one cup of milk, for example) is beneficial but in greater amounts the advantage is lost and the reverse starts to be true. Even ghee, tho the best of the heatable oils, if held at high temperatures for 20 minutes or longer starts to oxidize and should be avoid. Which is to say, avoid deep fried food in general, but even if fried in ghee. It can easily exceed your daily quota and may be oxidized.

Best way to use ghee is in a jaunce added to veggies. Then it is only heated for a short time.

Another oil proven to be excellent for the heart, joint flexibility, and enhanced brain function is any oil-containing omega 3s. I freshly grind a tablespoon or 2 a day of the whole seeds and add it to oatmeal or soups. Once it is ground, it begins to oxidize so if larger amounts are ground at once, refrigerate and keep in the dark to slow the oxidization.

Ginger is a good blood thinner for heart health. It helps with joint flexibility (as does the omega3s)so good for preparing body for any excercise programs. It is also supposed to help with migraines. It should be stopped prior to any surgeries or used carefully if already on blood thinners.


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