Introduction to healthy life style

Good nutrition, daily exercise and adequate sleep are the foundations of healthy living. A healthy lifestyle keeps you fit, energetic and at reduced risk for disease. According to WHO, Healthy living is a way of living that helps you enjoy more aspects of your life. It is a way of living that lowers the risk of being seriously ill or dying early. Health is not just about avoiding a disease or illness. It is about physical, mental and social well-being too.


Your heart, muscles, bones, immune system and other body systems depend on a continual supply of nutrients for cell growth and metabolism. You need to eat  varied diet to get   essential nutrients in the form of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and fats. Consume lean meat  such as chicken along with legumes, eggs and   nuts for healthy living. Limit your portion size at meals to control your weight and your risk for cardiovascular and other diseases through your lifestyle. If you want to control your weight and reduce the risk of various diseases, you   make sure that the diet is nutritious, in addition to limiting portion size.


Calories accompany the nutrition in food and if you don’t exercise, you’ll gain weight. Carrying extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cancer. Your lifestyle should support a constant healthy weight for normal daily activity. You should always do muscle strengthening exercises, such as weight lifting, along with aerobic exercises, such as walking or running. You should also include exercise, such as yoga to improve body flexibility.

Daily metabolism perpetuates the decline and rejuvenation of cellular tissue and the body’s self-repair takes place when you are asleep. Memory consolidation and appetite regulation also occur during this time of reduced physical activity. Seven to nine hours of night sleep daily is considered an optimum for most individuals for a healthy lifestyle.

Reducing Stress
Your body responds to everyday stress with a release of hormones that prepares you to react.Although some stress is inevitable and necessary, excess can lead to various health problems.If you don’t relieve this excessively stressful state through relaxation, the effects build and can create muscular pain, headaches, sleep disturbances and other symptoms. A lifestyle that includes regular stress management, breaks this cycle before it can progress to unhealthy levels. You can achieve physical relaxation through stretching, body massage, yoga or enjoyable exercise. Connect with friends and family to relieve mental pressures and take time out to read, pursue a hobby or experience another activity that makes you feel good.

Remember that a healthy lifestyle gives you longer and happier life.

Bad Cholesterol Affecting Brain Function

Cholesterol is an essential element in the human body that helps in performing many vital functions. The human body has the capacity to produce the necessary amount of cholesterol. However, some cholesterol also gets into the body through the food we eat.

Cholesterol is fat based and insoluble in blood and is carried throughout the body by lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol-High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL). Cholesterol that is carried by LDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. It is termed such because it contributes to the building of plaque, a thick and hard deposit, which can cause the arteries to clog and make them less flexible.

While ‘bad’ cholesterol is widely known to be one of the major reasons for heart diseases like blocked arteries, it also has the potential to adversely affect the human brain.

Cholesterol and brain function

Cholesterol is essential for the brain to function effectively, where almost 25% of the total cholesterol of the human body is located. Healthy cholesterol helps in improving memory and learning and assists in production of various hormones. Whereas, ‘bad’ cholesterol has been linked to a number of diseases that the brain can suffer from, including Alzheimer’s.

High levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and potential risks


Dementia, an overall term used to describe loss of memory or thinking skill has become more common recently. While conditions like Alzheimer’s has been counted as reason for dementia, studies have shown that amyloid plagues were present in the brains of the affected people. Amyloid plagues are formed as a result of the excess build-up of a protein called beta-amyloid. An irregular pattern of cholesterol in the body is linked with the formation of amyloid plagues in the brain. It has been proven that people who show higher levels of cholesterol during midlife are more likely to be affected by dementia than those with normal cholesterol level. Thus, low levels of HDL and high levels of LDL can affect the brain adversely.


Deposition of amyloid plaque in the brain due to higher levels of bad cholesterol has been detected as a major cause for Alzheimer’s, which is also related to development of dementia in the patients. If a person has LDL of 100 above, or HDL level of 40 or less chances for the appearance of Alzheimer’s increases.


Stroke occurs when there is a clot that blocks a blood vessel or artery, resulting in breakage or stopping of blood flow to an area of the brain and in the process cutting off oxygen supply to the brain. Excess level of LDL leads to plaque build-up in the arteries. This prevents blood flow to the brain and causes stroke which leaves long lasting impact on the patient’s health. Paralyses, trouble with speech or sight, even brain damage or death are some severe outcomes of stroke. Ischemic stroke, caused by blockage of carotid arteries that carry blood to the brain is also related to elevated levels on ‘bad’ cholesterol.


Stroke is preceded by a condition termed as Atherosclerosis. It is the stage when plaque deposit causes the arteries to narrow down and disrupt normal blood flow. The condition affects arteries in any part of the body but risk of stroke builds when brain arteries develop Atherosclerosis. This is again the result of increased level of ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Impaired cognitive function

Apart from increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, ‘bad’ cholesterol is found to impair the general cognitive function of the brain. People with higher levels of LDL have problem remembering and memorising than those with a normal or balanced level of cholesterol.

Inflated levels of LDL decreases blood flow in the brain and may lead to white matter hyperintensity, a condition whereby the density of white matter goes down. White matter tissue facilitates the passing of messages between different areas of gray matter within the central nervous system. Higher levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol paralyses this vital function of white matter thus lowering cognitive performance.

Increase HDL and decrease LDL

Sufficient amount of HDL is necessary in human body to maintain healthy functioning. HDL levels are found to be low in people with high blood sugar, high blood pressure as well as obesity. Thus it is important to make important lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy amount of HDL in the body.

Some important changes can be made to keep a healthy HDL level.

  • Smoking must be avoided
  • Consumption of alcohol should be stopped or done only in moderation
  • Exercise must form a part of the daily routine
  • Food with trans-fat content, such as cookies or fried food should be avoided

On the other hand, it is also important to get rid of the excess levels of LDL to keep a healthy physic. A little caution can keep the ‘bad’ cholesterol in check.

  • Daily diet should contain whole grains and high fibre food
  • Consumption of saturated fats like butter, lard, whipped cream etc. should be limited
  • High calorie beverages should be replaced by water or green tea
  • There are also medications available to keep ‘bad’ cholesterol in check when it cannot be lowered by lifestyle changes

Safe Levels of Cholesterol

Maintaining sufficient amount of cholesterol in the body is inevitable for the effective functioning of the brain. We should know the adequate amount of cholesterols that is needed for proper functioning of the body. Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood (dL) or millimoles (mmol) per liter (L). Thus, one must have 60mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) HDL or above. HDL level which is below 40 mg/dL is risky. Care must be taken to maintain LDL within the limit of 100 mg/dL. An increase in the LDL level has been the known cause of host of health issues including negative effects on the brain.

Note on Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese system of health care. It aims to prevent and cure specific diseases and conditions by sticking very fine, solid needles into points of the body.

Does the medical field approve of acupuncture?

Yes. There are more than 16,000 licensed acupuncturists in the United States and 3,000 physicians who perform acupuncture as part of their medical practice. The World Health Organization currently recognizes more than 40 medical problems –including pain, gastrointestinal, gynecological, and respiratory conditions, as well as sports injuries – that can be helped by acupuncture treatment.

In addition, in 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does other medical devices. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility and are intended for general use by qualified practitioners.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s ability to resist or overcome illnesses and conditions by correcting imbalances. Acupuncture also prompts the body to produce chemicals that decrease or eliminate painful sensations.

There are hundreds of acupuncture points (called acu-points) along the body’s 14 major meridians (energy-carrying channels). Sixteenth-century Chinese doctors used the term “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) to describe the energy that flows through meridians. The belief is that illness is caused by a disruption of Qi, which leads to an imbalance of energy. Acupuncture can correct this energy disruption.

There are many theories as to how acupuncture actually works. When acupuncture points are stimulated, it causes a dull ache or other sensations in the muscle. One theory holds that:

  • The stimulated muscle and sensory neurons send a message to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord);
  • This causes the release of endorphins (naturally produced pain killers) and other neurotransmitters (body chemicals that modify nerve impulses);
  • This, in turn, helps block the message of pain from being delivered to the brain (and has other regulatory effects as well).

Other experts believe that acupuncture works by transmitting signals via the fascia. Fascia is like a thin sheath that surrounds all of the body’s muscles. Some acupuncturists consider the meridians to represent myofascial chains, which helps explain why stimulating an acupuncture point in the lower leg can affect the back or other areas. Interestingly, research shows that acupuncture points have a lower electrical resistivity than surrounding areas. In a practical sense, the meridian system provides a navigable energetic map of the body for acupuncturists to locate and treat many conditions.

What conditions are treated with acupuncture?

Although acupuncture is not a “cure-all” treatment, it is very effective in treating several diseases and conditions. Acupuncture is most effective at treating chronic (long-term) pain, such as headaches, menstrual cramps, and low back, neck, or muscle pain. It can also be used to treat osteoarthritis, facial pain, spastic colon, and repetitive strain conditions. Acupuncture also can improve the functioning of the immune system (the body’s defense system against diseases).

For certain conditions, such as cancer, acupuncture should be performed in combination with other treatments.

What are the types of acupuncture?

There are many different styles of acupuncture. Practitioners of Acupuncture Physical Medicine (APM) palpate the body (examine the body by touch) to locate reactive areas and myofascial (muscular) constrictions (tightening). Points are selected and stimulated to relieve symptomatic or problem areas, based on the relationships of meridian acupuncture theory.

Practitioners trained in APM also locate and deactivate “trigger points” using an advanced needling technique. Trigger points are extremely common in pain conditions and cause referred pain and other symptoms of dysfunction in nearly everyone’s life at one time or another.