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Monthly Archives June 2014

In the Presence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama

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Two years ago when I visited India, I was lucky enough to attend a talk by the Dalai Lama. After a harrowing trip by bus and taxi over many a mountain pass, I arrived in Rewalsar Lake teeming with thousands of loyal Indians and Tibetans and a handful of  other foreigners, where we were given front row seats.
At 630am the man of the moment arrives, supported by his aides.

Everybody bows to this humble, small man with a huge presence, and the silence is deafening. For a full hour he chants continuously, with no sign of any discomfort or wavering. By this stage, sitting cross – legged, I am in a serious amount of pain .After a small break, he returns, draped in yellow cloaks and begins his talk .With a permanent smile and infectious laugh, he speaks in Tibetan, which is immediately translated into Hindu and English.
Four hours later, my body is seriously aching, but my heart is full.
 

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His talks are well documented but here is a brief summary of what I heard.

• All religions and philosophical teachings have the same practice of LOVE and COMPASSION.
• Wars in the name of religion are only ever about POWER, GREED and ATTATCHMENT.
• To live harmoniously together we need LOVE, TRUST,HONESTY AND RESPECT.
• The root of suffering is IGNORANCE.
• 90% of what we think is mental projection.
• CONCENTRATION, DISCIPLINE and WISDOM are important as is the PRACTISE of teachings.
• SELF AWARENESS is helpful in achieving happiness and reducing suffering.
• The more SELFISH we are, the more UNHAPPY we become.
• MEDITATION is the key to AWARENESS and the SUBTLENESS of MIND.

His take home message for me :CULTIVATE A WARM HEART.

Agree or not, it is very hard not to feel a deep sense of peace, love and gratitude in this man`s presence.

 

CPR course: Basic Life Support For Healthcare Providers

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Last week I attended a CPR course, Basic Life Support For Healthcare Providers, as part of our obligatory CPD points we have to get every year as a Physio.

I haven’t done a CPR course in years and so it was most enlightening. It was run by a wonderfully, enthusiastic woman from the Resuscitation Council of South Africa and I would highly recommend anyone to do it.

So here it is in a nutshell.

Assess the scene and make sure its safe for you and the victim

Tap the victims shoulder and ask them if they are alright. Check so see if they are breathing. If not, shout for help or phone the emergency number – toll free number is 10177 and 112 from a cell phone.

Check for a pulse at the carotid artery and if none is found, start compressions.

Its not ABC anymore, but CAB. Chest compressions now come first and should be started within 10 seconds of recognition of cardiac arrest.

Kneel at the victims side. Put the heel of one hand on the centre of the chest on the lower half of the breastbone. Put the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand.

Push hard and push fast at a rate of at least 100/min with a depth of at least 5cm for adults and children and 4cm for infants. Allow complete chest recoil after each compression. Tilt the head back and lift the jaw to bring the chin forward, thereby opening the airway. It is suggested that a barrier device is used when giving breaths, such as a face mask, but sadly, I don’t think most of us carry those in our handbags(which we probably should do). Give effective breaths that make the chest rise.

If you are on your own or there are 2 of you, do 30 compressions to 2 breaths for an adult.  For an infant,30 to 2 if you are on your own and 15 to 2 if there are two of you.

There`s a lot more, so get together with a few friends and do the course.

I really think it is something we should all be confident and efficient in doing.

Surviving Winter

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As we move from autumn to winter, I seem to see more and more people with coughs,colds,flu and chest infections. So here are a few of my favourite tips to stay healthy during these colder times. Stay warm – especially your feet, hands and head,so get out the gloves, socks and beanies. Lower levels of sunshine as well as the hormones melatonin and serotonin lower our immune system so we are more susceptible to catching colds.( and feeling a bit mis). Light lots of fires and candles,get out the blankies and happy huggers. hugger Steam – whenever any of my patients or housemates start with a cold, I steam. Fill a bowl with boiling water and add any or all of the following oils – eucaluptus,tea tree,olbas, lavender,menthol. Put a towel over your head and the bowl, close your eyes and let everything and anything pour out(not attractive). I tend to use this together or instead of the traditional physio nebulizing.If you have a willing mate, get them to bash your back with cupped hands to help loosen any phlegm in your chest. steam Drink plenty – we tend to drink less(water that is) in winter but its as important to stay hydrated as when its hot. Try hot water with lemon , ginger and honey or if you really want to be adventurous and healthy, add turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon.   honey Keep active –its not as easy to exercise when its cold and dark, but as important. Winter walks on the beach and forest, a dance class and remember to stretch…..my all time favourite yoga..done anywhere, anytime. yoga   Eat healthily and Boost your immunity –  make soups and stews with all the winter veggies and increase you supplements containing vitamin c, zinc and Echinacea. Eat lots of garlic – the best natural antibiotic!

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So instead of dreading the winter, embrace it…the season of intimacy and reflection. The opportunity to hibernate….to stay inside and look inside.Snuggle up and stay warm!

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