As one advances in age it is inevitable that one would have to contend with some health issues. Some that I have faced in recent years is reduced energy, occasional disturbed sleep, stiffness in muscles and occasional lapses of short-term memory. However if one works on these or other such health issues it is definitely possible to improve the situation. It is wonderful if one can age gracefully without any major health issues and move on to the next world when still physically independent. It is tragic and basically bad karma if one undergoes a prolonged disability requiring help or hospitalization before exit from this life. There is much about karma in older posts.
I do not rely on modern medicine and allopathic methods for chronic and minor ailments. For me allopathic methods are a resort for acute conditions, emergency or diagnosis. Therefore I have been working on my health issues through more natural means such as diet, exercise, yoga, life style changes, water, air and sunshine. Food is a medicine but water, air and sunshine are even more so.
One of the methods I tried for improving sleep was to try different sleep directions and there is a post on that in this blog. Although it did help, the problem was that the head of my bed is against the north wall and shifting the pillow to the foot of the bed meant that one or both the pillows kept falling to the floor and it did not feel right not to have the security of the wall and head board behind the pillow. Eventually I returned to head pointing north. If I get an opportunity to design and construct another home next time around I shall ensure that the bedrooms permit keeping the head of the bed pointing south or east. More recently, with the help of simple mantra meditation I have had sound sleep whatever the head direction.
As regards, muscle stiffness and reduced energy some headway was made with moderate exercise but I have to admit that I am not very disciplined in this direction and miss out on exercise more often than I comply. This is something that will have to be dealt with in the near future.
On the diet side I found an interesting and well-argued Japanese study on the Internet on the benefits of vinegar added in small quantities to drinking water to relieve fatigue. I experimented with adding quantities varying from half a tea spoon to a full table spoon to a glass of water, Surprisingly as described in the study the method worked very well for removing muscle and bone stiffness and reducing fatigue the first time and for the first few days. After that the benefit reduced much so I have discontinued with this practice now. Perhaps the body chemistry adjusts quickly to new acidity levels in water and the benefit is lost.
I was initially lead to explore vinegar because of a psychic message one night that ordained adding a drop of vinegar to a glass of water but as with many psychic messages this one was received during sleep and such messages are rarely hundred percent clear. Based on the Japanese study and scientific logic, I had chosen half a tea spoon or so. Just today I realized that there might be something more in the original psychic message than I had realized. My water source is probably a bit on the alkaline side and even a drop of vinegar might have the effect of altering ph of water in a beneficial direction. I have yet to introduce this practice in my routine though. The full effects of water ph on health are not yet known to science.
As regards occasional short-term memory loss, the worry for a person past fifty or sixty is that with further advance in age the problem can worsen and in severe cases result in Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore based on ancient medicinal knowledge from India my mind turned to consuming five or so almonds soaked overnight in water. One may mention that based on my past knowledge, almonds that are pre-shelled or those with very fragile outer covers are not the best for the purpose. Contact with air apparently reduces medicinal benefits of almonds. The best are the old small traditional almonds with hard shells procured with their shells on. These have to be shelled daily just prior to soaking. The difficulty I faced in acquiring these is that I live in a modern part of the city with modern stores and the only kinds of almonds they carried were pre-shelled large ones. These last make eminent business sense for the grower and the retailer. Therefore last month I made a trip to the traditional old part of the city. It has many shops that carry traditional goods and here I easily found the right kind of hard almonds intact with their shells on. This story is a warning that, often when we rely on ancient knowledge of foods one must watch out that the modern variant may not be quite the same. This is true of honey as well and apparently only wild honey has the medicinal value prescribed in old texts. Alas, that is available with great difficulty nowadays so one has to do without honey. It seems that while five or so soaked almonds are good for memory; they are even more effective if consumed with a spoonful of true wild honey if you can find it. Nevertheless ever since I have started consuming these soaked almonds even without the honey, there has been a full improvement in memory as well as mental clarity. Besides soaked almonds even dry ones are good for health and I consume about ten almonds a day, five dry while shelling and five soaked. Overall this combined practice has improved memory, mental clarity and reduced fatigue as well as improved sleep. If you attempt this practice do not discard the soaked skin of the almond because some beneficial chemicals are contained in the skin too.
Another great aid for reversing Alzheimer is the use of coconut oil as your cooking oil. Just fry some bread in it for a nice hot sandwich at lunch daily.
Edgar Cayce, a modern Christian mystic was a great proponent of the concept that an almond a day keeps the doctor away and that almonds will keep away cancer. A larger number, three or four, makes up the deficiency produced by not consuming meat without the simultaneous ill effects of meat consumption. I have great regards for Edgar Cayce as a modern Christian mystic and many of his health ideas have been proven subsequently by science after Edgar Cayce’s death. However, Edgar Cayce was a human and I do not accept everything he proclaimed. He made errors too. One of his beliefs I do not subscribe to is that humans cannot reincarnate as animals. In my belief system inter species reincarnation also takes place from time to time. Another article in this blog explains how and why animals lost their souls when Christinaity reached Europe here:
Edgar Cayce was very popular and highly respected in my childhood hometown Nainital in the earlier part of the previous century. This town has been associated with other Christian Mystics too. Another one- Robert Llewlyn has been described in my blog on Nainital at http://nainitalgoddess.blogspot.in/2010/09/kriya-yoga-as-taught-by-baba-haidakhan.html. You would find many references to Nainital in older posts of this blog as well as the companion one. According to Edgar Cayce the almond tree as well as almonds are spiritually beneficial too. I can easily accept that because the almond tree is one of the finest that grows on our planet – a truly heavenly tree just as the rose is a heavenly flower bush. Both belong to a similar botanical family. There is an earlier post on that in this blog.
Even though Edgar Cayce was a Christian mystic he did not confine himself to any conventional church dogma or theories. With true mystics there are only minor differences between beliefs from different religions whether they be Muslims, Christians, Buddhists or Hindus. The Muslim mystics are known as Sufis and persons of all religions in the east respect Sufi saints. However, mystics retain some concepts from their original religions. Perhaps this explains why Edgar Cayce subscribed to his restricted reincarnation theory. His meditation mantra was a variation of a Hindu Mantra – Hare Om. Just the word Om is also a Hindu mantra, but I too find it easier to chant ‘Hare Om’ rather than just ‘Om’ because it synchronizes more easily with breathing. More on such chanting meditation is posted in older posts of this blog.
One of the concerns with almonds is that some of them turn out to be bitter. The bitterness is caused by cyanide that is a poison. However I do not discard these but consume them too, because even some poisons in very small microscopic quantities may have some beneficial medicinal effect. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why consuming almonds by the handfuls is not recommended. There is a perfectly good reason why a spiritually advanced tree like the almond tree produces a small proportion of bitter almonds. Do keep the number to under ten a day in case you become an almond eater.
Almonds are also a great aid for sleep. Simply add a tablespoon of ground almonds to a cup of hot milk for you night cap and sleep is likely to be sweet and deep. You may also add some natural sweetner and coco to the drink if you like.
The almond blossoms picture is from publicdomainpictures.net