HOW TO USE THE INFORMATION PRESENTED FOR EACH HEALTH SITUATION DESCRIBED BELOW
It is important for you to read all of the introductions to the various chapters and guidelines for using the different techniques before going on to this chapter concerning specific problems. It is also important for you to have completed the questionnaire in the first chapter which is designed to help yo diagonse your state of health so that you may make the best use of the information contained inthis chapter and inthis book in general.
It is with much hesitation that I start a chapter on specific problems. As I mentioned in the beginning of the book, my personal philosophy is that in fact there are no illnesses; there are ill people. Although we have created names for various «illnesses», no two people who have the same «illness» actually require the same approach. On the other hand, common factors definitely exist; otherwise I would not be including this section at all.
In trying to make a diagnosis of the causes – not the symptoms – of your problem, you must be as clear as possible so that you may select from all the techniques offered for that specific problem the ones most applicable to yourself. For this reason I would encourage you to think seriously about your symptoms and their probable cause. Consult your doctor, get his more expert opinion, but also reflect on your way of life, your emotions, and on various other factors which may be relevant, but which doctors, sometimes, because of their lack of time, do not delve into.
For each specific problem you will be presented with a variety of approaches concerning the various aspects of your life, which include your diet, exercises, breathing techniques, relaxation, cleansing techniques and even changes in your beliefs and attitudes. Try to follow this holistic approach as much as possible, by harmonizing all aspects of your life.
Let us now look at how to use each grouping of information.
SOME POSSIBLE CAUSES OF EACH SPECIFIC PROBLEM
Let it be that the list of possible causes given for each problem will by no means be complete. I needn’t repeat this each time. The actual cause of your symptoms may be something which is not listed. The body is a mystery and can be very elusive in presenting its problems.
It will be assumed that you have read about and are familiar with the basic guidelines for healthy eating presented briefly , as well as in a large number of excellent books by other authors. For this reason, I will not repeat each time the basic principle of reducing meat, white sugar, white flour, canned foods, and over processed foods, as well as foods continuing chemical preservatives, to an absolute minimum. Nor will I repeat each time that our diet should basically consist of whole grains and beans, fresh vegetables and fruits, and be supplemented by dairy products and various forms of fresh, raw and unsalted nuts. These general guidelines apply in all cases. They also apply to persons without health problems. Thus, for each specific problem, we will mention only those foods which are especially beneficial or especially detrimental to that condition. When certain nutrients, vitamins or minerals are suggested, refer to the chart on the consistency of 100 grams of various foods listed on the section on proper diet.
Another fact that will not be mentioned in each section is that fasts of over three days are not recommended unless your doctor or other health professional has been consulted. Also, those who have problems with low blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, active tuberculosis, a heart condition, an active ulcer of an active cancerous tumor, should not fast at all without guidance from their doctor. Before attempting a fast, the section on fasting should be read in detail.
In many cases, the vitamins suggested are some of the major ones recommended by Paavo Airola in his book «HOW TO GET WELL». If you are seriously ill, check with your doctor before taking them. In general, vitamins are taken for 40 days and then the body is allowed to rest for a few weeks before resuming taking them (if necessary). This is not necessary for all vitamins, but especially for vitamins A and D. Try as much as possible to eat natural foods which are rich in the vitamins you want to get. If you feel that you need larger doses for your therapy, then consult a doctor or other health professional who is knowledgeable in these subjects. Try whatever possible to find vitamin tablets made from natural sources (check the labels).
OTHER NATURAL SOLUTIONS
In this section we will suggest various cleansing techniques or the use of heat, or hot and cold water for facilitating the proper flow of blood and energy for the effective functioning of the various organs. Be sure to read carefully the guidelines for each one of them and to follow them properly. Before practicing any technique, check the section in the back of the book to see the contraindications for that technique.
When some form of massage is indicated, you will probably need to get in touch with a person experienced in this technique. After a few sessions, he or she will be able to assess whether the massage will be helpful and how many sessions will be required. In the case of the technique called reflexology, you may be able to learn how to massage the relevant points yourself. Sometimes you can use a «roller» for the points under your foot. You may want to consult our book «MASSAGE AND SPIRITUAL THERAPY».
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL REJUVENATION THROUGH
EXERCISES, BREATHING TECHNIQUES AND DEEP RELAXATION
You will be presented with a series of physical exercises, breathing techniques and deep relaxation (with positive visualizations) for daily practice. We will not repeat in each case the importance of finding a person knowledgeable in these techniques to show you how they are done and to check on your progress in the beginning. Then you can proceed on your own (any competent yoga instructor can help you). These series are designed to revitalize the organs involved, as well as to release the blocked nerves along the spinal column which feed these organs. They are also designed to tonify the nervous system and harmonize the endocrine system so as to establish an overall harmony and vitality in which any organ or part of the body can heal itself.
Be sure to check the section on contraindications at the back of this book to see if any of the techniques suggested for one problem might be contraindicated for some other problem that you may have. In order to save space, these contraindications will not be given in the text itself. Neither will the benefits of each exercise be repeated each time. They are listed in the chapter on exercises and in the book «KEEPING OURSELVES IN TUNE».
In some cases, we will give more than one series. The series entitles absolutely necessary is made up of the bare minimum of techniques which are designed to offer some relief and gradually lead to the therapy of the problem. This is for those who have limited time at their disposal and would normally do very little to help themselves. These shortened series are ofered as an alternative. Some benefit will be drawn from them but they are not the series we would recommend. On the other hand, it would be wise to start with this first series for a few weeks before going on to the recommended series. This will prepare the body more gradually.
The series entitles suggested series are techniques we feel would be a good solution for someone with a particular problem or with tendencies towards such a problem. Remember, if you feel that you have a tendency towards a problem such as arthritis or an ulcer or colitis of constipation, it is much easier to prevent it than to cure it. I repeat that the series called absolutely necessary should be performed for at least a few weeks before going on to this suggested series.
In the section on comments we have added techniques which would enhance one’s health in general, in combination with those given in the suggested series. This is for those who have more time or in reality for those who are willing to give more time towards their health. Unless a person is fit, in most cases it would be best to practice regularly for some months before adding these techniques. Most people will need guidance from an instructor. In this section you are also given more specific details about the exercises presented in the series.
In some cases, we will give only one series: the suggested one. In all cases be sure to read the directions on exercises in the beginning of the section and to do the exercises with care and concentration, never forcing any movement whatsoever. As you progress, you may want to get in touch with a yoga instructor who can introduce you to more advanced exercises and other methods of self-therapy, self-development, self-transformation and self-knowledge.
MODIFYING THE SERIES
In most cases it would be best to follow the series given in the sequence in which they are presented. If, however, your schedule does not allow you, or your body desires a different sequence, the adjust it to your own needs. It will be suggested that some exercises be done in the morning and others in the evening. This may not suit your schedule. You may have time only in the morning or only in the evening. In such case, you can do both series together either in the morning or in the evening. It is usually best to do the morning exercises first and then the evening series. If relaxation is suggested at both times, then obviously you will do one relaxation at the end of the session of exercises and breathing techniques.
If there is more time in the morning or in the evening, and less in the other, then some exercises can be transferred from one session to the other. It is best, however, not to transfer the breathing techniques. If you have to choose between the morning or the evening for the breathing exercises, do them in the morning. Do not add two breathing sessions together at one time; you my have problems.
The instructions may suggest three or 5 minutes for a breathing exercise, indicating that you can build it gradually to ten minutes. If, on the other hand, three minutes is too much for you, do less. Start with one minute until you feel very comfortable with it, then go on to two, three minutes and so on. Never force and be regular in your daily practice. The duration of the breathing techniques as well as the length of each breath should be increased only through daily practice. In cases where no specific breathing technique is suggested, choose your own from those listed, finding the one which simultaneously vitalizes and relaxes you the most. It is best to work through the breathing techniques in the series in which they are listed in the section on breathing. Be sure that you have mastered the previous technique before going on to the next. That means that you should be able to do each technique for about five to ten minutes without feeling tired or out of breath or dizzy, before going on to the next. Even in cases where a specific breathing technique is suggested for a certain problem, such as balloon breathing with double expiration (for asthma), you will have to gradually build up to this through the various previous techniques. This means that you will first have to learn to use all three breathing muscles: those of the abdomen, ribs and chest. Then you will practice using them together in the complete breath. Following that you will practice the complete breath making sure that the counting rhythm of the inhalation and the exhalation is equal. Then you will proceed to make the exhalation twice the length of the inhalation. Once you feel comfortable in this process, you will exhale from the mouth, as described in the section on balloon breathing. This may take weeks for some and days for others to muster. Do not rush.
DEEP RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
Deep relaxation techniques will usually be recommended along with the series of exercises and breathing techniques. In a few cases, specific visualizations will be suggested. In most cases it will be left up to you to decide which of all the possibilities offered correspond to your needs. Consider both your physical and emotional needs. If you do not find exactly the type of relaxation which suits you, make up your own. Try out different ones to see how they affect you. If you can get a cassette guiding you to relaxation, especially in the beginning, it will be very useful. If you do not know where to find one, you can write to the publisher of this book (relaxation cassettes are available for various uses).
In most cases, relaxation will be suggested after both the morning and evening series of exercises and breathing techniques. This is the optimum solution. If, however, this is not possible in your case, do it at only one of those times. If that is not possible either, have your relaxation some time in the afternoon. If even that is not possible, you can do it just before falling asleep at night. If you have a serious health problem, it is important for you to have a relaxation session twice a day. If you have cancer, it would be best to have it three times a day with positive visualization of the body’s defenses healing the body. Do not underestimate the power of this simple and apparently passive technique. It calls upon the greatest power in the world – the power of mind and spirit.
Be sure to read the guidelines at the beginning of the chapter on relaxation.
THE CODE USED IN THE EXERCISE SERIES
In order to facilitate your use of these series, the following codes will be used:
T – TIMES (how many times the exercise is repeated)
M – MINUTES (the length of time a technique should be performed, unless there are difficulties, in which case they can be done for less time. In cases where you have performed an exercise for a number of months and feel comfortable with it, you can gradually increase the time)
R – RIGHT (exercises are sometimes performed first with the right leg or arm and then the
L – left.
At other times both are used together (B).
Or it may indicate turning to the right (R) in an exercise or to the left (L)
No. __(indicates the number of the exercise, relaxation, type or breathing or other technique so that you can find it more easily in the file Description of Yoga Exercises
11. Wind-relieving posture (3R, 3L, 3B) No. 4: This means that this exercise is the 11th in the sequence. (The counting is continuous from the morning exercises, so that it is actually only the fourth evening exercise). It is done 3 times with the right leg, three times with the left and 3 times with both together. The reference number through which this exercise can be found is «4».
Let us take a few more examples:
FOR DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS: In the suggested series:
12. Torsion (2MR, 2ML) No. 41: This means that we can learn to do this exercise from the section on exercises by looking up exercise No. 41. We will do it (2MR) 2 minutes to the right and (2ML) 2 minutes to the left. It is the 12th exercise in the series but the 2nd done in the evening.
15. Fish (to 1M) NO. 47: This means we will refer to the description of exercise No. 47 in the exercise section. (Check for contraindications in the listing at the end of this site). We will do it for up to 1 minutes in the beginning. It is the 15th exercise in the series but the 5th done in the evening.
THE PROCEDURE IS:
1. LOOK UP THE EXERCISE IN THE LISTINGS .
2. CHECK THE CONTRAINDICATIONS.
3. CHECK THE PAGE ON WHICH IT IS DESCRIBED.
4. RETURN TO THE CHAPTER ON THE SPECIFIC PROBLEM AND REFER TO HOW MANY TIMES OR FOR HOW LONG IT SHOULD BE DONE.
5. READ AND EMPLOY ANY SPECIFIC COMMENTS ABOUT THAT EXERCISE.
6. IF YOU HAVE PAIN OR OTHER NEGATIVE REACTIONS, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR