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An eye for a healthy eye

Bharat Savur
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BP control: The potassium in tender coconut water balances the sodium levels
in the body. - N. SRIDHARAN
THE HINDU BP control: The potassium in tender coconut water balances the sodium levels in the body. - N. SRIDHARAN

A three-step exercise to protect and strengthen your vision.

I'm 23, short-sighted (power over 6). My job requires me to spend a lot of time with computers. I also read a lot. Please suggest measures to protect my eyes and enhance my vision.

K.V. Kannan

There's a beautiful exercise for the eyes that starts showing improvements within eight months. It's to be done in three steps:

One: Find the farthest spot where you cannot distinguish details, just shapes. Now, move your eyes right, left, all over, taking in a wide vista. Gaze in a relaxed way for 1 minute, blinking to prevent drying of eyes.

Two: Find the ideal spot where you can distinguish details clearly. Now shift your vision from this ideal spot to the farthest spot and back for one minute.

Three: Complete the exercise by gazing steadily at the farthest spot, blinking — for one minute, or until your eyes feel relaxed. End with this powerful affirmation: “My eyes are healthy with a 6/6 vision.”

Working at a computer is like having small bulbs sending light into your eyes constantly from the screen. To minimise eyestrain, put a black chart paper on the monitor, folding on either side to make a hood. Then, reduce the glare of the screen.

Take a break every two hours from the computer, where you take your eyes off the monitor for 10 minutes. Go, drink water; gaze at a green plant…

When you don't need to read, write or type and when, say, you're on the phone, shut your eyes gently as you talk. Back home, soak a hanky in cool black tea-water, squeeze it and place on your closed eyelids for 15 minutes.

Finally, do stationary cycling for 20 minutes daily to enhance oxygen-rich blood circulation, as also other healing body-fluids, in your eyes.

I'm 53, have had gout for nine years and my uric acid remains high despite taking an allopathic medicine. The normal range is 2-7 per cent, but on medication it remains 5-6 per cent. My hands and legs hurt. I drink 3 litres of water daily. Please advise.

Sujay J.

The pain indicates inflammation caused by crystallisation of uric acid in the joints. So, you need to focus on reducing inflammation and preventing more inflammation.

Basically, be very strict about avoiding purine-containing foods as they aggravate gout. These include red meat, organs, mincemeat, mussels, sardines, sweetbread, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, mushroom, dried peas, spinach, wholegrain cereal and bread, yeast. Also avoid alcohol. Tip: Don't listen to people who'll tell you to drink beer ‘to flush out the acid'. Beer has high purine content.

The right food for you includes:

Apple — Its malic acid neutralises uric acid.

Banana — Try a four-day banana diet. Eat nine bananas through the day, nothing else. It has shown good results.

Lemon juice — Drink two glasses of lemon sherbet. Lemon prevents uric acid deposition in the tissues.

Lime — A lime a day may keep gout away. Its Vitamin C draws out soreness by strengthening connective tissues. Its citric acid dissolves the uric acid.

Cherries and blueberries — 1-2 cups a day.

Fish oil — 1.5 gm per day.

Initially it may feel restrictive. But, be patient. Avoid anger, the need to dominate or control people and situations. Let go wanting everything to go your way. Please don't get hypnotised by the word ‘gout'. See it as a condition where the body has become acidic and needs soothing foods and thoughts. When there's no pain, go for long walks and relax in the sweet, fresh, friendly outdoors.

Is it true that one should not have curd at night?

Ansuya K.

No, it has no scientific basis. This practice was probably followed in pre-refrigerator days when curd set in the morning would be too sour at night. Go ahead, enjoy your curd — it's cooling in summer!

I'm 48, weigh 68 kg and am hypertensive. Despite walking daily for 30 minutes and medication, my blood pressure hovers around 130/90. Please suggest steps to lower it.

S. Ayyappan

Walking is good. So, please continue with it. In addition, if you can swim and have access to a pool, you'll find swimming for 15 minutes immediately lowers the blood pressure by 5-10 points.

Eat low-fat food. It has a dramatically positive effect on the blood pressure. For a week, have dal and vegetables without oil/ghee seasoning, steamed rice with vegetables or roti without ghee, salad, curd made of low-fat milk. When the food is light and easy to digest, the body becomes more relaxed, more balanced.

Drink tender coconut water daily. The potassium in it balances the sodium levels in the body. Reducing salt-intake will also help greatly.

Do Relaxation Meditation — morning, afternoon, night. Lying down or sitting comfortably, eyes closed gently, take three deep breaths. Then silently instruct each part of your body, from toes to head, to “Relax”.

Stop fretting over things. Keep telling yourself: “Life is too big and this issue too small. Relax. Everything is fine.” And watch the world lighten… lighten… lighten…

The writer is co-author of ‘Fitness for Life'. Queries may be sent to life@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on May 31, 2012)
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