The department of social and primitive medicine headed by Polipupu, Lakshminarasimha Gundu Rao called Dr.PLNG Rao for convenience that has somewhere morphed to PLING Rao, by and large he is known as Dr.Pling.
Now Dr.Pling has a thing about wellness and health, he often reinforces, the WHO definitions,” Health as defined by the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” And never forgets to remind us that it is our sacred duty to prevent illness, and promote health.
He goes about it quite diligently, “it is all in the body, mind and soul (pronounced as sowl to rhyme with fowl) I say” he would say of course according to him “sowl means what we feel, some people no, they first feel physical pain then the emotional, others no, they feel so emotional that it becomes physical pain, that time we call it psycho-somatic.”
He actually taught us a few sound principles,
It was our first day at rounds with him, the 3rd year students just stepping into general medicine wards, he looked at this girl who was busy munching something, she was there dealing with overweight issue,
“yen Amma, exercise maadudillava,” he asked her, she said, no she did not exercise, because it was expensive to go to the gym. He got her sweep and mop the house the good old fashioned way, even told her mother to do away with the electric mixer and make her daughter use the mortar and pestle. As walked down to the discussion room he told us, ”you see, disuse atrophy is one end of muscles going waste because they are not used, best thing to do is ensure physical activity, the cellular uptake will be normal and the metabolic waste will also go out” to me this sounded very sound. So to the day, I sweep and mop my own flat and the two flights of stairs to my house.
But actually discharging her and allotting her the charwoman’s job, he got the dietician to create a diet chart. We had to sit with her, and here was her input, seasonal vegetables, and oils extracted from locally grown sources. Like all TamBrams, I have my two meals a day, and a mid day “Tiffin” the meal is pretty balanced, like most south Indians, rice dominates, papad’s are a must since fat is also an essential component of the meal.
Repair and rejuvenation of the tired and damaged cells, is “Vurry important” Dr.Pling would insist, “yaverybody needs sleep, but how much you sleep depends on your constitution, these Ayurveda fellows call it prakriti.” He would declare, anywhere from 6 – 8hrs according to him was normal. 15 years of sleep apnoea practise tells me the same,
“You see there is a natural biorhythm that should not be tampered with, only them will the REM and NREM cycles be normal, if this is normal no, then repair and rejuvenation will occur.” He would sagely look around, “Dr.Siddarammaiyya from Psychiatry will tell lot of things about predictive dreams and emotional dreams all that stuff, but really it means, that if you are physically sound you can sleep well, and if you sleep well you are physically sound. ”
From medical school my personal health regime has been
- Be active, —
- Eat adequate
- Sleep adequate.
To the date I have no hypertension, diabetes or cholesterol issue. I think I have earned Dr.Pling’s award for being good student. What I have realized is self care is a deliberate choice to gift ourselves it can be people, places, things, events, and opportunities that recharge our personal battery and promote health.
With teaching Bharatnatyam, Writing my Blog, swimming and meditation, I think I have managed to stay healthy despite being horizontally challenged.