GlorifGoiYour Body!

 

“Take care of yourself” is a routine send-off statement. All of us have heard that advice. But how seriously have we taken it? Many of us are sincerely wrong in taking care of us. “Tonics are good for health;” “Put on weight and you’ll be healthier;” “Keep your body from exertion and you’ll live long.” These are simply myths. Tonics, over-weight  and  softy treatment of the body do not promote  good health. In  fact avoiding synthetic stuffs, maintaining weight and hard work and sweating have major contributions to good health.

 

Our grandfathers  went hunting over  the hills.  But we huff  and puff  to walk a kilometre on the plains. Youngmen’s hair is going grey. Heart attack has become common in the thirties and forties.

 

The Bible calls our body as the house of God (1 Cor 6:19). Not maintaining it properly is an insult to the Holy Spirit who resides there. Let’s consider some health factors here.

Eat to your health!

 

There has been a major shift in recent years in the choice of our food. I scream, your scream, we all scream for Ice-cream! We hog on sweets and fries and pay in terms of insulin and garlic pearls. Nutritious food should include rice, wheat, pulses, grams, cereals, fish, eggs, meat, milk, vegetables, greens and fruits with plenty of water. Indian diet is high in carbohydrate and low in protein. Try to increase lentils, beans and dhals in your diet. Daniel and his friends thrived on vegetarian food (Dan

1:15). When God created man. He put him on a vegetarian diet and saw that “it was good” (Gen 1:29-31). But after the fall and flood He added non-veg and reserved His comments (Gen 9:3). The longest lived man was a vegetarian (Gen 5:27). The food in Heaven is vegetarian!

The woman at home should give priority to the health of the family. Cut down on fats like mutton, beef, pork, butter, oil and on sugar. “He who loves oil shall not be rich” (Prov 21:17). Isn’t it good news with the skyrocketing oil prices? Watch your weight. Ideally, a five footer should be 50 kg. Thereafter add 2 kg for every inch. It’s not a must that we should eat all the sweets someone sends us. The poor are always with us.

 

Run for your life!

 

The world’s trend is towards academic knowledge and material benefits. A man prefers to spend an extra two hours in his seat if that means a few extra rupees, than run or jog to maintain his health. A child is forced to study during play hours. These unhealthy habits shorten life-span. You may argue that by working extra hours at your desk you can finish life’s job earlier. But you fail to realise that the longer you live the

 

more mature you become and the better will be your contribution to the world. One of my recent Birthday greetings says :

 

The apple grows for many months before it can be eaten,

And there’s the peach that hangs around a long time just to sweeten,

When a piece of cheese has aged they say it’s at its best,

And wine must sit for many years before it stands the test.

Nearly everything takes time

to reach the best that it can be, So, don’t think of yourself as older,

you’re just getting better, see!

 

 

The fact remains that we are all walking towards our grave. But we need not run towards  it.  Balance  your  mental  and  physical  work.  Come  home  and  do  some gardening or play cricket with your children instead of collapsing before the TV. A long walk is an easy and convenient exercise. Increase your daily physical activity by walking or bicycling to your office. Use your vehicle sparingly. Climb steps instead of using the lift. Get your glass of water or answer the door bell instead of shouting for someone to do it. Quickness and briskness expend a lot of energy. Teach your children to swim. It’s an enjoyable exercise and a life-saving measure.

 

Let girls wear a convenient feminine dress that will allow them to run, jump, climb, bicycle, etc. Don’t wrap them up in a sari when they turn thirteen. The youth should continue their outdoor games and sports as far as possible even after marriage. C’mon, put on your shorts and come out with your bat. It’s never too late to start exercising. It puts the sizzle back into your life with all the laughing and giggling. You may feel breathless in the beginning, but if you stick on, that will gradually wear off. If you are not  used  to  exercise,  start  minimally,  increase  gradually,  and  stop  optimally, especially if you are above 40.

 

God’s prescription  is rest for a day after  six days of work. Keep holidays and weekends  free  of  work.  That  gives  our poor  wound-up  body and  mind,  time  to unwind. Cook a special lunch after Sunday service and have some family fun. Be off on a vacation with your family where nobody can get in touch with you on business. Don’t accumulate your leave or encash it. For some, vacation is a nonsense. It is time such people understand that there is some sense in that nonsense. Have good friends with whom you can laugh and chat merrily and go out.

 

Rest is not waste. Relaxation is rejuvenating. Supper-time can be a happy time around the table. Unpleasant conversation, criticisms, corrections should be reserved for other times. Family prayer need not be a serious ritual. Children can sing and take time to share and discuss.

 

Six to eight hours of undisturbed  sleep  keeps us brisk the whole day through. Growing  children  need  more.  Some  may  need  a  cat-nap  in  the  afternoon.  That refreshes them for the next half of the day. But a long deep sleep during the day is certainly to be avoided. That leads us to a vicious cycle of sleepless nights and drowsy mornings. A hard flat bed (or floor) is best for the back, if necessary with a thin mattress.

Medicine - killer or healer?

 

Tablets and tonics have become part of our life. As a principle, use medicine only when absolutely necessary. Don’t go to the doctor for minor ailments. Your granny can treat them better. There are many doctors whose motive is just money-making, who dare not hesitate to give the baby a shot of antibiotic for common cold. Our body has unbelievable healing powers. Many diseases are taken care of by a healthy body. Mild cuts and bruises need no treatment. All you need is to wash immediately with soap and water. Children do not need vitamin drops or tonics if their diet is balanced. Just ensure ample supply of vitamin C in the form of lime juice and fresh fruits.

 

Antibiotics  should be used only when  absolutely necessary.  They kill even  the normal organisms in our body that protect us. Therefore frequent use of antibiotics may lead to diarrhoea, fungal infections and vitamin B-complex deficiency. Many suffer  from  “injection  mania.”  They  request  the  doctor  for  an  injection.  Avoid injections as much as possible. Most medicines are available in oral form.

 

If the doctor gives you aspirin for a few days and observes  you, don’t become impatient and panicky. Don’t go for quick blind-shot therapies. Hitting the disease with a hammer hits you too. Choose a reliable doctor to whom you can ask questions and who will explain to you what you want to understand. Do not hesitate to take a second consultation for serious illnesses.

 

There is another racket going on. Some doctors have a regular commission from clinical laboratories. So they write a list of tests and drain your purse and blood. Organ stealing is still stalking in the dark. Any day it may surface in broad daylight. Anyway guard your organs! Buy medicines only in standard pharmacies and check the seal to avoid counterfeits. After 40, have your blood pleasure and urine checked at least once a year.

 

Tuberculosis  and  leprosy are completely curable.  Don’t  feel  shy to  show  your doctor any white patch you discover on your body.

Prevention is better

 

How  many  of  us  are  faithfully  paying  the  druggists  and  doctors  instead  of preventing illnesses! A glass of milk everyday prevents dental caries. Few adults do that. Bent bristles indicate that it is time to change your tooth brush. It is better to change it every three months. After brushing your teeth for one minute, massage your gums well by holding them tight between the thumb and forefinger and rubbing it lengthwise.

 

Wash  rice lightly before cooking,  to preserve  whatever  B-complex  is left after polishing. Synthetic vitamins are not as good as the natural ones. As much as possible eat  the vegetables  and  fruits  with  the  skin.  The  skin  supplies  a  good  amount  of roughage to move the bowels. Avoid frequent or routine use of laxatives. Eat as much uncooked  food as possible such as carrot, beet, cabbage, peas, radish, cucumbers, onions, mangoes, gooseberries, etc. Vitamin C is destroyed even by slight heat and storage. Greens, brown sugar, dates and cooking in iron vessels supply iron. Synthetic drinks are no good. Bournvita and the ilk speak more on our purse than on our health. Sundals, sugarcane, fruits, peanuts, corn, etc., are better substitutes for biscuits and cakes for snacks. Avoid overeating a meal and skipping the next. Learn to take three balanced meals a day.

 

It is a good habit to rub your scalp and skin with an oil of your choice and wash it off after an hour or so especially in hot countries once a week. Regular application of oil to the hair is also a protection against direct sun. Hair should be washed at least twice a week. Cotton dresses are best. Avoid tight dresses. Breast-feeding the baby at least for six months protects him from many sicknesses. It is a healthy practice to circumcise male babies. Household pets improve the psychology of children, now that we are limiting the family.

A clean life

 

A clean life contributes to health and longevity. Keep the house free of dust, insects and rodents. A late evening bath is better to wash off the dust and sweat that would otherwise cling to us for another eight hours. Soap removes the oily layer on the skin. Underneath is the dirt. So, after washing yourself with soap and water take time to scrub off the dirt. Hamam and Cynthol are soaps with minimal chemical content and good for the skin. Frequent use of soap (more than once a day) removes the natural protective oil on the skin. Sweat predisposes to a common fungal infection called Tinea Versicolar. It appears as small white patches or large confluent areas, most frequently on the trunk often spreading over to the neck and face. Though harmless, for cosmetic reasons it may be treated with the external application of 20% sodium thiosulfate solution twice a day. It should be continued for a month after the last trace has disappeared.

 

Wash all vegetables and fruits to remove pesticides and ova of worms. Never cut and wash them as vitamins ooze out into the water from the cut surface. Where clean water is not available, pressure cook water for one whistle and use. Use minimum cosmetics. Avoid mosquito bites and contact with infective diseases. Stick to your spouse. The AIDS wave is breaking over us and you may be taken by the throat most unexpectedly. The Ten Commandments is an excellent code of conduct for safe and healthy living.

 

Don’t go in for abortions. Consult your doctor for suitable family planning. Not only do you risk your life and health by aborting, the guilt will leave you weeping for a life-time. Plan at least two children. The single child is a lonely child.

 

Smoke inhalation, alcohol, pan, excess of chillies, spices, coffee and tea, drugs and dyes have sinister effects. Avoid loud noises to escape hearing loss. Inability to talk to the one next to you, without raising your voice, is a good indication that the noise is injuring your ears. Even in some churches the fashion is to beat your eat drums. It is not a bad idea to carry cotton in your pocket or purse to plug your ears. If your neighbour can hear your walkman music, your headset is already damaging your ears. Do not clean your ear with metallic objects like hair pin. Too much TV certainly damages the eye.

 

But get dirty anyway!

 

A clean life does not mean children (or adults) should not get dirty. Children like to do a lot of things that get them dirty. They love to play in the sand and mud and water, dig in earth and climb the trees. They should not be restricted always. It pains me when mothers put on stockings and shoes for children even in summer in a tropical country like India, and want them to be like dolls. When they are given the freedom to get  dirty by doing  these delightful  things,  they grow  into  free,  warm,  life-loving people they were meant to be.

Does sickness make us sick?

 

Some start writing their will when they get a flu. Others take the news of cancer gracefully. Sickness is part of life and need not unnerve us. Have a will to live. That helps your body to recover. Some refuse to fight back and succumb all too easily. Life is a gift from God. Love it, live it and then give it - back to God. Death is not a terror to those who trust in God. It is the gateway to heaven. “Life is a candle extinguished at the break of dawn.”

 

Chronic illnesses should not make us wallow in self-pity. There is no magic cure for all ills. Let’s stop talking about our disease and see how best we can use the strength we have. Look around for someone who can be helped in some way. Care for someone who is lonely, unloved, unwanted, forgotten. That’s the best way to forget we are sick and send our SOS to God! “Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive ... The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; He will sustain him on his sickbed” (Psa 41:1-3).

 

It is good to examine your heart when you are sick. But let no one condemn you with his “God is whipping you” doctrine. Elisha died of an illness (2 Kings 13:14,20). Lazarus rose again but he died again! Even in your sick bed remember, God is love.

Health goes better with religion!

 

It has been proved beyond doubt that there is an interaction of the physiological and the psychological.  High  blood  pressure  may be initiated  or  aggravated  by mental stress. The latest research says, to protect your heart you must do something about your temper. Hostility and cynical mistrust hurt the heart. Anger and anxiety cause peptic ulcer. Many allergies stem from an unforgiving attitude. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Shut out unhappy angry memories. The brain is too delicate to be

 

cluttered with unwanted material. There’s a lot in our head that we can throw away. Unless we forget enough, we can’t remember enough. Worry leads to sleeplessness. That causes sleepiness and that makes you worry! Can you add one foot to anything by worrying? (Mt 6:27). How sensible Jesus was!

Optimism is another strong health factor. Approach life with a positive attitude. Brush away failures. Only spiritual failures are worthy of godly sorrow. No other failure is worth a drop of tear. The world is full of opportunities to those who rise up from failures.

 

Be satisfied. John the Baptist gave a wonderful counsel: “Be content with your wages” (Lk 3:14). Don’t be overambitious. Slow down and allow others to overtake you  in the rat-race  for achievements.  Don’t be grumpy for what  you  don’t have. Rejoice for what you do have.

Don’t wait to be wheeled into the ICU to rearrange your priorities. It is not wise to kill yourself in life. Take time off to laugh a lot. “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Prov 17:22). Laughter is the best medicine. It is vitamin L. Love a lot. That is lovezyme tonic. Love your children, love your spouse, love your neighbour, love your enemies, love all. Remember to take this vitamin and tonic regularly everyday, and you will have no problem to glorify God in your body!


   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com

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