Some places like some people leave their imprint on our minds. I have always been very fascinated by the way the people of Israel go about their lives. They value expression, friendship, professionalism and are equally open hearted once they get to know you.
However my recent visit added yet another dimension… The working of our embassy there! My experience before, during and after my lecture there can be expressed in just one word…Overwhelming! The amount of courtesy and attention that was accorded to me, especially by the Deputy Chief of mission and the Counsellor (press, information…) was simply next level!
During the question- answer session I came across what I have seen the world over… Consequences of the fast paced urban life are similar the world over. But then, such health problems or wrong practices, & myths do need immediate attention by all concerned.
I wrote about life styles and social pressures that affect women in general and I mentioned a woman’s life stages described in Ayurved. In all my overseas travels I have also observed one more disturbing practice…excessive use of oral birth control pills. The practice is rampant not just among married women or unmarried woman of age but predominantly among teenagers. ( I am not being a prude though) But what I am perturbed at is the rampant use of such methods by women regardless of age and why am I perturbed is because it’s common knowledge that birth control pills as much as these are convenient to avoid unwanted pregnancy, these also have serious side effects and the direct impact such consumption invariably has on fertility and the natural ability to conceive! and hence let me once again reiterate,
” In the pursuit of life’s objectives, the woman has always been the pivot…creating life, giving happiness, lending energy and the much needed protection for evolution!”
Starting from the age when menstruation begins (was considered roughly as 12 years) through puberty, child bearing and finally menopausal, Ayurveda has established a specific code of conduct that explains all aspects of a woman’s life holistically. Ayurveda details diets, exercises, the various methods of ensuring a robust psychological and mental makeup as well as the various methods to deal with these constant changes that impact a woman both physiologically and psychologically as well.
Menarche is the medical term for a woman’s first menstruation, commonly known as her first period. Menstruation is the monthly shedding of the uterine wall. Most women can recall the exact details of when this happened and how they felt. It may be exciting for some or scary for others. However, this change frequently impacts girls because they are crossing the threshold of adolescence to adulthood. Menarche is a sign indicating that a girl is transforming into a woman capable to becoming a mother.
In any case, it is a difficult time for the girl because of this transformation she is going through physically and emotionally. A girl going through menarche may sometimes feel that she is not normal, especially if it occurs before or after her friends. And this where counselling and communication becomes absolutely vital. Remember, Every woman develops differently and it is normal for girls to experience light or irregular periods for the first couple years after menarche.
Age & Development:
Ayurveda opines that menarche is generally attained at 12 years of age. During this phase a girl should adopt a carefully planned healthy diet and lifestyle to support the physiological changes. Late nights, sleeping during daytime, sedentary lifestyle lack of physical activity, excessive exposure to sexual content on television, internet, etc. should be avoided. The girl’s constitution is important and her body will respond to these changes physically and mentally in line with her ‘Prakriti’. During this stage individual consultation, systematic diet planning and life style management under the guidance of an expert Ayurved practitioner is recommended.
Lifestyle guidelines during menstruation
During menstrual phase, a woman should take nutritious diet. The food should be freshly prepared, light to digest, warm and unctuous. She should restrict excess intake of salt, spicy food, fried food, and processed foods. She should avoid excessive physical activity, strenuous physical exercise, sexual indulgence, mental strain, exposure to extreme weather.
I am sure now that I have explained this most vital stage in detail, you all will be able to look at your own life as well as that of your youngsters and the introspection would lead you to begin creating a solid foundation of life!
Dr. Manjiri Joshi