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The Environment in Ancient Literature

Our ancient Vedic literature and Upanishads also describes ecological and environmental values. The Atharva Veda solemnly recognizes and enduring allegiance of humankind to mother Earth.
Isho Upanishad has emphasized on ecological and environmental values in a stanza, which states: “The whole universe together with its creatures belong to the Lord (Nature)…….Let no one species encroach over the rights and privileges of other species.  One can enjoy nature by giving up greed”.
Living in harmony with nature has always been emphasized with the philosophy to take from nature only what we actually need and not more. In our ancient literature Khsiti (Soil), Jal (Water), Pawan (Energy), Gagan (Space) and Samira (air) are recognized as the basic resources of the earth. Our classical literature emphasized the message that resources should not be used wastefully but should be conserved. Kautilya in his famous treatise Arthshashtra describes the world’s first forest conservation and wildlife management programme.
Contemporary Chandra Gupta Maurya maintained the forest for different purposes like elephant domestication, hunting, and forests as reserves. History tells that Indian people have been utilizers of nature and not the exploiters. Indian has been under the influence of humans and agriculture for about 10,000 years even then the resource depletion has not been proportional to our very long history. This has been mainly due to the compassion for the living and non-living and the principle of Ahinsa purmo dharma that is ingrained in our culture. There is a need to incorporate these principles in regulating resource use.
A modern man must re-establish an unbroken link with its nature and life. He must again learn to invoke the energy of growing things and to recognize, as did the ancients in India centuries ago, that one can take form the earth and the atmosphere only so much as on puts back into them. The hymn from Atharva veda which runs as follows:

“What of thee I dig out, let that quickly grow ever,
Let me not hit thy vitals or thy heart”.

This shows India’s age-old concern over ecological values.

One impulse of vernal woods
Can teach you more of man
Then all the sages can
– William worth warth

Dr. Abhishek Swami
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science
SGT University, Gurugram

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Hypothyroidism- Need & Importance of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

We know Hypothyroidism is a complex disease which is characterized by signs and symptoms that may have a significant negative impact on the quality of life and performance in the course of physical activity. These patients have lower physical activity levels, poor exercise tolerance which causes them to fatigue easily. Consequently, it leads to the deterioration of quality of life. These problems result from the insubstantial pulmonary reserve, limited cardiac reserve, reduced muscle strength or the increased tendency of muscle fatigue.
The exercise intolerance in hypothyroidism is multifactorial and is dependent on the functional limitations of the various system organs. Patients with hypothyroidism have been found to have decreased Cardio-respiratory fitness (VO2 max). Thyroid hormones maintain the functions of cardiovascular, respiratory systems and muscles during relaxation and during exercise. Decreased levels of thyroid hormones cause weakness in muscles of inspiration and expiration, alveolar hypoventilation and decreased hypoxic ventilator drive. It has been found that patients with hypothyroidism have decreased pulmonary functions which in turn lead to decrease oxygenation. Diminished pulmonary functions and capacities lead to reduced Cardio-respiratory fitness among patients with hypothyroidism. There occurs a reduction in contractile force of myocardium by changes in the structure of ATPase enzyme further affecting the pumping function of the heart and cardiac output which is a dominant factor in evaluating the level of Cardio-respiratory fitness.
There are increased incident of atherosclerotic lesions and cardiovascular events in subjects with hypothyroidism due to the increase in the concentration of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and decrease in HDL levels. Total cholesterol and LDL levels are found to be raised due to decreased LDL receptors activity resulting in the reduced breakdown of LDL and IDL. Moreover reduction in Lipoprotein lipase activity is also found in clinical hypothyroidism which results in reduced clearance of triglycerides rich lipoproteins.
It is observed that there are variations in HR & BP response during exercise & recovery. The slow recovery in heart rate and decreased chronotropic response in subclinical hypothyroidism suggests that alteration in cardiac contractility, myocardial oxygen consumption, cardiac output, BP and systemic vascular resistance, negative association of HR recovery and Chronotropic response with TSH may suggest the abnormal TSH concentration may be noval cardiac risk factors.
Regular aerobic training has been found to improve the flow-mediated endothelium-dependent arterial dilation and change the lipid profile and inflammation in subclinical hypothyroidism. 12-week medium impact exercises have been found to be effective to increase cardio-respiratory fitness and health-related quality of life in subclinical hypothyroidism.
Researchers suggest that breathing training has a positive impact on the improvement of respiratory muscle functions & cardiac functions.

Dr. Sonia Pawaria
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Physiotherapy

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