1. The human body in which each of us lives is made up of around 37 trillion cells, to be precise. And every day, about 1-2 percent of the cells are renewing. So, exactly after 90–100 days, a new “me” appears. We remain so busy with our routine lives that we hardly acknowledge this fact, and many of us are not even aware of it. So, ‘change’ is the constant tune, not just within the universe but also within us.
2. Now that we understand that our bodies undergo transformation on a daily basis, So, the question is: how does this self-renewal occur? Let’s go back to our past a little bit. The human body develops from the human embryo, which is fertilized by an oocyte and a sperm cell. This embryo is made up of stem cells. The stem cells are the basic cells (undifferenciated cells) of the human body, which, through the process of mutation and transformation grow into different cells like nerve cells, bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells and so on. Throughout our lifespan, these stem cells undergo cell division and keep replicating; that’s how self-renewal happens.
3. Under normal physiological self-renewal processes, different cells in the body have differing rates of cell division. So, the replication process of various tissues, organs, and blood cells in the body has a different time frame, like the skin epidermal cells, which can take around 10–30 days, whereas a bone cell takes 3 months, or a hair grows about 1 cm in one month, and so on.
4. Though our body is constantly changing due to the continuous self-renewal process through different cell cycles like shedding the old skin cells, renewal of intestinal cell lining, and growing hair or nails on a routine basis, this isn’t a simpler process. The human body is still very complicated and has exceptions. Some cells, such as those in the brain (cerebral cortex), eyes (such as lenses), and heart, do not change from birth to death.
5. But then, why is self-renewal important and must be maintained? Under normal physiological conditions, stem cells have two functions: proliferation and differentiation. Though stem cells have a natural proliferative capacity throughout our lives, disease conditions can affect their physiological self-renewal ability and behavior due to factors such as damage or an unhealthy lifestyle (obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, or a poor diet).
6. A lack of an appropriate environment within the body or poor maintenance of the human body might eventually lead to the exhaustion of the capacity of stem cell proliferation, which causes premature aging or tissue atrophy. With aging, stem cell activity, tissue regenerative and haemeostasis is significantly declined.
7. Sometime, due to the unhealthy environment within the body, mutations lead to aggressive stem cell division without going through the natural cell differentiation process. This can lead to abnormal tissue growth or cancer in the body. Therefore, the physiological process of stem cell division and the natural stem cell behavior can be affected by four disease conditions, like degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory conditions.
8. Regenerative medicine and therapies have arisen as a result of the discovery that defective self-renewal mechanisms in the body are the root cause of malignancies and abnormal cell proliferation. Many disorders are being treated with regenerative medicines based on stem cells. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the use of stem cell treatment to treat a variety of diseases like cancer and disorders including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, burns, osteoarthritis, by regenerating cells, repairing tissues, and transplanting organs.
9. The fact about regenerative medicine is that, though it has helped many patients around the world, the cost of treatment is quite high as the procedure is complicated and the failure rate is high. Human stem cell treatment requires culturing human stem cells in a laboratory setting for a longer period of time, which is quite difficult.
10. The market is flooded with products that promote cell regeneration, anti-aging, and longevity. The lofty claims made by these items are still quite dubious. But it is true that some supplements do work to improve health, lower inflammation, and increase immunity. But in the end, having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, a calm mind, and exercising regularly is all that’s necessary for good health.
Hello everyone! Greetings 🖖 This is my first post after a year long break…
True enough, life is indeed unpredictable. It gives you the most dreadful unexpectedness when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me. Today, when I look back and remember, I still get the goosebumps, the tremble and chill. The misery I went through, will most likely follow me all throughout my life, or for a very long time. The past year was the most challenging and overwhelming for me. In those days, I used to put down my thoughts and feelings to my husband throughout his absence during the difficult times.
When we were about to go to bed, on the evening of 8th January 2021, around10.30 PM, after dinner and are routine talk, you complained of a headache. I advised you to take a pain reliever, and go to bed. But to my astonishment, you behaved a little different when you were lying on the bed. You asked me to get the tablet and water for you. When I was back from the kitchen with the glass of water, you couldn’t get up from the bed to have the medicine.The water gushed out from your mouth because you were unable to swallow. Then, all of a sudden, I could understand that something was wrong with you. You began to slur your words. Being a doctor myself, I came to know that you were having a transient ischaemic attack or maybe a stroke. I, immediately called emergency service and requested for an ambulance. I fumbled while speaking as I was very nervous. In the interim, I also called our next-door neighbour Jan, a 72 year old retired dutchman who is quite friendly and is fluent in English. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics examined you and noticed that your left side of the body was immobile. However you were still trying to communicate and was conscious. They hurried you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Eindhoven where we reside. Both, Jan and I accompanied you to the hospital. In the ER, I was not allowed inside. We were both waiting outside. At around 11 o’clock, I asked Jan to go back home as he was quite tired and had recently recovered from cancer.
A little later, I was told that they gave you a Morphin injection for your headache and a CT scan was done. Although I was completely shaken, somehow I was calm, still holding on to my gut that things would be all okay. Once the CT scan report came, they confirmed to me that it’s a right brain hemorrhage, which is quite huge and with some strange findings. I was told that they had planned to shift you to a hospital in Tilburg, which is a nearby city, about 45-minute drive from Eindhoven. On top of my shock and cold shivers, I was confused and petrified by this whole chain of events. I was informed that they don’t have the expertise, so that is why you have to be referred to the Tilburg Hospital, which has a better neurological service. Moreover, I was told that your CT scan findings were quite confusing and the bleeding was huge.
Within minutes, the ambulance came and rushed us to Tilburg. Inside the ambulance, you were lying down, still in your senses, tired and awake, complaining of the headache and discomfort. I was sitting next to you and asking you to rest and reassuring you. By almost 12.30 am, we reached Elizabeth Hospital, Tilburg. They rushed you again to the ER. I was allowed to accompany you there. The neurosurgeon on duty examined you and did a scan again. She, too, told me about the right brain hemorrhage and some strange discovery that resulted in the massive bleeding. All the while, I was very worried and heartbroken from inside. I could not hold my tears, cried and felt so helpless. At that moment, I felt that I would lose you and that I had lost everything in life.
Still awake and tired, you were transferred to a medium-care unit to be kept under observation. You asked the nurse if I could stay with you in the room. I know I won’t be allowed in, so I assure you that I will keep waiting outside. During those painful hours, I called your father, back home in India, to inform him about the whole episode. He was totally shocked. I could not hold my tears and was crying on the phone. Then, I called and informed our son too. He was confused and could not believe his ears. He was terrified as well, as he knew that his dad was the fittest one in the family and had never had any kind of illness. I have no idea what went through him at that stage, as he was all alone at home. Due to COVID, he was in our apartment and not in his college hostel. I also informed my sister and my brother-in-law. By that time, it was almost 1.30 AM. I was told to go back home as you were kept under supervision and it was quite stable.
So, while boarding a taxi from Tilburg to Eindhoven, I realised that the coming days were going to be the toughest to handle.That whole night, after reaching home, I cried and cried, just loitering around the house in anguish and pain. I had the impression that I was in for a long, dark journey with no idea what lay ahead.
The following day ,on the 9th of January was even scarier. I was informed earlier that you would be taken to the Operation Theatre for brain angiography. I was in the hospital, waiting to hear about the outcome of your brain angiography. Till 6 o’clock in the evening, there was no news concerning you. I kept enquiring the OT nurse about you. She informed me that you hadn’t been taken out of the OT. My mind was beginning to crawl with fears and anxieties. I was distraught and in panic. The OT nurse then called me at around 6:30 pm and took me to a room. I could sense the worst as I was sitting alone in the room. At that moment, I was terrified and utterly shaken.
Two doctors entered the room and sat in front of the table where I was sitting. One doctor started talking to me about the procedure they had to perform on you. They said that you had an atrioventricular fistula in your right brain which had to be repaired, otherwise the bleeding was profuse. The procedure went well, but you have not yet regained your consciousness from the anesthesia. They were very uncertain about the outcome and that you might have slipped into a coma. They told me that they were expecting the worst scenario, maybe brain death. My whole world was shattered at that moment. I was almost lost and could not stop myself from crying. I was in a complete state of shock. The doctors and staff did try to console me. Jan, our elderly friend, explained to me to take things practically and control my emotions. I called our son, your brother, and my family and informed them regarding your state. I was told to return home and was assured to be informed of any further developments regarding your state. When I got home, it felt like the longest night, the darkest and scariest night of my life. That whole night, I grasped onto my mobile, waiting for any news about you.
On January 10th, I came to the hospital and was informed that you had been shifted to the ICU. The doctors told me that they had to drain a huge bulk of fluid from your brain and that your vitals were stable. I was informed that your MRI scan showed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which got worse due to a congenital defect of the AV fistula. Such cases are rare.The condition was worse as you had hydrocephalus, so the fluid had to be drained to reduce the pressure.
The first time I saw you in the ICU with a ventilator and machines, drains, and drips all over, it was really hard for me. I went near you and called your name. You did respond with a little movement of your right hand. I was relieved and was happy as I could see little hope of light after these 2-3 hard days. That day was quite positive for me as the doctors were happy with you for being responsive to the treatment and procedure. But then, they still reminded me about the uncertainty of your condition. There was still a huge amount of fluid left in your brain which had to be drained continuously. You were still in a comatose state, with a low score on the neurological scale. I was told to call our immediate family members from India as your chances of survival were low. I called our son, back in India, and asked him to pack his bag to come to the Netherlands. I also informed your family and mine regarding your present state. I called your employer and informed them because they had been trying to reach you for the last 2-3 days due to your professional obligations. I also informed my project coordinator and let go of the project that I was doing.
After going through all the procedures of an emergency visa, our son arrived on January 14th. This was a life-changing event for him as well, as he had been very close to you, his father. He did go through an emotional roller coaster during those turbulent days. And, seeing you in that state, he had acted very mature and calm. He has been my biggest support through this storm. Our neighbors and friends have also been very supportive through the difficult time. Your employer has been a great support system for me and our son. We will always remain grateful to everyone who has been there for us through those difficult hours.
You stayed in the ICU for almost 2 months. Everyday, I visited twice, once in the morning and then in the evening. During my time spent with you in the ICU, your eyes remained close most of the time, but you do respond to my touch with right-hand finger movements. Some days were good and positive, while some days were scary. Our son, too, visited you in the ICU. But, he had to leave as his exams were approaching. Your neurological state improved slowly and your vitals were stable. You had gotten out of the ventilator. They decided to shift you to the rehabilitation centre after you regained consciousness.
I was initially quite optimistic and excited about your development and recuperation during your time in the rehab facility. However, because the prognosis was poor, we, also had to deal with a number of setbacks in that situation. Your severe cognitive impairment and short – term memory problems were not responding well to therapy. Your left side is completely paralysed, and there is no recovery. You still struggle with a few cognitive issues. However, you continue to make good progress in terms of your awareness, speech, memory, and physical development every day. Your speech is clear and concise at present.
After more than a year, you are still residing in the rehabilitation facility, and your therapies are still ongoing. I see you almost every day of the week. While we converse and laugh on certain days, other days are sad when therapy doesn’t work out. As I’ve come to terms with your situation, I’ve begun to feel content. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching you smile while I am with you.The hardest lesson life has taught us today is to be cheerful in the moment we share together right now because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. When I see you now, hope is the only thing in which I will still believe and live.
Scientists are yet to give a proper standard definition of emotion. Enough researches are done in the past and are still going on. Yet, it is quite challenging to define this experience of mind called ’emotion’. Emotion is usually a state of mind which is neurophysiological. It can be linked to the person’s personality, thought process, feeling, mood or temperament. It’s a mental state where he/she may experience either pleasure or displeasure. So, every day and every moment, a person’s emotional state may vary.
Researches have revealed that the left side of the brain is a logical and more analytical half while the right side is imaginative, creative and emotional. There is a total of at least 27 emotions which appear in the human mind. Everday, both positive and negative emotions surface in the human mind throughout the day. As the flickering mind keep reacting and responding to the different internal and external experiences, so does the emotion keep changing. I think emotion/feelings have a lot to do with our subconscious mind. The subconscious mind, with its conditioning and tendencies, ingrained through our life journey. Therefore, depending on these tendencies, the emotional state may vary from individual to individual for the same human experience.
Having an emotion, pleasant or unpleasant, we blame it to the external environment. But we fail to acknowledge that our internal environment has a greater role to play than any external environment when it comes to our emotions. Here, I would like to emphasise more on the negative emotions that are generated in our mind daily because they have a toxic effect both on our physical and mental health. We can at least try developing a habit and make behavioural changes to reduce or try getting rid of them as much as practically possible for the sake of our wellbeing.
The sources of negative emotions evolve through a toxic and adverse thought process like anger, pride, ego, greed, jealousy, hatred, lust, infatuation and so on. So, how do we stop ourselves or at least try getting rid of them daily? It is an ever-evolving process and learning experience that grows with time.
Six ways, we can try getting rid of them are :
1. Replacement techniques: every time an unpleasant experience happens, the negative emotion of anger, pain, hurt, resentment appears. Further, the mental pattern of overthinking and ruminating makes it worst to bear. Being aware of our state of mind is an important step to initiate. And the slowly deliberate attempt of replacing the negative thinking pattern with a positive and a more constructive thought process. It is something that isn’t easy at all. But, it isn’t impossible either. It’s a habit that has to be grown and nurtured through time. Therefore, replacement with a better pattern is an efficient method. 2. Bring in the opposite action: Intentionally doing an act of service or showing good conduct even in a bitter experience. It can lead to a change in our mental state to a more positive environment and reduce the negativity. No matter what the other person’s reaction, you remain in a positive and gratitude state. It can help us get rid of negative emotion and maintain a balanced state of mind.
3. The mind of service: Every individual is deep down selfish. We live, work, desire all the time for our own selfish needs. We feel we will be happier this way. But, we end up suffering because of our selfish desires and needs. We need to realise this sooner or later. The more, we grow towards an unselfish mind, a mind in service to others, the lesser is the negativity around. 4.A bigger picture: Whenever we breed a negative emotion towards a person or a situation, we tend to have a narrow perspective. We become selfish as our ego hurts, and our ‘sense of self’ is threatened. Realising this fault of our’s is a great help. It will help us to view the person or the situation in a wide broader picture. Therefore, we become less judgemental towards the state or the person.
5. Nurturing positive emotions: We need deliberate efforts to boost positive feelings of compassion, kindness, love and gratitude. Nurturing these emotions can substitute negative emotions of anger, hatred and jealousy. Cultivating a habit of doing good to others can create good mental impressions and thereby bring good feelings of joy and happiness.
6.Meditation: The daily practice of meditation enhances self-awareness. Through self-awareness, we can gain better clarity of mind. We have better control of our mind, emotions and actions.
The term “holobiont” literally means the host living along with other species of bionts as a single entity, in other words, the interaction of the host with the microbiome. Since the evolution of living species including the human being, there has been a continuous evolution of this co-dependency of the host and microbiome interaction. It has become an integral part of our biology. The human as a holobiont not only restrict its function as the body’s natural defence mechanism called the immune system but also maintain the physiological processes like the energy metabolism, blood pressure control, glucose haemostasis, clotting risk factors and also adiposity. It can even influence our everyday habits and behaviour.
(Pic courtesy: digitallylearn.com)
Microbiome (pic; Europa)
The human microbiome intimate interaction normally maintains stable homeostasis which gives us stable health and wellbeing. Researches have increasingly recognized the human gut microbiota as the key area which mainly is responsible for this homeostasis and plays a decisive role in our overall health. But when there is any kind of disruption which crosses the resilient limits of the equilibrium or the homeostasis, the body goes into an alternative state of susceptibility, a pre-disease state which can lead to the development of chronic or inflammatory conditions.
Pic courtesy: mBio -ASM
Another interesting fact is that since the time of evolution, there has been a continuous co-evolution of the interdependency of both the host and the microbiome. The microbiome has been transferred through the generations of humans, the ancestral lineage. In the natural state, there has been a series of mutation on the microbiome phenotypes in their adaptation to the continuous changes of the human habitat. There has been a constant change in the environmental conditions, dietary changes, behaviours, lifestyle changes which directly affect the interaction and adaptation of the microbiome colonies. Initially, the adaptations were quite smooth, and the mutations were usually beneficial for both the host (human) as well as the microbiome. But as the time passed by, due to the various environmental changes like in diet, sunlight, pollution, toxins, cosmetics, sedentary lifestyle, inculcating harmful habits, have lead to certain harmful mutations on the microbiota daily which not only disrupt the normal homeostasis but can lead to many chronic inflammatory conditions like obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel conditions, drug-resistant infections and a wide range of diseases including cancers.
Therefore, we, as human and as a holobiont need to take utmost measures to maintain this symbiotic relationship between us and the microbiome flora especially the gut microbiota. The better is the natural homeostasis, the equilibrium, the more is our stronger defence system and the better immune response of our body and lesser is the susceptibility to any diseases, chronic inflammation and infection including this present scare of a novel virus, Coronavirus. Few simple measures that we can take on a day to day basis to maintain this normal homeostasis of the microbiota are :
1.Healthy nutrition. 2.The sleep of at least 8 hours a day. 3.Body movements like exercise, yoga, aerobics 4.Deep breathing exercises to calm down stress. (stress aggravates inflammation) 5.Meditation is important because it has immense benefits on both the mind and the body’s homeostasis. 6.Supplements from natural sources like aloe vera, turmeric (Curcumin), ginger, garlic, multivitamins so on. 7.Maintaining bodily hygiene.
Why is the term ” gut “ attached to the word ” feeling”? Off course, there has to be a reason. More preferably, a scientifically researched fact.
1.Your gut is lined by a network of neurons. It is found that about 100million neurons are lined across the gut ( alimentary canal ) which are even more than in the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system but is less than the brain. This is called the enteric nervous system. So, gut feeling is also referred to as the ” second brain”. The brain and gut are connected through this network of neurons which is the gut-brain axis. Your gut, the enteric nervous system can act independently from the brain, the central nervous system. But, most of the time, it is overridden by the brain. That is the reason, most of the time, we ignore or consciously don’t acknowledge our gut feeling.
2.The most important aspect of gut feeling is quick and automatic, appear even before the brain starts thinking logically. The gut makes similar chemicals as the brain do while thinking. It makes a quick evaluation of the situation at hand and gives feedback. It cannot analyse and do logicalthinking as the brain.
3.The huge microbiome flora in the gut not only influences the gut alone with what diet you eat but also has the perception of this world and can influence the mind and behaviour. They influence the body’s level of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates the feelings of happiness. That is the reason a healthy diet, good sleep, good exercise can influence your mood and behaviour.
4.Your gut feeling is not intuition. Intuition is something to do with your highest level of consciousness, it is said to be the voice of the soul. Whereas gut feeling is your very human instinct. This feeling comes collectively from the neuronal network in your gut which gives you feedback based on your past experiences with the intent to keep your body safe and protected. It concerns your fear and struggles for survival.
You don’t feel right when a particular person is around you, or you feel uncomfortable in a particular situation or when you feel something is not right for you to eat, are all your gut feelings. It centres around your struggle and fear-based on your past.
Intuition is your inner voice, which may tell you choose a particular career path, or follow a certain dream or choose to be with someone.
You can rely on your gut, and choose to remain safe and not take any risk. In most instances, you use your logical brain to choose depending on your past experiences what works for you safe and better. Or you can hear your intuition and work beyond your reaches to something unknown in the past in your life experiences, or the ones which appear in your dreams.
So, you have a choice to make at every moment throughout your life.
Science has revealed long back that any physical body which comprises of atoms emits energy. This is because protons and electrons are in constant motion, vibrating in different frequencies. Therefore, all physical bodies, including human beings, plants, animals, rocks, stones emit energy. Your physical body is surrounded by a bioenergetic field, a luminous field which surrounds like an egg, exactly like a halo. It is a subtle energy field which normally is not visible to the naked eyes nor we are aware in our every day lives. This energy field is not only created physically but also emotionally. Even the thoughts emit energy during different mental processes. This energy field is called “Prana” in yogic science and “Ch’i” in Chinese.
Why this human aura is important? It is this aura or the energy field which helps to maintain the overall health, wellbeing, success in our life purpose.
If there is an imbalance in this energy field, we are affected by disease or ill health. Therefore, the balance in this aura is vital. Quntum Physics has proved that humans are interconnected with each other through this energy field and also the field of the earth, the Universal energy field. Infact, not only humans, plants , animals and all physical bodies are interconnected through this Universal energy field.
Studies have shown that the energy field or the auric field has 7 different layers with colours. The energy field around the head is easily visible. In people like us, it is not visible because of the colour. A golden halo around the head is visible when it is attained by a profound spiritual growth. That is the reason, we see pictures of saints with a halo around the head.
All these 7 layers together form the bioenergetic field of the human aura, which surrounds the human body like an egg-shaped field. Each layer performs a vital function which contributes to the overall wellbeing of the human body. This field interacts and works concerning the energy centres in the physical body which are called Chakras. These energy vortexes emit energy with different colours which blend and form the aura.
Furthest from the physical body to the closest layer:
1.Archetypal aura: This is like the typical matrix of energy pattern layer of who you are. It’s unique and differentiates you from any other individual. It carries the destiny map of your entire life.
2.Spiritual aura: This layer of energy field maintains a balance with different layers and also the energy centres (chakras ) within your physical body. It contributes to your spiritual wellbeing
3.Mental aura: This layer of the energy field is build on your life experiences. It helps you to grow, retrospect and introspect based on your destiny map and experiences. It forms your attitude and concept to life.
4.Emotional aura: This is your life’s driving force. If you are at peace, this layer resonates through the different layers in your aura. If you feel angry, hatred, defensive or negative emotions, this negativity penetrates through the complete aura. Therefore, this layer is important to maintain and integrity of your health.
5.Imaginal Aura: This energy layer is important because it is through this layer, you create, alter your circumstances surrounding your life destiny. It is through this layer, you can create whatever your soul desires and alter your destiny.
6.Etheric aura: This energy field maintains your physical body. It keeps your energy centres in balance and helps the body to thrive towards better health. When the energy to this layer is obstructed, the physical body interprets as disease or illness.
7.Physical aura: This is the closest layer to your body. So, any condition like emotional trauma, physical injuries, cellular change can be evident within your physical aura.
Maintaining the human aura is a complex balancing and fragile act. A healthy nutritious diet, physical exercises, spiritual learnings, mental exercises, good thoughts and meditation, all contribute towards a healthy human aura.