Ayurveda the Science of Life
Abnormally high levels of cortisol increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels, may cause infertility in women, and suppress the immune system. At normal levels cortisol is involved in proper glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, insulin release for blood sugar maintenance, and a healthy functioning immune system. Too much or too little cortisol has been implicated in numerous illnesses ranging from depression, cancer, and AIDS, to Alzheimer's disease (Sapse, 1997). Our body needs cortisol but only in the right amount.
Technology and its power define the essence of our life today. Not only is it everywhere, it is In and about everything, a continuous, massive, growing influence which controls and dominates every aspect of Western life. To talk of technology as some thing separate is to misunderstand the issue. Anything you touch or do is inextricably embedded in its own technology. It demands know-how and skill, and the utilization of an evergrowing amount of new information, mostly not fully comprehended. Technology is out of control, that is certain, and cannot now be stopped. But whether it will lead to our destruction or will continue to benefit us. as it has largely done up to now. is not so clear. There are ominous clouds overhead.
'The chant uplifted people spiritually - and it provided physical uplift as well. The decades following the year 1000 saw a significant growth in the building of monastic infirmaries which were medical institutions in the modern sense of the word, but also offered refuge to the old and dying, as well as accommodation for travellers and pilgrims Many of these infirmaries were built on deeply symbolic thoroughfares, beside bridges or rivers, or much travelled road, and though they could offer rest and seclusion and simple herbal remedies to those who were sick, the main constituent of their healing regime was the primeval resonance of the mass and the deeply effecting rhythms of the chant.' (Lacey, 1999.)
The brief lays down a complex programme the main entrance is on the ground floor with a passage-like corridor opening up to the outside world, plus cafeteria, kitchen and shop. Here the building is still very public. The first floor contains the large waiting area and the adjacent consulting room for three assistant doctors and the two principal doctors. Above this, on the second floor, are the treatment rooms, which are designed for use of the special, traditional old Indian method of treatment using nothing but purely natural medicaments, called Ayurveda. These rooms were intended to make the treatments associated with this approach possible, and needed a special technical equipment for automatically supplying high-quality oils and other fats. As in the two storeys below, the east side of the building, which faces away from the monsoon, opens up towards a passage. The third floor with large closed balconies on the west side was intended for in-patients, wards with double The overall...
The computer programmer was a young man who prided himself on his good work habits and general good health. He had heard about people who claimed to become ill from working in a sick building, but always thought that these folks were probably hypochondriacs or neurotics. Shortly after his office was moved into a newly renovated building, however, he began to get headaches at work. He blamed them on tension, or maybe just overwork, and continued to come to work in his new office. Gradually the headaches increased, and it would take him longer and longer after leaving work to get rid of them.
Clearly, the year 2000 has come and gone and as the new millennium began 1.3 billion people continue to live in absolute poverty although health for all remains the cornerstone of WHO's institutional vision. It has become increasingly clear that this conceptual framework has to be revised and updated to answer the new socio-economic, technological and epidemiological realities brought about by profound changes in global magnitude. That is why the WHO is developing a new holistic health policy based on the concepts of equity and solidarity, emphasising the individuals, the families and the communities responsibility for health, and placing health within the overall development framework.
Our modern understanding of a primary health centre was set out in the Dawson Report (1920) as An institution equipped for services of curative and preventive medicine to be conducted by general practitioners of that district, in conjunction with an efficient nursing service and with the aid of visiting consultants and specialists'. It remains a valid definition today, but during the intervening 80 years the earlier professional arrogance of architects and doctors has shifted markedly towards a more humane, understanding, and listening attitude. This approach is explored in the editorial of Medical Humanities (Evans, 2001).
To many Western readers, Chinese medicine may seem strange and unreliable. It is hard for them to understand why the needle and herb can cure the disease. It is the case, even in China, that some Chinese look on TCM as a mysterious thing. But it is a truth as you know, China is a country that has a long long history and magnificent national culture. And TCM emerged at least 3000 years ago (in Chinese history, that is Shang Dynasty - 1000 BC), and has serviced the Chinese people for about 3000 years. Generally, TCM is a unique system of diagnosis and health care approaches. It is based on a profound philosophy and the concept of the universe outlined in the spiritual insights of Daoism (one of the Chinese religions), and it has produced a highly sophisticated set of practices to cure illness and to maintain health and well-being. These practices include acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage, diet, meditation, and both static and moving exer
The book's title, Healthy Living Centres, is intended to convey a broad concept of well-being. Not only does it embrace the building type of the same name used by the Government as part of its drive to develop primary health care services in the UK but it also considers other building concepts such as one-stop primary care centres, walk-in centres, polyclinics, superclinics, health kiosks, drop-in facilities, local health care There is a growing recognition that the introduction of the arts and humanities into the process of health care have a beneficial effect. The arts are not just an aid to medicine, they are important in their own right and need to be integrated into life. Alan Howarth, MP, in a recent ministerial speech with regard to what the Government can do said, 'I would start with the field of architecture'. The quality of the environment directly effects the quality of our lives and it is this challenge where architects are well placed to provide new solutions for future...
Today, not only the medical profession but also business and industry are beginning to realize the importance of preventive medicine Some examples are the Kaiser foundation, an industry-founded trust in California, offers computerised screening to its 1.5 million members the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company plans to provide automated tests for over 50,000 employees and the Cannery Workers Union in California, which can screen 20.000 workers during the three-month canning season. makes multiphasic screening available to its members in three 60-ft long trailers.
Finally, back to my home country, Britain, where the Joseph Rowntree Foundation revealed that 70 per cent of Britain's poorest children are concentrated in just four conurbations London, Greater Manchester, Merseyside (which includes Liverpool) and Glasgow.80 The Rowntree report points out 'the huge damage caused by the persistence of poverty and disadvantage in a generally prosperous country'. The poor areas in these cities, like Harpurhey in Manchester, Everton in Liverpool, Tower Hamlets in London or Easterhouse in Glasgow, can feel like desolated places, but here, as elsewhere, civic leadership can produce innovative ideas. For example, in Easterhouse a new Cultural Campus, appropriately called the Bridge, has opened, incorporating a library, a lifelong learning centre, a flexible auditorium, rehearsal, photography and multimedia studios, a flexible exhibition and performance space, and an education centre, the John Wheatley College. This large, multifunctional building also...
The Lawson Practice comprises a team of six GPs, supported by two practice nurses and various administrative and training staff. It is also the base for the Turkish Advocacy which was developed to promote a good health policy within the local Turkish community. The centre will also be the base for various topical seminars and presentations and other lectures.
Teenth in a world league table in terms of the effectiveness of the care it delivers for every pound spent and twenty-sixth in its responsiveness to patients and in its ability to treat them professionally and with dignity (25 June 2000). The same leading article goes on to say, 'By any measure, the National Health Service is failing in its purpose. Cancer survival rates are appalling for a wealthy nation and well below the rest of Europe, America and Japan'. WHO's experience suggests that throwing money at the problem does not produce a good health system for a country. The world's best health system, in France, has succeeded on a mixture of public and private financing, where patients pay for their GP appointments.
This approach must be changed and architects should not be embarrassed or afraid to argue on aesthetic grounds. If the quality of life is a key factor in the definition of good health it is certainly valid to promote the intangible benefits of aesthetics. Also, there should be greater emphasis on identifying and responding to the requirements of all users of the building. Perhaps this can be done by considering layers of need, starting with the basic physical constraints of space but adding concepts of flexibility, emotion and sensory perception to define the performance standards expected from a
Human genetic enhancement is often defined as the manipulation of genes in order to improve what are seen as normal human characteristics - physical, psychological, intellectual, and moral - beyond what is necessary to restore or sustain good health. This enhancement can be attempted through either somatic modifications - thus affecting only the particular individual undergoing the intervention - or germ-line Think of a relatively simple characteristic such as, for example, being healthier. We have good evidence that most diseases affecting humans are multifactorial (Weiss, 2005 Becker, 2004 Cummings, 2003 Wilkie, 2001 Risch, 2002). Unlike Mendelian diseases, the transmission of these diseases is governed by multiple factors, and familial patterns of inheritance do not follow a strictly Mendelian mode. Alleles contributing to these complex diseases are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause the particular disease that is, some people might suffer the disease without having the...
Tive medicine and tease out the therapeutic powers of belief and trust.' With the medical profession under great pressure from society to become more responsive to consumer demands another article in The Times (19 January 2001) starts from the premise that health is more fundamental to happiness, well-being and prosperity than anything else. Surely this is the wrong way around Good health is likely to result from happiness, well-being and prosperity and it is our failure to understand the historic values of a holistic lifestyle that has led us into the trap which assumes that a technical solution lies behind every medical disorder. Doctors have exploited the opportunity to let us believe they have the key to solve all medical problems and are the last of the professions to have their authority challenged and they don't like finding that consumerism - patient power - is knocking on their door.
Capable of absorbing moisture from the indoor air and releasing it when the air is drier (unpainted or unvarnished wood and unpainted plaster are two effective choices), you can drastically reduce moisture buildup. Your health will benefit as much as the planet does from these choices.
Primary health care facilities are becoming larger multi-functional 'healthy living centres' offering integrated health and care services. A variety of agencies and professional skills will work in buildings serving the local community. Private finance will be provided by specialist developers and local initiatives will ensure greater control of matching requirements will services. As health and care services become more integrated the new community buildings, or healthy living centres, will grow in size and become multi-functional with a target of 500 new healthy living centres by 2004 opportunities for small and medium practices are set to expand. Building costs can be expected to range between 500,000 and 5 million.
The testing ground for primary health care buildings of the future, or to use a generic term, healthy living centres, is most likely to be in the community sector. Rich opportunities for innovative design, imaginative briefing, and new methods of funding and procurement will shape the next generation of small health buildings. There are, therefore, many exciting challenges ahead for both doctors and architects to work out new arrangements of co-operating professionally so that these two honourable professions can forge a closer relationship and a common objective of building a healthier lifestyle for everybody who will use these buildings. No doubt, different solutions will emerge as private finance influences the public funding of the NHS. The briefs for community buildings will have to balance the need for flexibility with multipurpose rooms and the need to offer more specialised facilities closer to a patient's home. In the USA, a range of specialised facilities has tended to...
The conditions that make for a long and healthy life cycle are the same for any style of construction. Do not expect a bale home to have a shorter life cycle than a wood-framed home. Kept dry, warm, and well maintained, bale homes have easily lasted for 100 years and continue to be strong and healthy. After all, the molecular structure of straw is remarkably similar to that of wood remember, each bale is thousands of tiny trees bundled together
Architecture can make you fat - apparently - although having read Paul Arendt's evocatively titled, but unfulfilling report in the Guardian newspaper (3 January 2007) I was not sure whether it was the practice or consumption (or should that be usage) of architecture that is threatening imminent obesity. The article focused on a recent Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) briefing document entitled 'Physical activity and the built environment'. Profusely illustrated with dog walkers, prams and happy cyclists the report encourages designers to reconnect our physical environment and our physical health. Quoting from Derek Wanless' report of 2004 - 'Securing good health for the whole population' - in which he made the case for the preventative approach to healthcare, CABE's report is short
Healthcare administrators are taking concrete steps nationwide to change food buying practices to more sustainably produced, healthier choices for patients, staff, and visitors. A report from HCWH states that 127 facilities in 21 states across the country, including some that serve over 9,000 meals every day, have pledged to source local, nutritional, sustainable food. By signing the organization's Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge, these hospitals have signaled that they recognize that their healthcare food dollars are an important investment in preventive medicine (HCWH, 2008c).
Natural systems, like all systems, have their own unique requirements for sustenance and stability. In the short-term, a jungle needs water, nutrients and sunlight to sustain itself as a healthy living system. For its long-term stability, that is, its ability to maintain the crucial balance between stagnation and chaos that enables it to remain a jungle, a jungle needs internal regulators that are resilient in the face of broader changes in the climate, encroachment of new species, etc.
We have seen that historically, when medical knowledge was limited, health care focused on the sense of well-being. Through the ages, scientific knowledge advanced and medical skills developed a pace. In the UK, the NHS has transformed medical expectations, but we now find that there is a return to the holistic approach to the care of our bodies. Technology and wealth have been found not to be the elixir of life. There is a plethora of intangible concepts with which to grapple and these questions will continue to be examined and debated in the search for a high quality of life. Good environmental conditions in the place where we live are the bedrock for good health.
The health centre has been designed for a full range of primary care as well as promoting healthy living and preventa-tive approaches to medicine. Its reception area will include a one-stop shop for information and advice. The centre will supply some specialist services to pupils with SEN, and in turn will share use of the cr che, SEN and community spaces for meetings, exercise classes or courses. Its garden will be a soothing visual focus for the patients' waiting area, and offer opportunities for therapeutic and sensory experiences.
GDP takes no account of social or environmental issues. Rising oil consumption increases GDP, as do environmental disasters, crime and car crashes, if money has to be spent on remediation. GDP favours cures rather than prevention - good health has no economic value but pills do. Inevitably, therefore, GDP promotes the pursuit of quantity over quality. GDP also fails to reflect the underlying sustainability of any pattern of economic activity. An economy that grows on the basis of depleting oil reserves is spending a non-renewable asset. This ought to be reflected in accounts, but is not.
The Government is also moving its position on health care policy with a new understanding of the importance of patients' needs. The requirements for health care are being assessed from the perspective of patients and there is recognition that the social agenda for health care needs to become more inclusive. Inevitably, this will lead to greater complexity in the organisation of services, and the crossing of boundaries between traditional concepts of health care, social services such as housing and the treatment of mental health issues. One is lead down the path of recognising the importance of the built environment to provide a humane place in which to live a healthy life. The opening few pages of this book described the historical importance of the home, and there is a growing weight of opinion which is returning to the home as the focal point and centre for health treatment in the future.
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