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Change is the key

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 16, 2009 17:30 IST
Chesta Wadhwani
Chesta Wadhwani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Everyone is talking about stress management today. Well-known yoga guru, Bawa, of the Art of Living foundation, dismisses the notion saying stress needs to be completely eliminated and not managed. No stress, he asserts, is good stress.

“Stress management is like transferring stress from one pocket to another. The body can function effectively only if there are no pressures and the mind is calm,” says Bawa. He recommends regular breathing asanas.

Medical science however has a different take on the subject. Dr Jyoti Maheshwari, who conducts stress management sessions in Lokhandwala, Andheri, insists that stress is good for the body but when not handled properly turns into de-stress.

“Motivating people to work harder is positive pressure. Without that one tends to get laidback and do a shabby job,” she points out.

But if the pressure to perform is beyond the body’s capacity, it can result in psychosomatic illnesses like heart attacks, paralyses, diabetes and asthma. Irritability, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, acidity and insomnia are the symptoms and need to be identified early.

Keep it simple
She advises patients not to aim towards unrealistic goals. A faulty lifestyle and interpersonal relationships add to the stress. “Many break down when relationships don’t work and lose confidence. They become withdrawn and anxious, at work and at home,” Maheshwari explains.

The solution is in coming to terms with the problem in the initial stages. And rather than asanas she advocates change in lifestyle, shrugging off addictions and counselling. “One needs to talk freely about the issues otherwise yoga is like popping a crocin. It brings down temperature temporarily but the fever returns once the effect of the drug wears off. So too with stress,” she reasons.