Sunday, August 29, 2010

Amazing Effects of Cuddling

I am prompted to upload this post (after a relatively long period of silence) on finding a report today in the leading Indian news paper, The New Indian Express. The report titled Mum’s cuddle brings new-born to life describes how an Australian mother cuddled her premature baby back to life even though doctors had told her he was dead. The unfortunate mother had given birth to premature twins after just 27 weeks of pregnancy. Her baby girl survived; but the baby boy was declared dead by the medical staff who tried hard to save him. The mother then un-wrapped him from his blanket and held him on her chest in contact with her skin. After two hours he began showing signs of life. He started breathing regularly and opened his eyes. He is now a healthy five month baby, the report says.

It is a known fact that physical skin to skin contact has a profound effect on the individuals. Hugging increases the level of oxytocin (which is sometimes called the ‘cuddle hormone’) in the body and makes you feel good. This is because of the consequent decrease in the amount of cortisol, the hormone produced by the adrenal gland, which is directly related to the amount of stress. Increased oxytocin level in the body can reduce blood pressure as well as the risk of heart diseases and other stress related complications.

The reason behind the effects of cuddling (hugging) has been a topic of much debate and research in this area is still going on. The physics behind the transmission of energy during skin to skin contact needs to be studied to put the effect to significant use. The new report titled ‘Mum’s cuddle brings new-born to life’ should certainly attract the attention of researchers in this field. In addition to medicines and prayers cuddling also may find a significant role in treating patients.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Children – Our Hope for Peace and Prosperity

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

– Albert Einstein

Peace and prosperity for the entire mankind is a noble idea and there are many organizations working towards this end. History teaches that there have been various issues making this idea practically difficult to get implemented. Religious and political differences, geographical barriers and nationalism are some of the factors contributing to the difficulty in attaining the goal of universal peace and prosperity. With the adult population already ‘contaminated’, I don’t find much to depend on them to attain the goal. But children can definitely provide a silver lining in the cloud.

Unfortunately, children are often caught young and brainwashed in accordance with the whims and fancies of adults who control politics, religion and nationalism. The danger posed to mankind by various terrorist outfits supported by political and the so called ‘religious’ groups can be wiped out only if children are saved from their grip. This is not an easy task. The United Nations (UN) should take the initiative in formulating a strategy for freeing the children below 15 years from the grip of ‘contaminated’ adults who live with ridiculous notions on religion and politics.

A child’s brain develops at the fastest rate during the first few years of its life, right from the time it is in the mother’s womb. The mother plays a profound role in the development of the child’s personality and this points to the importance of the health care (physical as well as mental) provided to the mother, along with the child.

How children are to be trained is to be decided by a committee formed by experts appointed by the UN and the member nations should strictly follow the recommendations of the committee. All true religions are for the benefit of humanity and therefore religious practices which are beneficial for the entire mankind may be encouraged. There is a baseless belief that the advances in science and technology have shifted modern man away from religion. As Einstein once remarked, scientists are truly religious because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe. So let us have an international body under the supervision of the UN to recommend a training programme for children so that in future we will have adults who will be true world citizens desirous and capable of working for the peace and prosperity of the entire mankind.