Comparing height with our friends and siblings is one of the common games played in childhood days; have you ever experienced the humiliation after being teased by the taller friend? you may feel as if you may never catch up with your friends all though the fact is that growing spur may differ with an individual.
Growth and developement depends on the release of growth hormone, secreted by anterior portion of the pitutary gland situated deep inside the brain. On an average children grows about two inches each year between the ages of three and early adolescence, release of growth hormone is at its peak at adolescence when accelerated growth occurs, but growth hormone levels fall steadily on reaching adulthood, and the body stops to increase height.
Our body constantly generates Human growth hormone, throughout our life, thus maintaining the chemical balance in our body and most importantly carries out the process of cell rejuvenation persistently. Some individual related factors like improper nutrition, lack of sleep or parental pattern may hamper secretion of growth hormone. Catching the right nerve i.e. identifying and correcting the inhibiting factors may facilitate generation of growth hormone and positively influence the height.
Studies reveal that it is not only the growth hormone which determines the height but its effect on development of 26 skeletal bones and the cartilagenous portions of 62 bones in the lower body. Pitutary gland stimulation increases release of hormones, which increases growth of cartilagenous portions in the bones of lower body and ultimately increases height. In children where Ossification process is yet to be completed, nourishment of bony and cartilagenous tissues helps in lengthening of bones in lower body as well to some extent.
One can continue growing even after the ossification of lower body bones is completed. Length of the spinal cord contributes to about 35% of the body height.The spinal cord is composed of 33 vertebral bones held together by cartilagenous ligaments, known as intervertebral discs, only the lower 9 vertebras are fused into two bones, the rest of the 24 vertebrae never fuse and are movable throughout the life. These 25 non- fusible cartilages when grown thicker results in lengthening of spinal cord and ultimately influences the height of an individual. The thicker the discs, the longer will be the spinal column and finally taller will be your height.
There is a certain age at which people usually stop to grow : men—25yrs, women—21yrs. It occurs shortly after puberty, but these numbers can be changed. One thing for sure the older you are harder it is to gain the height. Your aim to gain height can be achieved by Ayurvedic therapies and medicines, proper nutritional supplements and some easy exercises.
Medicines : Combination of various herbs like guduchi, ashwagandha, shatavari, amla, guggul, laksha and many more helps to increase the thickness of the intervertebral discs and at the same time provides necessary calcium supplement and nutrition, which not only strengthens the bones but also helps in development and growth of the entire body and keeps health issues at bay.
Ayurvedic Therapies :
- Abhyanga (whole body massage with medicated oil)
- Stretching exercise like bow down stretching, standing stretches, wall-assisted stretches, toe touches,super stretch, etc.
- Hanging will help you get taller by stretching out your spine and joints.Hang on a horizontal bar with your arms and your spine stretched out. You can stay in this position for 10 seconds and can repeat this exercise 5 to 6 times without exerting yourself.
- Yoga is an excellent way to gain height because it helps with posture and will make you stand up straighter. Some of the more important ones are: Parvatasan,Vajrasan, Surya namaskar (sun salutes),Tadasan, simple supported backbends, and simple reclining twists.
- Cultivate the habit of maintaining an erect posture while sitting, standing and walking.
- Physical activities like swimming , playing basket ball, skipping, cycling, etc is also beneficial.
Sleep : An adequate sound sleep regulates body’s abilitiy to grow, regular inadequate sleep can lower secretion of human growth hormone. Your spine stretches and lengthens during sleep to about half an inch.
- Protiens,vitamins and calcium intakes should be increased for overall growth of the body.
- Vitamins: Vitamin A can be obtained by including all orange fruits and vegetables like orange, lemon, papaya, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers.It is also present in the egg yolk, fish cod, liver, salmon, broccoli and tomatoes. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium from food. It also regulates body growth, can be found in egg yolk, fish and liver. Early sunbath or Surya namaskaras (Sun salutes) also helps in synthesis of vit D.
- Minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus prove beneficial for bone growth. Including milk and milk products to a greater extent along with fruits and vegetables which are a good source of these minerals serves the purpose.
- Protein: Protein helps in the growth and repair of body tissues. The food like meat, milk, nuts, eggs, soy,cereals,pulses and fish are rich source of proteins.