Why Singaporeans Go To Work When They’re Sick

Go to work when ill

I try to avoid taking trains during peak hours as it’s near impossible to escape when another passenger near me sneezes or coughs. Trapped in that impossibly small space, one either risks inhaling the airborne viruses or hold one’s breath till the next station and flee from the train. Singapore does not have a culture of being civic-minded, unlike countries like Taiwan and Japan, where people wear face masks whenever they are ill. In fact, if you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, you are already very “polite”/”cultured”. So many people sneeze, cough and clear their throat with zero consideration for the people around them. But have you ever wondered why Singaporeans go to work even when they are ill?

#1: Too Much Work To Do / The Company Cannot Do Without Me

Some people are genuinely good-natured and do not want to trouble others to cover their duties for them. In other words, paiseh lah. Perhaps it’s a special project that the team has been working on for the past few months and today’s D-Day and everything has to go smoothly? Perhaps, too, you may not want others claiming the credit for the project’s success (during your absence)?

#2: For A ‘Wayang’ Show For The Boss

During my JC days, there was a tutor who “taught” us many things such as how to “act busy”. The tutor also taught us how to make our (future) bosses impressed by our work ethic and dedication to the job. One day, he was down with the flu but still came to teach, and when he had to leave for an urgent meeting with the Principal, he brought along AN ENTIRE BOX of tissues even though there was probably no real need for the whole box. But for dramatic effect, it worked. I heard he got multiple promotions later down the road.

#3: To Score That ‘No Sick Leave’ Bonus

Some companies offer staff a bonus if they go an entire month without taking sick leave. On one hand, it provides employees with an incentive to stay fit and healthy, and for the company’s operations to run smoothly as people do not go on medical leave for any little ailment. On the flipside, it means that employees who are ill may still come to work if their condition is not so severe that they cannot get out of bed. What this also means is that if they have a contagious virus (such as the flu virus), they’ll likely end up sharing the love within the office. If you have a performance appraisal coming up, you’ll also not want to have your superior take special notice of your absence due to sick leave either.

#4: Because Your Boss Is A Slave Driver

Someone told me that his slave driver manager once told the office that “If you are fit enough to walk to the GP to get an MC, you can come to work”. Good luck to that manager when he eventually falls ill. It means he’s probably in hospital if he isn’t in the office.

~

Ever wondered why Singaporeans don’t wear masks when they are ill?

Excuse #1: It’s not comfortable.

Excuse #2: Worry about being ostracized. *I once wore a mask while on a train and a lady was about to take the seat next to mine – her butt was already hovering over the seat – when she noticed my mask, and hurriedly walked away. I’m not complaining. I love the extra space😀

Excuse #3: “Trapped germs not dispelled from body” – easily the weirdest excuse I’ve heard thus far. But I guess it’s also why some people don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze; they don’t want the “germs” on their hands.

Whatever your excuse may be, do note that for the sake of the people around you, you really should put on a mask and practise proper hygiene and be considerate. If you’re ill, stay home. You’ll recover faster with adequate rest too!😛

Diamond Dash 2016: Vertical Challenge To Win Diamonds and Staycations

Diamond Dash 2016

Couple Planking

When I first heard about this vertical challenge called the Diamond Dash, I thought it’s a really cool idea! I love how I don’t have to be part of the fastest couple team but can still win a diamond in the lucky draw.😀 Needless to say, I’ve signed up. And here’s why you should too… even if you are single (because there’s a Singles category too)…

Here are my 5 reasons why you should sign up for Diamond Dash:

1) Awesome Prizes: Diamonds and Staycations up for grabs

Need I say more? Which other race gives you a chance to win such prizes?😀

Diamond Dash Prize

2) Cool Race Entitlements

You’ll receive an exclusive race t-shirt, active tights shorts, a tote bag, a finisher medal, a race belt for personal belongings, race bib (competitive category with timing chip), and more.

Diamond Dash Entitlements

3) Bonding Time For Couples (M/F, M/M, F/F)

There will be a lucky draw to award a 1.50 carat Diamond in an 18k white gold ring setting from Ilya Diamonds (worth $20,000) to one lucky couple in the Couples Category. A 2D1N Klapsons staycation prize will also be given to the best dressed couple.

Diamond Dash Couples Category

You can sign up as a Male/Female couple, or a Male/Male or Female/Female couple. *wink* You’ll race on Day Two (8th May, Sunday).

4) Meet Other Singles Who Are Ready To Mingle

Those who sign up for the Singles category will race on Day One (7th May, Saturday), and there will also be a fun get together session for the participants to mingle.

The fastest male and female individual dasher will also receive a 0.80 carat Diamond Pendant (worth $8,000). A 2D1N Klapsons staycation prize will be awarded to the best dressed individual.

Diamond Dash Singles Category

5) Held Over Two Days, With Affordable Fees

Early bird rates are at S$29.50 per pax, while normal rates are at S$39.50 per pax. Sign up before Valentine’s Day!:) Compared to many other races in Singapore, the fees are really very reasonable. And considering how you’ll get a tshirt, active tights shorts, a tote bag, a race belt, etc, I’d say the fees are pretty low, don’t you think?

Diamond Dash Stairs

Go on… you know you want to sign up: http://www.diamonddash.sg/

Fitbit With Tory Burch: The Most Stylish Fitness Accessory

Tory Burch for Fitbit

The market is inundated with fitness accessories, and even the Health Promotion Board has their own fitness tracker.:) However, if I have to pick the most stylish fitness accessory available in the market right now, I think the Fitbit Flex coupled with the Tory Burch Double-Wrap Bracelet wins hands-down.

Have you seen anything more chic than this?😉

Fitbit Tory Burch

Many people probably wouldn’t even suspect there’s a fitness tracker within the stylish metal casing!

The Fret Double-Wrap Bracelet features a smooth leather strap and metal detailing on its stainless steel surface based on the graphic, open fretwork that is a signature of the Tory Burch design. The bracelet also features a secure, easy-access buckle and tang closure on the back, allowing you to keep the device comfortably close while maintaining its sophisticated look. You’ll love it once you try it on!:)

Of course, it’s for those days when you need your fitness tracker to match your glam outfit.

On other days, you can take your pick from a whole range of 10 different colorful wristbands to house the Fitbit Flex unit. I own the Teal, Tangerine and Navy ones:

Fitbit Flex Colors

*I brought the teal one with me to Surabaya. And unfortunately it got dirty around the edges. So, if you’re wearing your fitbit for outdoor activities (e.g. rock-climbing, trekking, , you might want to pick a darker color.

The original black ones are great for when I head out for exercise:

Fitbit Flex

It’s almost Chinese New Year. And I know many people will be feasting on goodies, just like I will (actually I’ve already started on those pineapple tarts). Do ensure you get more exercise as you’re ingesting more calories! For instance, take the stairs instead of the lift (unless your relative stays on the 16th floor, maybe).

The great thing about the Fitbit is that it has 5 indicator lights to show you how close you are to reaching your daily target – each light indicates 20%. A quick double-tap on the device, and the resulting number of indicator lights flashing at you will tell you immediately how close you are to reaching your target. When you hit the target, the whole wristband will vibrate (!):) I’m not kidding.

Also, with the fitbit flex, you can even monitor your sleep quality. I don’t actually use any digital devices when I go to bed – it’s my personal preference, plus I get lots of sleep so it’s ok.😀 But I do let the fitbit track my steps, distance covered, calories burned and active minutes. Find out more here: https://www.fitbit.com/sg/flex

If you need some fitness motivation, go ahead and get yourself a fitbit now.:)

https://www.fitbit.com/sg

My Little Pony Friendship Run 2016: Tickets, Timing, Entitlements

My Little Pony Run

Yup! It’s time for another Run!😀 I totally enjoyed the Hello Kitty Run – in 2014 and 2015. And I’m gonna participate in this 2nd cutest (‘cos Hello Kitty is #1) Run too.😀 Grab your tickets fast (early bird discounts end tomorrow) and have a blast at this My Little Pony Friendship Run next month!😀

My Little Pony: Friendship Run 2016

Date: Sunday, 28 February, 2016

Time: 8:00AM – 2:00PM

Venue: Sentosa Palawan Green

Come and celebrate the Magic of Friendship with your favourite My Little Ponies​ – Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack and Rarity! There are three different race categories to choose from: The 1KM Pony Kids Run, where the young ones can take part with their parent(s); the solo 4KM Fun Run for the young-at-heart or the 6KM Besties Run for double the fun! Grab your best friend and sign up for the run now!

Tickets!😀

My Little Pony Run Race Categories

Timing!😀

My Little Pony Run Flag Off Timing

A series of fun-filled fringe activities and merchandise booths of collectibles awaits you at the Ponyville Marketplace. Uncover your element of harmony with the massive glitter throws, run through bubbles and huge rainbow balloons sculptures. You will also receive a MY LITTLE PONY: Friendship Run 2016 t-shirt, race bib, exclusive finisher medal, MY LITTLE PONY plush toy and drawstring bag, as well as free entry to Sentosa, as part of your run entitlements.

My Little Pony Run Entitlements

My Little Pony Run Medals

My Little Pony Run Drawstring Bag

Registration is now open so sign up early to enjoy the early bird promotions till 15 January 2016. Registration closes on 12 February 2016 or once all available run slots are sold out.

For ticket purchases and more information, please visit www.mylittleponyrun.com.sg and follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mylittleponyrun/ for more updates.

NKF Dialysis Centre Open House & Free Health Screening

NKF Health Screening[ We received goodie bags, lucky draw prizes and a catered buffet lunch too ]

When I first joined the Health Promotion Board as a volunteer, I sometimes felt like a hypocrite when advising senior citizens to go for health screenings when I didn’t go for any myself. This year, it’s rather different. So far, I’ve been to two health screenings.😀 The first one didn’t go all that well – didn’t manage to ace the blood sugar segment like I did the rest. (@_@)

Yesterday, I went for a second health screening, a few months after the first one. Yesterday’s session was also a Dialysis Centre’s Open House event. The NTUC Singapore Pools NKF Dialysis Centre is located at Blk 935 Tampines St 91 #01-333 Singapore 520935. It is just opposite Tampines SAFRA.

If you haven’t gone for a health screening at all this year, PLEASE go for one ASAP. A clean bill of health will be the best Christmas present for you, I promise!:)

Yesterday’s Health Screening Test covered these:
– Body Mass Index
– Waist Measurement
– Blood Pressure
– Urine Analysis
– Fasting Blood Glucose
– Fasting Cholesterol Profile
– Serum Creatinine
(The result of the blood test would be mailed to us later)

Because we had to fast for a minimum of 10 hours before the screening, I picked a screening time that was after 10am. LOL! As long as I stopped consuming food and any sort of beverage before midnight, I’ll be fine. And, of course, I skipped breakfast.

And even though I hate needles, I’ve finally gotten used to blood tests. The ‘nurse’ kept trying to engage me in conversation while I pretended to be busy reading the pamphlet I was holding. I just didn’t want to see the blood being extracted. Who knew that the insertion and the extraction of the needle would be equally painful?! Haiz.

Anyway, here’s a quick bit of info for anyone who’s interested in finding out what the symptoms of Kidney Failure are:

  • decreased volume of urine
  • nausea and vomiting
  • swollen hands and ankles
  • puffiness around the eyes
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • tiredness

These symptoms can easily be overlooked, I know. So make sure your blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels are kept in check. And stay active and go for regular health screenings. There’s absolutely no point in sacrificing your health to make money, only to have to spend more money to regain your health. Make your health your priority, especially as all that feasting and celebrations are just around the corner.:)

Interview with Dr. Sylvia Ramirez: How Viveve Treats Vaginal Laxity

Cutis Medical Laser Clinics

[ Pic: Dr. Sylvia and her friendly staff at Cutis ]

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Sylvia recently, at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics which is located at Pacific Plaza. I’d heard about the Viveve procedure and how it helps treat vaginal laxity, and I had many questions for the doctor. You see… a friend of mine recently became a father, and jokingly told me that he’d wanted to pass a red packet to his wife’s gynae after the delivery of the fairly-large baby, to help stitch his wife up a little tighter down there. I cringed upon hearing that as I hate anything to do with needles. I’ll now be able to share with him this blogpost😀

Cutis is currently offering the Viveve treatment to their clients, and Dr. Sylvia shared that many mothers experience vaginal laxity after vaginal delivery of their babies, but as can be expected, few are likely to openly share about this issue. [I like that this procedure is non-invasive and does not involve needles!]

She also told me that in countries like Japan, sexually active women opt for the Viveve treatment even if they have not given birth to children, so as to get heightened sexual satisfaction! Yup, I found that to be a mind-blowing piece of information.😉

Let’s just say that my (albeit short) conversation with Dr. Sylvia was a pretty eye-opening one.

This blogpost is specially for you, ladies, so read on…

Cutis

[ The beautiful waiting area within Cutis ]

Dr Sylvia Ramirez and blogger Grace

[ And a picture with the gorgeous Dr. Sylvia ]

1) Viveve definitely sounds like it would be way less painful than extra stitches after delivery! What is the level of pain and/or discomfort that women undergoing the procedure can expect?

The innovative cooling technique of the Viveve system allows the surface to be sufficiently cooled to experience no discomfort from the heat delivered to the deeper layers of the vagina.

2) How receptive are locals towards this procedure? 

This system has just been launched in Singapore, in end-September, so we do not have any data on the reception of local women towards this treatment yet. Studies in the US and Japan have found, however, that vaginal looseness is one of the biggest issues for women after giving birth – even before weight gain and urinary incontinence.

3) How long must mothers wait, after vaginal childbirth, before going for the Viveve treatment? Can women go for a second treatment after a subsequent childbirth?

Mothers should wait for at least 12 months before undergoing the treatment. Yes, treatments can be repeated.

4) Because it’s for a sensitive region, what precautionary measures has Cutis taken to ensure the safety of the Viveve treatment, and to prevent infections from occurring?

As with any medical treatment, cleanliness of environment is paramount to avoid infections. The treatment tip is also a one time use device which eliminates the possibility of an infection from the device.

Viveve treatment tip

[ I saw how each treatment tip was packed in sterile, sealed bags ]

5) Why is the Viveve system not FDA cleared for the treatment of vaginal laxity, but approved in Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, etc?

The US FDA Approval is notoriously long and is currently in process. CE clearance and Asian FDA approvals are quicker which is why Viveve has launched in these markets first. However, the US is expected to be the largest market and Viveve Inc. is expecting an update on the US FDA clearance by mid 2016.

6) What is the price for one session? And is one session enough for sustained results for, say, 12 months?

The price per session is $4,200. Currently, Cutis has an introductory price of $3,600. Clinical studies from both the US and Japan have shown that the Viveve treatment has restored vaginal tightness to pre-childbirth levels and maintains this tightness for 12 months.

7) What would you say to women who are ‘sitting on the fence’ and not quite sure if they should go for the Viveve treatment?

This treatment is not only for women who have given birth via vaginal delivery or are sexually active but for all women who undergo an aging process. Vaginal tissue also consists of collagen (same as the face) and a Viveve treatment is like putting collagen in the bank. Everybody accepts that skin tightening for the face is an appropriate response to aging and the same logic holds for other parts of the body. Also, women who participated in clinical studies experienced a significant increase in sexual satisfaction over a 12 month period and sexual health is part of overall health.

~

So there you go… no need for extra stitches after delivery of babies! And with a treatment procedure like Viveve, you can take charge of your sexual health at any time, even if you have not undergone vaginal delivery.:)

To find out more about Viveve and the other aesthetic treatments offered by Cutis, head over to their website here: http://www.cutislaserclinics.com/

Mindfulness Singapore: A Special SGD50 Package To Help Stressed-Out Urbanites :)

If there’s one thing that is lacking in the lives of busy urbanites, it’s mindfulness. And a supporter of my 50 for SG campaign, Colin Koh, has the solution for you. Read on to find out more from Colin and Mindfulness Singapore:

Mindfulness Singapore

~

I offer an integrated health and stress-management solution to help leaders overcome physical, emotional and mental challenges, as well as to achieve high-performance results in their business and life in general. Training programs are customized for each individual with whom I work based on their current state of health, motivation level and personal goals, specialising in three areas.

I offer three levels of one-on-one coaching, so you can choose the style that is right for you:

Life Coaching: for those who are seeking to make positive changes and are committed to train for it, including executives, athletes, business men and senior management leaders.

Mind-body Therapy: for sports or stress injury management and prevention; or for those who want to overcome obstacles or weaknesses they encounter in their mind, body or core energy.

Energy or ‘Chi’System: for students and instructors of Tai Chi Quan who want to upgrade their understanding and practice of the neigong system to harness and cultivate ‘Chi’.

I will teach you techniques on:

ï‚· Nourishing your body

ï‚· Releasing blockages in body meridian channels

 Personalized for each individual’s schedule

Highly recommended for:

Individuals who need privacy.

Work schedule requires travelling.

Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/MindfulnessSingapore

~ Special SGD50 Promotion ~

Mindfulness Singapore

Special promotion just for my readers: Get the Easy5 Package for just S$50 (valid till Dec 2015). Simply send an email to shifucolinkoh@gmail.com and state that you are a reader of this blog and want to secure this promo price.:)

I wish you the best of health!~

Interview with Dr Jonathan Obaje, Pain Relief Expert From URAH (Unique Recipes for Active Health)

Are you currently taking oral glucosamine and experiencing gastric irritation, nausea, shortness of breath or wheezing?

Have you purchased creams or patches to soothe your aching muscles but find that they don’t actually provide relief?

Are joint pains and body aches stopping you from leading an active lifestyle or going back to work after retirement because of knee problems?

Firstly, Glucosamine is a good biological molecule produced naturally in your body and used to make soft tissues such as cartilage, ligament, collagen and synovial fluid for the body. However, Glucosamine is difficult to deliver to the body (unlike most health supplements) because of low absorption in the gastric system. Glucosamine compounds are also acidic and can cause gastric irritations and ulceration.

And secondly, many of the off-the-counter products claiming to provide pain relief tend to put menthol or capsaicin to provide the “cooling” or “warm” sensation that makes you THINK the product is “working”. This is largely a temporary placebo sensation that may not give you any real benefit.

I’ve done an interview with URAH scientist, Dr Jonathan Obaje, and found that the company focuses research on degenerative diseases because they believe immobility is the root of many chronic diseases. URAH therefore makes products which help to keep people “mobile” and enjoy ‘active’ lifestyles again.

Confident that the technology is capable of moving into the international arena, MP Inderjit Singh came on board as the Chairman of URAH, and with more investors joining, I’m excited about the upcoming new products which will help more people regain their mobility and lead pain-free lives.:)

But first, here is the current URAH product range. The brand has been around since 2009. I’m using the Sporting Cream because I do sometimes injure my knees from running:

Urah cream review

Sporting Cream: Is designed for active folks, both young and old. It is very good for sprains and body aches you experience after exercising.

Joint Health: Is recommended for those above age 45. In addition to relieving the pains, it also helps people who experience numbness by improving their blood circulation.

Bone Health: Is a “Double Barrel” cream useful for both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. It helps to increase bone density by about 10% after 7 to 8 months of usage.

Odourless and non-greasy, these creams provide quick relief for everything from neck pains and backaches to pain in the fingers and wrists from typing too much – what bloggers like me, and office workers, tend to face.

Urah sporting cream

URAH products are available at Unity, Watsons and Guardian stores. Check in-store for the latest promotions.:)

URAH Dr Jonathan Obaje

Dr Jonathan Obaje

1) Dr Obaje, why are there so many conflicting reports about Glucosamine therapy, with some articles saying it works and others saying it doesn’t?

The current misunderstanding and misinformation about Glucosamine is linked to the historical development of Glucosamine as a therapeutic agent. The first group of scientists who studied the therapeutic application of Glucosamine were biochemists (in Sweden 1950s). They tested Glucosamine on biological cells in test tubes and they discovered that the cells grew better when Glucosamine was added. They repeated the experiment and confirmed that Glucosamine indeed enhanced the growth of chondrocyte (cartilage) cells. They published their research findings in 1958 in a scientific journal. Then a pharmaceutical company in Europe saw the article and thought that Glucosamine would be a good drug for people suffering from arthritis and joint pain so they began to manufacture and market Glucosamine capsules, tablets and even powders. This assumption was later discovered to be naive as Glucosamine has low absorption in the gastric and may also cause gastric acidity.

In the 1980s, the European company went to USA to register their product with FDA. FDA refused to register their Glucosamine product as a drug because according to the scientific understanding of Glucosamine, our bodies produce it naturally to make proteins (proteoglycans) used for making soft tissues. Since Glucosamine is naturally produced in our body, it does not qualify as a drug, and should be classified as a health supplement because it supplements what your body already has. This was good news for the company because no rigorous clinical trials were required and the product could be sold straightaway in the US market.

Unfortunately, due to the loose regulation of Health supplements, many more pharmaceutical companies jumped onto the bandwagon to manufacture and sell Glucosamine tablets and capsules in the US market.

By 1990s, almost every pharmaceutical company in USA had its own Glucosamine brand, choking up the market. Patients would read about Glucosamine on websites and even went to hospitals to ask for Glusosamine prescriptions from their doctors.

But doctors and pharmacists, who were never taught about Glucosamine from the universities, were embarrassed to be educated by patients about the benefits of Glucosamine. Doctors and pharmacists began to complain to FDA about the lack of research done as to whether swallowing this Glucosamine stuff has any benefit at all.

In 2000, one of the US authorities agreed to sponsor an oral Glucosamine clinical trial. There were two groups of participants – one ‘active’ group swallowing Glucosamine tablets, and another ‘placebo’ group. This took about 3 years. The results were collated and analyzed at the end of the clinical trial. It was shocking to find that there was no difference between the active and the placebo group. This was a real blow to Glucosamine therapy. The full result was published in a very reputable journal in the US in 2006 (The New England Journal of Medicine Vol.354 No.8 Feb 2006). Their conclusion was that whether you take Glucosamine alone or combined with Chondroitin, it has no significant effect.

URAH’s research team was curious to know why Glucosamine is effective on the cells in the test tube but not effective when humans swallow it. Research began to show that there is little absorption of Glucosamine in the gastric system. When swallowed, not much of it gets absorbed into blood circulation. The second problem is that Glucosamine compounds are acidic and can cause gastric irritation. Many people are suffering gastric problems from Glucosamine but they don’t know about it. Some people, after taking the usual 1500mg Glucosamine tablets in the morning, ignorantly top it up with a cup of coffee too (adding on to the acidity levels)! The gastric side effect will not take long to show up.

2) So if Glucosamine is applied in the form of a cream, it is fine? 

Initially, Urah Scientists thought topical application of Glucosamine will solve these issues BUT later discovered it is difficult to formulate Glucosamine into creams because Glucosamine makes the creams separate into two layers of water and oil. This is why some of the products in the market come with a “shake before use” label, because they don’t have the technology to blend Glucosamine into cream form.

Some other companies add very little Glucosamine into the cream and they don’t state the exact amounts on the packaging. You will not see any effect from using those creams because the concentration of active Glucosamine is too low. The onus is on the consumer to choose the right product. As mentioned already, health supplements are not regulated like drugs.

The second problem of making Glucosamine cream is the skin penetration. Some brands of Glucosamine Cream which claim to have high concentration of Glucosamine do not have the technology to deliver Glucosamine across the skin layers. When you rub the cream on your skin, after 8 to 10 minutes of application, if you rub the spot again pressing a bit harder, you will notice Glucosamine powder rubbing off from your skin like powdery residue because the skin is an excretory organ and not meant to take in stuff.

Our skin is a natural barrier for taking in any drugs. In fact, what good cosmetics do is “window-dressing” of the top coat of skin to be radiant by moisturizing them for some hours. The dead cells on your skin are just going to be washed away in a few days and cosmetic products do not go past the skin layers! No matter how good your cosmetic product is, if you stop using it for one month, you may not like what you see. That’s the difference between cosmetic and transdermal products – the latter goes through the skin and into the blood circulation.

It took URAH Research scientists many years of research to come up with the Micellar Delivery Technology which is able to “deceive” the skin into “opening up” and taking in Glucosamine for delivery into the blood circulation. That is what makes URAH unique and different from all the other Glucosamine products in the market. URAH’s special technology delivers Glucosamine right to where it needs to be. And Urah formulation is based on patented Urah technology in Japan, USA and Singapore.

In 2009, we voluntarily performed clinical research, and worked with about 20 clinics in Singapore. Patients diagnosed with arthritis volunteered to use URAH products for 8 weeks each. Two of the doctors were so impressed with the results that they agreed to collate the results together and publish it in a scientific journal in 2011. URAH is the 1st and still the only Transdermal Glucosamine product with a technology patent number, and has also done clinical research and published the findings on the efficacy of the products.

3) So why do people buy those other products?

As a scientific research company, we rarely do advertisements. You can usually find us in the laboratories. While other companies focus on big advertising, we are more focused on giving scientific results and education to the Doctors and Pharmacists about Glucosamine therapy.

Many products in the market which do not have technology to deliver glucosamine add chemicals such as menthol or capsaisin to create the ‘warm’ or ‘cooling’ sensation. Many people think because they ‘feel’ it so the product must be working. We call it a ‘temporary placebo sensation’. URAH scientists decided not to add any of these. You won’t feel a warm or cooling sensation when you use Urah products but after a few days, you will notice that your pain is gone.

We need business people to take the product to the market. But so far, the product has been able to ‘sell itself’. People who use it recommend it to their friends and even doctors are beginning to support us by recommending Urah Creams to their patients. Urah products are now in most government hospitals and in all major pharmacies in Singapore.

4) Can URAH products be used on everyone?

Yes, young or old, you can use URAH products. The sporting cream is designed for people who are active. It is good for sprains and body aches you experience after exercising.

Joint Health is recommended for people above age 45. In addition to relieving the pains, it also helps people who experience numbness by improving their blood circulation.

Bone Health is a “Double Barrel” Cream useful for both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. It helps to increase bone density by about 10% after 7 to 8 months of usage.

And did you know about the danger of swallowing calcium supplements?

Urah was the first to start talking abt this. Research has shown that people who swallow oral calcium supplements are at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases and kidney stones. Why? Because when you take oral calcium, it is quickly absorbed into your blood circulation and it stays there. It does not get taken up to make bone cells. Within the blood, calcification takes place and blocks arteries, leading to cardiovascular issues. Some get filtered out to the kidneys, forming kidney stones. This is well-researched and published in many journals.

Calcium is best absorbed from natural sources, from milk, etc, because it needs the presence of other vitamins and minerals to create the right environment for calcium to be used by the blood for bone cells. That’s why we came up with URAH Bio-Calcium + Glucosamine + vitamins – for their synergy – and delivered by our micellar technology.

We focus on degenerative diseases and on how to help people lead active lifestyles. The reason they cannot lead active lifestyles is due to joint pains and body aches. So it doesn’t matter how long you preach to them about exercise; they listen then they sit back because they already have knee pains. The government promotes active aging and encourages retirees to go back to work. But what if they cannot stand for even one hour due to knee pains? MOBILITY is key to a healthy life. Anything that hinders you from being mobile is dangerous to your health. Immobility is the root of a lot of chronic diseases so it is important to get people moving.

5) And how long should we use URAH products for?

Try to finish at least one tube in 1-2 weeks, depending on your condition. If the pain is due to wear-and-tear for a very long time, and you have been advised by your doctor to go for knee replacement surgery for example, then you need to use the products for an extended period of time because the cells need time to start repairing.

But if it is a sprain, or swelling, within one hour of application, you can feel the pain going down.

One of our customers did 2 X-rays, with the doctor advising him to go for knee replacement surgery. He used URAH for a year and he can now can climb stairs without problems, and has not had to go for surgery!

Our body naturally produces Glucosamine so continue to use the products for the purpose of replenishment and maintenance of your health.

Why do we feel pain in the first place? It’s because our body cannot make enough Glucosamine, and the soft tissues start wearing out. When your bones rub against each other, you’ll feel the pain. Use URAH and you rebuild those tissues, but once you stop, the natural process kicks in again. Even if you don’t have pain, don’t wait, use URAH as a lifestyle. Some ladies use URAH as a body lotion and they say it is because they have experienced pain previously that they don’t want to go back to the same situation again.

URAH products do not help just at the point where you rub it on. It goes into your blood circulation and helps your whole body recover. There are no side effects even if you apply the whole tube in one day.

6) How did you get interested in science / biochemistry?

As a child, I had no choice. Very early in my life, I couldn’t pass Arts subjects (e.g. History). But anything to do with Science, I could score an ‘A’ with very little effort. Therefore you can say I had no choice.😀

That’s how I developed my passion, and an interest in the history of Glucosamine. I had initially written it off because of the initial published research findings then I became more fascinated as we learnt more. I guess I’m naturally quite inquisitive.:)

~ SURVEY PLUS SPECIAL PROMOTION ~

Head over to URAH’s website for a special buy-2-get-2-free scheme: http://www.urah.com.sg/register_survey Purchase 2 tubes and URAH is happy to sponsor another 2 free tubes of URAH creams for you!:)

*If you are wondering why some products have 8% Glucosamine concentration and others, 10%, the 10% ones are for those who have arthritis AND are concerned about osteoporosis. If you don’t have osteoporosis concerns, then the 8% is good enough.

~ SEND IN YOUR QUESTIONS & TESTIMONIALS ~

Urah cream review

If you have tried URAH products, or if you are going to purchase and try them, send me your testimonials (email gracewwg AT gmail DOT com) and URAH will send giftsets to those whose testimonials end up being featured!😀

Similarly, send in your questions for Dr Jonathan Obaje as well, and you just might win a prize too! *wink*

The #1 Sold-Out Scent at Scent Witch Wellness During The Exam Period

Scent Witch Wellness

I love perfumes and beautifully-scented shampoos and body care products, but I have never paid much attention to how scents can help relieve stress too. So imagine my surprise when Yugui, the owner of Scent Witch Wellness, shared with me that the #1 scent which gets sold out during the exam period is LAVENDER!:)

Despite the numerous other scents available, lavender gets sold out the fastest – be it lavender body lotion, essential oil, reed diffusers or soap, the products sell faster than she can stock them! (“Don’t know whether it’s the parents who are stressed or the children who are stressed,” she joked.)

Other Popular Scents include:

Bergamot – antidepressant, antiseptic, calms inflamed skin

Eucalyptus – helps to fight cold and flu, insect repellent, anti-inflammatory

Peppermint – promotes alertness, helps to fight colds and flu

Lemongrass – invigorating, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, insect repellent

… and many more …

And in the picture above are the products Yugui recommends for combating stress and to promote deep sleep. Pop by Scent Witch Wellness (#02-24/25) at Square 2 (just above Novena MRT station) and smell the various products. It’s instant (and free) aromatherapy when you step into her store. I loved the lemongrass scent coming from the diffusers at the entrance when I was there on Tuesday to purchase some “herb bags” – they look like tea bags but are made from various herbs and flowers and do not contain caffeine!😀 #mynewlove

The pretty essential oil diffusers:

Essential Oil Diffuser

And are these CANDY?!!!

Scent Witch Wellness

Nope! They are scented soy wax melts which are handmade with 100% soy wax from USA. There are some really interesting ones like “iced tea”, “clean cotton”, “cherry blossom” and “himalayan bamboo”! You can take your pick and bring home a 100g box.:)

I love the cute name of this shop too but have never quite gotten around to asking the lady boss about why it’s named “Scent Witch” though I guess it’s because something really cool is always brewing in here. Go visit even if it’s just to get free aromatherapy! Hehehe!😀

Scent Witch Wellness

And here are 4 products you might want to check out when you pop by Scent Witch Wellness:

1) Bodhi Shower Gels and Body Lotions

Scent Witch Wellness

I’m using the 250ml Green Tea shower gel on those days I’m feeling very tired because it smells so good and is an instant perk-me-up. Also, it’s in such a precious small bottle. I need a 1-litre bottle! Don’t quote me on this, but I think the scent reminds me of that super lovely smell that Ion Orchard has – you know that amazing smell that hits you when you exit from Orchard MRT station? This shower gel is about 70% similar to it, with a few other (different) notes, of course.

I’m also using the Lotus Geranium body lotion from this range because it has a lovely scent which is not too strong, and is great for application just before I go to bed.

2) Bodhi Himalayan Salt Body Scrub (Pink Grapefruit is my fav!)

Scent Witch Wellness

The tea tree one is pretty interesting too – if you have acne on your body, do purchase this product. I enjoy the scent of grapefruit so I’m only getting this one. I’m not a big fan of coconut so the Virgin Coconut body scrub is really not something I’ll buy. You can try them all at the shop.

With these scents and spa products, it’s so easy to recreate a spa experience in the comfort of your own home. Plus, the products are so affordable, especially with the ongoing promotions right now…

3) Reed diffusers at 10% – 30% OFF (A GSS Promotion!)

Scent Witch Wellness

Many products are on offer right now because of the Great Singapore Sale. You can shop online at http://www.scentwitch.com/ too (use my discount code Grace10 for 10% off regular-priced items till end-July) or pop by the retail store and mention my blog name for the same discount! *yay*

4) Scented Linen Bags 

Scent Witch Wellness

The scented linen bags retail at S$9.90 with refills at S$4.90 each. Very affordable since the scents last for a couple of months. I like lemongrass and lavender most. I don’t think the champagne rose one smells anything like roses but you can go give it a sniff and tell me what you think. LOL

Hang them in your wardrobe or shoe cabinet to instantly make everything smell great. You can even hang these linen bags in your car or gym locker!😀

What’s in my “Home Spa”???

Scent Witch Wellness

I’m currently trying out the Siam Botanicals 100% natural skincare range which has no synthetics or parabens and contain only 100% pure natural cold-pressed oils. Watch out for the review soon.

~ GIVEAWAY ~

If you want to win some of the Siam Botanicals and Bodhi goodies sponsored by Scent Witch Wellness, pop by my facebook page for the giveaway!😀

My Thoughts After Spending S$1,999.84 at Willow Stream Spa

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

[All pictures in this blogpost are from Fairmont Singapore’s website, unless otherwise specified]

“Those who say money cannot buy happiness just don’t know where to spend it?”😀 Well, there is some truth there. But I guess what’s most important is to have the good health required to spend that money and enjoy what it brings. This is why I love massages and relaxing facial treatments. It’s ‘me time’ and often, rest time for me as well because I am away from my digital devices and can truly relax.

I have spent a fair bit at Willow Stream Spa – close to S$2K. And no, the Spa did not sponsor my treatments, and neither are they paying me to write this. For the skeptical folks, here are the invoices for each session:

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

Located at level 6 of Fairmont hotel (next to Raffles City), this is one atas spa. The prices reflect this: a couples’ massage costs S$512.54 after tax. It’s certainly not a small sum but as a special treat for an anniversary celebration, I think it’s worth it. For a good hair spa, I’d recommend J’s Salon at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.:)

As for Willow Stream Spa’s facial treatments, I would highly recommend their 90-minute Ultimate Caviar Facial (about S$309 after tax) for really clean and glowing skin – this lasts for at least a few days after the facial.😀 I believe this is the facial treatment that many beauty editors have been raving about in magazines too.

As for the facilities… There’s usually no one in the relaxation lounge whenever I visit, unlike what’s shown in this picture:

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

You get to lie down and chill before your therapist comes in to lead you over to the treatment room. The lounge usually has wellness tea and some fruit (green apples?) for guests to enjoy. There’s a lot of exclusivity and privacy. And you don’t usually get to chat with anyone other than your therapist.

If you don’t usually go for spa treatments, you might want to indulge at some point – maybe your birthday or after a long work week. You’ll step out feeling like a million bucks. It’s hard to describe that feeling.:)

And Willow Stream Spa also has other facilities for paying guests and members to enjoy. The hot and cold tubs don’t look exactly like this in the ladies spa area. But it’s where one gets to enjoy the steam room, jacuzzi and shower amenities.

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

Interestingly enough, I find the water in the hot tub too hot, and that in the cold tub too cold. Haiz. So while other guests happily slide in in their swimwear, I tend to give these tubs a miss. It’s a case of Goldilocks.😀

Above all, what I like best about this Spa is that there is absolutely no selling within the treatment rooms. Unlike other facial places I’ve been to, where the therapists try to sell me a membership package or some ampoule or other, the therapists here do no such thing. Also, they stay in the room 99% of the time, and do not head out to serve other customers during the ‘steaming’ or ‘masking’ process.

And there’s also a GSS promotion going on now. I purchased a massage treatment (90 mins) and got to enjoy a 60-minute Deep Cleansing Facial at just S$39 before tax.

If you’re considering a spa treat for yourself or your loved ones, you might want to contact Willow Stream Spa at +65 6431 5600.

Willow Stream Spa at Level 6 of Fairmont Singapore

80 Bras Basah Road, S(189560)