An Introduction to Acupuncture

With the different medical advances made in recent years, the name acupuncture seems like a thing of the past only witch doctors would perform. But there are benefits to it that might help several conditions. By supplementing your main treatment with alternatives like acupuncture, you might have a better chance at recovery.

Here is everything you need to know about acupuncture.

It has been round for thousands of years. There are records detailing the use of acupuncture as holistic treatment since 1000 BC, but the earliest materials used for the practice were dated at 6000 BC. The goal of the treatment to is give the correct stimulus to return the body to its balanced state.

It uses the concept of meridians and qi. Qi is the name for the energy that flows through the body and is used to maintain health and balance. The meridians are the channels through which the qi flows.

The system consists of 12 main channels that represent the important organs in the body. There are 365 points in the body that are considered the openings to the channels. If there is a disruption in the flow of the qi, the person gets sick.

Acupuncture is used with other treatments. Acupuncture complements other forms of treatment, which means that you also need to improve your diet, take medication, and consider other treatments such as massage, herbs, and heat therapy.

Acupuncture modifies the flow of the qi. To return the flow of the qi to normal, you can disrupt that flow by inserting needles into one of the many channel openings. The needles used are different from the ones used for sewing.

It is mainly used to address chronic illness. Acupuncture seems to work well in addressing chronic pain for a lot of people who have tried various treatments. Although not yet confirmed, the stimulation is believed to boost the body’s ability to release painkillers because the nerves and muscles are stimulated.

Your doctor in Singapore might recommend acupuncture if you have any of the following conditions: headaches, migraine, back pain, menstrual cramps, respiratory disorders, dental pain, osteoarthritis, and many more.

There are different styles of acupuncture. Some styles of acupuncture specialize in various methods. This is why you need to ask your doctor for the options if you have a bleeding disorder, a cardiovascular illness or if you are pregnant. You should only go to a certified acupuncturist to avoid possible complications from malpractice.

There are risks. Although it doesn’t happen to everyone who tried acupuncture, there are risks if you go to an inexperienced acupuncturist. You might experience bleeding, bruising, soreness, infection, and even premature delivery if you are pregnant.

If you are also using a pacemaker, you should not go to an acupuncturist who uses electrical pulses. You will know if an acupuncturist is legitimate if the practitioner examines you first before performing the procedure. You should also asked for details regarding the procedure to know the risks.

Tips for Choosing Appliances for Your Apartment

Most heavy-duty appliances are not made for small apartments in Singapore, which is why you have to be practical when it comes to choosing the right pieces. This also means not having to sacrifice the quality and function of the appliances.

Here are tips to help you choose appliances for your apartment.

Know how to read the appliances specifications. It is not that complicated to understand the power, installation, and usage requirements of appliances. It is nearly similar to the specifications on your smartphone and other devices. You can look up the latest trends in appliances online before purchasing.

Always keep size in mind. Your apartment will not have enough space for huge appliances, but this should not be a problem with newer models that are made specifically for small spaces. If you don’t have a large family and you don’t eat often at home, you won’t need a large refrigerator for example.

Focus on features you need. Modern appliances have additional features to make life easier. This is especially true when it comes to kitchen appliances, but do you really need these conveniences?

If you cook often, you should invest in conventional ovens may be a better choice than convection ovens for example. When choosing the type of stove, you will not need gas if you don’t cook yourself; induction or electric are fine for occasional food preparation.

Don’t buy what you don’t need. You don’t need to equip your kitchen with every type of appliance you can find on a catalogue. Purchase only what you are going to use and what you will need often. Otherwise, it will just look like a store display that take up a lot of space.

Go for energy-saving appliances. Older models tend to use more energy but have fewer features. Maybe it is time to replace your old air conditioner or your refrigerator if it is more than ten years old. New models are expensive, but the long-term cost will let you save more.

Don’t just go for the looks. Large, modern televisions with plenty of features will look spectacular on your apartment, but is it really worth it? If you are not at home most of the time, then why bother if it is just a decoration? Besides, with the pace with which technology is developing nowadays, your current gadget might be obsolete by next year.

Remember: quality over brand name. You should still look for trusted brand names when it comes to appliances, but quality does not mean you have to buy the most expensive appliances. Read the specifications carefully then look for reviews about the specific model before purchasing. Sure, some may look impressive, but can it perform well?

Examine the materials. When you have kids, expect them to poke around the new appliance when you’re not looking. Do not invest in flimsy materials that can’t withstand years of usage and some beating up from curious children.

Tips on Teaching Kids on Emergency Preparation

Earthquakes and floods are becoming more common in recent years even in Singapore, that is why people should be prepared to act appropriately when needed to avoid panic and injuries. These can be frightening even for adults, but children’s preparedness for disasters are usually overlooked unless there is an occasional school drill.

Here are tips on how you can prepare your kids at home for emergencies.

Read up on natural disasters

Understanding what happens during an emergency might help family members calm down and to think of better ways to deal with the situation. Explain why they need to be calm and to acknowledge that fear is normal but it should not get in the way of doing what is supposed to be done.

Even children who cannot yet read will be able to pick up useful information by reading books on topics such as earthquakes, flooding, waterspouts, heatwaves, etc.

Prepare emergency kits

No one can be fully prepared for unpredictable natural phenomena, but you can control what your family should do during and after an emergency. There might come a time when you might have to ask them to help treat a wound or fracture or how to call for help when you are injured or immobilized. Older children should know basic first aid and how to use a flashlight or emergency light, mobile phone, and to pack light essentials in a few minutes.

Let them participate in emergency preparation

Ask the children to help identify items needed for an emergency including where to find flashlights or emergency lights, finding the emergency exits and stairs, and what to bring during an evacuation. Letting them read a checklist can keep their minds preoccupied to avoid panic.

Don’t forget to plan where to meet and how to get there in case you get separated during an evacuation. Children should be familiar of the escape/evacuation routes in the apartment complex. You can do this by drawing a map or showing them where the stairs and exits are. Role-playing is also a fun way to help them remember the information.

Prepare them for school

Schools occasionally schedule a drill, but you can also help b using the same techniques needed at home. They should have your contact number and address at all times in case they get separated. If possible, you can post important information such as blood type and allergies on the child’s identification.

Teach them when to call for help

What if your child encounters another person who might be in need of help? Children should be taught how to assess an emergency situation without having to use a lot of medical terms. It can be as simple as pointing out that if someone is lying down on the ground, the person might need help.

Before calling for help, however, remind them that they should be somewhere safe before calling for help. Then, make them remember and understand keywords such as “ambulance” and “emergency” if their vocabulary is limited.

How to Be Fashionable and Eco-Friendly

With so many cheap materials and machines used to make clothing, we are now making more clothes than we will ever need. In fact, according to studies in the fashion industry, clothing and textile garbage make up the second largest polluter in the world next to oil.

However, the problem doesn’t just stop at the disposal of used clothes and the overproduction of clothing and textile in general, but the manufacture and production, too. Textile industry wastes more than 2 billion tons of water annually and the cuttings also contribute to the garbage problem.

As a consumer, is there something you can do to help lessen this problem?

Repair Old Clothes and Shoes

Investing in quality clothes and shoes lets you save money because they are durable and will last long than most cheap materials, needing fewer repairs and replacements. Expensive items are like jewelry that need proper maintenance to make them last longer, that is why you should also invest for cleaning, repair, re-sole/re-heel, or re-dyeing of shoes. Clothes can be repaired by a trusted tailor or made into new clothes.

Stop Buying New Stuff

A lot of people want to have a walk-in closet full a year’s supply of clothes, but like it or not, not everything will fit after a few years or so. Maybe you’ll get thicker (or thinner) or your feet will get slightly bigger (yes, they still keep growing as you age), or maybe the designs and colors are no longer the trend. Invest in clothes that are made from durable materials and with colors and designs that are timeless.

Learn How to Wash Clothes Properly

The wear and tear on the fabric happens during the washing. Even durable fabrics like cotton mixes can be torn and stretched if you don’t follow the proper washing instructions. Dry-cleaning regularly is not the only solution, too, because your clothes will regularly be exposed to chemicals. Skip the tumble dryer if you can. Not only does it use a lot of energy, the heat can also damage fabrics.

Learn How to Sew and Recycle Clothes

Sewing is a basic life skill every adult should know. You can’t just rely on your tailor to reattach a button or change the garter of your clothes. Keep a mending kit at home and learn at least the basic sewing patterns. This skill can also be used for recycling old clothes and other textiles for other use. For example, you can use old materials for cosplaying instead of buying new fabric. Old shirts can also be sewn into tote bags that you can use for groceries.

Know Your Brands

Some top fashion brands now use recycled polyester, organic cotton, wood pulp fabrics and other alternatives for brand new clothes and have cut down the use of water for printing by using digital printing techniques instead of the traditional screen printing.  You can learn about these by reading the labels or visiting the company’s website. Eco-conscious celebrities also endorse some names, so take note!

A Very Simple Guide to Men’s Skin Care

Usually, the last thing on a man’s list of priorities is skincare. Most like to talk about exercising regularly, having nice haircuts, etc. But they almost don’t talk about cleaning their faces, what type of moisturizers to use, and other such things. Why is that though?

Why men usually don’t care about skincare

Actually, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t talk about skincare because they think of it too much as a “feminine” thing to do. But the thing is, skincare is just like shaving or brushing your teeth, it’s simply basic hygiene!

We have skin too, and our skin has issues that need to be solved just like women’s. That’s why you should start getting rid of the mindset that skincare is only for the ladies. 

The basics

If you’re already convinced and want to start investing in keeping your face clean and healthy, here are some basic things you need to know.

  • Cleansing

As the name suggests, cleansing is about washing your face and using some product to get rid of any dirt that’s stuck in your pores. That being said, you will cleanse at night rather than in the mornings.

This is obviously because your face is still clean as you wake up but when you go home at night, it should have already gathered dirt. You wouldn’t want to leave all that dirt in your face before you sleep if you don’t want to get acne and other skin problems!

  • Protection and moisturizing

There are many things around us that can damage our skin. One, you already know about the heat in Singapore. Of course, too much heat and exposure to sunlight can irritate our skin. Two, there’s smoke from cars and also industrial chemicals that pollute the air.

So aside from cleansing, you should also find ways to protect your skin. Before going out, apply a moisturizer that has SPF. Even if you’re not going to the beach, sunscreen will be a great addition to protect your skin.

There many other things you can do, but these two are the best to start with. Here’s also one thing you should remember:

Do your research

Before you go buying any kind of product, you should do your research first. The most important is to know your skin type. If you have oily skin, for example, you should buy a non-comedogenic cleanser or moisturizer.

If your face is oily, it’s easier for sebum to gather in your pores. Having a non-comedogenic product helps you avoid this. If you didn’t know this and you just went around buying whatever kind of product, it would have had the opposite effect.

Coffee Alternatives for Coffee Addicts

If your doctor ordered you to stop taking more caffeine and yet you need your coffee fix, you can substitute these healthy and filling options instead.

Water

Nothing beats clean water when you’re thirsty. It doesn’t have caffeine and added sugar after all. Drink at least half a gallon of water a day to fight off fatigue, hunger, and dehydration.

Tea

It still has caffeine, so you need to pick green tea instead of regular tea which ahs about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Green tea or matcha helps you concentrate at work because it has memory-enhancing properties. If green tea isn’t to your liking, there are other types of tea not made from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

Probiotic Drink

There are dozens of probiotic drinks to choose from in markets in Singapore. Not only do they taste good, but they are packed with the good stuff to help balance the bacteria in your digestive tract. You can substitute this healthy drink for coffee on your break time.

Sparkling Water

If you want something with more kick than plain water, sparkling water is your best bet. It is sugar-free, hydrating, and delicious as long as you choose varieties made with fruit extracts.

Coconut Water

Instead of coconut smoothies, choose coconut water which has natural sweeteners and is packed with enzymes and electrolytes to help you replenish lost nutrients after a hard day’s work. It’s not only a healthier substitute to coffee, it also works better than energy and sports drinks.

Hot Apple Cider

The tangy taste of the apple cider will remind you of coffee, plus it contains natural sweeteners and will help you feel energized in a lazy rainy morning.

Fruit or Vegetable Juice

You can’t go wrong with fruit or vegetable juices that are made from fresh products. They are easy to make, delicious, and contain less sugar than the juices sold at stores. It’s easy to create fruit juices at a home with only a few items in less than 10 minutes.

Fruit or Vegetable Smoothie

Have fun creating different smoothies from fresh fruits and vegetables, which are packed full of vitamins and nutrients you will not get in a cup of coffee. All you need to create a variety of smoothies is a food processor or blender and an ice maker.

Yerba Mate

This type of drink will remind you of tea and contains slightly less caffeine than coffee. It’s made from the leaves of the holly tree which contains natural caffeine. What’s great about it is that it can also be prepared in so many ways similar to how you make tea and coffee. This is a recommended substitute if you have caffeine sensitivity and jitters. It won’t make you less sleepy, but it almost has the same effect as coffee.

Handy Tips for All Fitness Beginners

So, you’ve finally taken action on your New Year’s resolution of going to an ActiveSG gym (or any gym for that matter). The thing is, going to the gym or starting a fitness regime, in general, is a learning experience. You will make mistakes at the start and, of course, that’s okay. But, there are some mistakes that may affect your progress in the long term without you noticing. So, here are some things you should take note of to keep things smooth during your first months of training.

Work with a trainer

We cannot stress enough how important having a trainer is when you’re just starting out. If you’re going to the gym for the first time, it’s only natural that you’ll feel anxious and intimidated. But having a trainer during those first few sessions will do wonders for your confidence and motivation. The simple idea that you have someone guiding you can be very reassuring. Of course, you will also be taught about the right exercises to do and how to do them correctly. This is important if you want to keep yourself safe from any injuries or accidents in the gym.

Your workout schedule

The thing is, you can always adjust your workout schedule in line with your daily activities. If you can go to the gym 5 times a week, that’s great. If you can only go three times a week, there are also workout plans that can be effective for that! Don’t worry too much about the schedule. What you should be focusing more on is being consistent with your time. Even if you can only go for 3 days a week, be sure to stick with it and not miss a day at all.

Do compound lifts

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is that they only do isolation exercises. Isolation exercises are movements that only involve one particular muscle. If you want to gain more muscle though, you have to focus on the compound movements. Basically, these are exercises that work multiple muscle groups. These are the bench press, deadlift, barbell squat, shoulder press, etc. Because you’re working multiple muscles at the same time, you’re making your workouts much more effective and time-efficient.

The importance of rest and recovery

Let’s say you have enough time to go to the gym for 6 days a week. When it’s your very first time, you’ll usually feel as if you can exercise for hours and days straight. Although that shows your great motivation, you will still need rest periods. If you don’t allow your muscles to rest, you’re beating them up to a point that they might not grow anymore. Plus, it’s during the recovery phase that your body can really maximize muscle growth!