Opinion: What will they think of next?

“Fat dissolving” spa treatment no such thing: FDA WASHINGTON Wed Apr 7, 2010

Fri, Mar 19 2010 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – So-called fat dissolving treatments offered by spas do not eliminate fat and the companies should stop saying so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.

The procedures, called by names such as lipodissolve, mesotherapy, lipozap, lipotherapy, or injection lipolysis all involve unproven injections of drugs, the FDA said in a statement. “We are concerned that these companies are misleading consumers,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

“It is important for anyone who is considering this voluntary procedure to understand that the products used to perform lipodissolve procedures are not approved by the FDA for fat removal.”

The agency issued warning letters to Monarch Medspa in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Spa 35 in Boise, Idaho; Medical Cosmetic Enhancements in Chevy Chase, Maryland; Innovative Directions in Health of Edina, Minnesota; PURE Med Spa in Boca Raton, Florida, and All About You Med Spa in Madison, Indiana.

The FDA also warned a Brazilian company that markets so-called lipodissolve products on two Web sites: zipmed.net and mesoone.com. “The FDA will notify regulatory authorities in Brazil of this action,” the FDA said in a statement.

“The agency has issued an import alert against the zipmed.net and mesoone.com entities to prevent the importation and distribution of unapproved lipodissolve drug products into the United States.”

The treatments usually consist of injections of two drugs called phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate, the FDA said. “In some cases, other ingredients, including drugs or components of other products like vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts, are added to the mixture,” the agency added. None has been shown to work in credible clinical trials, it said.

Article credit: http://www.reuters.com


Natural Alternate Cancer Cure*

We look after our body by working out at the gyms and relaxing in spas.

However, time and tide waits for no man or woman. We do get sick. And the biggest killer in most developed countries today is cancer. All of us will surely know at least one friend or relative who have succumb to cancer; some, unfortunately at a very young age.

Despite great advances made in modern medicine, cancer still remains as one of the modern killer that still has medical science stumped. We are no nearer towards a medical cure for cancer than we were 40 years ago.

Where modern medicine fail to cure, in step alternative treatments. Many such treatments are just old wives’ tales. Some are plain quarks. Some are just unproven hypothesis.

But stories of successful alternative treatments has always persisted. Patients whom the doctor has diagnosed as being terminal often turned to alternative treatments and has doctors stumped when they realise some-one they diagnosed as being cancer-terminal later walks away cleared of the illness.

These alternative treatment ranges from Qi-gong to herbal remedies to alternate diets. What are the more believable treatments? Has there been more ‘scientific’ research?  What are the cure statistics? How do we differentiate from the more believable alternative treatments to the hocus-pocus treatments? Who have actually survived using alternative cancer treatment methods?

A research team shows there are over 350 existing natural and alternative cancer treatments which have shown to stop or slow down cancer. People have used these gentle and non-toxic treatments instead of or alongside conventional treatment, or after conventional treatment has failed.

The research compilation shows testimonials of thousands of patients who have followed these alternative treatments together or separately with modern medicine and had their cancer slowed down or cured.  This include patients suffering from bone cancer, breast cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, Ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma, lung cancer, liver cancer and prostate cancer.

If you have always been interested in alternate cancer cures but do not know where or how to differentiate the better alternate treatments, these series of well-researched e-books compilation will be a good place to start your research.

Beat Cancer

Cancer treatmentWho can help







* This article is offered for reference purpose only. Further research and consultation with your doctor is strongly advised.


Eat today, detox tomorrow

First we had the Mad Cow Disease. Then we had Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Now, we even have toxic Melamine in our milk. Wave after wave of food and health scare! When will it be safe to trust our food, water and air ever again?

Even without these major health scare, we still have to struggle with daily health and food inadequacies – there are pesticide in our vegetable, micro-organism in our water, altered DNA in our poultry and polluted environment of our fishes – as farmers and businesses seek to maximise their profit dollars from our daily food supply!

That’s why modern scientific health experts chant the same mantra:

1. Eat lightly, eat widely
2. Exercise regularly
3. Get plenty of fresh air

In addition to scientific health experts, those of us who believes in alternative health will want to add:

1. Detoxify regularly
2. Meditate
3. Avoid or eat less meat

I personally believe in detoxification and practise it as much as I can. If you too believe in detoxification but do not know where to begin, whom to trust or how to go about, let me recommend this excellent body detox website by Dr Janet Starr Hull.

Dr Hull website is full of articles and research materials on scientific detoxification. Just reading from her website will put you in a good stead on how and why you should go about detoxing your body. Her website is chockablock of diet guides, detox books, vitamin and supplement information.

You can even order a personal hair analysis toxin test and a personal detoxification kit via her website. This is what she says of the detoxification kit:

Detox kit

The Detox Kit teaches you how to remove toxins using your body’s water, urine, fecal waste, skin and blood. The Detox Program is natural, and can be used for your lifetime as a “maintenance program” or if future health concerns develop. The Detoxification Program is safe for all ages and health conditions because it is a natural process using the simple nutrition techniques and information in Dr. Hull’s 10-Step Detoxification Program.

Dr. Hull is not just a nutritionist. She’s also a geologist and international geographer, a licensed Environmental Hazardous Waste Specialist and Toxicologist, a former fire fighter and college professor. She had a change in career after she “cured” herself from an “incurable” thyroid disease, Grave’s Disease in 1991. She was told she would die if she didn’t agree to drastic and expensive medical procedures; yet, her doctors didn’t know what caused her “fatal” thyroid disorder, or why she was suddenly deathly ill, or how to cure her disease. They only knew how to suppress her symptoms – destroy her thyroid with radiation – and keep her alive using medications for the rest of her lifetime.

She applied her environmental skills to help find the “cause” of her disease instead of having her thyroid destroyed. She discovered the cause of her illness – aspartame. She removed aspartame from her life and was healed within thirty days. She has been perfectly healthy ever since. No surgery, no medications, and NO aspartame!

The personal detoxification kit includes a DVD, a audio CD, a guidebook, pH test strips, diet and eating charts, suggested detox schedules and even a toxin guide. If you are serious about personal detoxification for better health, you should seriously consider this kit.

You can check out the detoxification kit at Dr Janet Starr Hull website.

Even if you have not reach a serious consideration about personal detox, you should still visit her website for generic health and toxin information. With today’s food and health crises coming one after another, you never know when you need a handy detox and diet guide in quick time!


Newsbite: Singapore association not in favour of fish-spa services

Fri, Oct 10, 2008
The Straits Times

THE Spa Association Singapore has said that banning fish-spa treatments is the way to go.

Responding to a query from The Straits Times on such a ban in Texas and Washington state, the association said it did not encourage its members here to provide the service for safety and hygiene reasons.

The association, an umbrella body representing 75 spa or related business outlets, said that as far as it knew, none of its members offered fish-spa services.

An industry insider reckons that at least 20 shops here do so, the more well-known names being Kenko Reflexology & Fish Spa and Qian Hu Fish Farm.

Business operators said they were unaware of licensing requirements binding the business of using fish to nibble away dead skin.

They said, however, that they use filtration systems and ultraviolet light to kill bacteria in the water; they also said they check that their customers are clear of wounds.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore confirmed that it did not have regulations on fish being used this way, and that its priority was to ensure that they were unharmed.

At least two complaints have emerged this year against fish spas – the Consumers Association of Singapore received one, and The New Paper ran a report on two sisters who caught fungal infections from a fish spa.

Some operators said they believed the complaints came about because of black sheep in the industry who are in the business due to low entry requirements.

(I had earlier commented that Fish spas, which is increasing in popularity, may not be as healthy as it seems. To read more about fish spas and my observations, please click fish spa article here. )


Newsbite: Fish pedicure banned in 2 US states

Fri, Oct 10, 2008
The Straits Times

DALLAS: Letting live fish give people pedicures could transmit infections, say the authorities in Washington and Texas, and the spa treatment is now banned in the two American states.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation announced on Wednesday that fish pedicures – in which customers pay to have tiny fish nibble dead skin off their feet – are no longer permitted in the state, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The regulatory authorities in Washington state imposed a similar ban last week, said Seattle Times.

Ms Christine Anthony, spokesman for the Washington Department of Licensing, said it was impossible to sanitise live fish.

‘You can clean the tank, you can clean the water, but there’s no guarantee that the fish aren’t carrying something from the previous customer,’ she was quoted as saying by Seattle Times.

Officials also said the foot baths and holding tanks, because they are home to live fish, cannot always be properly cleaned and disinfected.

However, they said there had been no cases of anyone falling sick from a fish pedicure.

‘We are erring on the side of safety,’ said Ms Susan Stanford of the Texas licensing department.

This particular pedicure is a new entrant in American spas. It first gained attention after a Virginia-based spa told the media this summer about the benefits of using the fish instead of razors to slough away scales and calluses, the news reports said. Heavy media coverage followed.

The owner of Peridot Nail Salon, the only salon in Washington known to be offering the treatment, told Seattle Times she was ‘shocked and surprised and disappointed’ by the ban.

Ms Tweety Bui said the salon started offering the pedicures only last month, charging US$30 (S$44) for 15 minutes. The phone had been ‘ringing off the hook’ with calls for appointments, she said, with about 20 sessions booked for last weekend alone.

‘I’m booked two months out,’ Ms Bui told Seattle Times. Her staff have been calling clients to cancel the appointments. ‘I am so overwhelmed with all this that it’s not even funny.’

At the Zen Luxury Nail & Beauty Bar in North Texas, co-owner Kate Caldwell told Dallas Morning News she shut down her fish tanks after being informed of the ban by the state authorities. The shop had bought 500 guppy-like fish for US$2,500.

‘I am pretty disappointed,’ Ms Caldwell said.

She claimed that her salon had a rigorous safety protocol to avoid putting customers at risk. After each pedicure, she said, the foot basins are emptied and cleaned with a disinfectant. During that cleaning, she said, the fish are transferred to a ‘hospital tank’, where they are treated with an anti-microbial agent and isolated for at least a day.

Both spa owners said they would probably keep the fish as pets for now.

‘We have fish food,’ said Ms Bui.


Ginger Scrub and Ginger Wrap

GingerThe ginger plant has a long history of domestic cultivation and is thought to have originated in China and then to India, Southeast Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean.

Ginger is commonly used as a cooking spice in Chinese and South-East Asian culinary. Ginger is a pungent food that promotes energy circulation and increases the metabolic rate.

However, in the medical world, Ginger has been an important component used in Chinese and Asian medicine for both external and external use for many centuries. Ginger is most commonly known for its effectiveness as a digestive aid. It helps to relieve indigestion, diarrhea and stomach cramping. It is known to increase vital energy and balance our internal ‘chi’.

In the wellness realm, Ginger has been used widely to effectively stimulate circulation of the blood, remove toxins from the body, cleanse the bowels and kidneys and nourish the skin.

You can always find treatments like the Ginger Scrub and Ginger Wrap in a spa menu especially in a spa that specialises in Javanese or Balinese massage. In Indonesia, it is believed that ginger can also help to relieve aching muscle and detox your body. In fact, a ginger scrub and wrap is also a popular Indonesian post-natal treatment for women who had just given birth as it helps to reduce the body from being bloated and clear toxins from the body system.

The sweet aroma from a ginger scrub will also help your mind de-stress and in turn relax and rejuvenate your body. No wonder Ginger Scrub and Ginger Wrap have been very popular with spa goers in the past few years.

So after hearing so much wonders about ginger, I finally decided to try out the Ginger Scrub and Ginger Wrap. When I walked into the treatment room, the fragrance of ginger was already in the air. A bowl of crushed ginger was being heated over a burning candle. The masseur started by gently rubbing the heated fresh ginger on my back. As she moved along to the other part of the body, she kept asking if the ginger scrub was too hot for my body. When she finished, she gently wrapped my entire body with clear sheets and led me to a steam room. I was asked to stay in the steam room for half an hour. She explained that with the aid of the heat in the steam room, the purifying, detoxifying and hydrating process of the body under the effect of the ginger wrap will be enhanced!

The stimulating effects of the ginger scrub was an awakening experience to the skin. The Ginger Wrap is supposed to help reduce “wind” from my body and burn fats. No wonder I was perspiring like crazy. I should remember to weigh myself before and after a ginger scrub and wrap the next time!

After a warm shower and a 60 mins massage, I really felt so much lighter and refreshed. I highly recommend that you should add a Ginger scrub and wrap to your next spa visit especially if you are into detoxification or weight loss!


The Incredible Spa Capsule

Man is forever chasing his own tail. Spa and massage services came about because the busy working man or woman needed a way to relax and release tension. They desperately desire a good massage but yet have so little time to visit a spa that they invented gadget after gadget so that they can get a massage right at home.

Now, we have the ‘mother of all spa and massage gadgets’; a spa capsule that is so portable that you can place one in the home, office or even in the shopping mall. Imagine a full spa and massage service that you can enjoy right at the office without getting wet or even having to remove a single piece of clothing.

Check out the video which shows the spa capsule in action. Launched just 5 months ago, it was said to have swept through USA with many companies buying it for their busy employees in the office.

Would you have gotten one for the home or office? Or would you have preferred a gentle, delicate and well-trained masseur’s hand anytime?


A fishy spa!

Doctor fishYou are probably used to a spa and massage by a human therapist. Have you ever had a spa and massage rendered by a fish…or to be exact, hundreds of fishes??

There is a very new kind of spa, which originated from Turkey, where a kind of fresh water fish, commonly known as a doctor fish, will feed on the affected and dead areas of the human skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow.

The doctor fish is also known as nibble fish, kangal fish or doctorfishen. There are actually two species of the doctor fish and they are known scientifically as Garra rufa and Cyprinion macrostomus.

This is a popular skin disease treatment method that is said to originate from Turkey and has now become popular in Asia and where many fish spas has sprung up in the last 2-3 years including Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia and Singapore.

You basically sit around a small pond and dip your legs into the pond with several other people. In a matter of seconds, these fishes would visit your legs and start chewing at your dead skin. Most initial reactions ranged from ticklish to some who complain of some pain especially when the fish ‘bites’.

Many people, especially ladies, who do not have skin disease, are visiting these fish spa too as they claim that their skin become smoother and cleaner after each fish spa session.

In Singapore, you’ll pay an average of US$22 for a half-hour ‘chewing session’ by these fishes. Will you pay this kind of money to have your feet chewed by fishes? Have you ever wonder what ‘diseased skin’ these fishes has been chewing on before they visit your legs?

Check out the ‘fishy video’ below!

Pix credit: http://www.nibbles.com.sg


Traditional Cure for Stiff Muscle

Herbal pain relief patchesI don’t exactly know when it happened but I realized that my left shoulder was painful whenever I worked out at the gym. It wasn’t a obvious pain that I am physically aware of all the time but a sublime sort of pain which was only obvious when I worked out on certain gym equipments or when I stretched my shoulder a certain way.

I can only guess that I must have hurt one of the inner shoulder muscle during an earlier work-out. It wasn’t painful all the time but it was painful and awkward whenever I wanted to exercise and it wasn’t really recovering despite the pain being two weeks old or more.

After two weeks, I reached out for my mother’s traditional pain relief patches and applied one to my shoulder. Around the shoulder, I applied the Yoko Yoko Analgesic ointment, both of which my mother swore were traditional Chinese cures that will always work when nothing else will.

This is my second day with the pain relief patches. The shoulder seems to be feeling better and less painful when I stretch it but I’ll need another day or two before I see obvious result. I certainly hope it works well because I have already skipped a number of gym sessions.

You can purchase similar traditional Chinese pain relief patches and ointment at: www.quick-pain-relief.com


Chinese Tui Na

One of the oldest massage technique still in popular practice today is the Chinese Tui Na method. Some say that the art of Tui Na or Acupressure gave forth to the modern Japanese Shiatsu massage which most spa and massage goers are familiar with today.

Tui Na is a hands-on-body treatment using acupressure whose purpose is to bring the body into balance based on the Chinese Ying Yang principles. Tui Na has no side effects compared to modern drug-based and/or chemical-based massage treatment methods.

The words ‘Tui Na” literally means ‘Push Pull’ – a realistic description of what’s involved in a Acupressure massage. Tui Na is not just pushing and pulling your muscles and flesh but a holistic body treatment method of the acupoints or meridian points of your body based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Meridian principles.

Tui Na is actively practised as part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousand of years for a wide repertoire of medical treatments. It has been used to treat or complement the treatment of many conditions; musculo-skeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.

Tui Na is also popular in martial arts and athletic schools where there is a greater chance of muscular or skeletal injuries. Many teachers of such training schools are skilled in Tui Na massage which they used regularly to treat injured students or participants.

Because of the holistic therapeutic power of Tui Na, a new branch of massage known as ‘Bao Jian An Mo” or Healthy Tui Na massage had came about so that even normal people like you and me can undergo a dose of Tui Na massage for it’s therapeutic effects. Many elderly people in China get a regular treatment of therapeutic Tui Na massage just so to remain healthy; very much as in an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

However, if you do suffer from modern society sick syndrome such as strained neck, back pain, carpal tunnel pain, painful heels and ankles from too much sitting down in the office or too much computer work, then, a dose of therapeutic Tui Na massage targeted for your specific pain area is just the right recommendation!