Now and then we all feel in need of a boost – be it physical, psychological or both. So here’s our guide to rejuvenation, with the help of a team of experts.
1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The importance of sleeping well is not just that you wake up feeling refreshed and full of beans. Poor or interrupted sleep can lead to a plethora of aesthetic and health issues: dehydrated skin, red eyes with dark rings under them, and difficulty in concentrating.
If you find yourself snoring, choking or gasping during the night, wake up feeling tired, or often have a morning headache, then you could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition in which the upper air passages become intermittently blocked the palate, tonsils and tongue, interrupting your breathing. This won’t just leave you feeling and looking tired: it is also linked with the development of more serious conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiac problems, diabetes and stroke. Dr Pang at the Centre for Ear, Nose, Throat, Allergy & Sleep (6586 0989; entdoctor.com.sg), who treats many patients for sleep apnoea, assures us that there are now various effective ways of dealing with this potentially debilitating condition.
2. Re-balance Your Zen
Brennan Energy Healing and Psycho Energetics, as practised by therapist Katharina Brunner (www.katharinahealing.com; firstname.lastname@example.org), looks deeply into the human psyche, and is based on the premise that illness and unhappiness in life can stem from an unbalanced energy system. The idea is to explore one’s beliefs and become aware of one’s choices, in order to lead a fuller life. Stress and unhappiness can be incredibly ageing, and by healing your emotional problems, you can start to feel and look younger
3. Try A Laser Peel
If sagging skin is bugging you, or you’re piling on the concealer to cover acne scars and pigmentation spots, a fractional laser peel may be just what the dermatologist ordered. Let the world keep guessing your age a little longer!
WHAT IS IT?
A treatment with minimal downtime, a fractional laser peel is an ablative laser procedure. In other words, it acts on the surface of the skin, helping to remove older cells and exposing a fresh new layer of skin.
HOW IT WORKS
Using a computerised scanner, the laser can achieve extremely even skin resurfacing by ensuring targeted treatment. Over several sessions (usually at least three), this stimulates collagen production, improves oil secretion and reduces scarring: dramatically clearer and tighter skin can be achieved.
HOW PAINFUL IS IT?
There is minimal discomfort during the treatment, as a topical anaesthetic cream is applied beforehand. Recovery takes from 72 hours to seven days, depending on the depth of light penetration required and the patient’s skin type. To book an appointment, call Eileen Tan Skin Laser & Hair Transplant Clinic on 6 733 8898 or visit www.eileentanskin.com
4. Get a Hollywood smile
Nothing makes you look grumpier than refusing to smile (think Victoria Beckham’s notorious pout). And the most usual reason for a reluctance to smile is embarrassment about yellowing teeth. Cheer up: help is at hand in the form of two options for achieving a pearly-white smile – whitening and veneers.
5. Take a deep breath
Breathing technique and muscle precision are key to getting the most out of Pilates, so many people are choosing one-on-one instruction to ensure they get the maximum benefit from their efforts.
Uplift (9022 5520; www.upliftpilates.com)offers personal tuition that can be scheduled to fit in with your weekly routine. Because you’re not in a big group or a “conveyer-belt class”, as Stott Pilates instructor Tara puts it, you and she can focus on your individual goals. Be it losing your baby belly, improving your golf swing or tennis serve, reducing your back pain or simply getting your energy back, Tara can help.
6. Perk Up
Full, pert breasts help a woman look and feel more beautiful. Dr Martin Huang of The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic (6733 3372; www.pachealthholdings.com/csc/) specialises in the more natural-looking teardrop implants.His patients include generally younger women who are flat-chested and would like larger breasts; and those who have loose skin or sagging breasts as a consequence of childbirth and breastfeeding and do not plan to have any more children.
Dr Huang generally inserts the implant over the muscle, a procedure that should not entail a painful recovery. He has known patients to go back to work the next day, but this isn’t recommended! Recovery at home generally takes one to two weeks; and for up to a month and a half, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided.
7. Re-vitalise your Liver
The liver is the second largest organ in the body, after the skin. It’s a vital organ whose functions include: storing energy, vitamins, iron and other minerals; making proteins, including some that are vital for blood clotting; making bile, for food digestion; and breaking down chemicals, medications and alcohol.
Fat can accumulate in the liver as a result of a number of conditions, including the excessive consumption of alcohol, but the most common cause is obesity. A fatty liver is exactly that: it occurs when your liver cells accumulate fat. Although most people who develop this condition won’t go on to suffer from serious liver problems, it can lead to inflammation, progressive scarring of the liver, or hardening of the liver (cirrhosis). Fatty livers are often discovered during routine health screenings, when a rise in certain liver enzymes prompts further investigation.
Fatty liver is treated by controlling its underlying causes. This can include reducing high blood sugar, controlling diabetes, abstaining from alcohol, and losing weight. This is especially necessary if damage to the liver is visible. For patients with fatty liver, Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver & Gallbladder Clinic (6836 2776; www.andrea-digestive-clinic.com) recommends a diet low in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and with a high protein-to-calorie ratio. Weight loss should be gradual, moderate and controlled, to avoid further stress on the organs. Research shows that exercise, in combination with diet, also helps.
8. Love Your Legs
In cooler climes, it may be easier to hide unsightly varicose veins. But living in trousers is not really an option in the sweaty tropics, where we wear shorts and short skirts year-round. The patients of Dr John Tan at The Vein Clinic (6535 8833; www.theveinclinic.com.sg) are taking advantage of a new treatment technique – Vnus Closure.
For the past ten years, endovenous laser treatment (EVL) has been the gold standard for treating varicose veins. As its name suggests, it takes place within the vein; it’s not invasive and leaves no scars. And no matter how bad your varicose veins are, it is generally possible to treat all the affected veins. However, some patients do experience a degree of pulling and discomfort afterwards, particularly in the thigh area.
Dr Tan has embraced a relatively new endovenous technique, one that uses radiofrequency (RF) instead of laser. Vnus Closure is gentler than laser, he says, but equally effective in treating the vein. As opposed to the 3-4/10 discomfort level reported by EVL patients, those who have undergone Vnus report an average after-surgery discomfort level of just 1/10. The two options involve similar levels of pain during treatment, and they cost about the same.
You can expect to pay between $7,000 and $11,000, the good news being that this expense is almost completely covered by the better expat health insurance schemes.
9. Explore Youthful Hormones
Dr Julinda Lee’s Age Management Medicine (Pacific Healthcare Specialist Centre; 6883 6955; www.agemanagement.com.sg) uses bio-identical hormones to combat the effects of ageing. As she explains, “Getting older is inevitable, but recent advances put us in control of how we age. My focus is to enhance quality of life.”
By looking at the changes that are associated with ageing, and the steps needed to either reverse or slow those changes, she aims to prevent disease rather than treat it after it occurs. A considered lifestyle and diet, together with appropriate hormone replacement, can prevent or at least delay the need for medication and surgery, and improve symptoms such as tiredness, poor sleep, weight gain, memory loss and a reduced capacity for exercise.
10. Go without Glasses
Many people feel that wearing glasses unnecessarily ages one’s appearance. If you thought Lasik treatment was the only option for vision correction, think again. Implantable contact lenses (ICL) are a big focus for Dr Cheryl Lee at the Eye Cataract & Retinal Centre (6883 6961; theeyeclinic.com.sg). They are often a good choice for people who aren’t candidates for Lasik, including those with extremely thin corneas, or those who are predisposed to dry-eye syndrome.
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