June Favourites

Hello! It’s time for the monthly updates of my favourite TCM and wellness happenings in June. Can’t believe half of the year is gone already. Have you been up to anything interesting?

The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing by Daniel Reid

Published in 1994, this book is filled with the basic principles of TCM and Taoism. It’s illustrated with exercises (Taiji and Qigong) and Chinese herb recipes to healing common ailments. There’s also alot of references to other old wellness books which I found interesting. Here are bits of notes that I made while reading:

  • Emotions = Energy in Motion. Anger is Yang, Sadness is Yin, these constant unbalanced energy in the human system will arise to illnesses.
  • You need 1) Flexibility 2) Spontaneity 3) Complete freedom of thought & action, to successfully respond to nature’s constant flux.  This is a great reminder for me to keep these concepts in check when things don’t go the way I want. Some things are out of your control.
  • Word play–  脾气·(pi qi) means bad tempered.  脾= Spleen, 气 = Qi. In TCM, Spleen is associated with the “Worry”, and the cool thing is that the word “splenetic” which means bad tempered is similar to the word “splenic” relating to the Spleen organ.
  • William Dufty (1916-2001) – In his book “Sugar Blues” in 1975 (!!!), he wrote about the status of sugar, as a product of refining, was compared to drugs: ”Heroin is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the poppy and they refine it into opium and then they refine it to morphine and finally to heroin. Sugar is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the cane or the beet and then refine it to molasses and then they refine it to brown sugar and finally to strange white crystals”.
  • Halbert L. Dunn (1896–1975) – Known as the father of the wellness movement. He distinguished between good health (not being ill) and what he termed high-level wellness, which he defined it as “a condition of change in which the individual moves forward, climbing toward a higher potential of functioning”. That’s like the current terms of biohacking?
  • PNI  (Psycho Neuro Immunology) – This is about how the brain and body can cooperate to cause and fight illness.  In TCM, we know that  emotions have an effect of physical wellbeing and of course vice versa and I find all these psychosomatic (mind-body) topic very interesting.
  • Cabbage – Richest source of  lactobacillus. It feels and promotes growth of whatever friendly bacteria already present in the gut. Did you know raw cabbage juice can heal stomach ulcers? Check out Robert Gray’s Cabbage Rejuvelac in “The Colon Health Handbook”, 1985.



The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer, MD

Who knew the brain, gut and the whole microbiome community were connected with their special walkie-talkie!  Apparently, the microbes gossip through “microbe-speak” between the brain and gut. If our microbiomes make sounds, our body would be like the noisy bustling city😂

Dr. Emeran Mayer, executive director of the UCLA Oppenheimer Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, describes the gut as a national security agency of the body. It gathers information from different parts of the digestive system and sends it to the brain. If something is amiss, an alarm would go off (like vomiting). If the body is a security agency, then negative emotions, sugar, refined food, hydrogenated “bad” food are like the lazy security guards who can cause hiccups in this perfect orchestration of “microbe-speak”, so to speak.

So, how do you have top ranked gut-guards? Dr Emeran advises us to eat probiotics and fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha and miso. At the end of the day, it’s not just the mind that thinks. Our body and emotions play a key role in our rational decision making, 🤔hence the “gut feeling”. Maybe it’s time I trust my gut feelings a little more.

And did you know miso can come in powder form? This Hatcho Miso Powder has a hint of cocoa flavour and you can sprinkle on 🍨ice cream and cream cheese. Guess you can add it in your smoothie too. Amazing stuff. I got mine at a Japan Food Fair in Singapore but I think you can buy it here or here.

We need to aim for symbiosis (happy gut) and not dysbiosis (unhappy gut). Let’s do a gradual shift of the gut ecosystem back to health by adding some probiotics into our meals.

Ginger Tea with Dr Ervina from 5 YINA

There she was standing in front of Starbucks in her stylish denim romper with sandals, all dressed for Singapore’s hot humid weather. It was such a pleasure meeting Ervina at Arteastiq cafe at Plaza Singapura where she ordered a pot of hot ginger tea which came with interesting local shrimp flavoured cookies.

She was such a cheerful lady who didn’t hesitate to share her journey of how she started with the 5YINA business, her quaint little house nestled in a tea plantation in China (wow!), TCM regulations in Singapore versus USA, the master of TCM dermatology Mazin Al-Khafaji ( co-author of “Manual of Acupuncture” with Peter Deadman), herbal chicken/lamb soup and more.

Also, she brought her DIVINE Bio-Cellulose mask for me to try! So kind of her. The mask is infused with TCM medicinal plant extracts from Schisandra berries, Goji berries, Peony root, Job’s Tears. So, I tried the divine mask the other night. I left it in the fridge while I showered. The cooled mask (I don’t like it too cold)  is packed between a blue and clear sheet so that makes applying really easy.

It comes with a generous amount of extra serum so you can spread some TLC for your neck. The serum is light and  has a very natural fragrance, not those synthetic perfumes smells. After 30 minutes of skin-healing royal treatment 👑, my face felt so soft and smooth like konnyaku jelly. The serum absorbed quite quickly and didn’t leave a sticky feeling which many masks do. Super happy!

The coolest thing is that this breathable and organic mask made in Taiwan takes 21 days to hatch and “hospitals use this same material for burn wounds, vascular, and surgical procedures.” No wonder it kind of reminded me of the Cica-Care silicone gel sheet that’s used for burn wound patients.



Welltodo Founder’s Series conference at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

This is a networking event for the wellness industry to mingle with other forward-thinking people. Inspirational-motivational vibes were strong throughout the whole conference, fulled with healthy food and drinks from brands like Juice Junkie, BoxGreen, Grain and Bootstrap Cold Brew coffee.

It started with inspirational talk by Yoga Movement MD, Peter Thew on ‘How to Build a Brand’. Followed by Welltodo Founder, Lauren Armes on the strategies involved in ‘Building a Profitable Wellness Business and a Mindset for Success’ . She used a quote from the movie, The Departed,  “ I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me”. If you’re running a business,  finding your authentic image of yourself that’s inline with your values are crucial because and your thoughts becomes actions.

Also, a well-known adventurer Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson also delivered an inspirational and scary journey using 100% human power to row from Singapore to New Zealand! He’s going to do the last part of the journey across the Tasman Sea soon.No storm lasts foreverwas the most memorable part of his speech for me.

Because, in life shit 💩 happens. But most of the time it’s probably just a phase. So, when I reach an obstacle, I think of Mario game. As hard as it can be sometimes, I try to see it as a level that you need to clear before moving on to the next stage. If I can’t clear that stage then it means that I’m not ready for the next ultimate challenge. So, purge the unwanted, prune the necessary, learn and  be flexible for your next level-up of your life. #shittakehappen


What excited your this month? Share in the comment below 🙂


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One Reply to “June Favourites”

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