Wearing socks to bed – is it really good for your health?

Kaohsiung mayor insists on wearing socks and waist guard to bed for good health.
Photo from China Times

Taiwan Kaohsiung’s new mayor Han Kuo-Yu said in jest, he would rather bare his bottom than not wear socks to bed. His reason? Wearing socks to bed protects our body’s ‘yang qi‘ (yang energy), he says.

I have always worn socks to bed after childbirth. It may be because of the Asian health perception of keeping the mother’s body warm. I find that when I do not wear socks to bed, I feel chilly easily. I have always tried to persuade my husband and children to wear socks to bed, but they always refused, claiming Singapore’s weather is too hot for that.

I took an interest in the recent Taiwan local election in Nov 2018 and was amazed by 61 years-old Han Kuo-Yu’s stamina and good health. He ran a neck-to-neck election with DPP candidate Chen Chi-Mai and slept only a few hours each day for several weeks. Yet he appeared sharp and energetic in interviews and during his walkabouts. I heard him mention twice of his nightly ritual for good health, that is to wear socks and put on an S-waist guard to bed.

Wearing socks to bed aids in sinus problem

I then mentioned this to my husband and he decided to try wearing socks to bed. I thought he will give it up after a day, but every night, he will put on his socks on his own accord. After a couple of days, he told me that while he still hates wearing socks to bed, he finds that strangely he does not wake up with a sinus problem anymore. My 9 year-old heard him and decided to wear socks to bed as well. She told me her sinus symptom has gotten better as well.

I was really happy to hear this and went on to read up more.

Image from TCM wiki showing Yongquan acupuncture point.

Yongquan acupuncture point

An article from China Times interviewed a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner on this. Apparently, there is an important acupuncture point at the sole of our foot called the Yongquan acupuncture point. The point is at the depression at the sole, about 1/3 of the distance between the toe and the heel. Yong means “to gush out” and quan means fountain. The qi (energy) of the Meridien flows upwards like a gushing spring. According to TCM, yongquan acupuncture point helps guard against sickness and quickens healing, so traditionally keeping the soles warm has been seen as important to uphold the yang energy in the body. The yang energy can be regarded as a warm flow in the body that helps in the body’s immunity.

The TCM practitioner in the interview, Mr. Yang Jinwei said however, that while wearing socks to sleep is a convenient way to keep the sole warm and protect the Yongquan acupuncture point, a more effective way is to use acupuncture on the Yongquan acupuncture point itself. Also, wearing socks to sleep is more effective for people who are of xuhan body constitution (xu means weak and han means cold). This applies to elderly people and women who lack exercise. The symptoms include cold hands and feet in winter, poor appetite, fatigue and diarrhoea in normal days or during menstruation.

Also, wearing socks to sleep is not recommended for people who has sweaty feet, athlete’s foot or conditions such as cuts and eczema on the feet.

If you choose to wear socks to bed, it is best to choose 100% cotton breathable ankle-length socks that are not too tight. Also, it is good to have a foot massage or warm foot bath, especially in winter before sleep to aid in sleep. This can help prevent insomnia, frequent urine at night, dreams and pain in setting foot in the floor in the morning.

Herbal tea to invigorate the mind and strengthen the spleen

If you want to increase yang energy, you can drink herbal tea in the morning. The 桂圆红枣生姜茶 (longan, red dates and ginger tea) is good tea to dispel han (cold).

Longan, red dates and ginger tea
Picture from fancai.com

Recipe:

Add 25g of longan meat, 5 red dates and some sliced ginger to 300ml of hot water and steep for 30 minutes. If you choose to boil the water, boil for about 10-15 minutes. Add crystal sugar (rock candy) or brown sugar to taste.

This tea is beneficial for the function of the spleen and symptoms such as loss of appetite, fatigue, cold feet and hands and tummy problems.

As for the waist guard, I have yet to try one myself though I am definitely keen. I will put up a post on it after I have tried on one. If you have experiences with wearing socks or waist guard to bed, please leave a comment!

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Himalayan Premium Foods

Himalayan Premium Foods

I met Rag from Himalayan Premium Foods through Vinitha from Nutrihub Culinary Art. Rag’s husband owns an organic farm in Nepal and Rag started a company to import organically grown foods form her husband’s family farm as well as other neighbouring organic farmers bi-monthly.

It was a pleasure meeting with Rag who lets me have a test of Nepalese Rosemary. I was overwhelmed (in a good way, of course) of its strong smell. Rag told me Nepalese herbs and plants have a stronger taste and smell than similar foods here. It is amazing how the different altitudes, temperatures and climate influence the produces in different ways.

In my second meeting with Rag to pick up my order of seasonal foods (usually every other Thursday after 3pm), she urges me to try the Cheurii Honey and Mustard Blossom Honey. It is really interesting how different honey can taste! Apparently the taste and flavour of honey depends on the kind flowers the bees visit. I like both honey, they taste very light and yet flavourful.

You can join HPF’s mailing list to be informed of the next shipment. Rag’s store is located at Peninsula Hotel Shopping Centre (3 Coleman Street, #04-27, Singapore 179804). They provide delivery service too.

New stockist – That Health Store@Arcade (Raffles Place)

We are excited to have a new stockist in central Singapore. That Health Store@Arcade (Raffles Place) is well-stocked with organic health products and fresh produce which you will love. Pop by their store and and say hi to store partners Kim & Jo, who will always be willing to share wth you health tips and recipes.

THAT HEALTH SHOP@ARCADE (11 COLLYER QUAY, #03-05, SINGAPORE 049317, T: 9733 1850)

Jo and Kim got to know about us through recommendations of our products by their customers (a big thank you!). If you would like to see our products at your favourite store, please help us have a shout out or drop us an email to let us know!

New Year’s Resolution: Gym for the Mind

meditation-courses11

Typically, at the beginning of every new year, health fitness clubs and yoga centres see membership increase the most. New year it seems, have the magic of instilling in us renewed hopes and aspirations, as well as the determination to make good changes in our lives.

Sweng and I recently signed up subscription for Headspace, an app that guides you in meditation. Both of us have been using the free version of the app for some time and like it enough to subscribe to the new version to get more contents.

The guided meditation is voiced by Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe, who used to be a monk. The app has gained quite a success and became a global phenomenon, winning over even well-known personalities such as Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose.

Meditation has been practised for a long time and its benefits on brain functions were proven scientifically – it speeds up brain processing capability, lessens anxiety, increase immunity, decreases pain and fosters rapid memory recall. It even reduces the risk of heart diseases.

And not just physically, meditation also contributes to our emotional well-being. Long-term meditation helps to increase mindfulness and in turn has a positive effect on happiness and interpersonal relationship. These benefits are helpful towards building meaningful social relations, makes us more focused and attentive in work as well as being more creative.

Now, knowing the benefits of meditation is one thing, actually doing it and keeping the habit is quite another. Back to the topic of New Year’s resolutions, why are they infamously difficult to keep? These are a few main reasons I have gathered:

Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Often Broken:

  1. We simply set too many of them.
  2. There is a lack of specific plan to execute.
  3. There is an inertia to change (even when we know the benefits of the change)
  4. Lack of determination causes new habits to break easily.

How I Plan to Make My New Year’s Resolutions work:

1. Make one resolution at a time – to create and sustain a habit of meditation.

2. Be specific – meditate twice a day, once in the morning, and once before bed.

3. Broadcast my resolution – by telling everyone in this blog. 😉

4. Have a program to help keep it going – The Headspace app I signed up has a tracking system and various levels to spur me to go further.

5. Buddy up – my husband Sweng signed up Headspace too so we can encourage and keep each other on track.

6. Constant reminder – I have set time alert to remind me to meditate. I have also read that successful people meditate and I want to be like them. So I will put a picture/pictures of some of these people who meditate at my work desk to remind myself of this intrinsic reason.

I wish you a memorable and blessed 2016. May all that you wish for come true.

I would like to leave this post with one of Yoda’s famous lines:

do-yoda

References:

  1. Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 Things You Might Be Missing Out on
  2. 4 Best Scientifically Proven Benefits of Meditation
  3. 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today
  4. Man Behind Meditation App Goes From Monk to Millionaire
  5. Your New Year’s Resolutions Are Doomed Before You Even Begin – Unless…
  6. The Science Behind Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
  7. The Science Behind Why We Break New Year’s Resolutions

 

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Simply purchase Gift Cards that make up your total value and contact us to confirm the number of Gift Cards and the respective denominations to be issued.

For example: You want $20 Gift Card for 5 people and $80 Gift Card for 1 person. Total Gift Card value is $180.

How the Gift Card works:

A. Select & purchase:

1 x $100 Gift Card
1 x $50 Gift Card
3 x $10 Gift Card
Total value: $180

B. Contact us to let us know your Gift Card requirements.

ie. $20 Gift Card for 5 people and $80 for 1 person

C. We will issue the respective Gift Cards with unique codes and send you by email.

D. You then email the Gift Cards to your gift recipients and delight them!

Maca Smuggling Problem in Peru Leads to Price Hike in Maca

Organic-Raw-Maca-Powder-1-lb

One of our popular superfood red maca powder has been out of stock for quite some time. The reason we have not brought them back in stock is because their prices (as well as cream maca powder) has soared many folds since last year.

Maca prices have gone up significantly (at least 4 and 5 times the prices before) for some time. This is due to unprecedented demand from Asian, in particular, Chinese buyers. It has been said that there were Chinese businessmen coming to Peru as tourists and offered maca farmers suitcases full of cash for their maca crop and at 4-8 times the market rate for their maca product. The maca farmers have been accepting such high price, even at the expense of breaking the contract of their long-time supporting Peruvian national producers. Maca is a product considered native to Peru and since 2003 a regulation bans maca to be exported as unprocessed raw form but now it has been smuggled in great volume out of the country. Fox news reported in August 2014 that “2,000 tons of this year’s 4,500-ton maca harvest” have been smuggled out of Peru.

It may be quite some time before we see maca prices normalising (if that’s ever possible). However, fret not. There are quite a few adaptogens like maca that works wonderfully just as well.

Nutritional Powerhouse – Pine Pollen (Cell Wall Broken)

First, there is the much cheaper nutritional powerhouse that is gaining recognition (thanks for Tim Ferriss’ introduction in hi book 4-Hour Chef), Pine pollen. This superfood can help combat all those phyto and xeno-estrogens that our environment is full of these days, from drinking water, pesticides, plastics and more.

Pine pollen is a complete protein source (about 30% protein) as it contains seven of the essential amino acids. It has over 200 bioactive vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other super nutrients in every single serving. It is a wild-harvested super food with no added chemicals or preservatives. Besides increasing libido, it is also anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, supports hormonal support and strengthens the immune system. According to Chinese medicine, pine pollen enters through the five major meridians including the lungs, kidneys, spleen, heart and liver. The testosterone boosting qualities of Pine pollen works well for women as well. Women need testosterone too for good body function, just not as much as men. Pine pollen also has been used as beauty tonic for women for thousand of years.

#1 Rated Herb in Ayuvedic Medicine – Shilajit

Then there is powerful ayurveda herb Shilajit, which is still relatively lesser known in the West. It is a powerful adaptogen and Jing substance. Shilajit is a phytocomplex that contains over 85 minerals in their ionic form and triterpenes, selenium, phospholipids, humic acid and fulvic acid. These compounds have strong antioxidant properties (anti-aging), while the minerals help give Shilajit an energy-enhancing effect.

Fulvic acid is one of the main constituents of shilajit that has some amazing benefits.

  • Helps move minerals and other nutrients into the tissues that need them
  • Free radical scavenger
  • Supports the immune system
  • Most powerful natural electrolyte known, balancing our cells
  • Makes Minerals Bioavailable

Shilajit also contains humid acid that are known to give us:

  • Increased Energy
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Better Sleep
  • Less Pain
  • Stress Reduction

Shilajit works well with many other herbs and often improves their potency.

Natural Aromatase Inhibitor – Nettle Root

Increasing testosterone will be quite futile if aromatization happens. Aromatization is the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This not only means you won’t get the benefits of the testosterone, but it can actually be turned into something that works against you.

Nettle root is a natural aromatase inhibitor which has the reported ability to bind with the protein SHBG or the sex hormone binding globulin, due to its beta-sitosterol content. This promotes the circulation of free testosterone in the body so it can be utilized as an androgenic molecule rather than as an estrogen.

More researched than any other effect is what nettle root can do for prostate health. Nettle root is very helpful for men with all sort of prostate problems not just BPH. Some studies have looked at its anti-prostate cancer effects.

Nettle root also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to have some positive cardiovascular effects. Some people have even reported nettle root helping with baldness.

The Mushroom of Immortality – Reishi

Another antioxidant, anti-inflammatory that has the highest ratings among Chinese herbs is Reishi, also known as Ling Zhi and Ganoderma Lucidum. According to Chinese medicine, reishi is a premiere Qi and Shen Tonic Herb.

The reishi we sell  isn’t just one reishi, but includes four different varieties all mixed together in one blend:

  • Red Reishi
  • Purple Reishi
  • Black Reishi
  • White Reishi

Each of these mushrooms is likely to have slightly different benefits, thus giving you a broader range of effects.

Powerful Rejuvenator and Cleanser – Triphala

Triphala is one of the most often used herbal combos in ayurveda. Triphala means “three fruits” – Amalaki, Haritaki and Bhibitaki. Each one is great in its own right, but combined they become Triphala, one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda for balancing the five elements. It is a powerful rejuvenative to all constitutions, a rasayana suitable to all three doshas.

It is popular mainly for its colon cleansing actions. In Ayurveda, the colon is the seat of good health. Regular consumption of Triphala gently and slowly purifies the entire digestive system, rejuvenating down to the cellular level. This actual helps more food absorption to take place leading to healthy weight-loss (more energy from food means fewer calories to eat) and boosting one’s quality of life. Triphala is commonly mixed with Shilajit.

Indian Ginseng – Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing and has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions. It is most well-known for its restorative benefits. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.

Ashwagandha is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties, even though botanically, ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated.

The Benefits of Ashwagandha

  • Used to Treat Auto-Immune Disorders
  • May Inhibit Tumor Growth
  • Has a Calming Effect and May Help Reduce the Effects of Too Much Stress
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Works on the HPA Axis and Neuroendocrine System
  • Effective for Anxiety and Cloudy Thinking
  • Helps Lower Blood Pressure
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar and Lowers Cholesterol
  • Immune System Support
  • Increases Production of Bone Marrow and Sperm
  • Diuretic
  • Increases Blood Cell Count and Hair Melanin
  • Increase Libido and Sexual Function

For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha before bedtime is beneficial.