Here’s a simple exercise that can help release the tension on your back. If you have a bent or hunched back, repeated doing the exercise may help to release pressure and the stress on your back. This exercise is inexpensive and you only use your own body weight.

What’s the exercise, well, it’s just hanging on the monkey bar- where you support your weights using your arms and hands that are hanging on the railing:


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When what we want is never enough

by Yin on March 22, 2014

in Inner Peace

Incidental Comics published a thought provoking comic called “The Nature of Ambition” which I first saw from a post that my friend shared in Facebook.

Over these two months you may notice that the frequency and intensity of posts published in this blog and at my other blogs are lesser. It is because mainly I am taking  some time off for my personal life.

Do you notice how much we get distracted by our external environment with the constant desire to have:

  • more money
  • more recognition
  • more fame
  • more love
  • more time
  • that new gadget
  • that house
  • that person

and so on….the list goes endlessly. It never ends because when we have something, we always want more.

Over these few years since I came back to corporate world, I’ve noticed a consistent trap that I always set myself up for, in which I have no one to blame but myself. I have a full time job, more or less doing what I am good at and enjoy doing. Of course the job has its pressure, ups as well as downs. Like all day jobs, you don’t get to set your own hours or the ‘freedom’ to go to work as and when you love. You are bound by the hours of the job itself.

Many people would tend to move outwards, to find ways to earn enough in order to leave our day job. Perhaps start a blog and do websites- earn enough to be able to resign, or start a small side business, or become a direct selling/insurance/ mutual funds agent

This works if we ended up doing something we believed in. Working in a day job has its benefits- especially if we are already good at our job and things are predictable. But if we are in for easy $$, then things may not turn out the way we have envisioned it to be.

Anway, in the past my best to try to grow my blog and improve my earnings- so I pour endless energy into taking pictures, preparing blog posts, evaluating traffic and earnings….make tweaks and experiments, and then re-evaluate the results. Yes, in the past I was really tempted to give up my day job.

But you would know if you have anything that you are pursuing obsessively outside your working hours, you would find yourself feeling tired, drained, easily irritable, less sociable (especially if you are always in front of the PC). Your mind tends not to be at work, more scatterred as you become obsessed in how to earn more and more and more…..

Your fitness levels goes down because you cannot *find* the time to exercise. You put on weight, and with snacking on unhealthy food and eating when stressed…. health problems come. Chronic lower back problems and clothes don’t fit as well as they used to.

Our desires and wants would creep up sneakily- they would always whisper to us that what we have is never enough. That we should always go for more. The more we search for external, do research and find more information, reading ‘success stories’ and wanting the kind of success- we do tire our hearts out.

I fall back into the self inflicted trap time and time again. When I go for a holiday, and away to a place without internet connection, it takes me three days to ‘recover’. Often my physical body felt tired and I would rest. During the initial resting period I would feel conflicted and after 3 days usually without much external distractions, my mind would calm down considerably. And I knew the peace that I was missing from all that endless ambitions.

Was the earnings from my blogging revenue worth the constant energy and focus that I put in? Was those little truimphs in trying out ‘experiments’ to improve traffic and earnings worth having my mind scattered, and tired.

The price if inner peace is ….well priceless.

Those who feel contented and happy don’t need to spend a lot. So even though their earnings are less, they can save more money that folks earning 2, or 5 times their salary.

It’s the same for you. If you feel that you are constantly running around like a headless chicken- not having time for yourself, having too much to do, feeling overwhelmed, wanting more $$ when you are already doing alright…..slow down my friend.

Since the past months or so, I’ve tried to spend more time ‘being present’, having more inner awareness cultivate more mindfulness. Sometimes I still get dragged into other stuff but when I recognize it I would try untangle myself. And this in turn had helped to improve my relationship with my loved ones, and enabled me to be more focused in my job. In crisis situation at work, instead of panicking or feeling negative and overwhelmed, I try to do my best but let go when things cannot get better. And in that environment, out-of-the-box ideas would surface by itself.

Because if we do not know self-contentment and inner peace, no matter how much we have, it will never be enough. Some consider this as progress.

If progress is making us into more happy inside, then well and fine. But don’t touch with ourselves, or sacrifice our health. My 86 year old wai tan kung teacher commented that so many people would just spend their life chasing for wealth, in exclusion of all else. They neglect their health… and in the end, all the money they have earned are used to cure their illness. Some are wheelchair bound which requires nursing care, kidney dialysis, medicines, operations.

And so in the end, we end up with nothing but lots of suffering.


Unlike the fatty and MSG laden food whuch one usually find in Chinatown, the typical home cooked meals from a modet Chinese household is simple, easy to learn, tasty, nutritious and can can fit well into a diet plan. Usually served with a bowl of plain rice with 3 dishes and soup.

A passage written in the book “Watching The Tree” by Adeline Yen Mah put this well into words… I loved her book because she explained about the rich Chinese culture, practices and beliefs presented in story form, often from her real life. It was the story I browse below while flipping through the book that made me pick it up:

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I have purchased a mini portable exercise pedal which comes with the bare essentials of an exercise bike- with only the bicycle pedals and adjustable nobs to change the resistance.

The equipment is very portable- you can just take it up and carry from place to place…put it under your desk or while reading a book or surfing net on your phone….sit on your chair and pedal away.

In terms of losing weight or burning calories, I would think that the mini exercise bike or exercise pedaller is not that effective in weight loss compared to running or other aerobics activities. Unless if you pedal away like a lunatic and use resistant bands for upper body workouts at the same time.

However….having said that- I have been using my exercise pedaller for a few months now and the benefits I’ve enjoyed personally are:

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High uric acid, which in the past used to affect older people is now beginning to affect the younger generation. A few of my friends in their thirties came back with blood test results with high uric acid.

High uric acid sometimes do not have clear symptoms- when we feel our legs have not much energy or we move around with pain, a blood test result may indicate high uric acid.

Usually those with high uric acid would be advised to avoid beans, seafood and highly processed food.

Left unchecked, the condition may eventually evolve to cause gout, causing painful swelling in the joints.

But is there a mind-body or emotional connection to high uric acid?

For starters, when diagnosed with high uric acid, it would be a good time to cut down on:

  • highly processed food
  • fried food
  • meat, especially duck
  • beans
  • seafood

Take more fruits and vegetables (but less beans), drink lots of water and exercise more.

Water is good to flush out the toxins in our body and exercise helps to improve our circulation and our organ functions so that our body is able to excrete the uric acid instead of having it stored in our joints, causing discomfort.

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Kangkong is also known as water glorybind, water spinach, water convolvulus and swamp cabbage

It is a popular dish in Asia and normally eaten stir fried with shrimps, garlic and/or chili paste (belacan). As kangkung is a water based plant with hollow stems, it is not surprising that leeches can breed in it. The following is a story (I am not sure true or not) of a boy who have died after eating a dish of stir fried kangkung:

Image source:

Image source:

A boy was brought to a well known clinic after complaints of stomach main and diarrhea for 2 days.

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Do you sometimes feel that your extremities like hands and feet felt cold and numb?

Sinus or the common cold may accompany the condition.

If you see a Chinese physican, he will shake his head and probably say that your immune system is not so good- therefore the heat element in your body is not sufficient.


The following conditions provide temporary relief but the cause of the problem would still need to be addressed:

Normally the cause is related to the kind of food that you are taking. If you do not have sufficient nutrition, naturally your immune system will be working in a less optimized capacity.

Do you find yourself caught in the embarrassing situation of having dandruff on your dark coloured coat even though you wash your hair often? Even by trying the smelly tar shampoo that is supposed to get rid of dandruff only relieved the condition a little.

If you work out often in the gym, and tend to bathe and wash your hair immediately after workout, consider waiting till your body really cool down first before bathing.

I have been a gym goer for more than 2 years, and I noted previously that I suffer from the dandruff problems when I bathe immediately after workout (well, generally don’t like to hang around the gym after workout so I would quickly bathe after doing my cool down stretching). But after accepting the fact that bathing right after gym is detrimental for health, I’ve decided to:


  1. Shift my workouts time from night to morning/or late afternoons
  2. Give myself sufficient time to really cool down before bathing/washing hair- at least 20 to 30 minutes- so I sometimes bathe only after I get home.


My health felt better- but at the same time, I noticed that I have much lesser dandruff- I mean, they’re not really noticeable anymore.

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If you drink your water, cook/store/eat your food from ceramic kitchenware/tableware, you could be exposed to lead poisoning.  Reason: If the ceramic ware is not made properly, lead (used to make decorative designs in the lead) would leach into the food stored on it.

The Sunday Straits Times published quite a disturbing article titled Toxic Tableware- Danger Stalks You at Home (1 Nov 09).


The Malaysian Associates of Standard Users randomly tested 20 samples of ceramic tableware- cups, mugs, saucers, plates and bowls brought from different places in town. The results:

  • 20% of the products were found to have leachable lead exceeding allowed standards by an average 1700%
  • one sample, flat rice plates even exceed by 7500%!

Dangers of lead poisoning:

  • damage nervous system
  • can cause cancer
  • affect brain development in children