Singapore : Handmade Furniture Sale At The Sandalwood Room For A Unique Look

What is a new year all about without a few additions to life, a few new resolutions, learning a few new skills, stepping ahead to take on new challenges? Dress differently, eat healthy, exercise more, give ourselves and our homes a new makeover.

At The Sandalwood Room , is a selection of some very lovely furniture and home décor accessories to spruce up your homes with, in preparation for Spring.  At prices you would have never dreamt of, the handmade furniture sale at the lifestyle boutique has on offer, exclusive handmade seats and tables and lots more. We will bring you different categories like bookshelves, mirrors, cubbies, table lamps, swings and decorative hangings in the next blog post, hold on!

The Love Seat

love seat indian wood, the sandalwood room

Love seat made out of Indian wood

Love seat as it is called, a perfect buy with Valentine’s celebration round the corner. Perhaps an ideal gift for love-birds with marriage on the cards. Just so perfect to sit together sipping wine and gazing onto the ocean or overlooking the mountains from a balcony ! This lovely piece of furniture could just fit into a cozy alcove or a bay-window too.

Tempted to post a bit of trivia on love seats. A love seat is typically a sofa or couch designed for seating two persons (lovelocked maybe) is what we all understand, right? But history tells us that the first love seats, dating back to as early as the 1800s in the US and the UK were not intended to aid courtship between lovers, but more to provide a seat that would accommodate the large ladies’ dresses of that age!!

Quite understandable. But since then, love seats have had to, like everything else, adapt to contemporary needs. Gone are all those love seats weighing tons, giving way to petite, compact couches to fit any home, style and budget.

The Classic Bench

classic bench indian rosewood, the sandalwood room

Indian rosewood classic bench, preloved

Indian rosewood is widely used in furniture due to its durability and easy maintenance. Lends itself well to fine polishing.

Add that ethnic touch to your living spaces with this beautiful handmade classic bench, a furniture collector’s pride. With a straight and hard backrest, this preloved bench could turn out to be the preferred seat with your guests. A lot of people now posture conscious, are choosing appropriate seats, even in restaurants. No more slouchy-sinking-into seats!

Chairs 

indonesian wood distress finish natural finish chairs

Distress finish and natural finish chairs

Lawn and garden ambience is what comes to mind when you see these chairs. Patios and study rooms could do well with these preloved chairs too.  I must recount here, being a theatre enthusiast, the extensive use of such chairs at play readings, rehearsals and book launches. They probably give a certain air of authenticity and charm to such occasions.

Handcrafted from Indonesian teak wood, they come in natural and distress finish. Whats so welcoming about anything in teak wood is that it is resistant to all types of weather, decay and insects. And the beauty of it lies in the oil content in its heartwood that gives teak its gleam.

The Barstool

barstools distress finish indonesian teak, the sandalwood room

Distress finish barstools

Made out of Indonesian teak with a distress finish for a rustic look, these preloved bar stools make a statement. Set up a cozy little bar in a quiet private area of your house for just the two of you, or place them in the kitchen around your high coffee table, or make them a part of assorted seating at the big bar where you entertain guests. And play some country music to set the mood!

The Seat Trunk

seat trunk handmade indigo patterned

Handmade seat trunk patterned in indigo

Here now, we have seating of a different kind. A seat trunk. Trendy, grungy, contemporary, yet classic the description says. Add to that the utility of storage – your spare cushions, bed and table linen or even your clothes can be neatly tucked into inside the seat trunk or the trunk seat ! Another one for those who love the classic, vintage look.

Side Table

carved side table, thesandalwoodroom

Ethnic carved side table

This carved side table fit to be proudly displayed in any part of the house with its beautiful and intricate carving on all its four sides. Just make sure you don’t let it stain, its too pretty to be tarnished in any way. No furniture in any part of the world is complete without carving, if it has to get the ethnic look.

The Coffee Table

green marble topped coffee table, the sandalwood room

Green marble topped coffee table

Place this preloved green marble-topped coffee table in your garden, patio, balcony, living room or any space that you wish to lend an ethnic or classical touch and display your refined taste. The marble top serving its purpose well even if beverages spill over sometimes. There is something very cooling and soothing about marble even when you set eyes on it, let alone its touch and feel? Little wonder then that it has remained the favourite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects. It is loved across the globe and has become a cultural symbol of tradition, making it a preferred decorative material.

Another coffee table in wood, Indian teak with a natural teak finish. The delicately carved tabletop with its vintage touch is sure to catch the connoisseur’s eye.

wooden round coffee table. the sandalwood room

Classic look wooden round coffee table

Make it your bedside coffee table or let it stand elegantly in your study. You would think I am obsessed with study rooms, yes I am. They are perfect havens to be by yourself, with yourself – replete with books, music and your desk-top. A cup of well-brewed coffee and some cookies on the coffee table would complete the picture.

The Sandalwood Room at Singapore has all these and more on offer till the end of January, as part of their exclusive furniture sale.

  • Please drop in between 11 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday
  • 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays (Closed for Chinese New Year on Saturday the 28th) 

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more.
  • Payments can be made through PayPal, bank transfers and cheques (delivery subject to realisation)
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Bury My Ashes In Dharwad

No Farewell To Dharwad

Bound by rope to bamboo, on a pyre of wood, you will soon consign me to the flames. Charred to ashes and swept ever so gently by the wind, I will blend with the Universe.

My remains are all but a handful of bones (can I really call them mine?) I exist no more ! A pot of stubborn bones and crumbly ashes, all that is left of me, you carry in your hands reverentially.

You weep and I weep too, but its different. You will prevail, but I have to depart !!! I weep at the thought of being sundered from my dear Dharwad !

No end to desires is the decree of the sages. Yet, I do have one final longing, will you hear me out?

Skirting the city where serenity reigns over a little pond ; where lush green cover abounds ; where cows, bulls and buffaloes stride by to quench their thirst herding their bantam calves – there, the soft tinkling of the cow bells around their necks, I must hear ; lilting notes of the cowherds’ flutes must be near. The distinct clinking of glass bangles as women folk troop to the pond to wash their loads of clothes must float to my ears. Learned banter of the Wise as they stroll out for fresh air must linger in my ears. All and much that happens in my dear Dharwad must I apperceive, while the rains of Shraavana drench every inch of me.

In such a spot, bury my remains, will you ? That I may dwell eternally in the bosom of my dear Dharwad.

(PS : Shraavana is considered to be a holy month in the Hindu calendar due to the many festivals that are celebrated during this time.)

A new literary attempt in 2017.

The above ‘poetry-to-prose’ is an attempt to reproduce a poem from a regional language to English in the form of a story, a Wordsong.

My father had a dream for me. He tried his best in his lifetime to get me to write. “Just write’, he would say “and you will soon write well”. It remains a regret to this day that I denied him that pleasure. If there is a way to make up to him for that, I dedicate all my blogging to my dad.

Not a man of letters himself, I mean academically, but write, he did – my father, N H Katgeri. In simple and colloquial words, yet moved minds and hearts when he let his emotions pour forth. He wrote in Kannada, a regional language from the south of India. In his first publication ‘Pratijnegalu‘, which is a collection of short poems or should I say his random musings, he reveals his reverence to his home-town, Dharwad, which he loves to distraction.

kannada book of poems pratijnegalu n h katgeri, my thought lane

Pratijnegalu, the book of poems by N H Katgeri in Kannada

Eight years after he passed away have I taken to paying a tribute to him, in trying to reach his literary work wider and placing Dharwad, the land of many fine arts (music, literature, handicrafts and folk-art) on a bigger map.

Dharwad : Used to be a sleepy town with sylvan surroundings once upon a time, but is now a throbbing city that is caught between the old world charm and the inescapable modernity of the times. My father did and I lament too at having lost a beautiful hilly town to the ravages of a city that tries hard to keep pace with the rest of the world. But some, like this college premises, the famous Karnatak College have managed to retain their old-world charm. More on the diversities of Dharwad soon.

Karnatak college once the railways building, my thought lane

The beautiful railway building of the British era converted to an Arts & Science College, the karnatak College

Dharwad is said to be at least 900 years old and is rich with its cultural heritage. It is now the district headquarters of Dharwad district in the state of Karnataka. It was merged with Hubballi, a neighbouring city in 1961 to form the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad. Located 425 km northwest of Bengaluru on NH 48, it is lodged between Pune and Bengaluru and makes for some excellent driving trips.

Wikipedia says this about Dharwad :

The word “Dharwad” means a place of rest in a long travel or a small habitation. For centuries, Dharwad acted as a gateway between the Malenaadu (western mountains) and the Bayalu seeme (plains) and it became a resting place for travellers. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘dwarawata’, ‘dwara‘ meaning “door” and ‘wata‘ or ‘wada‘ meaning “town”.

Isnt it symbolic then that my father yearns to rest eternally in the bosom of Dharwad, the place of rest ?

Use Ishika Tableware Differently As Home Decor Pieces

Crockery and tableware is no more just about serving food. It’s about fine taste and your style statement. Just like our persona shines through the apparel we wear and the accessories we carry.

Laying out lovely tableware and dinnerware is also a way of making your guests feel special. Hasn’t your dining experience been enhanced with good dinnerware and crockery? Fine dining is also about what you eat out of, right?

Tableware is being so  elevated today that celebrity chefs and designers across the world are either coming out with their own line or are lending their names to some very exotic ranges. Nigella Lawson, Kylie Kwong and James Oliver work at theirs passionately. Manish Arora back in India has created a stunning range with his trademark bright colours and kitschy look.

The Sandalwood Room in Singapore has always had an eye for all things handmade and exclusive. The Ishika tableware on their shelves was very tempting to write about. The staff at the boutique tells me that many of their customers use these exquisite ceramicware beauties differently – to adorn their coffee tables or patios. Lets see what more we can do with them. Christmas is approaching and these could be good gift ideas.

Oval plates that you could serve cakes and sweets in, or let assorted fruits sit pretty in the white of the plate. Or just place them strategically against the wall for adornment. Ethnic and adding vibrancy to pastel walls – so in sync with Singapore homes.

ishika-oval-plate-with-golden-motifs, the sandalwood room

A stunning Ishika oval plate with floral motifs in gold on green

ishika-oval-plate-with-gold-filigree-work, the sandalwood room

Elegant and pretty Ishika oval plate with floral filigree motifs in gold on turquoise blue

ishika-oval-plate-with-elephants-and-motif-patterns, the sandalwood room

A collector’s item, Ishika oval plate with herb and floral motifs and playful elephants copper and gold

Ishika is a word derived from Sanskrit and  literally translates as “painter’s brush”. The motifs vouch for it, I would say – elegant and delicate. Tableware that is truly unique for discerning customers.

Round plates that come in handy to serve just about anything during festive times, or again to embellish the walls. The use of intricate patterns and elephant motifs in copper, gold and platinum etch the regal look, while the garden theme in the second image makes it light and breezy.
ishika-round-plate-with-animal-motifs, the sandalwood room ishika-round-plate-nature-inspired, the sandalwood room

The sprightly ones below are actually saucers, you can see the depression in the centre to place the cup, but The Sandalwood Room customers think that the motifs are too pretty to be hidden underneath cups! Hence the cup stands independent of its partner, as a pen holder. Some others tell me they used the cups to hold stirrers and the like. The saucers double up as wall plates once again amidst floral arrangements. How I wish I could visit their homes and take pictures!

ishika-saucer-nature-inspired, the sandalwood room ishika-saucer-with-gold-and-coloured-filigree-work, the sandalwood room ishika-saucer-with-motif, the sandalwood room

Whimsical patterns and motifs along with unique colour combinations give Ishika tableware that touch of drama, making it even contemporary. It is heartening that Ishika ceramicware measures up to international standards of low lead release.

So here are the stand-alone cups. Try placing them on a high mantel-piece for decoration or use them as holders.

A peek at the cup and the saucer ensembles. Irresistible! Drinking tea out of these cups must feel special!

Floral and herb motifs seem to be prominent and the designer’s favourite too. The use of traditional Indian designs is unmistakable in the gold, platinum and copper plated work adding elegance to the tableware.

These days crockery seems to have become the rage for gifting options, be it quarter plates, serving bowls or dessert bowls. Not just because they do not cost as much as gold and silver, but its simply due to the sheer beauty and the utility value that they stand out. Add to that a flexible budget. So then, crockery is not just a style statement, but is getting to be a collectible. Collectibles that can be found at The Sandalwood Room.

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more and if you wish to place an order email them and The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier your order to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room

Hydrotherapy For Painful Joints And Muscles

The Alternative Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

If painful joints are not letting you exercise, all is not lost. If you are convalescing from an illness and wish to work out, do not lose hope. You can look to water for help, hydrotherapy will come to your aid. The world over, there are thousands afflicted by different kinds of pains, particularly osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and they work out under water. Hydrotherapy is a blessing to aching muscles and inflamed joints.

Weight resistance hydrotherapy exercises

Weight resistance hydrotherapy exercises

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to treat a disease, pain or to maintain health, where the body is immersed at various depths. Water is proven to have many healing properties :

  • Water can store and carry heat and energy.
  • Water can dissolve other substances, such as minerals and salts.
  • Water cannot hurt you, even if you are sensitive to your surroundings.
  • Water is found in different forms, such as ice, liquid, or steam. Ice may be used to cool, liquid is used in baths and compresses at varying pressures or temperatures, and steam is used in steam baths, or in inhalations.
  • Water can help blood flow.
  • Water has a soothing, calming, and relaxing effect on people, whether in a bath, shower, spray, or compress.
  • Exercise in water takes the weight off a painful joint while also providing resistance.

The benefits of exercising in water

Some of the benefits of water exercise include:

  • Increased muscle strength, posture and balance
  • Enhanced sense of wellbeing, mood and sleep quality
  • Greater mobility and flexibility of joints
  • Improved endurance and fitness
  • Eases stiff joints and relaxes sore muscles
  • Reduced pain and fatigue (tiredness)

Ask regular swimmers, they will tell you how a general feeling of wellness sweeps over them, every time they do their laps. Why, even beginners have reported feeling light in their bodies and energetic after their dips. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming in that it involves special exercises done in relatively warm water with a specified water temperature.

You don’t have to give up cycling for painful joints, cycle under water! The picture below is only illustrative to bring home the point.

aqua gym workout under water, my thought lane

Aquagym workout

What is hydrotherapy used for?

Hydrotherapy is used to treat many conditions, but we are going to focus in this article on arthritis, joint muscle and nerve problems. Other conditions that can be alleviated through hydrotherapy are acne, colds, depression, headaches and stomach problems. Tepid water can stimulate stress–reducing hormones, while cold water is harnessed to reduce inflammation. Alternating hot and cold water is known to stimulate blood circulation and improve immunity. Hydrotherapy is safe and an ideal way to exercise during pregnancy and for the advanced in age – blog posts on that coming soon.

hydrotherapy quote, my thought lane

Image Courtesy : John Kippel Quotes

In many hydrotherapy treatments, herbs and essential oils are added in steam and sauna treatments, with steam as a carrier of essential oils – to be inhaled to treat respiratory issues. Since the late 1990s, it is even being used in critical care units that targets a variety of conditions, including disorders of the nervous system like the Guillain-Barre syndrome. In other cases, to infuse a general feeling of well-being similar to therapies in spas.

How safe is hydrotherapy?

Generally safe if administered properly by trained therapists. A discussion with your doctor is however a must before you opt for hydrotherapy. Different people react and respond differently to it, just like most other treatments. We must remember that hydrotherapy is an alternative therapy, at most it can compliment the primary medical therapy. Hence it is not advisable to forego your conventional medical therapy.

While hydrotherapy works wonders for general fitness and flexibility, certain conditions like arthritis and rheumatism show tremendous improvement. In some cases, it has helped avoid surgeries.

How does hydrotherapy work for arthritis and rheumatism?

  • Since the temperature of the water in the pool is regulated and monitored, the warmth of the water aids in letting your muscles relax and eases pain in your muscles/joints. It is best to first condition your body in the tepid or warm water by just wading, walking around or just being, before you begin proper exercises.
  • Water supports your weight and allows you to increase your range of movement of your joints.
  • Water provides resistance, hence by pushing or lifting your arms and legs against water will result in improved muscle strength.
  • Hydrotherapy exercises can be customised to target specific parts of your body and keeping in mind your medication.
  • Activities such as stretching or walking through water can exercise the joints without putting them under strain.
Hydrotherapy stretches

Hydrotherapy stretches

There are scientific studies to show that hydrotherapy benefits arthritic and rheumatism patients hugely. Back pain is another condition that can be treated effectively with hydrotherapy.

An excerpt from an article on Aqua-therapy by Dr Kannan Pugazhendi, the reputed sports-medicine specialist of Chennai, who recently has been awarded the ‘Distinguished Doctor’ by the Rocheston Accreditation Institute, New York : It promotes blood circulation to the joints and all other parts of the body by means of Hydrostatic pressure through which pain can be alleviated. Strengthening of weaker muscles and increase in balancing capacity can be obtained by fluid resistance (viscosity) of the water, i.e. moving the part of the body immersed in water.

Water has the property to absorb heat 1000 folds more than air. Therefore, exercising in the water helps to burn more calories resulting in reduced body fat as compared to working out on land. On the other hand, water is competent to conduct heat to the immersed body 25 times faster than air which alters the sweaty mechanism and promotes peripheral circulation with less physical activity.

A word of caution : Since water provides that extra support, one is likely to overdo the exercises. Consult your physiotherapist or even better, work under his/her supervision till you have understood your capacity and are well on your way to recovery.

You don’t know swimming? No sweat!

The pool is quite shallow in most cases (about chest height). Some pools come in gradient heights, so you can exercise in your comfort zone. Steps that lead you down into the pool along with handrails offer support if you do not feel like a fish! Either way, water is fun and soothing to be in, so make the best of it.

hablis hotels swimming pool with steps, my thought lane

The pool at Hablis Hotels with steps

When is hydrotherapy not advisable?

Certain health conditions may either not permit hydrotherapy or are best avoided for reasons of hygiene. At all times, inform your physiotherapist should you have these issues:

  • A wound or skin infection
  • A virus or stomach upset
  • A raised temperature
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties
  • A kidney condition requiring dialysis
  • Angina or heart problems
  • Incontinence
  • A chest infection
  • Chlorine allergy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes, asthma or epilepsy.

How long should hydrotherapy continue?

At the end of the prescribed course of hydrotherapy with your therapist, you will have gained a certain amount of confidence, and the healing would have been in process. Your therapist will then suggest that you continue with the prescribed exercises on your own.

Some pools have designated timings when the temperature of the water is raised to facilitate hydrotherapy sessions. Sign up for those hours. Now that you are comfortable in water, take swimming lessons if you are a novice, it is a wonderful exercise that builds your stamina, tones your muscles and whats more, is a fun way to exercise.

Safety suggestions

And finally learn to be safe:

  • Have your therapist by your side, but a good way to warm up is to swim gently or go for a ‘walk’ through the water.
  • Building up fitness is a gradual process, so begin with no more than 20 minutes of exercise in the beginning.
  • If you feel light-headed, sick or dizzy at any stage, get out of the water.
  • Don’t rush yourself, if you feel out of breath, slow down.
  • Perform each movement as gracefully and smoothly as you can.
  • Keep the body part you are exercising under the water. This may require you to squat or bob down at times.
  • If a movement causes pain or discomfort, stop immediately.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during and after exercising.
  • If you have painful joints or sore muscles for more than a few hours after your class, try to go a little slower next time.

I have written this blog post to create awareness about hydrotherapy and to make a difference to those who find it difficult to exercise due to rheumatoid arthritis and the like. Please do share it with people you think that need this info and of course your comments and feedback is eagerly awaited.

Handmade Dinner Napkins And Table Mats – Add A Vibrant Touch To Your Dining Table

Much ado about dining table etiquette and decoration is sometimes frowned upon by a few, but they do invariably fall in line when their dining experience is enhanced by the pleasantness of it all. Some even have a fetish for dinner table accessories and find it hard to resist shopping for them. This post on dinner napkins is for them and for those that have such inclinations, albeit mild.

The Sandalwood Room has some pretty handmade dinner napkins from Anokhi that will enchant your guests. Placing attractive and exclusive table linen when you have guests certainly makes them and the occasion feel special. Take a look at their collection, pick your choice and amaze your guests.

While these irresistible dinner napkins look pretty folded into a simple square, would you like to better them? Click here to check out a few tips and techniques on ways to fold them for a better appeal, the folds have interesting names. A few images as a sampler, the Diamond fold, the Cone fold and the French fold.

napkin-folding-guide

Image Courtesy : napkinfoldingguide.com

And now watch this quick, simple method to fold your classic white napkin…..

Some of these may not lend well to decorative folding due to their designs, just plain-fold them and they are good to go. The vibrant colours, stripes and motifs will anyway steal hearts.

2016-05-25-15_fotor_collage

Nevertheless, an attempt to fold an Anokhi handmade napkin into a Crown fold

anokhi handmade dinner napkin

A folded Anokhi print handmade dinner napkin

Table mats would be a natural progression from dinner napkins, talking of accessorizing dining spaces and The Sandalwood Room has on display an array of both, dinner napkins and table mats from Anokhi to brighten up the dining zone.  A nice way to perk up your moods too just in case the monsoons are forcing you to stay indoors.

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more and if you wish to place an order email them and The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier your order to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room

Kegel Exercises For Men and Women, Start Them While Young Still

I have been spending a lot of time in the past few months tending to a very dear one at a senior citizen’s home. Old age is painful physically and psychologically. A common thread in the travails of old age I noticed is urinary incontinence and that probably tops the list in most cases. We cannot undo the damage resulting from weak bladders, we cannot do much after the onset of urinary incontinence, we cannot alleviate the pain of the seniors that have reached that stage, but we can certainly prepare ourselves even while we have age on our side. Hence this blog post on Kegel exercises.

What is Kegel exercise?

Pelvic floor muscles support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and hold your pelvic organs in place. They can be done just about anytime. Men and women should strengthen their pelvic floor muscles, it is a myth that only women suffer from urinary incontinence.

Kegel exercises are known to improve your sex life too.

Why Kegel exercises?

Factors like pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, ageing, chronic constipation and coughing and obesity can weaken the muscles of the pelvic floor region resulting in several kinds of leaks.

Exercising muscles of the pelvic region can arrest or alleviate these conditions of stress incontinence and urge incontinence :

  • If you leak a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing or coughing (stress incontinence)
  • If you have a sudden urge to urinate so strong that you cannot wait till you reach the toilet (urge incontinence)
  • Pelvic floor weakness due to childbirth which results in sagging of pelvic organs leading to urine control problems.
urge-incontinence

Saved from Pinterest

Who should do Kegel exercises?

Rakhi Kapoor of Dwi Maternity Studio, Chennai,  well known for her specialisation in pre-natal and neo-natal physiotherapy recommends the following :

  • It is best to start Kegel exercises during pregnancy or after childbirth but nothing stops us from beginning even earlier in preparation.
  • Men and women that are obese.
  • Men and women who do heavy weight-lifting as part of body-building.
  • Men and women that are on weight-loss programs.
  • Athletes or anyone who is into strenuous exercising.
  • Genetic weakness of the pelvic muscles.

There is a common belief that women who undergo C-section surgery during childbirth are spared of muscle-weakening in the pelvic region and therefore, need not concern themselves with related health issues. Far from truth. In comparison with normal deliveries, the level of muscle-weakening may be lower, nevertheless not to be taken for granted. Further, another pregnancy may be coming up. Either way, Kegel exercises are a must to combat ageing issues.

However, some women suffer from severe urine leakage issues when they cough, sneeze or laugh. Some others unexpectedly leak small amounts of urine due to a full bladder (overflow incontinence). Kegel exercises may not help much in the above scenarios. It is best to see a doctor.

How to do Kegel exercises? (Women)

how-to-do-kegel-exercises

Saved from Pinterest

  • Find the right muscles.To start with, identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping urination midstream. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscles. Now that you have identified your pelvic floor muscles, start the exercises in any position. You may find it easier to do them lying down for starters.
  • Perfect your technique.You need practice to perfect the technique. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Do it four or five times in a row. As you progress, increase the muscle-contraction for 10 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds between contractions.
  • Maintain your focus. Avoid holding your breath during the exercises, instead breathe normally. Focus on tightening only the pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks.
  • Repeat three times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day after you have the technique right.

A word of caution : Do not ever use Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream when not required. Doing so will lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and can end up in urinary tract infections.

Kegel Exercises for Men

If you thought only women are afflicted with urinary incontinence, ask those that have elderly males at home. Male urinary incontinence is manageable and preventable with Kegel exercises – a practice of the exercises for five minutes, two to three times daily. In some cases, men have regained complete control of the bladder. An added advantage is that Kegel exercises can help with more intense orgasms and improve erections.

What are Kegel Exercises for Men?

In men, the muscles below the bladder benefit from Kegel exercises.

Most often, the weakening of these muscles is caused by a weak urinary sphincter resulting from surgeries for prostrate, an overactive bladder or a weak bladder that fails to contract.

How to do Kegel exercises? (Men)

The process is the same for men and women.

  • Try to stop or slow down urination midstream.
  • Focus and do not tense your abdomen, leg muscles or the buttocks.
  • Do not hold your breath, breathe freely.
  • If you succeed in slowing or stopping the flow, then you have identified the right muscles.
  • Practice till you are able to use the right muscles each time.
  • You might find it easier to do the exercises lying down at first so that you don’t have to resist gravity.
  • Contract the muscles for a slow count of five, release likewise. Repeat 10 times.
  • Do a set of 10, thrice a day building it gradually. Do not become tense if you cannot progress fast. The key is to get it right and then look for more repetitions.
  • After you achieve a certain comfort level, do the exercises standing, it exerts more weight on the muscles, thereby improving your control.

Be patient, it may take a few days to a few weeks for you to see results as with any exercise. Keep a record of urine leakages each day to help track your progress. See a urologist if you do not see any significant improvement, they can help you locate the muscles and offer tips to do the exercises efficiently.

Tips to get the best out of your Kegel exercises ( Men & Women)
  • Be consistent : Do your Kegel exercises at the same time each day.
  • Consider doing them first thing in the morning while brushing your teeth, or while standing at the kitchen counter fixing your morning cup of tea or coffee.
  • While you are at work on your chair, talking on the phone or at a traffic signal. The best part of these exercises is that you can do them almost anywhere anytime. Trust me, no one will ever know you are doing them!!
  • There should be no movement of your tummy, back, shoulders or legs; you should not be able to see any movement of anyone doing the exercise correctly and no one should see any change in your body while you perform the exercises.
  • Continue doing the exercises for ever, even after you have seen best results, i.e complete control of your bladder. Like every other muscle, pelvic region muscles need maintenance too.
  • You can incorporate Kegel exercises in you workouts like squats, calf raises, planking, butt squeezes or even ironman. A few pictures below to illustrate the point
  • Add Kegel exercises in your daily routine if possible.

It is never too late to start Kegel exercises if you haven’t already. Present day gynaecologists work with physiotherapists to offer pregnant women Kegel exercise sessions to help keep their bladders in good stead during and post pregnancy. Not everyone from the older generation has had access to the know-how of these exercises. But YOU can start now. Rakhi Kapoor makes it a point to impress upon all those that accompany the to-be-moms to her clinic, the importance of Kegel exercises.

Educate people around you and spread awareness whenever you can, they will remember and thank you in their advanced ages. You can help your elders make a beginning, now! Like I said, it is never too late to start Kegel exercises. Your 50+ life can be stress-free. Help spare the 70+ and 80+ seniors the discomfort of diapers.

Wishing Wellness !

PS : The nature of this blog is informative and not prescriptive. 

Of Earrings And Finger Rings, Limited Edition Handcrafted Jewellery From Sitaram Jewels

Have you noticed how Limited Editions are swished out with much aplomb be it books, apparel, jewellery, furnishings or even alcohol? Coveted and rare, why not? They deserve a special place, their acquisition and possession gives us a high. The Sandalwood Room takes equal pride in displaying handcrafted precious jewellery from Sitaram Jewels at their boutique store in Singapore. Jewellery that is elegant and contemporary, aimed to appeal to  the fashion conscious divas of Singapore.

A pair of exclusive Amethyst hoops style earrings from Sitaram Jewels. Amethyst the protective stone with a sobering and cleansing effect and in the world of gemstones it is known as the seductive stone for its unique colour.

Every piece of jewelry at Sitaram Jewels is unique and one of its kind, hence would qualify for limited edition at all times. In conversation with Lalit Palsani of Sitaram Jewels and Jayashree Mani of The Sandalwood Room, here is why the jewellery of the reputed traditional jewellers of Chennai stands out.

This pair of Beer Quartz and White Diamond hoop earrings pay a delightful tribute to the most lovely of beverages – beer. Elegant, stylish, classy and different!  Beer Quartz is a type of quartz that has a rich golden hue that is reminiscent of the classic beer.  A bit darker and deeper golden hue than that found in Citrine, Beer Quartz is a wonderful semi precious gemstone that complements most skin tones.

Sitaram Jewels begin by choosing a natural gemstone for its beauty and brilliance. But its the cuts that their expert artisans give the stone without altering its basic shape that brings out the beauty of the gemstone. With the gemstone now ready, the designs are built around it. A clear departure from the practice of many jewellers that fit gemstones into the designs. You see now why their jewellery cannot be replicated and is limited edition?

So what do you do when you get requests from customers to replicate jewellery that they have liked on their friend’s fingers or necks, we ask Lalit. He smiles and says, “well, it can get as close to the original as possible, but never the same”! Precisely why celebrities prefer to buy coloured diamonds like Coffee DiamondsTM from us, he says, for their attributes of being rare and unique.

coffee diamonds and white diamonds ring in 18k gold, the sandalwood room

Coffee diamonds and white diamonds in 18k gold

Coffee DiamondTM jewellery from an earlier post.

These coffee diamonds are sourced from Australia the land that yields the best fancy coloured diamonds.

At Sitaram Jewels, a lot of R&D in jewellery has led to new ideas in the settings that encase the precious gemstones to bring out the best in them. The invisible setting and the no-claw setting have soared in popularity, Lalit tells us and since Sitaram Jewels is a trusted name built over years, their customers are willing to take the jewellers’ suggestions and they invariable come back for more, bringing with them family and friends.

A special mention of the rose gold ring below with a circular surface that makes a statement. Round, marquise, princess and pear-shaped Coffee DiamondsTM adorn the ring.

The Sandalwood Room has created a look book with some of their unique pieces in Citrine and Beer Quartz stunners and as Jayashree Mani would put it, ‘a thing of beauty speaks to you and lets you pick it up to make it yours’.

jewellery look bookwith citrine, beer quart gemstones and white diamonds, the sandalwood room

Jewellery look book with citrine, beer quart gemstones and white diamonds

Clearly, the always limited edition of Sitaram Jewels jewellery is handcrafted for those that look for minute traces of beauty and exclusivity. Lalit Palsani says they are glad they partnered with The Sandalwood Room with its penchant for everything organic, natural and handmade. It gladdened him even more to see that every shelf of the lifestyle boutique store is filled with products that encourage traditional craft and artisans. Jayashree Mani at that point pitches in telling us that their tagline is ‘Contemporary Design Traditional Craft’. I guess that says it all.

The previous blog post had featured neck-chains and bracelets in “Colours Of Spring” again some master pieces from Sitaram Jewels.

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists. For those with a penchant for contemporary arts, traditional crafts and fine taste…this is the place to be !

If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more and if you wish to place an order email them and The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier your order to you.

  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below
  • Payments are routed through PayPal
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here

New Address :

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website : The Sandalwood Room

Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room

You Can Lose Weight From Drinking Water The Right Way

The title is not a gimmick to catch your attention, but the gyan comes from Ayurveda and nutritionists.

We all are aware that our bodies need hydration on a regular basis, everyday. Did you know that most bodies lose 100 ml of water per hour as a natural course? More loss of water then again due to exercising and excessive sweating if you live in hot, humid climates. Replenishing the lost fluids is a must if dehydration is not to set in, but let us see how to make the best out of drinking water at the right time.

Chanakya, a superb economist and a philosopher that India produced 2300 years ago also touched upon physical well-being in his works. He had this to say of water “When water is consumed half an hour before eating a meal, it is like holy nectar. When one drinks water during a meal, it works more like medicine. But drink it immediately after the meal and it works like poison”. There is much medical foresight in his words.

If you are one of those that drink water soon after the meal even before you wash or wipe your hands, time to take a re-look at the practice or rather give it up completely. Find it hard to give up the habit? You may not think so after we tell you the why and how to drink water at the right time the right way. In fact, with proper hydration habits, you may not really find it a necessity to drink water after a meal. Believe me, it’s just a habit.

Research has long-established these facts :

  • Ingesting water soon after a meal leads to the dilution of gastric juices, thereby interfering with proper digestion.
  • In addition, it puts pressure on the liver and pancreas to secrete more enzymes.
  • When we disturb the digestion process, the nutrients are not sufficiently absorbed by the body, cravings set in and we tend to eat wrong.

It’s a vicious circle, so lets move away and form good water drinking habits, especially if you are aiming at losing weight.

The benefits of drinking water 20-30 minutes before a meal :

  • It prepares the stomach to receive food.
  • It activates the digestive enzymes.
  • It helps produce ample saliva.
  • It aids in better and faster digestion.

If you drink water during a meal, it does no harm nor does it offer any benefit. It merely liquefies your meal.

The ill-effects of drinking water soon after a meal :

  • Your body is in the process of breaking down chunks of your solid meal.
  • Drinking water immediately dilutes the digestive enzymes.
  • The body has to work harder and longer to digest the food.

Do you know what happens to your body metabolism with improper digestion? It goes for a toss and with metabolism slowing down, little help with weight management and optimum health. And do not forget to watch your moods at such times, they can swing!

Good Water Habit Tips

ONE GLASS ON WAKING UP

  • Will do you a world of good.
  • It hydrates and rids your circulatory system of stubborn free radicals and residue from burned calories during the night.
A GLASS OF WATER 30 MINS BEFORE A MEAL
  • Makes you feel fuller with zero calories and keeps calorie intake in check.
  • Water wakes up the taste buds and moisturizes the stomach lining, clears leftover tastes from earlier meal.
DRINK WATER 1 HOUR AFTER LUNCH
  • A glass of water one hour after lunch will allow the nutrients to get better absorbed by the body.
DRINK WATER WHEN YOU FEEL HUNGRY
  • Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger pangs in between meals.
  • Drink a glass of water, you could be dehydrated. If hunger stops, you know what it is.
DRINK WATER BEFORE AND AFTER A WORKOUT
  • Protects you against dehydration during and after workout from lost fluids.
  • But avoid drinking immediately after workout, your stomach may cramp. Just a few seconds gap will help.
DRINK WATER BEFORE A BATH
  • A glass of water before a bath will help keep the blood pressure under control.
ONE HOUR AFTER DINNER
  • A glass of water one hour after dinner and before bedtime will replenish any fluid loss during the night and aid in cell renewal process during sleep.

Nutritionist  and weight management consultant Kavita Devgan‘s take on Hydration and Weight Loss : Both are strongly connected. A given that water helps speed up metabolism and dehydration slows it down. Here goes how : Kidneys that are responsible for chucking out waste from the body do not get their supply of water when dehydrated. Liver then becomes the standby taking over the kidney’s job, in the process doing less of its own. Hence it metabolizes less fat hampering weight loss or even maintenance! You really can lose weight from drinking water the right way.

Kavita Devgan gives tips on ways to incorporate the required amount of water in your diet if you are one those that cannot stomach plain water every time.

  • Drink water as it is
  • Sip it in the form of tea, coffee (limited of course), green tea or other herbal teas
  • Eat water by consuming foods with a high water content in them like watermelon, muskmelon, papaya, pineapples, apples and veggies like cucumber, lettuce, tomato, broccoli, carrots etc in your daily diet.

She advocates consuming water through foods as much as possible, since water absorbed through foods remains longer in our stomach. But the ideal way would be to combine all the three.

Drinking water mindfully is half the wellness work done. Inculcate right water drinking habits from childhood amongst the kids around you. Change your own if you are not already into it. Spread the word to the elderly even, it will do them a world of good.

Gemstone Jewellery ‘Colours Of Spring’ Inspired By Singapore

There are times when all you need is a simple piece of jewellery to perk you up. Or add that dash of elegance to your ensemble. Heading out for an appointment and rummaging for a neck-chain that will make a statement? Yeah, sounds familiar to all of us.

Just what you are looking for are on display at The Sandalwood Room. Enchanting and elegant, these handcrafted neck-chains and bracelets have been curated carefully for the fashion-loving Singapore.

The collection is named ‘Colours Of Spring‘ and is in a way an ode to Singapore with its colourful skyline and architecture, but I see this stunning precious gemstone jewellery range as one that can be worn throughout the year. Crafted by Sitaram Jewels in 18k gold, these chains are one of their kind, no two pieces are alike. Perfect for those fashionistas that seek exclusivity with a passion.

Tourmaline Necklace

multi coloured tourmaline necklace, the sandalwood room

Multi hued Tourmaline necklace

This is what we mean by colours of spring. Enough to brighten up one’s day, this multi-hued tourmaline neck-chain comes with some healing properties too. But before that, just take a keen look at the gemstones in the chain. None shaped like any other, each cut differently. Details like this make Sitaram jewellery so unique.

Tourmaline is an inspiring stone known to enhance tolerance and understanding besides detoxifying our bodies. We must all have one piece of jewellery with tourmalines in it since detoxification is the need of the hour. It relieves stress, increases mental alertness, improves blood circulation and strengthens the immune system. 

Amethyst and Aquamarine duo

amethyst and aquamarine necklace, the sandalwood room

Aquamarine and Amethyst necklace

Pair this pretty Amethyst and Aquamarine neck-chain with a white or a black blouse. Lovely, lively and romantic, the necklace seals the love forever. A note on aquamarine and amethyst’s healing properties :

Aquamarine, deriving its name from the latin aqua marinus (water of the sea), get its pale blue colour from the sparkling ocean ● clears the mind ● balances emotions ● instills courage ● dispels fear ● believed to have protective powers ● promotes self-expression ● promotes harmony in relationships ● aids better communication.

Amethyst, long considered a gemstone of royalty, it sure must be worthy of being the preferred gemstone ● a natural stress reliever ● provides spiritual protection ● aids inner strength and clarity of mind ● helps dispel negativity ● helps strengthen immunity and heal imbalances in the body ● attracts abundance.

Turquoise and Tourmaline neck-chain

tourmaline and turquoise necklace, the sandalwood room

Turquoise and Tourmaline necklace

Flaunt this dainty pop of pink and electrifying blue on a date or at a girls brunch. Pink tourmaline clusters and turquoise beads alternated for an elegant and modern look. I would even call it dramatic or sophisticated chic. And Turquoise heals as well.

Known as the Master Healer, it is said to be the bridge between heaven, sky and earth. Known also as a purification stone, it ● dispels negativity ● balances moods and instills inner calm ● stimulates romantic love ● heals the body of many afflictions ● helps prevent panic attacks ● promotes self realisation.

Peridot indulgence

peridot necklace, the sandalwood room

Peridot necklace

I would wear this Peridot neck-chain every day. For one, I could team it with any colour and two, it is a positive energy gemstone passing on feelings of abundance and goodness. August borns, grab it, we are just in time.

Tourmaline bracelet

multi coloured tourmaline bracelet

Tourmaline bracelet

Bohemian elegance ? That says it all. A chunky tourmaline studded bracelet permeating all the goodness of the versatile gemstone. Refer the description of tourmalines earlier in the post.

Pristine Citrine Duo

citrine pendant and necklace, the sandalwood room

Citrine pendant necklace

A neck-chain that makes a statement with its stunning pendant and an exquisite bracelet below.

citrine bracelet, the sandalwood room

Citrine bracelet

This citrine bracelet at The Sandalwood Room stole my heart, capturing all the light around. Beatific ! The jeweller tells me this cushion shaped stone studded bracelet has been handcrafted using old world jewellery making techniques paired with new technology to preserve the art of handcrafted designer jewellery. Citrine and its healing properties :

Known as the happy stone or stone of happiness, it fosters ● joyful moods ● cleanses negativity ● fosters creativity ● aids clarity of mind ● energises body ● strengthens solar plexus ● enhances focus and will power ● brings hope and stability ● aids spiritual growth ● aids sensuality and sexuality ● promotes good health.

So thats the range of neck-chains and bracelets inspired by the colours of spring at The Sandalwood Room. There are more gemstone jewellery to come, ear-rings and finger rings in colours of spring !

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists. For those with a penchant for contemporary arts, traditional crafts and fine taste…this is the place to be !

If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more and if you wish to place an order email them and The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier your order to you.

  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below
  • Payments are routed through PayPal
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here

New Address :

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website : The Sandalwood Room

Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room

Lanopearl Ultra Smooth Cleansing Gel Cleanses And Moisturizes

Lanopearl_Fotor

I am glad I was prescribed Lanopearl Ultra Smooth Cleansing Gel and I absolutely love this product. I tread very gingerly when it comes to skin care. I almost never buy OTC serums, creams, lotions and here is why I trust pharmaceutical and ‘prescribed-by-my-dermatologist’ products only, even if it means shelling out more bucks. The blog ‘Ask Obagi : Why are skin care products from my doctor so expensive‘ is worth a read.

I was in Mumbai with my son for his shooting. His skin had broken out under the onslaught of harsh lights, makeup and sun. We went for a consultation with Dr Rashmi Shetty, a well-known aesthetic physician who came recommended by friends. They had seen remarkable results with her treatments. She prescribed this Lanopearl Ultra Smooth Cleansing Gel for him. I used it for two days before investing in a tube for myself.

The result was a squeaky clean and bright skin that did not feel dry, and that was something! I have a combination skin that reacts quickly to any product that dries the skin, but this cleansing gel left my skin smooth without that annoying feeling of tautness around the mouth and on the cheeks. I have been using it since then which is a good seven months. It worked well for my son too. I felt even more reassured when a leading cosmetic dermatologist of Chennai, Dr Bhairavi of BeHANCED approved of it.

I am reproducing the description of the product from the Lanopearl website.

Description

A smooth, non-drying gel that gently cleanses the face whilst moisturizing the skin. Cucumber extracts soothe and tighten, ginseng and green tea extracts protect and revitalise whilst aloe vera extracts soften the skin. A blend of 12 natural plant extracts dissolve away pore-clogging dirt, leaving the face fresh and clean.

It has worked for me, so I would go with their claim. Prior to using Lanopearl, my skin felt tight and dry after cleansing and it was absolutely essential to apply a moisturizer immediately. If I didn’t feel that way after cleansing my face with Lanopearl, then it has passed the test.

lanopearl ultra smooth cleansing gel

Lanopearl Ultra Smooth Cleansing Gel from the Bio Peak Skin Recovery range

Direction

Wet face with clean hands. Apply Ultra Smooth Cleansing Gel onto moistened palms and work up a lather. Massage gently over face then rinse off and pat dry.

I use it twice a day to wash my face. A pea-sized drop of the cleanser is all that is really required, it spreads well. Just like eating a lot of low-calorie foods will add calories, so will a cleanser strip the skin of its natural moisture if over used. Do not expect this product to remove make-up though. You have your make-up removers for that.

Recommended: Safe and effective for gentle cleansing on any skin type.

I avoid falling for this claim at all times. Each skin is unique and comes with its own strengths and flaws. Give it a shot and find out if it suits your skin. Sometimes even physicians cannot predict how well a skin or hair product will go with you.

Availability :

  • On Lanopearl online shop.
  • In metro cities in India, dermatologists dispense it. You may find it in some high-end pharmacies.

Price :

  • 100 ml tube on Lanopearl online shop is priced at AU $16 and they offer discounts.
  • In India, MRP : INR 1100

The price is certainly on the higher side, but its value for money. The 100 ml tube lasts and lasts. But look at its brighter side : It delivers what it promises, it saves me that additional moisturizer cost that a drying cleanser would have inflicted on my pocket. A pharmaceutical product is often priced higher than the OTC applications. Find out why, reposting the earlier link here.

Why I trust this product :

Because it has been prescribed by a dermatologist and it is a pharmaceutical product. The Lanopearl Bio Peak skin recovery range products from the Australian brand Lanopearl are known to contain the highest number of herbal extracts that meet the needs of skin care products. And they offer powerful anti-ageing and skin rejuvenating benefits.

I read the labels carefully for ingredients and go to the products’ websites to be an informed user and I like to share what I understand and appreciate. Superior ingredients need cutting-edge technology to bring out an effective product, here is what Lanopearl does :

One such technological improvement our research and development team has made to our skincare range is to employ nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology uses nanometer sized particles which can only be seen under powerful microscopes. One of the advantages of nanotechnology is that these microscopic granules can help active ingredients be absorbed rapidly into the skin and thus begin functioning immediately upon application.

P.S : This is an informative blog. Please check with your dermatologist before you start using any skin-care products.

I would love to hear from any of you that has used Lanopearl Ultra Smooth Cleansing Gel product. Please share.