SelfGood

Become:  Safari Guide | Fighter Pilot | First Aider
Recapture:  Stunning Smile | Youthful Skin | Healthful Scalp
Improve: The Mind | The Body | The Soul

MASTERING THE PRIDE

gift1

There’s a sagely quality to a man who can understand animals in the wild. Some are even comfortable passing unarmed through, say, the Kalahari plains in Botswana, or along the Nakavango River in Zimbabwe. Of course, such a level of attunement comes only with years of ranging and animal-watching, but through a one- or two-week course with Eco Training, you can be initiated in the ways of the safari guide and ranger, and live your own Discovery Channel moments.

Learn how to track animals, identify bird and brush and navigate with the stars, all while in prime position to encounter the hundreds of species that live harmoniously off the land. Should you fall in love with the experience, you can take up its certification courses. www.ecotraining.co.za

Return to Top

TOP GUN

gift2

“Fighter pilot” is a dream job for many boys, but few make that ambition a reality. Well, what a time to be alive. Air Combat USA, a firm based in the US, lets you realise your dreams of tearing through the skies in an actual light strike craft, raining death on bogies, laser-tag style. As you’ll be in the plane with a co-pilot instructor, you won’t need a licence or prior training. Once the SIAI Marchetti SF-260 is airborne, you can take over the stick and “fire” at another participant’s plane. If it’s a hit, artificial smoke will erupt from its fuselage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=114054540

The roles are later reversed as you sit through 6 Gs of force as your craft manoeuvres to shake off pursuit. The dogfights will be captured via three high-definition video cameras on your plane, so you can relive or share the exhilaration. Corporate bookings available. www.aircombat.com

Return to Top

SAFETY FIRST

gift3

Life is full of uncertainty; emergencies can arise at any time. Medical attention is not always a luxury at hand, particularly if you’re a frequent traveller. As the first few minutes after an incident are crucial to recovery, first aid is a vital skill. It takes just 20 hours, give or take, to learn enough to save a life or limb – even your own.

Small classes or corporate bookings are available from the Singapore Red Cross Society or Raffles Medical Group. New CPR courses come with automated external defibrillator (AED) training. www.redcross.org.sg / www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com

Return to Top


MILLION-DOLLAR SMILE

SmileIncExterior

There are few physical aspects as important as one’s smile; a clean set of pearlies has been proven to help with that great first impression. Alas, our second (and last) set of teeth are probably not as pristine or orderly as one can hope for.

Good thing there are experts on hand who have both the tech and the know-how to bring the gleam to your grin. SmileInc’s Instant Straight White Teeth procedure comprises a suite of tailored dental solutions to whiten and align your teeth – and if you were guessing braces or retainers, no dice. No actual movement of the teeth is required, and by extension, there will be no chance of the teeth returning to their misaligned state after the procedure. Pricing varies between individuals, but that’s as it should be for a bespoke service.

SmileInc Dental Surgeons, #04-18 Mandarin Gallery. Tel: 6733-0660. www.smileinc.com.sg

Return to Top

ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

One of the indicators of youth is a full head of hair, the more lustrous the better. As each of our follicles pushes out no fewer than 25 hairs over a lifetime, extending each strand’s lifespan can add up, even if you are into your fifties. But you’ll need products specific to your scalp, and the discipline to take care of it.

PHS Hairscience aims to take care of both aspects for you. It has formulated a range for the Asian scalp and Singapore’s tropical weather. Each of its three outlets houses a hair spa where you undergo a tailor-made regime where the product is massaged into the scalp. The setting is dark and the room sound-proofed for maximum relaxation, although a stand-mounted iPad with the latest movies and news apps is at your disposal. #04-12 Wheelock Place. Tel: 6692-0662. www.phshairscience.com

Return to Top

A SOFT RESET

If you’re a sceptic of conventional cosmetics, Cell Research Corporation has an entirely new proposition on skincare. The firm behind a 2004 breakthrough in stem cell harvesting has released Calecim Professional, a set comprising a serum and cream which work in tandem to “reset” your skin’s renewal cycle.

What goes into it? The medium in which stem cells flourish best, which is apparently so potent that it inspires increased activity of your existing skin cells. Gradually, the skin begins to get rid of old cells and generate new ones at a faster pace, resulting in a more youthful appearance. While many stem cell-based products are already on the market, those are plant-based. This is the first to be derived from a mammal’s umbilical cord tissue, which means more relevant nutrients and faster results. Available from www.calecim.com.

Return to Top


FLASH MEMORY

memory

For busy executives lamenting their deteriorating memory, there’s a fix. Through personalised online courses and materials, mental coaching company Kwik Learning promises to train your brain to recollect information – facts, figures, names, passwords etc – quickly. There are interactive pages, for example, that train “chain linking” – or your ability to string information together – by envisioning a cohesive story, allowing you to create detailed lists that you can recall even years down the road. Counting students and Fortune 500 CEOs among its seminar attendees, the firm also posits that anyone can quadruple their reading speed – and, yes, there’s a course for that, too. www.kwiklearning.com

Return to Top

PULL NO PUNCHES

wushu

If hitting the gym has always sounded too formulaic or one-dimensional for you, consider picking up wushu or Chinese martial arts, which we’re familiar with thanks to icons like Wong Fei Hung and Ip Man.

Grandmaster and instructor in traditional wushu Royce Ang says the art is suitable for all ages and genders. Numerous business heads have thrown their weight behind his endeavours to promote the practice.

“Wushu, unlike Western gym routines, does not focus solely on developing target areas of the body,” says the 39-year-old, who is the chief instructor at Long Kun Lion Dance & Wushu Centre, and an organiser of national- and international-level competitions. “Instead, the routines mobilise entire groups of muscles and often the entire body to deliver power in the right amount. You will find yourself sturdier and more stolid after a few months of practising.”

Beyond the physical aspects, wushu is also a honing of the mind. “You must be in a calm frame of mind but be very focused at the same time,” says Ang, who holds a PhD in martial arts philosophy. “There will be little progress if the heart is in many places.”

He remarks that the training regimes popularised today are a deviation from traditional wushu. The youth view it as an Olympic sport, in which practitioners are judged on speed and aesthetic value, rather than practicality and power behind the routines.

Ang’s lessons lean towards the latter, and are rooted in the style of Chow Gar Kuen (roughly “Chow Family Fist”). They span two hours in class sizes of up to 10, but private sessions in the comfort of the office or home can be arranged. Long Kun Lion Dance & Wushu Centre at 9389-1888.

The 15-minute Cure

Ang shares a wushu routine that relieves aches such as “frozen” shoulder and wrist joints, common among office-bound executives.

wuhu11 Start with feet spread shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees slightly. Maintain a straight, upright posture. Pull back the shoulders. Clench fists lightly at waist level, then punch out one fist, extending the arm to its full length.
 wuhu22 Open the palm on the extended arm and make a “stop” gesture. Rotate the arm at the shoulder joint so that the fingertips swing inwards. Lock your wrist as you raise your arm into a vertical position.
 wuhu33 Continue the arc of the arm swing as it extends behind your shoulder, relaxing your wrist. Pin the elbow to the body as you reach the lowest point of the motion.
 wuhu44 Bring only the forearm and outstretched palm to face level. This is called “The Beauty Looks at Her Reflection”. Throughout the routine, regulate your breathing and correct your posture.
 wuhu55 Fashion the palm into an “eagle claw”, then rotate the thumb side inwards. Swipe the claw down and outwards in a semi-circle, keeping the elbow joint as stationary as possible.
 wuhu66 The swipe should pass the chest and groin area, and the ending position should resemble a receiving a baton in a relay race. This image shows an intermediate position where the triceps should feel a stretch. Fully extend the arm, then return it to the initial stance. Repeat with other side. Keep your focus throughout.
Return to Top

MIND OVER MATTER

MIND

It’s necessary to give your mind a break regularly from life’s incessant bustle. Studies have shown that this allows new insights, and slows down ageing. So learn to empty your mind periodically with meditation, made easy by an online platform known as Headspace, founded by ordained monk Andy Puddicombe. The website and app, which house the syllabus of instructional and calming videos, count Twitter founder Evan Williams and actress Gwyneth Paltrow among its two million users. The service even has its own dedicated channel aboard Virgin Atlantic flights. A free trial is available at www.headspace.com.

Return to Top

(header image credit: www.spinachandyoga.com)

PeakMonogram