Health and Beauty

This rather unsightly ‘tub of lard’ lying on its side with needles all over my upper right hand side wired to transmit electricity to make the treatment more effective is I am sorry to say, me.

As you may know I have been receiving acupuncture from the above company to combat the pain from severe arthritis in my right hip and S1 sacroiliac joint. I find that it has been very effective and have been going on a weekly basis for sometime now.

Last week I slipped over in the kitchen and in attempting to break my fall I twisted my back and right shoulder.

When I told Dr. Kate she wired up the twisted back and shoulder and later on that day I went swimming! Acupuncture certainly works for me!

If you have an underlying pain problem be it long term or a recent injury I can certainly recommend a visit to Terra Acupuncture in Hua Hin.

They are keeping me going with all my related problems after 5 spinal operations and a pretty physical life having been in the forces and played rugby.

If you are a golfer, play badminton, football or, just age is starting to wear you down, give them a visit.

7/3 Hua Hin 51, Prachaup Khiri Khan, 77110 Tel: 099-292-4922

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by Dr. Kate Boonyakiat, Ph.D. LAc. – Terra Acupuncture

Instead of asking, ‘what drug matches up with my symptoms? Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I have this problem in the first place?” Or even have you been told that all your tests check out and that you are fine – but that you still did not feel well? 

If you are in good health, you should not have symptoms. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that something is not right and things are not working as they should be. 

Let me give you a clear idea: If there was a fire in your home and the fire alarm was screaming, would you deal with the loud, disturbing noise by just removing the batteries from the alarm? Of course not! You would find the cause of the fire and put it out. But what we are doing today with our health is like just taking the batteries out. Root cause medicine is about finding the fire. Symptoms are the body’s alarm system telling us that something is not right, and it is our job, as physicians, to try and figure this out and help the body heal. 

Helping patients understand the root cause of their disease is the first step. We need to help patients implement the changes necessary to reverse their condition through personalised nutrition, health coaching, and individualised care. Each person has their own needs, challenges, and preferences.

By working as an acupuncturist, I employ Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of my treatment modality based on these principles: 

1.     Looking at how well your organ’s function (are doing their job).

Your health is like a ‘tree’ with your symptoms being the ‘branches’ – it’s what you see and feel. But what’s causing health problems is often in the ‘roots’ – your organ health as the root cause. Chinese medicine treats both the symptoms (the branch) and the root cause (the roots) of health issues.

2.     What you eat has an enormous effect on your health.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we advise foods that will help your organ health rather than hinder it. Specific organs like and dislike particular foods.

3.     If your body runs too hot or cold, it won’t run very well like any engine.

We look at your temperatures and their effect on digestion, hormone production, and organ health.

4.     You were born with a natural self-healing ability, although it often seems not to work until you are trained or educated on using it.

In conclusion, Western and Oriental medicine both offer unique perspectives fundamental to healthcare today. The development of biomedicine has had significant success in treating acute, life threatening diseases. However, the holistic concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine shows a unique advantage in preventing and treating chronic, non acute illnesses. 

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After extensive spinal surgery being diagnosed with six lower lumber vertebrae and spina bifida occulta in my late 20’s my current surgeon in BKK recently diagnosed and showed me on the X rays that I had arthritis of both hips, the right more pronounced, and latterly the S1 sacroiliac joint. You could see the white build up all round the joints. I am now 64 years of age.

This was starting to give me acute pain when I moved my legs, especially the right leg in the tendons that go from the leg into the groin and transference of pain to right hand side lower back.

I started reading up on the subject and taking a long list of vitamins and supplements and I read that acupuncture can go someway to easing the pain.

Living in Hua Hin now I read that there was an acupuncturist on Soi 51 Petchakasem Rd and made a visit for an initial free consultation.

The practice is owned and operated by Khun Wilawan Chanlek (Chinese Medicine Doctor) ably assisted by Dr. Napich (Kate) Boonyakiat who having spent many years in the USA speaks perfect English.

We discussed my symptoms and she first started to treat my right hip and right leg. She put several needles in various trigger points – I didn’t really feel any of them and then she connected me to electricity and asked me to tell her when I could feel the current like a tens machine. She then left me for between 10 – 15 minutes wired up.

After two or three treatments she then connected needles to certain points down my spine from mid thoracic down the right hip and again attached the current and left me for 10 – 15 minutes.

There is no doubt in my mind that the treatment is working. My mobility is better, the tight thoracic pain is not so extreme and so far it has saved me driving to the hospital in Bangkok to get cortisone and anti inflammatory drugs pumped into my hip and back at 5 times the cost of a whole course of treatments with the Terra Clinic on Soi 51 Petchkasem Rd.

I can highly recommend a visit to the two ladies at Terra Clinic and I will keep going in the hope that the pain will in time desist.

7/3 Soi 51 Petchakasem Rd., Hua Hin, PKK 77110 tel: 099-292-4922 Line @terrapyclinic [email protected]

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by Expat Life


Coronaviruses (CoV) are a broad group of viruses that can cause everything from a typical cold to more serious illnesses. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has never been seen in humans before. In Wuhan, China, the first SARS-CoV-2 illnesses were detected. The source of viral transmission to humans, as well as whether the virus became harmful before or after the spillover event, are unknown.

In Thailand, the Delta version of COVID-19 is no longer the most common source of iinfection. Omicron now accounts for the bulk of COVID-19 cases in the world, just weeks after it was discovered in South Africa and labeled a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Scientists are trying to figure out what makes Omicron different from other variations as it spreads across the world. Information is slowly coming together— Omicron, for example, is less likely to cause severe illness, but it also spreads more easily, even among the vaccinated—but there are still many things we don’t know, which is why maintaining (or ramping up) COVID-19 safety precautions is more important than ever.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is the same whether we’re talking about Delta or Omicron (or any other COVID-19 variant)—which means that while some symptoms may be more obvious or noticeable in one strain versus the other, the symptoms of all COVID-19 variants will be comparable, according to the CDC.

To clarify, COVID-19 can cause a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe sickness, according to the CDC. The following are the most prevalent symptoms associated with COVID-19 in general, though this is not a full list: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

There is no official advice on whether symptoms are more common with specific strains of the virus, but there have been a few anecdotal accounts on both variations’ symptoms.

In June, Tim Spector, a genetic epidemiologist at King’s College London who helps lead the ZOE COVID Study, told The New York Times that the Delta variant looked to cause more headaches, sore throats, and runny noses. Fever, cough, and loss of smell, on the other hand, were noted less frequently.

Omicron, too, appears to be causing more cold-like symptoms: The top five symptoms associated with confirmed or suspected cases of the Omicron variety, according to data collected again by the ZOE COVID Study—which compels participants to register their disease symptoms through an app—are runny nose, headache, weariness, sneezing, and sore throat. Like Delta, Omicron sufferers are less likely to have fever, cough, or a loss of smell or taste. “There is no evident difference in the symptom profile of Delta and Omicron,” according to the ZOE COVID Study’s findings.

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Arthritis is one of the most common problems encountered in my clinic experiences. When you think about arthritis, you likely think of a disease that affects the joints.

However, some types of arthritis may have extra-articular manifestations, meaning that the disease affects areas of the body other than the joints. When this occurs, especially in multiple organ systems of the body, the arthritic condition is said to have systemic effects or is referred to as a systemic disease.

To make it easy to understand, I will classify arthritis into two significant groups: Osteoarthritis and Inflammatory Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a so called mechanical condition or “wears and tears.” Typically, osteoarthritis presents as pain, stiffness, or swelling in joints such as the hip, hand, knee, or spine, but it may also affect other joints. Women run a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis than men, and other risk factors include heredity, excess weight, joint injury, and hormonal imbalances. It happens because trauma or a repetitive force causes the cartilage cells called chondrocytes to burst, creating inflammation. These joints are lubricated by a natural substance called synovial fluid. The damage to the cartilage causes the chondrocytes to flake apart and absorb synovial fluid, which decreases the amount of lubricant in the joint. Reducing joint lubrication increases friction between the joint bones, which accelerates common decay, which causes more inflammation and degenerative bone changes.

On the other hand, inflammatory types of arthritis may involve multiple joints simultaneously. Often, an overactive or malfunctioning immune system is the cause of inflammation. The primary symptoms of inflammatory arthritis are pain and stiffness in the morning or after periods of rest or inactivity. Swelling, redness, and warmth are common in or around the affected joints. Inflammatory arthritis not only affects the joints – other body parts can be affected, including the skin or internal organs. Most forms of inflammatory arthritis in adults can start in childhood or adolescence, although the onset and manifestations may be slightly different in younger patients. Some examples of inflammatory joint arthritis commonly seen in the clinic are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, lupus, and gout.



How acupuncture and TCM helps with arthritis?

In TCM, arthritis is the disorder we call “Bi Syndrome.” The cause of Bi syndrome is attributed to pathogenic factors like wind, cold, dampness, and heat. These pathogenic factors may lodge in the muscle and joint, causing decreased circulation, pain, inflammation, or swelling. It can also be related to deficiencies of the TCM liver and kidney. The liver is a vital organ involved in an immune response. The kidney in TCM is the root of the Yin and Yang of the body, and it needs to be function properly to produce the raw material for hormones.     

Arthritis can be treated using various TCM methods such as acupuncture, cupping, tuina, and herbal medicines. These treatment methods aim to eliminate underlying causal factors and promote the average circulation of Qi and blood in the body and affected area. Acupuncture and herbal medicines can also boost liver and kidney functions. 

When patients come in with pain in the joints like elbows, fingers, knees, shoulders problems as a practitioner, I need to clarify that the pain is by a mechanic or systemic problem. This process relies on a combination of physical examination, medical history, laboratory test results, and imaging studies. With enough patient information, I will set up the treatment plan for an individual. 

Depending on the type of arthritis and its severity, require many approaches to manage all aspects of the individual’s health. Treatment is most effective when it begins early in the condition. Moreover, a variety of lifestyle recommendations for the ongoing management of arthritis. These include:

  1. Eating a healthy, balanced diet for adequate nutrition.
  2. Participating in regular physical activity.
  3. Reducing sources of stress and finding ways to manage stress better.
  4. Taking an active role in disease management.
  5. Drink more water! Staying hydrated is essential for keeping the joints lubricated. 

 Dr. Kate Boonyakiat, DAOM, LAc. – Terra Acupuncture Clinic

7/3 Soi Huahin 51, Hua hin, Prachuab, 77110, Thailand

Phone: 099 – 292 4922 | Email: [email protected] | Line: @terrapyclinic

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Have you ever wondered who is suffering from mood swings, irritability, weight gain, brain fog, and difficulty sleeping? Welcome to my life! I have no idea what I went through in the past 18 months. Was it menopause or Covid?  It felt as though that my body had experienced hormonal chaos. So, I was not going to pass by an opportunity to join a fully immersive wellness retreat weekend and discover ways to balance the hormones, alleviate menopausal symptoms, including weight gain, and reduce stress.

REVĪVŌ, a global wellness company specialising in transformational health experiences, had partnered for the retreat with their sister brand, 

The Pavilions Phuket. The Pavilions is considered one of Asia’s most luxurious resorts. If ever there was a ‘stop the world I want to get off’ perfect destination for a wellness weekend, this is it. A few female guests were welcomed to our ‘home’, a five bedroom luxury residential villa, by REVĪVŌ’s Wellness Director Kimberly Rose and Sales Director Kate Leff. I was literally pinching myself to feel how lucky I was. 


Menopause often a scary word, is typically experienced between the ages of 45 to 50, although some are younger, depicting the end of a woman’s reproductive age. It can lead to emotional and physical changes that affect women’s health and lifestyle. In fact, to some women, the word menopause can be unappealing to acknowledge and seek treatment. Kimberley’s wisdom helps women navigate the menopause years.

Neglecting the subject of menopause has become a major issue for women who generally have very different experiences, occurring at different times in their lives. It is kind of ‘potluck’ to find anyone in your friendship group who can identify with the issue of menopause. As for the men, forget it! They seem unsympathetic and cannot relate, thinking a woman of that age is just a grumpy old bag! 

Read on to find out what you can do to help.

The wellness lectures

Kimberly Rose, our retreat facilitator and Chinese medicine expert, has a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate menopause naturally. Our first lecture highlighted the differences between East and Western medicine, introducing Chinese medicine and Qigong exercise routine. 

We were an attentive group; all joined by an interest to maximise our health and wellness in our advancing years. We were lectured on the benefits of detox, cleansing, and fasting for hormonal health. Following the session, we decided to set up a support and encouragement Facebook group. 

Our lectures also covered the microbiome (helpful and potentially harmful microbes in our body) and nutrition for menopause. We sampled some of the foods recommendations during the weekend and were even given the recipes. We learned about ‘dirty dozen foods to be avoided’, and the ‘clean fifteen’ foods with the lowest levels of pesticides. A supplemented digital programme provided us with lots of useful material such as fasting with our menstrual cycle. 

As we learned about Chinese medicine, we found the best acupressure points to alleviate menopause symptoms and discovered the joys of a jade roller and Guasha, the alternative therapy for relieving tension across the face and body. In tongue diagnosis, the less body shy amongst us were soon sticking out their tongues at each other.

Our final workshop was on key supplements for hormonal health; it seems that Black Cohosh and Red Clover herbs could be my new best friends. I ended up with quite a shopping list!

Soothe the spirit

Whilst the wellness lectures were at the core of the retreat, it was balanced by the opportunity to enjoy various mind and body relaxation techniques designed to help unwind and soothe the spirit. When participation was required, my hand was always the first to go up, seizing any opportunity to work on my much needed inner Zen Wren! The experience reassured me that I was not alone, as I felt I was amongst kindred spirits and very relaxed by the end of the weekend.

Yin yoga and pranayama

Yin is a slow moving Chinese yoga exercise practice, while pranayama is an Indian yogic practice of focusing on the breath. Our two enchanting yoga classes with Issy were held in an open air sala (pavilion) under Buddha’s watchful eye.

Like all things at the Pavilions, there is much to admire, even from the yoga mats. A quick glance upwards revealed a collection of ornamental birdcages gently swaying in the breeze. I closed my eyes, focused, and breathed, being totally in the moment. As the yoga class ended, the music faded and a symphony of birdsong took over. Khun Fern appeared with a cooling towel and refreshing drink. All in all, it was a fabulous way to start the Sunday.

Dragon Qigong

We also learned the ancient meditation and healing practice of Dragon Qigong. With the benefits of lowering stress and anxiety, increasing focus, balance, and flexibility, I was keen to master this. I am sure I was more a jellyfish than a dragon, but I am determined to improve my technique and will definitely add it to the list of things to be incorporated into my life.

Aromatherapy spa massage

The Qigong was held in the outdoor pavilion of the Spa Garden, just a dragon dance to the peaceful spa for a heavenly oil massage. I chose The Pavilions’ signature oil blend of grapefruit, chamomile, lavender and geranium oil, which, together with my therapist’s long strokes and flowing movements did wonders to release my stress. I was out for the count!

Healthy eating

From the first bite of breakfast on Saturday to the last healing tea on Sunday, the food was an outstanding, nutritious, and nourishing component of the weekend. The Pavilions executive chef, Micha Bitz, was on hand to personally cook our oatmeal pancakes! Pancakes on a wellness retreat? You bet, with all the right ingredients. The meals were chosen by Kimberly Rose for their wholesome and organic health benefits. We learned that ‘we are what we eat and what we ate.’ Every single dish was a delight, so glad we were also given the recipes.

Villa time

Another wonderful component of the retreat was the opportunity to get to know the other participants. Our shared villa was perfect for meals, workshops, and for chilling around our private pool. At night after dinner, dressing gowns on, it became a relaxed slumber party. They say one of the most important components of wellness involves sleep. Hmmm! We stayed up chatting late into the night, not doing so well on this aspect, through no fault of the organisers!  It had been a long time since I was able to do this, oh Phuket, you are amazing!

Learnings on the journey to wellbeing, contentment and happiness

All participants were given a green Pavilions notebook with the words ‘Your curated journey starts here.’ It made me smile. If life is the journey, menopause is the rollercoaster ride, but it clearly can be a ride that need not be scary. My green book filled up with plenty of notes. Optimistic and enlightening with messages to listen to your body as it always tells you what it needs.

Here are some of my favourite scribbled quotes from across the weekend:

  • We’re one big detoxing machine.
  • Fasting is a game changer and I promise you, you won’t die!
  • Stop the rushing woman’s syndrome.
  • Coffee is fine but there is much mould on coffee, try and buy organic.
  • Dry skin brushing – this can save your life!
  • Your liver is the General in your body. 
  • Try Brussel sprouts in your smoothies to which the response was “Shut up! Stop now, that’s disgusting!”

Oh, we did have a giggle!

I am sure I am not the only one leaving the phenomenal retreat REVĪVŌ feeling lighter, happier, and more at peace. I have a plan to make some lasting changes for my health and wellbeing and I am referring often to our digital wellness guide provided for further reading and understanding. I so can’t wait to see you all one day to impress you with my inner Zen wren dragon! 

Thanks to our REVĪVŌ and Pavilions organisers for a wonderful weekend and to the other participants for their uplifting energy and spirit, ready to learn whilst having fun. I had the best weekend. It was just what my kind of doctor ordered. The best tonic of all after the butterfly pea tea and a nutrient dense smoothie? It was the learning and laughter with new friends. Thanks all!

I leave with this wise saying:

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”  Socrates

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It comes as wealthy countries have faced increased pressure from WTCC and the World Health Organization (WHO) to share technology and rights with vaccine manufacturers in poorer and middle-income countries.

At the just concluded WTTC Summit in Cancun, Mexico. There wasn’t any public discussion on the catastrophic situation in India, but CEO Gloria Guevara took the initative and interviewed Manuel Santos, a signatory with 170 others to push US President Biden to open patent restrictions, allowing the vaccine to reach developing nations.

President Biden has said previously ”No one is safe until everyone is safe.” Now we must make that happen.

Contribute to saving millions of lives is the common thread of many global calls to action. An example of this can be seen with the development of the US Moderna vaccine, which was developed with the NIAID and received $2.5bn in government funding.

Moderna, along with three of five other vaccine manufacturers in the US that use the government technology, has currently no licensing agreement with Washington.

Globalists say that any licensing should include provisions that allow the US to authorise technology sharing with the WHO to help ramp up global production; and include requirements for accessible pricing universally.

This could contribute to saving millions of lives globally. Global vaccination with highly effective vaccines, is our best defense against the development of vaccine-resistant variants of the coronavirus.

Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said:

“President Biden with the G7 ahead there is an unparalleled opportunity to provide the leadership that only the U.S. can provide and that hastens an end to the pandemic for the world.”

“An urgent temporary waiver of intellectual property rules at the World Trade Organization would help us ramp up global supply of vaccines together with a global multi-year burden sharing plan to finance vaccines for the poorest countries”.

“This would be in the strategic interests of the U.S., and of every country on the planet”

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The New Year is often the time for a fresh beginning where we make goals to grow and improve ourselves. Popular new year resolutions usually centre around health, whether it’s to lose weight or to start exercise. Everyone starts the new year as hopeful as ever, motivated to make this year the best one yet. Gyms are full and buzzing with new members. You have to fight for a treadmill machine like your kid fights for a swing at Benjasiri Park. Do you know that the first 3 months are the busiest months of the year for any gym? The effect of the New Year resolution is real. But, do you also know that more than 50% of people who start a new exercise programme drop out within the first 6 months? I’m sitting in a coffee shop as I’m writing this article. It’s me and another guy sitting across from me. According to the statistics it’s me or him, or both of us will call it quits, drop out, and stop exercise by mid year. So, what does it take for us to not become a statistic? What is the saving grace that will help us push through the resistance when it’s much easier to do nothing? Here are the 3 tips I want to share with you.

  1. Don’t exercise

Yesterday, I ran into an old client in the playground. As we stood there talking, she told me she hasn’t been exercising just yoga and walking a lot. That sounds like exercise to me! What she told me really was that she hasn’t been doing HIIT and weightlifting like when she trained with me. Many people hate to “exercise”. The word “exercise” seems to conjure up images of putting ourselves through a painful experience doing whatever it is we hate doing. In this respect I must say I haven’t been “exercising” either. My “exercise” is swimming, half drowning, half gasping for air as I try to do my interpretation of freestyle – not fun. You don’t need to put yourself through something you hate to count it as exercise. Don’t battle with it. Make it your friend. Don’t “exercise” but pick whatever movement you enjoy and weave it into your life regularly.

  1. Be your own laboratory

I used to be one of those people who counted my daily calories and tracked how much protein I eat. I tried to eat 1,500 calories and 50 grammes of protein per day. I eventually stopped. Why? Because I was eating so much protein it was getting expensive and I was becoming neurotic tracking so many things.

Today, I eat normally. I wake up, have 2 pieces of buttered honey toast and a Kinto of basil seed iced tea. For lunch, I have rice with 2 kinds of main dishes, one meat based, one veggie based. Sometimes these dishes are home cooked or sometimes they are whatever I feel like from the street vendors like moo ping or spicy pork from a Korean shop next door. I enjoyed closing off my lunch and dinner with a sweet snack, my rule is no snack until midday, it’s arbitrary but it feels reasonable to me. Dinner is whatever leftovers we have in the fridge. Last night was rice, grilled chicken with kimchi.

Business growth concept on turquoise background flat lay. hand stacking wooden blocks.

I know research shows you need to eat a ton of protein to make and keep your muscles. Today, I don’t eat extra protein or supplements, and I can honestly say I can’t see any difference in my body eating 50g of protein per day or eating normally like this. So, keep an open mind, experiment and be your own laboratory. At the end of the day, you know yourself best, distill it down until you find an approach that works for you. This goes for everything in life not just nutrition.

  1. Add heat

When you are baking a cake, you have flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, butter. You mix them together, but this does not make a cake. It makes goop. You have to put it in the oven and add heat. The heat transforms the goop into cake. In a sense this is what a lasting lifestyle change is like. You have all these ingredients, the logical, rational reasons from your brain that tell you – “I need to make time for myself, eat better, exercise, and move more”, but to know them is not enough. You must add the heat and the energy of your heart. The heat is your feeling, your internal drive, and your emotional sense why something matters to you. What difference would it make to your life if you can lose this weight? “Sia”, one of my coaching clients, told me of her desire to lose weight. In her own words, she wanted to be able to “rock a bikini in her 40s”. As we peeled the layers back, it became clearer to Sia that her definition of rocking a bikini means a strong and lean body, an image she associated with health. As a nutritionist who is an advocate for health, she wants to live a life that’s true to herself and advice she gives to her clients. This was the heat, the fire that Sia discovered inside herself that day. She still wanted to lose weight, but she uncovered her internal drive to be in alignment and at one with herself. When you travel deeper inside yourself and when you’re able to go beyond where your logical mind thinks you should go, you will touch down onto something real. This is the heat that will allow you to burn through your excuses and keep going even when it’s easier to revert back to your old patterns.

Over the years, I’ve come to learn that it’s harder to develop healthy habits if there’s a part of you that’s resisting the change. So, I invite you to find enjoyment in the way you move and eat, and meaningful reason that speaks to your heart. May this be the beginning of your lasting change.

Gale Ruttanaphon 

Fitness coach with Pre/Post Natal Specialisation, Corporate Speaker, Life Coach, Mother of two #Get confident in your own skin. Founder of My Mummy First and the creator of The Mummy Reboot, a holistic programme that helps mums lose weight, become stronger, healthier and confident in their own skin. 

More available on:

IG: MyMummyFirst

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Domestic violence is closer than you think. It is often perpetrated by someone close or intimate with the victim. More than 600 million women live in countries where intimate partner violence or domestic violence is not considered a crime. Domestic violence and abuse do not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or background. Women and children are often more vulnerable to domestic violence, which rears its head in various forms, including physical, sexual, financial and emotional as well as controlling behavior. Domestic violence and abuse are used to gain and maintain control, keeping victims under the abuser’s thumb. There are many causes of domestic violence and abuse. It may start when one partner feels the need to control and dominate the other because of low self-esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties controlling strong emotions or when they are under a lot of stress. 

We at L’Oréal fully understand the seriousness of domestic violence and felt the need to take action against violence and stand up for those who are most in need. We want to use our brands and partnerships with non-profit organizations as a platform for meaningful campaigns that spread knowledge and raise awareness about domestic violence and mental health issues, with the hope that it can be useful and further contribute to meaningful change as well as to help break the stigma behind domestic violence as well as ally the trauma of the abused victims. 

During this difficult time we brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown situation, we hear and see heartbreaking stories of domestic abuse becoming increasingly prevalent. Many women are trapped living with an abusive partner during the lockdown and are unable to seek help from experts, organizations, friends, loved ones or colleagues.

One of our brands, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty in Paris, France, launched the “Abuse is Not Love” program in November. It is a global program aimed at helping combat intimate partner violence (IPV). Approximately 1 in 3 women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime and prevalence rates have increased from 30 percent to 60 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, United Kingdom and France, one woman is killed every three days by their partner. Abuse is Not Love is supporting the prevention programs of its non-profit partners through funding academic research to develop thought-leadership around youth and prevention, training YSL Beauty employees and beauty advisors on intimate partner violence in the workplace as well as educating at least 2 million people by 2030 on common signs of IPV. If key warning signs can be detected early, we may be able to recognize it better and seek or offer help to the victims. Abuse is Not Love was launched as a global program with 3 key partnerships in 2020: En Avant Toute(s) in France, Women’s Aid in the UK, and It’s on Us in the U.S., with more partnerships coming in 2021 in other countries. 

Supporting women, especially when it comes to their independence, is central to the way the brand acts. Intimate partner violence hinders the safety, wellbeing and independence of women,” said Stephan Bezy, International General Manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. “It therefore felt very natural to work on an issue that stood in opposition to our core values and beliefs.” 

Maybelline New York also felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has taken a physical and mental toll on everyone around the world. More than 284 million people experienced anxiety disorders. Depression affects more than 264 million people. Half of all mental health conditions start by age 14, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, these numbers are rising. With anxiety and depression on the rise, as the no. 1 international makeup brand, Maybelline New York wants to provide the right support to help tackle obstacles that are in the way of women and young adults making their mark. With the help of leading mental health NGOs, experts and advocates are offering hands to help Maybelline during this program which is the “Maybelline Brave Together Program”. It is a global cause that provides critical one-on-one support and helps everyone, everywhere. 

Maybelline has always believed in the power of making things happen in your life.  And we know that mental health is critical in feeling ready to do that,” says Trisha Ayyagari, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York.  “We want to use our global voice to de-stigmatize the conversation around mental health and make support easily accessible.  Now, more than ever, we need to be there for those living with anxiety and depression.”  

Maybelline’s Brave Together program aims to help teenagers and young adults who are struggling with anxiety and depression, to break down the stigma around anxiety and depression, and provide cross-generational support. By partnering with leading non-profit organizations, the program has a specially curated online platform that gives people around the world access to an online community. The program was announced on @Maybelline Instagram account and in September. 

Over the past two years, Maybelline has commissioned an expert-led research and conducted focus groups to better understand the topic of mental health. In the focus group, people need a globally accessible platform featuring resources and tips on mental health. Our online community will foster an open, diverse and inclusive destination with inspiration and stories from real people and experts worldwide. To let them know that they are not in this alone, Maybelline has partnered with leading non-profit organization Crisis Text Line to provide increased access to free, 24/7 confidential crisis counseling via text message — those in need can text TOGETHER to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. Maybelline also wants to expand this program even further and has committed to investing $10 million over the next five years to mental health organizations worldwide who share its goal of making a real difference. Maybelline Brave Together will continue to grow and develop with the current environment with support from its partners.

An international survey on sexual harassment in public spaces, conducted in partnership with L’Oreal Paris, Ipsos and researchers at Cornell University, reveals that 78% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. Only 25% of victims say someone helped them. Moreover, 86% of us do not know what to do when we witness it happening. Also, the survey found that 79% of victims of sexual harassment in public spaces say it improved the situation when a witness intervened. These results are extremely alarming. Armed with information and the determination to stand up for all women and combat against everyday street harassment, L’Oreal Paris launched an international bystander training program called “Stand Up Against Street Harassment” in partnership with NGO Hollaback! The program aims to train 1 million people globally in bystander intervention to tackle street harassment. Stand Up aims to simultaneously discourage harassers, support victims, and encourage bystanders to intervene in a bid to overall effect a cultural shift in the global response to street harassment. With the brand’s signature tagline, “I’m worth it”, L’Oréal Paris has multiplied brand initiatives to break down the barriers that prevent women from fully believing in and realizing their self-worth. Leveraging its global reach, today, the Stand Up movement takes the brand’s support for women into the public space by tackling the intimidating behaviours that impact girls’ and women’s very sense of freedom to move through the world. 

“L’Oréal Paris stands for empowerment in every walk of a woman’s life. By removing obstacles preventing women from fulfilling their ambitions, we are committed to elevating their sense of self-worth. With Hollaback! and other local NGO partners we invite women and men to stand up, to safely respond when they witness or experience street harassment. Together we can create a world for girls and women to march confidently forward into a future free from street harassment.” Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, Global Brand President of L’Oréal Paris. 

The Stand Up program was launched in five countries on International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8. It will be launched in more countries including Thailand. The program aims to drive awareness of street harassment on a global scale to create a call-to-action. To prevent street harassment happening in the future — from schools to public transport to festivals to online spaces — Stand Up will grow a global community of 1 million upstanders trained in the 5Ds method: Direct, Distract, Delegate, Document, and Delay. 

Thai women also encounter domestic violence, street harassment and depression. L’Oreal Thailand will activate the brands’ global campaigns as well as provide tools and trainings in Thailand to help raise awareness and fight against these issues. 

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Brain tumours

by Expat Life

The silent killer

Sukumvit Hospital employs advanced techniques to reduce blood loss during brain surgery.

In the case of a recent patient who visited Sukumvit Hospital, a passing headache ended up being a serious condition. The patient, a 40 year old man named Khun Chatra, had a history of headaches but at the end of last year, his frustrations grew when he experienced a severe headache on Father’s Day, with painkillers and regular meals proving ineffective against the pain. Worried about the severity, Khun Chatra consulted with a friend who is a doctor to understand the root cause for the persistent headache. He then decided to visit Sukumvit Hospital, where doctors did a routine examination followed by an MRI that scans the brain using electromagnetic waves. The results showed that the patient had a large tumour, initially believed to be five centimetres in size, in the right side of his brain. The medical team who examined the patient agreed that surgery was necessary to treat the tumour as it was very large. Due to the size, the tumour was likely pressing on key areas of the brain, causing complications. Two doctors specialising in neurology, Dr. Jackree Thanyanopporn, specialist in Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology and Dr. Juksanee Thanyanopporn, doctor of Neurology, made it clear that there was no choice but to operate.

Dr. Jackree describes the condition of the patient…

“Khun Chatra came to the hospital with a headache. On the day we examined him, we saw that he had severe headache symptoms and his hands trembled but he did not have any weakness. When we ordered the MRI, it was found that he had a brain tumour that was pressing on the right side of his brain that controls limbs, resulting in his left hand tremouring. Afterwards, it was communicated to the patient that the condition puts him at risk of a left hemisphere paralysis and there is the chance of blood loss, loss of memory function, convulsions, and other complications.”

Dr. Jackree describes the condition of the patient…

“Khun Chatra came to the hospital with a headache. On the day we examined him, we saw that he had severe headache symptoms and his hands trembled but he did not have any weakness. When we ordered the MRI, it was found that he had a brain tumour that was pressing on the right side of his brain that controls limbs, resulting in his left hand tremouring. Afterwards, it was communicated to the patient that the condition puts him at risk of a left hemisphere paralysis and there is the chance of blood loss, loss of memory function, convulsions, and other complications.”

Dr. Juksanee Thanyanopporn

After Dr. Jackree saw the diagnostic images, he evaluated that it was a benign tumour and not a malignant tumour, but because of its large size it had the potential to cause blood loss during surgery. To begin the process, the doctor injected dye into the bloodstream, then employed a technique called catheter angiography embolisation, a minimally invasive treatment that blocks the blood vessels to reduce blood flow to an area. Dr. Jackree explains, “Tumours are alive, therefore they can draw new blood vessels. By implementing a catheter angiography embolisation, we can stop this from happening and subsequently reduce blood loss during surgery. This process begins with a close study of MRI results, checking the body’s vitals once again, and then using what is called a Navigator,’ a visual imaging programme that can determine what is needed during the surgery, including preparing the operation room, what incisions are required and what should be avoided, and what to do to ensure no mistakes happen.” Dr. Jackree also explains why the catheter angiography embolisation procedure is beneficial for patients like Khun Chatra: “Patients who are of older age are at risk of blood loss during an operation because the heart will work hard during surgery, which can result in complications like an acute heart attack. The biggest benefit of reducing blood loss through a catheter angiography embolisation is that the patient is safe during the surgery. Although this technique can be used to treat tumours, it is important to consider where the vessels will be occluded, as some locations are not possible. “Brain tumours are a kind of disease that you will never be sure of unless you get tested or unless you have defining symptoms. Many patients in Thailand will wait until they have limb weakness to get an X-ray, then further tests are needed to be determined whether the tumour is benign or malignant. A patient’s medical history is also important, particularly whether they have other diseases or cancers as it adds to the chance of it spreading to the brain. It is imperative to get examined straight away if you suspect a tumour. “Symptoms of a brain tumour differ depending on its location and size. In the case of Khun Chatra, he suffered from headaches, and trembling hands but some people can have numbness, fainting, limb weakness, blurred speech, double vision, and hiccups. Many of these symptoms are similar to stroke. Therefore, finding the root cause it is important so that it can be determined if the tumour is good or bad, and what kind of treatment to seek. A follow-up 3-6 months after is also crucial for reducing the chance of recurrence.”

The patient, Khun Chatra, reflects on the entire treatment process and surgery…

“After listening to an explanation from the doctor, I understood that the risks were quite big with chances of disability and death. But thanks to Dr. Jackree, Dr. Juksanee, and the hospital staff, I was able to make a fast recovery. If you look back on my timeline, I arrived on Dec. 7th. By Dec. 8th we had a plan, Dec. 9th the doctor performed the catheter angiography embolisation, Dec. 10th I rested in the ICU, and on Dec. 11th I underwent brain surgery. Despite being a big procedure, I woke up within half an hour after the anaesthesia wore off. I was able to talk to relatives and the doctor, and was thrilled to have been able to recover quickly. When I think about how I was able to recover, I believe it is a combination of the doctors’ talent and skill and the level of service the hospital were able to provide me. They took very good care of me during my 17 days there.”

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