In The Know

Writer Catharine Nicol

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Expert Travel and Wellness Tips

Q There’s so much information about menopause online. Where’s best for credible advice?

A Did you know that October 18 is World Menopause Day? Created by the International Menopause Society in collaboration with the WHO, it highlights issues and solutions at this challenging time of life for women.

In the UK (but available worldwide) the British Menopause Society offers plenty of information and resources. There’s also the Women’s Health Concern and the Australasian Menopause Society.

In Hong Kong, Dr Susan Jamieson has a clinic in Central and is an expert in the pros and cons of HRT. At IMI, naturopath Dr Ardyce Yip focuses on natural ways to help with menopausal symptoms. At VitalLife Scientific Wellness Centre in Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital, Dr Preeyanart Komchornrit is a specialist in hormones and menopause. While in Singapore, see gynaecology specialist Dr Pamela Tan at her Dr Pamela Tan Medical Clinic or specialists at the Raffles Women Centre.

Q I’ve heard that foam rollers can be effectively used at home. What advice do you have?

A Foam rollers are effective, affordable tools for self-massage pre- and post workout, or simply to release tension. They increase elasticity and range of motion, boost circulation by feeding muscles with oxygen, prevent injury and enhance recovery.

Hamstrings, lower back, calves, IT band, glutes and hip flexors — pretty much the whole body can benefit. Rolling also works on the fascia, the thin connecting tissue that is key to our physical stability and flexibility.

Foam rollers come in different sizes, circumferences and surfaces. A general rule of thumb is to start with a softer foam roller and progress onto the hollow and shaped rollers when you know what you are doing.

Chris Watts, founder and president of Motion Dynamics in Hong Kong recommends Yamuna balls as a gentle yet strong alternative. Use in the nape of the neck to diminish protruding neck curves, on the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joints to assist mobilisation.

But go easy. “Foam rolling should be done slowly and carefully without too much pressure on the tissues,” Watts warns. “If it hurts, back off, as it may damage nerve pathways and crush the lymphatic system.”

Q Skincare with CBD has arrived in Asia. What are its main benefits?

A CBD or Cannabidiol molcules come from the cannabis plant, but rather than get users high, it shields neurons from oxidative stress. Relaxed cannabis laws have launched a ‘green rush’ infiltrating products like candies, oils and skincare.

Heavens Please founder, Denise Tam Hiu Tung, whose Hong Kong-based company carries a number of CBD skincare products, explains CBD is proven to be  highly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic, benefitting acne, ecxzema, psoriasis and rosacea, as well as minor cuts, burns, arthritis, migraines and PMS.

She loves Khus + Khus’ SEN Face Serum, the glow-giving COPIOUS Body Serum and her ‘hero product,’ Yuyo botanics’ calming AM formula, which has 900mg CBD.

“CBD oil itself can help us return to our homeostasis — it creates balance in the body. It helped me manage anxiety, a sprained ankle and also back pain,” she says. If you’d like to share your queries with AsiaSpa, send an email to: Unless you state otherwise, we assume that you are happy for us to print your question.