Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tattoos Hurt Your Running?

Is this going to affect me breaking out of prison?
I wrote about tattoos and sporting performance quite a while ago and am happy there has been more published research on the topic.

Researchers in the study induced sweating on two different spots in their subjects. One where the subjects had a tattoo of at least 5.2 square centimeters and the other spot on the same area on the opposite side of the body that didn't have a tattoo.

On average, the sweat rate from skin that was tattooed was about half that of plain skin. The sodium concentration of sweat from tattooed skin was about 1.7 times greater than sweat from plain skin.

This shows that tattooed skin produces less sweat. The sweat was also saltier than skin that was not tattooed. All things being equal, this may result in tattooed runners having a higher core temperature due to a lower sweat rate. Sweat with a higher sodium concentration may also lead to an electrolyte imbalance. And in sunny and super humid Singapore, both can hurt your running performance.

Question is will the same outcome occur when you run or exercise intensely? More research needs to be done in that area as the current study involved induced sweating.

Also, compensatory skin sweating can also occur in other areas that do not have tattoos. I would say that at least half of your skin needs to be tattooed before performance may be affected.

Perhaps the sensory homunculus (having altered thoughts and emotions) as I wrote in tattoos and sporting performance plays a part too.



Luetkemeier MJ, Hanisko JM et al (2017). Skin Tattoos Alter Sweat Rate And Na+ Concentration. Med and Sci in Sports and Ex. Published ahead of Print.  DOI: 10.1249/ MSS.0000000000001244.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Get Off Your Phone

Who's not looking at their phones?
It was a nice morning and we were walking at Botanic Gardens and saw this. This is a big clue why so many people have neck and back pain now.

Of course we saw many other things too .....
Leaping (monitor) lizard

Cluck cluck
Graceful ....

Here are my thoughts, when you are near nature please look at your surroundings and enjoy it and not just look at your phone.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Inside the inner ear
BPPV stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and that's what I had recently.

It can be quite quite scary if you don't know what it is. We had just changed rooms to sleep and all four of us (husband and the two boys) started sleeping together in the same room. I woke up one morning and on trying to get up had the sudden sensation that the inside of my head was spinning (or otherwise know as vertigo). There was a period of fairly intense dizziness too.

Other symptoms can include a loss of balance or unsteadiness, nausea and even vomiting which I did not have.

BPPV is usually triggered by specific changes in the position of the head. And it can occur when you move your head up or down, rolling over in bed, or when you turn over or get in and out of bed in a certain way.

How is this so you must be wondering? Well, inside our ears is a tiny organ called the vestibular labyrinth. It has three semi circular canals that contains fluid and fine hair like structures that gives you information about that position of your head.

Otolith organs inside your ear monitor up, down, left, right etc movements of your head. They also contain calcium carbonate crystals (or otoconia) that make you sensitive to gravity.

These otoconia can become dislodged and when they happen to move into one of the semi circular canals when you are lying down. When too much otoconia accumulates in one of the canals, it causes the semi circular canal to become sensitive to changes to the position of our head, sending false signals to the brain. And this is what makes you dizzy or your head to feel like it is spinning.

When the dislodged otoconia moves into a semi circular canal, the eyes can move in a specific to and fro manner called nystagmus. I didn't have any nystagmus on testing but if you do that can be scary.

Other than being scary if you don't know what's happening, BPPV can increase the chance of you falling.

Medication will not help BPPV although in some cases it does resolve on its own after a while.

BPPV can sometimes be misdiagnosed by general practitioners who are not familiar with the testing or treatment of BPPV. The impact can be mildly annoying to highly debilitating and can affect function, safety and risk of falling.

How did I get better? Well, fortunately Gino knew how to treat BPPV using the Epley Manoeuvre. He treated me once and I was much better after that.


Fife TD et al (2008). Practice Parameter : Therapies For Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (An Evidence-based Review) : Report On The Quality Standards Subcommittee Of The American Academy Of Neurology. Neurology. 70: 2067-2074.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Physio And Sports Solutions Lunch

Last year we brought staff from Physio and Sports Solutions to Fika Cafe for lunch. This year we thought we'll go to lunch at the Straits Kitchen in Hyatt hotel.

After a short wait to get in (it was really packed) as we made reservations, it was time to eat.

Our very own section in the restaurant
Who's late?
Kids tucking in
Yvonne, the rose among the thorns
Here's a group picture
A big thank you to all who came.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

No Prizes For Guessing Who Got New Shoes (Again)

The most recent footwear Gino reviewed was the Earth Runners/ Huraches. Previously, he also got 3 pairs of Nikes.

Well, today he came home with not one but 2 new pairs of Under Armour running shoes to review. The UA Speedform Slingshot and the UA Charged Bandit 2.

Also have a read here. Stay tuned for his review.....

Friday, September 30, 2016

Can Antiperspirants Or Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer?

A few nights ago, Gino sent me an article warning that underarm antiperspirants or deodorants can cause breast cancer. Specifically aluminium ones. He suggested that I maybe I shouldn't be using them. I replied that I've used aluminium free deodorant for years.

Why aluminium ones you must be wondering?

Some scientists have suggested that there may be certain ingredients in underarm aluminium deodorants or antiperspirants related to breast cancer since they are applied frequently to an area next to the breast.

The articles have suggested that these aluminium filled products contain harmful substances which can be absorbed through the skin or enter the body through nicks caused by shaving.

Once absorbed, it can cause estrogen (hormonal) like effects. Since estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that aluminium based compounds in deodorants and antiperspirants may contribute to development of breast cancer.

There is also research showing that the number of breast cancers diagnosed in the upper, outer area of the breast (which is the part closest to the armpit) is on the rise (Darbre at al, 2013).

I do not know of any local studies done so far but Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say there is no evidence directly antiperspirant/ deodorant use to cancer.

The research does not proof that antiperspirant causes breast cancer although some researchers who studied the chemicals are questioning if aluminium in combination with all the other compounds found in the antiperspirants/ deodorants (and many other personal care products we use) could add up to something harmful.

Many questions remain unanswered, but you cannot rule out the idea that these complex chemical mixtures could cause or contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Now you know.


Darbre PD, Mannello F and Exley C (2013). Aluminium And Breast Cancer: Sources Of Exposure, Tissue Measurements And Mechanisms Of Toxicological Actions On Breast Biology. J Inorg Biochem. 128: 257-261. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2013.07.005.

Jones J (2000). Can Rumors Cause Cancer? J Nat Cancer Insti. 92(18): 1469-1471.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thank You President SR Nathan

Here's Gino with former President of Singapore at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Thank you for all you've done for Singapore. Rest in peace.