7/30/2017

Dry Needling

I've been suffering from the following maladies for quite a while now:
- stiff shoulders due to lack of stretching before and after a workout
- lax and aching ankles due to multiple ankle sprains

Massages have only provided temporary relief, but it was only in 2015 that I decided to seek pain management treatment particularly for my stiff shoulders. This decision was triggered by my experience of pain radiating from my shoulders up my neck to the base of my skull especially when I am tired/stressed out. It would sometimes leave me disoriented and feeling fatigued. 

My 1st experience with pain management was with Dr Maya N at Pantai Pain Centre. Seh diagnosed I have myofascial pain syndrome; muscles in my shoulders were tense and squeezing the nerve, thus the waves of pain. She prescribed the PENS treatment (Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) where needles are inserted in the affected nerve to transmit a low electric current and block the pain (she has written a very good article for the Star on the matter). While Dr Maya was gentle and professional, the treatment was not very effective as it still does not eliminate the source of pain thus I stopped after 2 sessions. 

Subsequently, I underwent a single session of acupuncture and cupping therapy with Ka Traditional Medicine Centre and the relief was more long lasting, albeit temporary (plus it was cheaper). 

Recently I have gone for 4 sessions with Ms Abbie of Green Chiropractic Sdn Bhd:
1) Spinal adjustment and deep tissue manipulation
2) Dry needling of trapezium muscle
3) Dry needling of right calf
4) Dry needling of tibialis anterior 
Note that dry needling and Chinese acupuncture are share 1 thing in common: utilization of the needle as tool of treatment. The theory and the approach are completely different. The actual mechanism of how dry needling works is still unclear, but it is clear that the treatment "releases" myofascial tension and allows the injured muscle to recover quickly, thus relieving the pain and discomfort. 

Verdict:
Dry needling works for me; muscles stay relaxed for weeks after the treatment and the relief seems more permanent. The most important lesson is that good habits are essential to prevent the pain:
1) don't underestimate the importance of warm-up/warm-down
2) don't strain overworked muscles (don't gung ho)
3) pay attention to posture and stretching intermittently while at work

It is important to practice good habits early to prevent further injury, prolonged pain and improve quality of life. 

Disclaimer: This article is merely knowledge-sharing and it is not intended to promote any treatment/centre. However I am happy to discuss my experience so feel free to ask questions :)

Baddy Venues

I play badminton (affectionate term: baddy) regularly (3-4 times a week) and a good venue is very important. Bangsar doesn't have many venues, so I frequent the following: 

1) Bangsar Sports Complex
Managed by DBKL, the complex has been serving the community for many years. Amenities include badminton (rubber) and squash courts, a swimming pool, gym, outdoor basketball, tennis and futsal courts. Booking can be done online (min 3 days prior reservation is required) at the rate of RM4/hr for 1 court.

2) Bukit Bandaraya Community Center
Also managed by DBKL, this is a recent addition albeit smaller than the aforementioned. It's got badminton (rubber) and tennis courts, and a gym. Online reservation is not available, bookings can only be made on two dates in a month, same rate as (1).

3) TNB Bukit Pantai
Housed under TNB building at Jalan Pantai (opposite Pantai Hospital), the court is open to public but bookings to be made with TNB staff. I'm not sure of the rate but it's parquet surface.

4) Lee Chong Wei Sports Centre
This high-profile complex (thanks to its namesake) has many facilities: badminton, futsal, gym, body building, yoga, gymnastics, ping long and even a Chinese traditional health center. The rates depend on the period (non-peak, normal, peak) and surface type (typical rubber or shock-absorbing).

5) Suria Sports Centre
Located next to Mydin at Subang, this is one of the best places to play at. It's a huge hall with Taraflex surface, supposedly the same material used for tournaments. Students can enjoy 50% discount. Weekday nights are brimming its recreational players, so Sunday mornings are the best!
Update: The center has shut down :(

6) Yap Twins Court
Located behind Subang Digi Mall, the hall is quite big but not as well-maintained as (5). However it's cheaper and usually it has more courts available.

7) Pusat Komuniti Lembah Pantai
Nestled within Pantai Hillpark, the courts here are rubberized and in fairly new. Same DBKL rates apply; however booking has to be done manually at the office 8am-5pm.

8) Pusat Komuniti TTDI
Occasionally I play at this center; the courts were recently revamped and I enjoyed playing on the new rubber surface. Note that the vending machine sometimes work and they don't sell drinks outside so it's best to bring your own. 

9) Elements Badminton Center
With 6 well-maintained courts, this center located in Taman Perindustrian UEP is popular with the Subang locals. 

I hope there'll be more venues to play at in the future; do let me know if there's a venue nearby I could try out :)

The MRT Food Trail

Inspired by the Star's article, I will post this live post on food spots that are accessible from t he newly opened Sg Buloh-Kajang MRT line. As this is a live post, it will be updated from time to time, and I welcome feedback from you all! I will also try to upload pics for better reference!
Note that Pasar Rakyat station has been renamed to TRX

TTDI

The station is adjacent to Glo Damansara from Gate B. Cross Jalan Damansara to the older neighborhood shops. Try the Indian fare at Restoran PJ Hills -- the masala tea had real kick and their dishes are generous with the spices! If the food is too spicy, remember there is delicious cheesecake and matcha ice cream from Family Mart back at the station! 

Side note: the Kuala Lumpur City Opera studio is also near here, drop in to find out more about their events! 


Pusat Bandar Damansara
Exit through gate A and walk up the hill past Menara Bangsar to reach Bangsar Shopping Center. Either spend a day in the mall or take bus no T850 (at BSC) to House No 73, Lorong Maarof and walk to Telawi area, which is the watering hole of Bangsar. Exit through gate B and ride the feeder bus T817 to MidValley Megamall, another shopping and food haven. 

Pasar Seni
Spend time wandering Central Market for some window shopping before savoring scrumptious pineapple tarts from Happy Meal Pastries. 

Bukit Bintang
Ahh Bukit Bintang...the true shopping center of Kuala Lumpur. Good eats and glorious shopping awaits upon exiting Bukit Bintang MRT station. You can now stuff yourself with Japanese food at Jogoya Japanese Restaurant and justify it by walking it off in Pavilion. Walk 10 min and you can enjoy delicious egg tarts and the famous pork noodles at Restoran Win Heng Seng. Yi House of Buns & Noodles serve authentic Sarawak fare like Sarawak laksa and kolok mee. At night, the carpark area next to the Honda showroom (opposite the Jalan Imbi Chapel) bustles with food hawkers -- the char kuay teow here is pretty decent. Changkat, considered the "pub street"of KL is also accessible by foot 10 min from the station. 

Tun Razak Exchange/TRX

This is close to heart because it is near my workplace! Exit Gate A to Jalan Delima. What's good to eat here, huh? 

1. Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie

This boulangerie is popular for the French style pastries (endorsed by many French expats) churned from their stone oven. Their macarons and cakes are pretty good, while the Western offerings such as pasta are decent. Remember to take the number of your table before ordering! 

2. Middle Eastern fare

There are a few establishments here that serve Middle Eastern cuisine; the nearest is Al-Andalus with affordable lunch sets. Head towards the Indonesian Embassy and you will find Tajine located at the ground floor of Menara Bintang Goldhill. Hadramawt faces Prince Court Medical Center, serving the best saltah in my opinion, a savory dish considered Yemen's favorite lunch. 

3. Chinese restaurants

Noble House serves Chinese dishes red-clothed table style; its sister Noble Banquet (along Jalan Bukit Bintang) is a popular wedding reception venue. Head to Singapore-grown Ka-Soh for exquisite (and expensive) fish head noodles. 

4. Indian restaurants

Side by side on Jalan Delima are two popular North Indian restaurants -- Passage Thru India and Spice Garden. I personally prefer Passage Thru India; it is not cheap but the quality and the authenticity of the dishes justify the cost. Both restaurants are suitable for gatherings. 

Cochrane

An underground connection to the new MyTown Shopping Centre will be available in September; for now, commuters will have to exit the station to the surface and cross the road to the mall and its neighbor, IKEA Cheras.

Maluri

Sunway Velocity harped on great connectivity to the rest of Klang Valley thanks to their close proximity to the Maluri station. Walk approximately 10 min to Wah Kiow Yong Tau Foo for my favorite yong tau foo. The yong tau foo are big, loaded and fresh! The curry mee and chee cheong fun are popular too! This station is also located close to AEON Maluri

Taman Mutiara
The humble neighborhood mall Cheras Leisure Mall is a stone's throw away from this station. Walk 10 min to Auntie Lora's Kopitiam for Penang prawn mee, lor mee and curry mee. Personally I feel the prawn mee broth was thinner than what I would pay for RM8 (regular size). However service is prompt and the assam laksa tasted good. 

Stadium Kajang
The famous Medan Sate Hj Samuri is located opposite the station. But if you want to try something other than Kajang's favorite dish, get a ride to the wet market on Jalan Changkat and look for the V-shape food square. Try springy chee cheong fun at Ten Hup stall and shaved ice desserts at Kedai ABC & Air Batu Chong Kee. Please note that the latter is closed on Sundays. 

What food treasures await at MRT stations near you? Share your feedback with us!

9/13/2016

GrabHitch Beta: Discontinued

Effective 18 June 2017, the GrabHitch service has been discontinued. You may opt for carpooling service with GrabShare

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These days, Malaysians can opt for civilian driver service thanks to apps like Uber and GrabCar. The service is basically a relatively cheaper taxi service with civilian drivers behind the wheel, made convenient by the app provided. Simply key in your pickup and drop-off location, and the app will provide a driver + fare. I've used GrabCar (not Uber) and so far I'm satisfied with the service. Some friends have opted to drive for both/either apps as a part time occupation or in between jobs (considering the current economic slump); I find iMoney's article comparing the two apps in terms of commission a good read. 

I've signed up as a GrabHitch driver -- what is GrabHitch? As per GrabHitch's site, it's a carpooling service. Drivers key in their route (either once-off or a routine one) and the app will match riders within the distance and time frame of your route. The calculated fare should assist your petrol costs. Currently in beta phase, Grab does not make a dime from your rides. However depending on the market feedback, Grab should eventually make a cut from your fare. 

Here are my few tips for GrabHitch drivers:
1) Check the time and the proposed pickup/drop-off locations
- it is not worth RM10 to be stuck in a traffic jam for 40 min
- sometimes the detour may be further from your route's start and end point, so do some homework before accepting the ride (see point 3)

2) For ladies, please test the route with a friend
- this will help you familiarize yourself with the app and provide some security before picking up strangers
- you may select same gender passengers while keying in your route

3) Ensure you are familiar with the detour route
- this is especially important to ensure you meet your schedule as well as your rider's
- it will also boost your confidence and improve the quality of your ride

My biggest issuewith the app is that I have to accept the ride to contact the rider to get information like the exact pickup/drop-off location and rider's contact to negotiate the time/venue. However as the app is within beta stage, hopefully GrabMY will resolve to make the app work more efficiently. 

Summary: While there is much room for improvement of the app, I fully support the concept of paid carpooling and I would encourage all to support it as well, either as a driver or a rider. Happy Hitching! :)

8/07/2016

Steamboat at Caprilicious

My 1st steamboat (or hot pot) experience was lunch at a university mate's house. I liked the idea that you can custom design the meal to your liking, be it the soup stock, the fresh ingredients, the sauces and of course the shared company that is a must with steamboat meals. Since then I've always been open to eating steamboat meals with family and friends, so it was no surprise that I bought the Groupon for steamboat dinner at Caprilicious, in Capri by Fraser, Bangsar. 


The deal entitles you (and guests) to buffet steamboat dinner. There was a wide array of fresh meats, seafood, vegetables, processed food (all the bola bola), assorted yong tau foo and desserts. Coffee and tea is free flow, and you may request for free flow wine RM40 per pax. Choice of soup is tom yam and chicken. Service was good and attentive, plus they promptly replenished the buffet spread. 











There are just 2 main steps: 
1) Pick the soup and start cooking: I personally preferred the chicken soup; the tom yam soup didn't have enough kick. It is IMPORTANT for the soup to be boiling before you put any ingredients in! Also don't fill the pot to the brim, refilling the soup is a normal practice ;)

2) Pick and dump the ingredients: get your meats, vegetables etc. The order of cooking is important to ensure safe consumption: 
- again, wait until the soup is bubbling! 
- don't put everything in at once: not everything cooks at the same speed, eg prawns quick faster than red meat
- start with the meats > seafood > vegetables
- wait until they are cooked then remove EVERYTHING before inserting a fresh batch
- REPEAT
- typically eggs and noodles are inserted last - especially if you have guests who may not want egg in their soup :p

My verdict? It was a nice experience: good quick service, great company and relaxing background music makes a fuss-free steamboat dinner :)

Other information:
1) Parking is RM3 per entry (however we came after 7pm so do check the rates)
2) U Bar on level 33 has a nice view of the KL skyline - require security access
3) Caprilicious offers buy 1 free 1 for international lunch buffet and steamboat buffet dinner on Mondays. 

Have you dined at Caprilicious before? Share your experience in the comment box below :)

7/24/2016

Music from Movies & Musicals

The Choir of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor (PSS) will present Music from Movies and Musicals on 29 to 31 July 2016 at Pentas 1, klpac. The show will feature memorable showtunes and popular music from movies, like Frozen and the Lion King. 

PSS is a community-based performing arts society and this show aims to make musical shows accessible for all music lovers. Tickets are available at Ticketpro but I would like you to consider the Fri show (29 July) where proceeds will be donated to Hospis Malaysia. Hospis Malaysia is a charitable organization that offers professional palliative care to patients who suffer from terminal illness within the Klang Valley. Proceeds will fund medicine and medical equipment, training and education and other operating expenses. 

Click here for more details on how you can donate to Hospis Malaysia and enjoy a fun-filled night :)


Restoran Bubur Goreng

Yes, I kid you not: the restaurant's name IS Restoran Bubur Goreng. Their specialty is fried porridge, which is porridge "fried" with garlic, pork lard, yam and other yummy bits. The fried porridge comes in 1 size only, which can feed 4-6 people.
The famed fried porridge

However I am a bigger fan of their other offerings, like salted egg crabs, steamed lala and deep fried meat balls! The best time to come is before 7pm; after that it gets pretty crowded. The service is brisk and the price is decent. Let the pictures convince you it is worth the drive to Klang: 
Steamed lala
Cantonese style mee sua
Hokkien style bihun-mee
Malabar spinach (帝皇苗)
My favorite - salted egg crabs!
Kam heong crabs!
Glorious stir-fried Romaine lettuce
Another favorite - Meat balls! 

You may also order crab bihun - super flavorful, and the crayfish in assorted styles (fried, in steamed egg etc). They don't serve rice but their noodles are good and packed with wok hei! For those who can tahan spicy stuff, their sambal is really delicious! 

Below is the receipt in Jul 2016 which translated to 8 happy tummies:

Location map below (credits to the Star):
Address:
32 & 34 Lorong Lang, Taman Berkeley,
41150 Klang, Selangor.
Tel: +6016-6868579


Have you tried other dishes at this establishment? Share your thoughts! :)