Under Pressure

We’ll try most things, especially when they’re potentially good for the body, but acupuncture continues to baffle us and for good reason. Said to be a good form of physiotherapy and effective against a wide range of illnesses (it’s approved by the World Health Organization), the process of this traditional Chinese healing method involves the manipulation of needles into the patient’s skin, and the activation of heat and sometimes even electric currents. Bizarre? Perhaps. But many claim it works. “I have had eczema for a very long time. A few months ago, my condition worsened even though I was applying the prescribed cream religiously. I consulted a traditional medicine doctor, who advised me to fix the imbalance in my body through acupuncture. The situation gradually eased over five to six weeks of treatment,” says flight stewardess Janet Lim. Marathon runner Benjamin Goh also goes for acupuncture to treat post workout pains. “After you get over the ant bite-like pricks, the whole process actually becomes quite relaxing,” he says. Want to give it a try? Pain relief is just a prick away at these places.
Aimin Acupuncture Weight Loss Center
With the rate of obesity in Singapore increasing dangerously, we predict more people will be turning to acupuncture for help. The acupuncture treatments here specialize in regulating the body’s nervous system and hormones to suppress appetite as well as increase metabolic rate simultaneously so that total body weight may be reduced. Obviously, it is essential that you disclose any diagnosed medical conditions, with details of the type of medication you’re taking. Patients weighing over 150kg are also required to produce a recent medical report with at least six months validity. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute trial if you’re wary of the procedure.
#01-05/06 Starhub Center, 51 Cuppage Rd., 6225-2321. Open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm.
Chiang Acupuncture Specialist
Well established in Singapore, this center boasts the services of renowned sinseh Chiang Yok-Wah, who’s had experience treating all sorts of medical conditions using acupuncture. Well-versed in traditional as well as modern techniques, Chiang also teaches acupuncture to aspiring specialists and offers needle-less options in his treatments. What we particularly like is how he incorporates a few minutes of back and neck massage, as well as cupping (another traditional form of healing regularly practiced by the Malay community) into each session. A session here starts from $80.
#17-10 Shaw Ctr., 1 Scotts Rd., 6737-7390. Open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm.
Fong Acupuncture and Medical Hall
This clinic has been offering acupuncture services and other traditional Chinese methods of healing for the past 15 years. Needle-less acupuncture is also available here, with an electro-simulator machine working in the place of needles. Fong also provides treatments for obstetric patients, optometric as well as stroke patients, and administers tui na massages for muscle injuries. The therapists here often combine acupuncture with recommendations of health food and supplements that may be available at the clinic. Sessions are by appointment only so be sure to book a slot at least a day in advance. A session here (excluding medicine) ranges from $35-40.
#01-270, Blk. 479 Jurong West St. 41, 6563-8619. Open Mon, Tue & Fri 9:30am-1pm, 2-5pm, 6-9pm, Thu & Sat 9:30am-1pm, 2-5pm.
Laser Acupuncture Centre
If you want to experience the benefits of acupuncture but can’t get over your fear of needles, give these guys a call. They were the first in Singapore to advocate laser acupuncture (check the Singapore Book of Records in 2007 if you don’t believe us), which involves the penetration of the body’s deep tissues through laser energy. The power of light is used as a catalyst to jig certain processes in the body and increase blood circulation to promote healing and well-being. Their patients are typically sportsmen, men and women facing the problem of hair loss and even smokers who want to kick the nasty habit. Resident therapist Rodney Lim has been dabbling in the sciences of light transmission and acupuncture for over 30 years, and is often referred to as a “techno acupuncturist” for his specialist skill. Consultations may be on a walk-in basis but make an appointment if you require home care services. A laser treatment here starts from $75.
#05-08 Parklane Shopping Mall, 35 Selegie Rd., 6742-9883. Open Mon-Fri 9:30am-6:30pm, Sat 9:30am-3pm.
Still freaked out? Get an “acupuncture massage” at these spots instead:

Refresh Day Spa
We like this cozy parlor as a one-stop center for all things wellness. If you’re unsure which of the massages is best for your body, you may want to schedule a session with their resident physio director, who will gauge your overall wellbeing and recommend a package to relieve your shortcomings. Our favorites include the Acu Recharge ($98 for one hour), which helps to promote energy flow in the body and the Tui Na ($128 for one hour), which includes cupping to help detox and ease body pain.
#02-08 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd., 6438-7128, www.refresh.com.sg.

Spa Botanica
We haven’t come across a bad review of this place yet, probably because it’s set in such an idyllic location. Their treatments are to die for, too, including the east-west blend massage, which employs a mix of pressure techniques inspired by traditional Chinese healing and modern Western medicine. A one-hour session costs $138.
The Sentosa Resort & Spa, 2 Bt. Manis Rd., 6371-1318.
House at Dempsey
After you walk up the hill (or out of the cab, if you’re smart), you’ll find a refreshing enclave made up of a spa, beauty emporium, restaurant and bar. The spa provides a wide range of treatments with quirky names, including the House Proud massage, which uses acupressure (without the needles, don’t worry) to untangle knots and cramps in the body. A one-hour session costs $120.
8D Dempsey Rd., 6475-7375, www.dempseyhouse.com.