Your Health & Happiness: Aromatherapy - essential oils and their use and strength
Chitra Klanprayoon, Ban
Sabai Spa, President Thai Lanna Spa Association
Aromatherapy combines the soothing, therapeutic touch of
massage with the beneficial properties of essential oils. The smell touches
our senses, it has the power to transform our emotions and cure our bodies.
It can take us to another place and time. Let us guide you to your aroma
destination by explaining some essential oils and their use and strength.
Botanical Name: Jasminum grandiflorum
Common Origins: probably an Iranian native. Over 40
different species are grown in East India. The most prized oil comes from
France and Italy, although it is also grown in Egypt.
Aromatherapy Use: calming, warming, relaxing,
antidepressant; sensual and romantic
Fragrance: flowery and strong
Suggested Use: massage, diffuser, bath
Medicinal Information: nervous system sedative,
muscle-relaxant, and euphoric/antidepressant properties; beneficial to dry,
sensitive, or mature skin; reported to relieve menstrual cramps. Expectorant
and fever-reducing, it can be useful in soothing colds.
Botanical Name: Citrus limomum
Common Origins: Southern USA
Aromatherapy Use: energizing, uplifting, refreshing,
cheering, clears the mind and aids concentration
Suggested Use: bath, massage, diffuser, inhalant, room
Fragrance: fresh, citrusy, soft-lemony
Blends With: Ylang Ylang, Tea Tree, other Citrus,
Medicinal Information: astringent, antiseptic,
decongestant, cleansing, disinfectant. Beneficial for oily hair/skin.
Usage Warnings: avoid sun. Dilute well, skin irritant.
Botanical Name: Cymbopogon citratus
Common Origins: Guatemala, Haiti, Sri Lanka, China, but
widely cultivated elsewhere
Aromatherapy Use: vitalizing, invigorating, cleansing
Suggested Use: room spray, inhalant, massage, bath
Fragrance: powerful lemony scent, widely used in the
Blends With: Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Tea Tree, other
Medicinal Information: analgesic, antipyretic,
antifungal, mildly sedative and antioxidant properties have been confirmed
by basic research. A good cleanser for oily skin/hair.
Usage Warnings: Skin irritant - dilute well
The Doctor's Consultation: A word of warning to the expat community
by Dr. Iain Corness
This newspaper recently published some (frightening) facts
for the UK expatriates in Thailand, with the proposed abolishment of their
National Health Scheme entitlements. The word from the British Health
Secretary is that people will now have to prove they spend at least six months
each year in the UK to get the free care, even after they may have spent a
lifetime of contributing to National Insurance. Scary thought!
The NHS is apparently emphasizing that expatriates will
still get access to the British NHS in an emergency. However, this is as far
as it will go.
Other countries have similar schemes, with similar
restrictions. If you want to live outside your home country, then tough luck
Charlie. When you think about the implications, it is fairly frightening.
Basically, we are all on our own!
The problem we all have to face is that of getting older.
Anno Domini brings its own rewards in the form of heart attacks, strokes,
ulcers, cancers, fragile bones, arthritis and even Alzheimers (if I can
remember how to spell it correctly).
What you have to then understand is that your home country’s
‘safety net’ may not be there any more. You are going to have to knit one
yourself! Fortunately, it is possible to remain here, and get medical cover,
but the sooner you do it the better. It’s called Medical Insurance.
Of course, there are also those of you out there who will
proudly say, "I never get sick!" and for you I sincerely hope that
idyllic state continues. Of course, even if you do escape prostate cancer,
lung cancer, breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes, there is still the
chance of getting run over attempting the 50 metre dash across Pattaya Second
Road any evening. The message is just that none of us are above the risk of
ill health or injury.
The important word in that last paragraph is
"risk" - that is what insurance is all about. You are minimizing
your risk of financial exposure by contracting with an insurance company for
them to cover your medical bills, which is in turn taking on the
"risk" of whether you get sick or not. They hope that you will pay
more in premiums than you cost in medical bills, averaged out over the period
of insurance. This is really high level gambling, so let’s hope the
government doesn’t hear about it!
Now the insurance companies do not go blindly into this
agreement with you. They demand to know your current state of health and
family history to work out if you are a "standard" or
"high" risk candidate. That is, I believe, fair and equitable.
However, it is also incumbent upon you to check just what
you are being covered for, and what exclusions they have applied. Caveat
emptor is the name of the game (or get a good agent).
Also check how long the company will cover you for. Some
companies do not want to know you after you turn 70. These companies are
certainly limiting their "risk" exposure in the marketplace!
So what should you do? Well, I would suggest that you do as
I have done and check with a reputable insurance agent as to what exactly the
policy will cover. Will an ailment become the subject of exclusion, after
years of being accepted as a standard risk, and will I get thrown out after a
certain age? Check today!
This week I visited my favourite chrome pole palace and my eyes almost
popped out. She was not your average dancer, she was in a class of her
own, making the stage come alive as she moved, bumped and swayed through
her bracket of songs. I know nothing of her background but her foreground
is mind boggling. She has movie star looks with flawless skin tightly
wrapped around a tall, lithe body that has more curves than an F1 circuit.
I bought her a drink and learned that she has never married, has no kids,
doesn’t own a water buffalo and her parents are healthy and wealthy. She
doesn’t smoke, drink or eat garlic and is not motivated by money. Her
only wish is to meet somebody who will be kind enough to teach her English
so that she can read and study her set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Have I
finally met Chiangmai’s perfect go-go girl?
No you have not, my squeaking little Petal. I have told you before about
smoking those cigarettes made from funny tomato plants. Not only is it
against the law, but it gives people delusions and they start talking like
a Mickey Spillane pulp paperback. Come on now, we both know this person
does not exist. English teachers do not go to chrome pole palaces to run
English classes, even if the said go-go dancer is standing on the complete
set of Encyclopedia Britannica. In the meantime, I have spoken to your
doctor and he says to double the tablets immediately.
I am a little worried that my husband has been playing up recently. He has
been going to bars with his workmates after the office closes and seems to
be staying out longer and longer. I have told him he has to let me know
when he is coming home, as I have often got jobs for him to do around our
condo, and he has to have time to prepare the dinner for all of us (we
have a pet poodle). When I went through his pockets the other evening I
found a business card for a bar in one of the more seedy areas in town.
Have I got a real worry here or not, Hillary? Please let me know.
Dear Anxious Annie,
You sure do have a problem, Annie my Petal, you surely do. If my partner
were to be telling me to come home and cook the dinner after I spent all
day in the office, then I’d even go to bars myself, just as retaliation.
Time you learned to cook and fend for yourself. I hope you and the poodle
have some lovely romantic candlelight dinners together. Just watch out
that its coat doesn’t singe. Wake up, Annie. Time for you to be looking
at what you are doing, not what he is doing.
I am a 61 year old expat who has recently been visiting Thailand. I am
currently having a house built here. I have taken up with a 21 year old
bargirl. I think she is into leather and bondage because when she saw my
wallet she wanted to get tied to it. What do you think are the chances of
a long term relationship?
Mark. D. Sade
How long? Depends on how long you keep your wallet filled, Petal. You
could also try keeping your money in a sock, rather than a leather wallet
if you think leather’s the attraction.
Have you ever tried crossing the road here in Thailand? You take your life
in your hands as nobody slows or makes any effort at avoiding you. Three
times this week I have had to jump out of the way of those dreadful public
taxi buses and I feel this can do the image of Thailand no good at all.
What do you think, Hillary?
Dear Pedestrian Paul,
Have I tried crossing the road? What a ridiculous question! Of course I’ve
tried crossing the road. That does not mean to say that I have always been
successful though. Honestly, you men do amaze me at times! I agree that
the sight of people like you jumping ineptly out of the way of rampant
taxi buses will do our image no good at all. Perhaps you could try ballet
lessons at the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy so you could jump with elegance
in a "pas de chat" manoeuvre (or perhaps that should be a
"pas de bus" number)? However, if you find that crossing the
road is totally impossible, then just take the arm of one of our old folk,
and then using them as a shield, force your way through the belching
buses. The new pedestrian crossings may make a difference, but I think it
is more likely that this will assist the buses, as then the pedestrians
will all be herded into the same area, and they can get more than one with
one lunge. The crossings are really pedestrian aiming strips. No matter
whether you wear light or dark clothes, you can be picked out against the
black and white zebra stripes.
Camera Class: Be prepared
by Harry Flashman
The other day I missed on a wonderful photo opportunity.
Driving along a back road I saw a herd of water buffalo, standing knee deep in
an expanse of water, doing whatever water buffalo do while getting soggy feet.
No wonder I read about so many Isaan buffaloes get sick in Ms. Hillary’s
column. But back to my photo opportunity. It was a picture postcard shot. Early
morning, reflections in the water, great lighting. It was a shot you could sell
for $1000 and fortunately I always carry my camera bag with three lenses and two
camera bodies. It was a cinch. And I had no film in either camera body, or even
in the bag! Be prepared. (By the way, never pass up an opportunity thinking that
you will come back later and get it. It never happens again!)
Apart from not getting the "shot of the month"
there are a few other reasons to carry a (loaded) camera with you at all times.
One is after close encounters of the accidental kind. Unfortunately in Thailand
there are also thousands of accident opportunities, with most of them riding
motorcycles. My local insurance consultant was the one who reminded of this. He
recommends to all of his firm’s customers that it is prudent to keep a camera
ready, just in case. A photograph in these instances can say much more than one
thousand words, especially if they are all in Thai! As well as helping the
police to attribute blame in the right direction, it also helps the insurance
company. Be prepared.
One of the significant reasons not to carry a camera in the
car at all times, however, is the fact that it is asking to be stolen (and
generate another claim for my insurance consultant friend to deal with) if it is
on view. Put it in the glove box, do I hear you say? Please don’t. The
temperatures that can be generated in auto glove boxes is far greater than
cameras should have to endure, never mind the film.
There is a simple answer for all this and it is not a camera
bag, which does advertise the fact that you have a camera on board (hopefully
expensive from the thief’s point of view). The answer is one of those
polystyrene coolers. They come in various sizes and are very inexpensive. A few
hundred baht only at your local supermarket. You can pop your (loaded) camera in
it, shut the lid and put it in the boot, or under the seats. The temperature
will not get too high, it is away from inquisitive eyes, and well protected.
Perfect. Well prepared!
Now there are those people who are not driving around looking
for the "shot of a lifetime" or to record a motorcycle kamikaze
attack, but for these people I still recommend having some sort of camera with
you. In these cases, one of the ‘film in a box’ disposable cameras makes
sense for you. Go the little bit extra and buy the waterproof disposable ones.
Songkran only comes once a year (thank goodness) but there are other times when
you might want to snap something in the wet weather, such as during the storms
or torrential rain in the rainy season. Rain pictures can be quite spectacular.
A Kodak disposable that is safe for up to 15 metres underwater (that’s some
storm) is only around 600 baht and includes the film. Bargain! Very well
Finally, just to remind you to be prepared, remember the
lyrics of the ditty about the boy scouts penned and sung by Tom Lehrer (over
which he was taken to court by the Boy Scouts Association in America). It went
"If you’re looking for adventure of a new and
And you come across a girl scout who is similarly inclined,
Don’t be nervous, don’t be bashful, don’t be scared.
And I am sure he meant that you should have a camera handy!
Money Matters: Storm Watch Update Part 1
Based on a an article by Jim Puplava March 2004
MBMG International Ltd.
If you asked the financial experts why gold prices are up,
you will get different answers. To most on Wall Street the rise in the price of
gold is an anomaly, a nuisance, but nothing that should be taken seriously by
Gold’s rise in price in 2001 was attributed to the
events surrounding 9-11. The rise in price in 2002 was the result of the
bear market in stocks. In 2003 gold’s gains were the result of the Iraq
War, then it became the dollar’s fall.
There are always temporary explanations given for gold’s
spectacular rise, but very seldom are the words "bull market" used
to describe its parabolic rise. After all, what else would you use to
describe a 450% advance in the Amex Gold Bug’s Index (HUI) the last three
years? The HUI has been as high as 256.84 before the latest pullback.
The price of the actual metal itself has moved from a low
of $255 in April of 2001 to today’s close of $417.60. The rise in precious
metals has been across the board. The price of silver bullion has moved from
a low of $4.06 to today’s close of $7.628. Platinum prices as well as
palladium are soaring again as well.
The rise in the price of precious metals has also been
duplicated by price increases in other commodities. It doesn’t matter
whether you are looking at oil, natural gas, copper, lead, zinc, corn,
wheat, soybeans, or cotton. They have all risen in price, some more than
others, and some in spectacular fashion.
The plain fact is that the commodities sector is in a new
bull market and the precious metals are in a new super bull market. Price
increases of 400-1000% are a bull market and not mere happenstance as some
on Wall Street would have you believe. Like all new bull markets in their
formative stage it has very few believers, Wall Street being one of them.
Talk to industry executives and very few can see beyond present prices.
The industry has been in the doldrums for so long it is
hard for many executives to see gold or silver prices beyond where they are
today. The lack of belief also applies to the gold newsletter industry where
most writers have been bearish, cautious, or hesitant with doubts whether
present prices can hold. This weekend’s edition of Barron’s featured an
interview with the dean of Dow Theory, Richard Russell. The seasoned sage of
the financial markets sees a big ugly bear market for stocks in the future.
To quote Russell, "I’m afraid we are coming into one of the worst
bear markets in history."
Russell advises his subscribers to hold cash, gold and
gold stocks. Gold at $400 an ounce is "as cheap as dirt." Russell
sees gold prices above $1,000 an ounce. Today on cable TV one financial
anchor’s response to the Barron’s Russell interview was that Russell
likes gold, but "he’s getting on in age."
The wall of disbelief is still pervasive on Wall Street
and within the industry. Yet, despite the wall of worry, the metals have
been relentless in their climb, first gold and now silver.
This new super bull market has barely begun and at some
point this year, we will begin to see the price of gold rise in all
currencies around the globe. By yearend the prices of gold and silver will
be far higher than where they are today. The race to own real money is just
beginning and this super bull market has a long, long, long way to go. For
those who want to know why gold prices are heading higher (besides the
mindless spin coming from anchors and analysts), I have listed 7 fundamental
reasons why gold and silver are heading higher.
Gold & Silver
1) Producer Hedge Book Reductions and the Decline in
Central Bank Gold Sales
For years the price of gold was kept suppressed
throughout the 1990s by large central bank sales. As prices were kept
suppressed, many mining companies sold their forward production. The
combination of central bank sales with producer hedge books brought
additional supplies onto the market. This kept prices low at a time demand
for gold was increasing.
When interest rates were high and when gold prices were
falling, many companies made money by hedging their future production. It
became an attractive proposition. Contangos (the implied margin between six
-month LIBOR and six- month gold) lease rates were high. You could sell or
borrow gold and sell at attractive borrowing rates and invest the difference
in high-yielding paper instruments. Central banks made it attractive to
borrow and sell gold and invest the difference in high-yielding government
paper. It became known as the "gold carry trade."
Basically, you could borrow gold from a bullion bank at a
very low interest rate and then invest the difference in high yielding
paper. It is similar to what is going on in today’s bond markets where
large investors and institutions can borrow short-term and invest long-term
and pocket the spread.
Since 2001, interest rates have fallen dramatically, gold
prices have firmed and the production of gold itself has fallen. It is no
longer profitable to borrow and sell gold short. In fact it can be
financially dangerous as several mining companies have found out.
In a rising gold market, a profitable gold company doesn’t
short its future production. Instead they profit from future price increases
since their production is leveraged to a rise in gold and silver prices.
Furthermore, in a rising gold market, shareholders of gold companies have
been bringing enormous pressure on management to unwind hedge book
In the last few months aggressive hedgers such as Barrick
Gold and Cambior have announced an end to their hedging policies. Gold
hedging has made Barrick Gold a major under performer in this new super bull
market. Barrick’s stock is up only 33% over the last few years compared to
a gain of 450% for the Amex Gold Index of unhedged gold companies.
The above data and research was compiled from sources
believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its
officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above
article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of
any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above
article. For more information please contact Graham Macdonald on
graham@mbmg-inter na tional.com
Mrs. DoLittle’s Corner: If you want success in life
Don’t let your body handicap your true feelings
In our busy world today, there has not been much thought put
into the emotional lives of the rhinoceros.
To keep you abreast of things, Mrs. DoLittle had better give
you a quick update to inform you that even though rhinos have very thick skin,
they DO FEEL. Deeply! Some even like to be tickled!
Mrs. DoLittle can speak for her old friend ‘Girlie’ the
Indian rhinoceros at the Chiang Mai Zoo. Although rhinos don’t see very well,
their hearing and sense of smell is acute. As soon as I would get to the top of
the hill facing Girlie’s enclosure below, I would see her sniffing the wind
in anticipation of my arrival.
I called out to her, she’d bellow like a cow and start trotting in my
direction. As I called out again, she’d break into a gallop, rushing to meet
me, kicking up a big storm. Luckily her brakes always worked! She’d stop
within an inch of me, leaving us both in a great cloud of dust. After it
cleared and I stopped coughing, I’d see her standing there, looking straight
at me, wearing a big grin from ear to ear.
"Hi, it’s about time you came back!" She was of
course also wearing her big coat of armor. It is as hard as sheet metal in some
places, yet under the heavy plates all over her body, the skin is bright pink
and very delicate.
When Mrs. DoLittle started tickling Girlie on these
sensitive areas, she would slowly sink down on her knees and eventually
completely collapse with delight. Rolling over on her back, her legs would poke
straight up in the air. She sometimes fell asleep in this position, snoring
loudly for several hours, much to the delight of zoo visitors busy filming the
two ton upside down rhino.
At other times, when Girlie wanted a ‘tickle session’
she’d make a racket on the steel bars with her horn. When I came to check
what all the noise was about, she’d grin and lift her hind leg. She was as
charming as she was big. One of her favorite joys was ice cream. As soon as she
saw one, she’d dribble and smack her lips. Girlie is not only a very
sensitive rhinoceros, but she has got good taste too!
The moral of today’s story is: If you want success in
life, don’t let your body be a handicap to your true feelings.
Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
209/5 Moo 6, T.Faham,
A.Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
Tel. 053 852 557, 081-302 0126 Fax. 053 260 738
Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.