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It’s ironic to note that as our society progresses, the number of people suffering from back pain increases. This is something which I foresee will only aggravate in the years to come as most of us are huddled up perpetually behind our laptops and are subjected to carry heavy briefcases and document files.
 
Add to that stress on our back, the perils of a new office shift and there I found a new group of fans in the employees from Wilmar International today who attended my ‘Eliminating Back Pain’ lunchtime talk.
 
Walking into the new premises at Neil Road was like walking back into history as the façade of the buildings were conserved shophouses. But once I stepped in, the modernity of the inside, complete with meeting rooms and offices, reminded me of the corporate world. With the company products proudly displayed impressively on shelves, alongside accolades in the form of trophies awarded from the around the world; it was obvious Wilmar International is Asia’s leading agribusiness group which operates across all four continents. 

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Sharing that they just completed the move recently, the staff were more than happy to pick up a tip or two on eliminating back pain. By popular demand, the contractor was even summoned down to the meeting room to listen to my talk at mid-point upon request of some of the staff. This was so as I suggested incorporating ergonomically design chairs for the staff and making sure the height of the computer monitors were at the eye level of each staff. Just these two simple tips alone would go a long way to help provide more comfort to everyone sitting behind a desk.

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Before we talk about the cure for back pain, we should revise the fundamentals and examine the structure of the human back and the various parts it comprises. The more intimately well we know our human body, in particular the back, the better we will be in a position to put in place certain measures to strengthen it. Why talk about cures when we can prevent it from occurring in the first place?

For those of you who have attended any of my talks or workshops, you know none of them will end without any practical elements. I'm an active person who enjoys weaving in hands-on activities in all my programmes. Ditto for this back pain talk.

So there you have it - a potent combination of shoulder massages and backward bends :)

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Many times in life, it’s not about how long I’ve known someone…but rather it’s about how well I know that person. Call it rapport, call it chemistry, or call it the special ingredient that makes us tick…
 
I found this and more today during my grooming workshops. Invited by the Presbyterian Community Services to conduct two runs of my signature ladies grooming workshop ‘The Visual Art of Looking Good’ back to back, I simply loved the ladies who attended for giving me endless laughter and joy. It didn’t feel like training at all. There were really too many people in class today that I must be grateful to…especially the drama queens who got me in my element too!
 
Organised as part of the annual Staff Training Day 2011, staff from the Presbyterian Community Services were allowed to choose two workshops to attend. Ranging from public speaking to photography, grooming was also one of the available options. 
 
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I love training single gender grooming workshops as I always make it a point to go more in-depth. So faced with an all lady class, we will only talk women stuff. And in case you are wondering, the male trainer does indeed know more than the average woman in the street. 
 
Probably not expecting a male trainer to be sharing such intimate information about their body shapes and other personal details, I showed my female participants through the demonstrations and subsequently hands-on practical lessons vital information they didn’t know. A true case in point is that the best in each industry is always a male – think chefs, designers, hairstylists and makeup artists. 
 
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I learnt that once you have impressed someone in the first instance, you will impress them forever. Just like today. It’s not my sole aim to impress on purpose. Rather it is to equip my female participants with transferrable lifelong skills which they can bring along with them after class and make a positive difference in the lives of the other ladies around them. Knowledge is power and sharing knowledge is creating a community of learned people.
 
It is sad that grooming is not a subject taught in schools. People need to learn how to dress, what to wear and look their best. It is part of our continuous education. And this integral part, once learned, remains with your forever. 
 
For some of the ladies today, it marked the first time they used a measuring tape to measure themselves! But then again, there’s always a first time for everything. What I’m particularly happy is that after watching my demonstrations, all became professionals at helping their colleagues and themselves. And through this little observation, I realized that I have succeeded in my aim in transferring my knowledge to them. Why bother with the complex when I can simplify information into bite size for them to digest?
 
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Laughing, playing and having fun were the three key objectives of everyone in class. Whether it was the drama queens holding court, or the easy banter among colleagues who pretended not to see eye to eye, these ladies were just like my grandmothers, mothers, aunties and sisters. I love and respect them all.
 
On some days after training, I feel so tired as the crowd isn’t very responsive. It seems like they are all like hostages, forced to attend by their HR. But for today, I swear I could have gone on and stretched the workshop longer, if not for the reminder to end on time. 
 
My biggest takeaway from both workshops must be this accolade I’ve heard from the non-participants who greeted me along the corridors and told me they heard my class was lots of fun. The icing on the cake? They regretted not signing up for it. I smiled and said ‘thank you, maybe next time you will have a chance again to attend my workshop. And remember to go for it first!’ 
 
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