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IN LOVE WITH SWITZERLAND 爱在瑞士

Winter Wonderland
As one of the Central Switzerland’s hidden gems, the Swiss Alpine village of Engelberg and the Mount Titlis glacier is a convenient excursion from the major cities of Zurich and Lucerne. Engelberg – meaning the “mountain of angels”, is originally founded by a Benedictine monk. This area is now a famous winter wonderland filled with many attractions and memorable experiences.

冰雪乐园
有“天使之乡”美誉的英格堡(Engelberg),是以本尼迪克特派的修道院为中心发展而成的山谷小镇。这里拥有沉积着万年积雪和冰河的铁力士山(Mt.Titlis),人们可以在雪地间漫步、滑翔、蹦极、滑雪及玩山地车。无论是从卢塞恩(Lucerne)或苏黎世(Zurich)出发,都可轻松抵达这里。

Mt. Titlis & Cable Car
Mount Titlis is the highest peak in central Switzerland, reaching 3,239 meters above sea level. It has the finest views for visitors—not only an amazing panoramic view of the Alpine peaks, but other fascinating attractions as well. Don’t miss out on the Titlis Rotair gondola—the world’s first rotating cable car. The fully revolving gondola transports passengers conveniently to the summit in a five-minute ascent, offering stunning views of sheer rock faces and glacier crevasses of the Alpine peaks.

铁力士山 & 360度旋转缆车
铁力士山是瑞士中部的最高峰,海拔3,239米。在这里,游客不仅能欣赏令人惊叹的美丽全景,还会为这里的迷人亮点而着迷。全球首创的360度高空旋转景观缆车,让你可以居高临下饱览阿尔卑斯山脉、陡峭的岩壁以及壮阔冰川的壮丽景色,并在短短5分钟抵达山顶。

Titlis Cliff Walk 凌霄岩道 

Titlis Cliff Walk & Glacier Cave
Titlis cliff walk—Europes’ highest elevation suspension bridge is simply a must-do. It is situated on the Titlis glacier in the Engelberg region at 3,041 metres, and makes a 500-metre drop. It takes a 150 heart-pounding steps to traverse. On clear days, visitors can see all the way to Italy, including the Uri Alps and some of the distant glaciers. However, it is the experience of crossing the Titlis Cliff Walk that will take your breath away.

At the frosty heart of the Titlis glacier, a magical world awaits. The Glacier Cave in Mount Titlis is 20 metres below the glacier’s surface. The natural blue colour, due to the light’s refraction, illuminates the 150-metre-long walkway of frozen ice. The temperature inside the cave is regulated at frosty -1.5˚C. Exploring the glacier cave is an amazing experience.

凌霄岩道 & 冰川洞穴
铁力士的凌霄岩道位于海拔3,041米之高地,底下是长达500米的巨大裂缝,是澳洲最高的悬索桥。沿着此悬索桥战战兢兢前行150步,在迷人山景的环绕下抵达桥的另一侧,感受心跳与心动同步的美丽时刻。

在缆车高山站往下望,你会看到一条长约150米的冰缝劈开整块冰川,这里就是冰川洞穴的所在。冰川洞穴位于冰层以下20米,这里的温度通常在-1.5˚C。进入洞穴,你会看到其顶部缀满了晶莹剔透,闪烁着神秘蓝色光芒的冰水晶,彷如进入魔幻世界。

Lucerne • UNESCO World Heritage Site 卢塞恩•世界文化遗产

A city tour in Lucerne takes visitors on a journey of contrast between the old and the new. The impressive contemporary building KKL (Culture and Congress Centre) in particular, stands proud within the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s old town. 

The old town of Lucerne is located on the left bank of the River Reuss. It is connected to the right bank by two century-old landmark bridges: Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) and Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke). Promenading through the old town which is surrounded by medieval walls and watchtowers is amazing. Several houses are decorated with façade paintings that date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. The world-famous Lion’s Monument which was built to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution is certainly a place not to be missed.

The Swan Square (Schwanenplatz) is adjacent to Lake Lucerne. It is a picturesque place to stroll around. There are countless shops here, including branded jewellery and watch stores such as Bucherer and Gübelin. It is a promising starting point for a visit to the old town area. 

漫步在卢塞恩城中,一边是令人惊叹的现代建筑-卢塞恩文化会议中心(KKL),一边是联合国教科文组织的世界文化遗产古城,展现了新与旧的美丽交织。

卢塞恩古城坐落在罗伊斯河河畔的左岸,由两座廊桥:卡佩尔桥和斯普洛耶桥连接到右岸。古城内的中世纪建筑物及瞭望塔、百年宅邸及老房子让人仿佛坠入时光隧道。刻在石洞中的狮子纪念碑是为了纪念在1792年法国大革命中阵亡的瑞士雇佣兵,是游客必到访的景点。

如诗如画的天鹅广场是卢塞恩古城的中心商圈,与卢塞恩湖毗邻。这里的高级珠宝及高级腕表行林立,更有许多瑞士特产店,游客可以从这里开始他们的古城漫步。

MS Saphir – Pure Yachting Sensation
Have you ever dreamt of touring the magnificent bays of Lake Lucerne in the elegant ambience of an exclusive yacht?

Refresh your senses and take in the first class comfort of a cutting-edge ship – the MS Saphir. The stylish design and dashing appearance of the elegant yacht is sure to impress.

Settle down into the spacious seating areas and savour the glorious view of the lake, the town and the mountains. Ingenious technical features of the convertible roof on the upper deck can be opened and closed according to the weather. The crew of the Saphir await you with an audio guide in 11 languages to tell you all about the top attractions of the Bay of Lucerne.  

Treat yourself to affordable luxury aboard the MS Saphir. This 60 beautiful minutes’ yacht tour is sure to make you fall in love with Lucerne.

蓝宝石号 – 风景如画的游艇体验
悠闲地坐在蓝宝石号(MS Saphir)全景游艇的甲板上,眼睛忙碌地欣赏城市、群山和湖泊组成的美丽画卷,感受卢塞恩湖天堂般的美景。这样的游艇体验,仅在卢塞恩。

游艇可折叠式顶配篷可以随着天气而开关,让游客可以在最舒心的状况下游览卢塞恩湖。60分钟的游览及11种语言的语音导览机,带来最贴心的豪华游艇体验,也让你从此爱上卢塞恩。

The House of Gübelin – Swiss Spirit 
The House of Gübelin is a Swiss, family-owned firm known for its exquisite high-end jewellery, gemstone expertise, and as purveyors of some of today’s most sought-after luxury watch brands. 

The company, founded in 1854, is deeply inspired by the internal and external beauty of fine gems and watches. Whether as jeweller, gemmologist or horologist, Gübelin unites love for beauty with passion for knowledge. 

The stunning creations from Gübelin Jewellery are inspired by the fascinating world of coloured gemstones. Gübelin serves its international clientele in its elegant boutiques in prime locations in Switzerland and in private salons in Hong Kong, where customers feel right at home.

瑞士精神
1854年在瑞士卢塞恩创立的百年珠宝品牌Gübelin,从家族企业起家迄今,已经从顶级手表跨越到顶级珠宝,把顶级工艺精神发挥极致。

位于卢塞恩天鹅广场的总店,见证了品牌的百年时光,并以精湛手工与崭新技术,在时光中继续闪烁发光。

采用高素质高级珠宝的品牌,擅长将彩色宝石、光学与美学糅合,带来艺术臻品般的珠宝系列。此外,品牌在香港更有珠宝学院及预约式珠宝店。

The Grand Hotel National – Legendary Hotel 
This 150-year-old legendary establishment sits on the picturesque site of Lake Lucerne promenade with breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains. It is situated in the heart of both Switzerland and Lucerne, and connected to an excellent transportation network. The train station and the old town are both just five minutes away by foot.

The architecture of the residence calls to mind the French châteaux of the 17th and 18th centuries and the palaces of the Italian Renaissance. 41 luxurious rooms are furnished in Empire style with a splendid combination of contemporary designs and urban flair.

The hotel offers a comprehensive dining experience and environment, where only the highest quality culinary delicacies are served. The Restaurant National is where comfort food meets culinary sophistication. The head chef charms diners with creativity, extraordinary culinary art and a love for top-quality regional products. Popular meals and simple snacks are also available. It’s undoubtedly a place for everyone, straightforward yet elegant. 

传奇酒店
拥有150年历史的传奇酒店The Grand Hotel National 位于卢塞恩市中心,紧邻风景如画的卢塞恩湖,距离火车站和旧城区仅有5分钟的脚程。

古色古香的建筑令人想起17和18世纪的法国古堡和意大利文艺复兴时期的宫殿。酒店内41间豪华客房融合了现代设计和都市风情,为住客提供美妙舒适的住宿环境。

此外,酒店的4间餐厅、1间酒吧兼咖啡厅以及最美丽的湖畔餐厅,更为住客带来了无可匹比的美食与用餐氛围。

Text by Desmund Teh & Sweezy Tan

Image(s) courtesy of The Switzerland Tourism Board & Swiss Travel System

THE LOW-FODMAP DIET

by Dr. Mecherl Lim 

MD (MA) Naturopath (ND), Holistic Kinesiology

In 2006, researchers Dr Sue Shepherd & Professor Peter Gibson from Monash Uni, linked several highly fermentable but poorly absorbed short chain carbohydrates and polyols to symptoms associated with IBS, including wind & diarrhoea, as well as to the increased intestinal permeability associated with Crohn’s disease.

These fermentable aligo-di-and monosaccharides and polyols are now known collectively as FODMAPs. They comprise oligosaccharides (fructans and galactans), disaccharides (lactose), monosaccharides (fructose) and polyols, which is the technical word for sweetener. In the 2006 study, 74 per cent of patients with IBS and fructose/fructan diet such as the FODMAP diet.

HOW DOES THE LOW-FODMAP DIET WORK?

Research shows that FODMAPS in meals are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and increase the delivery of water to the colon-suggesting the catalyst for diarrhoea in some people. Breath test show that eating a low-FODMAP diet reduces hydrogen production (in both healthy volunteers and patients with IBS), linking the short chain carbohydrates with bloating, abdominal distension and pain and excessive flatulence. 

Since the first study, research has consistently tied global restriction of FODMAPs (rather than restriction of individual components) with reduced symptoms of IBS. In a challenge trial (in which participants restricted fructose/fructans-containing foods and then restored the foods to the diet) showed a return of symptoms after the foods were reintroduced.

In those with Crohn’s disease, sweeteners such as sorbitol, maltitol and isomalt are absorbed, but the digestibility of the other nutrients in the foods is reduced because these polyols cause an osmotic load, meaning that more water remains in the intestine, leading to watery stool.

FODMAP group had reduced bloating, 87 per cent enjoyed less flatulence and 85 per cent experience a reduction in abdominal pain.

The researchers concluded that the low-FODMAP diet is more effective than standard dietary guidelines for symptom control of IBS.

FODMAPS AFFECT HEALTHY PEOPLE TOO

It’s interesting to note the research has also uncovered information about how FODMAPS are digested by healthy participants. We know, for example, that fructans (polymers of fructose found in asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions and onions and wheat) and galacto-oligosaccharides (lactose from cows milk) are always fermented by intestinal flora, and cause wind production and flatulence in healthy people too. The effects are merely worsened in those with hypersensitivity and motility disorders as found in IBS.

READY TO TRY IT

The low FOD-MAP diet eliminates sugars that can’t be fully digested and absorbed in the small intestine. When following this diet, journal ling is critical. Be sure to keep accurate records of what you eat, when and how your body responds.

After following the diet until all of your symptoms have disappeared, the goal is to reintroduce foods to determine whether they are a trigger for your symptoms. When doing so, add one food back at a time and wait 72 hours to determine that symptoms haven’t re-appeared before moving on to the next food. 

FODMAP DIETThis way of eating is not as restrictive as some other prescription diets, but if you are interested in following it, you are wise to get nutritional guidance from an expert so you are sure to get all of your health-supportive nutrients. You may have to use vitamin and mineral supplementation to be sure to meet nutrient requirements, particularly in the elimination and re-challenge phases. 

Dr Mecherl Lim

An Intuitive Medical Practitioner in Alternative Medicine (MD) (MA), Naturopath (ND), Holistic Kinesiology (HK), and Functional Medicine (FM)

Visit : www.drmecherlherbs.com

Email : drmecherherbs@gmail.com

FACEBOOK : drmecherlherbs for further enquiries.

Image(s) courtesy of Freepik.com

STEM CELL THERAPY IN ORTHOPAEDICS

by Dr. Tan Boon Cheong

MBBS (MU),. MS Ortho (MU)

Many issues ago I did very briefly mentioned about stem cell treatment in orthopaedics, but only in a few sentences. Stem Cell Therapy has gained increasing popularity in orthopaedic treatment especially in knee osteoarthritis in the last few years. Stem cells are not only used for articular cartilage regeneration, but also used for osteonecrosis, fracture healing, osteochondral defects and tendinopathies.

The two most common sources of adult stem cells for clinical application in orthopaedics are the bone marrow and adipose tissue. Bone marrow aspirate is first harvested and centrifuged, Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) which contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) will then be produced. When lipoaspirate has been treated by enzymes and has undergone differential centrifugation, a layer of Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) which contains MSCs will be obtained. With the advancement of technology today, industry players have managed to obtain better stem cell count with each centrifugation; Thus, making the cultivation of stem cells easier and faster. 

Although stem cells have been widely used in orthopaedic treatment, stem cell usage in knee osteoarthritis has interested patients more than others. With recent advancement, more research articles have been able to show the regeneration of articular cartilage in knee osteoarthritis with stem cell treatment. Even though most of these studies were small-scaled, but they have shown promising results.

Stem cell application in knee osteoarthritis can be in two ways. The first will involve a minor operation through arthroscopy of the knee. During the arthroscopy procedure, the cartilage defect on the joint surface will be identified and prepared. The stem cells will then be used to fill up the defect (implantation). The second method which is much simpler is direct intra-articular injection into the knee joint. This usually goes together with hyaluronic acid (gel).

Having said about the use of stem cells in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, not every patient with knee osteoarthritis is suitable to be treated with stem cell as the patient must be well selected. Knees with severe osteoarthritis should not have Stem Cell Therapy performed on them as this will result in poor outcomes, for them knee replacement surgery is their only option. Do bear in mind, Stem Cell Therapy in knee osteoarthritis is not permanent. Several studies have shown that the effects only last a range of 2 to 5 years. 

One major drawback of stem cells  being widely used in knee osteoarthritis is the cost. The cost of stem cell treatment can range from RM12000 to RM 20000 (USD 3000 to 5000) per knee per treatment. Moreover, this cost will not be covered by medical insurance.

I believe that the usage of stem cells in knee osteoarthritis treatment in the years to come as more studies are conducted will be able to provide us with better evidence on the outcomes of Stem Cell Therapy. Therefore, before one decides to have this treatment, it would be great to first have a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon as every patient differs. 

Image(s) courtesy of Freepik.com