Gym memberships, aesthetic treatments, specialised diet plans, meal replacements, personal trainers… Countless people spend thousands of dollars on beauty, health and fitness annually—whether or not their investments and efforts yield actual returns at the end of the year. This is often because such personal wellness journeys involve tons of trial and error to find what works and what doesn’t, or until they hit that dreaded plateau.
Taking the guesswork out of all this are DexaFit Asia, a fitness technology facility that specialises in personalised body composition scanning; and Imagene Labs, a DNA testing platform that analyses genetic codes for ‘precision wellness’. DexaFit uses dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry—the global gold standard in diagnostics technology—to analyse body and skeletal health. Its Body Composition Scan identifies markers like bone density to prevent premature osteoporosis, and where lean mass or fat mass like visceral fat is stored, which correlates to common heart and metabolic diseases. It also does a full assessment of your body’s specific physiological response to your diet or fitness plan. This includes your precise level of exercise intensity to optimise performance, recovery and longevity, right down to the ideal time frame to burn unwanted fat and improve cardiovascular health. And because diet plays a huge role in making or breaking your fitness goals, the DexaFit RMR (resting metabolic rate) test is an insightful way to find out exactly what nutrients your body needs to thrive—like whether your body uses sugar or fat as fuel—so you can adjust your pre- or post-workout meals accordingly. It also pinpoints how much food your body needs to efficiently convert to energy, as well as the precise number of calories you burn at rest. This is especially key for those who have a slowed metabolism and want to breakthrough weight loss plateaus. And the best part is that all these tests can be done in minutes, with the results and related data available on your mobile device immediately.
Wellness genomics to biohack your health and fitness
Focusing on wellness genomics, Imagene Labs offers a series of tests that identifies links between genetic variations in consumers’ DNA with specific health-related traits. Each of these traits have three influential factors: nature or genetics, nurture or upbringing, and current lifestyle choices. The OriFIT Fitness & Sports Performance DNA Test covers more than 580 genes to provide 15 insights into your athletic performance, assessing muscle growth capacity, endurance potential and injury risks, as well as ways to simplify your physical training according to the way your body is built—as recommended by Imagene Lab’s data and in-house fitness experts. So, if you have an aversion to exercise—yes, that’s a trait these tests can zoom in on—you can find alternative ways to boost your metabolism and optimise calorie burn.
For a more holistic approach to personalised wellness, the OriLife+ Package identifies 55 insights into fitness, nutrition and skin. This is where power potential is supported with crucial dietary information like food sensitivities such as impaired caffeine metabolism, or mineral and nutrient deficiencies. For example, individuals on medication to control high blood sugar or cholesterol levels may have a greater need for CoQ10, a coenzyme that provides energy to cells for growth and maintenance. This assessment would not only identify potential deficiencies, but can also prescribe suitable dietary recommendations, like eating more naturally rich sources like organ meats and soybeans. It will also suggest the Ori Personalised Supplement Blend for a personalised dose of what your body needs.
Aesthetic treatments to boost your beauty
Outside of the fitness technology realm, the world of aesthetic treatments is presenting its own list of stellar solutions to attain a goal physique—without having to break a sweat. “There’s a recent trend towards using biomagnetic fields to stimulate muscle activity for weight management. We offer Redustim in our clinic, which burns 650 calories in 45 minutes,” says Dr Kevin Chua of Dr Kevin Chua Medical & Aesthetics. To put things into perspective, the average BodyAttack class, which involves high-intensity cardio and strenuous strength training (and a lot of sweat), burns approximately 555 calories in an hour. A non-invasive low-frequency biomagnetic treatment, Redustim reduces health risks by eliminating subcutaneous abdominal fat and visceral fat without any metabolic constraints, and activates lymphatic drainage to rid the body of toxins and water retention.
And what if you could get abs simply by lying down? Beyond working hard at the gym or eating clean in the kitchen, some people find it almost impossible to achieve the definition of a six-pack. At Mendis Aesthetics, Emsculpt Neo achieves 20,000 muscular contractions in a single session—that’s the effect of 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes.
Dr Rohan Mendis says: “Emsculpt Neo is based on high-intensity focused electro- magnetic field technology, which has the ability to induce supramaximal muscle contractions. Supramaximal contractions engage 100 percent of the muscle fibres in a focused muscle group area, helping to tone and increase muscle mass much faster than exercise alone. Emsculpt Neo treatment keeps working even after you finish your last session: your muscle continues to grow and your fat shrinks for about four months after you finish your last procedure. A maintenance programme will help ensure a lasting result.”
Cold technologies to sculpt your physique
In terms of overall wellness, cryotherapy dates back to the 1970s, when cold therapy was used in Japan to relieve pain—from arthritis to migraines—aid in muscle recovery and reduce inflammation.
Today, in the realms of beauty, this chilly treatment “activates the metabolism and circulation, promoting a series of reactions that rejuvenates the skin. It is anti-inflammatory, vessel constrictive, an analgesic, burns calories, reduces cellulite, controls weight, oxygenates the cells, eliminates toxins and improves the quality of the skin”, affirms Mendis. Chua adds: “Cryotherapy remains one of the mainstays of biohacking. Inducing the fat cells to go into programmed cell death—apoptosis—continues to be a popular choice. We use Coolsculpting to achieve this, allowing us to shape the body by targeting subcutaneous fat in specific areas of the body.”
“Analogous to CRISPR, which is an RNA- guided targeted genome editing tool where technology is used to edit genes [resulting in genomic changes and thus allowing the eradication of disease, improved crop growth and lifespan], technologies like radio frequency and high intensity focused ultrasound used at Mendis Aesthetics are effective in ‘hacking’ or optimising our cellular structure, resulting in better skin health and physiques,” adds Mendis.
Alternative therapies for a natural high
Another state-of-the-art ‘hack’ is infrared light, which is used for weight loss, metabolic enhancement and detoxification, with the ability to boost stimulation and warm the body inside out. But way before its inclusion in aesthetic treatments, LED therapy was introduced in 1895 by Nobel Prize winner Niels Finsen for the treatment of chronic pain, joint rehabilitation and soft-tissue injury recovery. Today, this familiar red glow is a biohacker’s staple, with infrared saunas and wraps supposedly helping to boost cellular regeneration and circulation, enhance mood and activate the nervous system and metabolic processes. Essentially, it’s an effective way to recharge human batteries.
HigherDose is favoured by celebrities for its infrared blankets and mats, which allow anyone to reap the illuminating benefits of light therapy in the comfort of their home. What you get is a sauna effect that sends good vibrations through your body in the form of healing pulsed electromagnetic field technology, which increases the body’s thermal energy and blood flow, making you sweat without working out. The result is akin to what you would experience after a hot yoga session—deeply relaxed yet refreshed, with a sense of euphoria that leaves you ‘naturally high’.
In a similar light, flotation therapy is a growing trend globally that seeks to help one connect with their higher self. In Singapore, Palm Ave Float Club specialises in this art of nothingness, where private float pods simulate womb-like cocoons, inducing a meditative state through sensory deprivation. One hour in these tranquil tanks don’t just help you escape mental stress, but also help to heal any physical strain and can improve insomnia.
More than a one-off therapy, such float sessions can also help to reduce anxiety, break addictions and deepen one’s mind-body connection over time as it sends your brain into a distraction-free environment and prolonged theta state—achieving the level of deep meditation monks spend years to get to.