As long as I could remember, my growing years have been a nosey affair. Almost every day, I would get runny nose, block nose. I always thought that I must have caught a chill at night, so I am very wary of turning my fan on the whole night, keeping my body covered with blanket at all times. When I was in Taiwan for my NS, I went to see a ENT specialist, after hearing some wonder tales of my officer. After a few weeks of medication, the doctor said that I had to go for an operation to de-sensitise my nose nerves. I told him that I was told that the operation is only temporary, and that the sinus problem would recur. He then told me:”If your house is on fire, do you let it burn, or do you save with water?” What he was trying to say is that a short-term fix is better than no-fix.

Anyway, a few years later, my sinus problem disappeared. Gone. At most, I just cleared my nose after I woke up, and the rest of the day is great. I attributed it to the Vitamin B-complex and C intake. I believe it really helps. Then again, it could be that I out-lived the virus for good.

Sometimes, it takes an event to get rid of your habits. Since young, I have never learnt to hold my chopsticks the ‘correct’ way, despite training by my parents. Somehow, I just don’t get it right.

Then during my honeymoon trip to Korea in 2001, I was served with thin and heavy metal chopsticks for meals over the 7-day vacation. After the trip, I mastered holding the chopsticks. Just like that. 7 days to undo a habit of 20+ years.

This evening, my wife and I went to a antenatal class conducted by Mrs. Wong Boy Boh Boi at Thomson Medical Centre. She taught us some exercise to control our will of mind and to channel the labour pain into strength.

The brain is simply a complex organ, and you should try to spend time understanding it, because it controls your entire body. By understanding it, you can overcome everything, from physiological to psychological. You can instantly undo habits or routines, like I experienced with my chopsticks saga. I also attempt to psycho my mind to control my bowels, as I have a history of constipation. I also try to reach into my mind during illnesses like flu, to ease the pain.

Sometimes, it works against you. Being a ballet pianist for 14 years, I have no problems playing the scores without looking and without thinking. But during the students’ exams, my fingers would just go berserk, playing with fingerings that I never did before during classes, or hitting the wrong notes repetitively, as if I was trained to do that. Then you suddenly realised that you might not remember how to execute the song properly. Your mind goes into mild shock. What I sometimes did was to distract myself from the tense situation by, say, daydreaming, playing with my mobile phone.

Of course, without able to understand my mind, I would not be able to produce this blog.

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