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Convergence Crams Uncooperative Fossils into Darwinism

first_imgWhen unrelated fossils have similar traits, evolutionary paleontologists twist, shove and stuff them into Darwin’s theory with an all-purpose tool called convergence.It wasn’t supposed to work this way. Animals were supposed to diverge as they evolved. Branches on real trees do that. In neo-Darwinism, the branch tips in Darwin’s image of a branching tree should get farther apart the more they evolve, because neither branch knows what the other one is doing. But the real world is full of counter-examples, where unrelated animals end up becoming very similar. Even more often, fossils exhibit “mosaics” of traits from different branches, or from “stem” (early) or “crown” (mature) members of a single branch. It’s all very confusing to Mr. Darwin, so his disciples invented a trick to keep from getting their story falsified. It’s called convergence, and here’s how it works. (Note: Not being Darwinians, we will dispute inclusion in the occasional first-person plural pronouns.)The Weird FishColin Barras at New Scientist introduces his fossil with a warning: “Weird fish fossil changes the story of how we moved onto land” [Who’s we, Paleface?]. If you thought the story of tetrapod evolution from fishy ancestors was all wrapped up, the wrapping just came off.The evolutionary story we have written [Who’s we, Paleface?] to explain our ancestors’ move from sea to land may need a rethink. A fossil fish from this era has been discovered with several of the features of land animals – yet it was only distantly related to them.Roughly 360 million years ago, one group of lobe-finned fish began evolving into four-legged, land-living animals that resulted in reptiles, amphibians and mammals like us. [Who’s us, Paleface?]Notice first that he calls it an evolutionary “story” – not a scientific discovery. The long-stable account of how lobe-finned fish moved onto land just got unstabilized by a Chinese fossil given the name Hongyu chowi.But when the researchers tried to fit H. chowi into the existing evolutionary tree, it didn’t fit easily.That’s because in some respects, H. chowi looks like an ancient predatory fish called rhizodonts. These are thought to have branched off from lobe-finned fish long before the group gave rise to four-legged land animals.Very well, then. Time to bring in the all-purpose tool called convergence. It works like a vise, cramming the fossil into Darwin’s box whether it wants to fit or not. (Jargonwocky note: Sometimes this is called “independent evolution” or “parallel evolution”).This implies one of two things, the researchers say. The first possibility is that H. chowi is some sort of rhizodont that independently evolved the shoulders and gill cover supports of a four-legged animal.Alternatively, the rhizodonts may be more closely related to the four-legged animals and the elpistostegids than we thought. But this would also imply a certain amount of independent evolution of similar features, because the rhizodonts would then sit between two groups that have many features in common – features the two groups would have had to evolve independently.It implies no such thing, but in Darwinland, everything must fit.The Flying Jurassic Early SquirrelEvolutionists found another misfit: a Jurassic flying squirrel. Trouble is, it’s in the wrong group. It’s not a therian (placental) mammal, and it’s not a marsupial mammal either (that’s another severe case of convergent evolution). This is a “stem mammal” called an eleutherodontid, that is supposed to be earlier than both later groups and not as evolved, but behold: it already was a glider! Plus, it had tooth rows “convergent” with bats, and other specialized traits that weren’t supposed to evolve till later. Writing in Nature, the authors from University of Chicago and University of Beijing seem surprised: “Here we report a new Jurassic eleutherodontid mammaliaform with an unusual mosaic of highly specialized characteristics,” they say, yet they continue to claim they have “New evidence for mammaliaform ear evolution and feeding adaptation in a Jurassic ecosystem.” Whatever it was, it evolved!The inferred dietary adaptation of eleutherodontid gliders represents a remarkable evolutionary convergence with herbivorous gliders in Theria. These Jurassic fossils represent volant [flying], herbivorous [plant-eating] stem mammaliaforms associated with pre-angiosperm plants that appear long before the later, iterative associations between angiosperm plants and volant herbivores in various therian clades.How can this be? Well, the Bearded Buddha was experimenting.The unique mosaic of characters related to tooth replacements and the middle ear of eleutherodonts adds to growing evidence of complex transformations of mammalian characteristics. Their complex dentitions and occlusal patterns are probably adapted for omnivory and herbivory, showing that the volant and herbivorous lifestyle, previously known only in therian gliders, was also part of mammaliaform evolutionary experimentation during the Jurassic.Shameless Plug for ConvergenceBaleen whales are champions of filter feeding with baleen instead of teeth. Long before they appeared on the evolutionary timeline, though, a marine reptile, unrelated to mammals, already had come up with a similar feeding strategy. Phys.org‘s coverage of a plesiosaur that evolved filter feeding puts convergence right in the headline: “Plesiosaur fossil found 33 years ago yields new convergent evolution findings.” All other marine reptiles used their teeth for biting, but Morturneria had interdigitating teeth that allowed them to catch krill, much like baleen whales do. So how did that happen? Bring out the all-purpose Darwin rescue tool:The identification of Morturneria’s whale-like filter feeding is a startling case of convergent evolution between reptiles and mammals. Plesiosaurs and whales shared many of the intervening steps in the evolution of this feeding style and their extreme morphologies are similar despite arising from different ancestors.[Sankar] Chatterjee stresses convergent evolution does not imply Morturneria was in any way related to today’s baleen whales; it just means they both evolved the same way.“They had adopted similar lifestyle and feeding,” he said. “For example, birds and bats fly, but birds are now considered dinosaurs [according to whom, Paleface?] and bats are mammals. These superficial similarities of lifestyles and behavior are called ‘convergent evolution.’” [by whom, Paleface?]Giving something a name is not the same as explaining it. Physicist Lee Spetner spoke about “convergent evolution” for ID the Future, commenting that “convergent evolution is even more improbable than evolution itself” (see Evolution News). Spetner presents an alternative, the Non-Random Evolutionary Hypothesis, which proposes “evidently purposeful evolution as a response to environmental and other stresses.” But then, if it is non-random, such adaptability must have been pre-programmed into organisms—i.e., intelligently designed.Convergence is an essential ingredient in Darwin Flubber. Don’t let the Darwin Party get away it. “Convergent evolution” is simply an empty phrase, a cover for ignorance, a rescue device to avoid falsification. Multiple independent similar adaptations are not proof of evolution in action: they are the opposite of what Darwin predicted. Some convergences in nature are so precise, it takes an expert to identify them (see the “Convergence Concoction” page by Brett Miller).If the Creator pre-programmed organisms with the ability to respond to environmental changes, or to use similar strategies for similar needs, that’s a design feature, not luck. The former is the kind of programming that goes into fault-tolerant systems. It represents intelligent design at a high level. The latter is an example of modular design (see Living Waters for examples of multiple unrelated animals that use magnetic navigation, for instance). Darwinians, by contrast, would rather believe animals won the lottery multiple times when they see finely-tuned, successful creatures with similar designs than to reject their Buddha’s teachings. What better proof of design could there be than similarities between unrelated organisms? What better disproof of blind, unguided evolution could there be than convergence everywhere? Don’t be fooled. Evolutionists get away with this in the media because they are totalitarian bigots, not allowing any criticism or debate. They know that once legitimate debate is allowed, they would be laughed off the stage in disgrace. Bring it on.(Visited 514 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Gender Dysphoria and Darwinism, cont.

first_imgGender Dysphoria and Darwinism, cont.by Dr Jerry BergmanIn this continuation from yesterday’s post, Dr Bergman discusses scientific research about sex and gender, describes historical gender roles, and explains how the media distort the science.Genetics ResearchX and Y chromosomes differ dramatically in size and contentThe male Y chromosome contains over 200 genes, of which 72 code for proteins, while the X chromosome contains over 12 times as many, or 874 genes. These 946 genes produce many major genetic differences between the sexes. After a fertilized egg called a zygote is formed, thousands of other genetic differences are created due to a complex epigenetic process called imprinting. This system turns off thousands of genes in males and thousands of other genes in females. The effects of imprinting also depend on whether the gene came from the father or mother (since men carry one X chromosome). The end result of these two factors is that thousands of genetic differences exist between the sexes long before birth.[14]So-called “transitioning” to the other sex does nothing to change the DNA on the chromosomes or the results of imprinting, although the expression of the imprinted genes may be modified by hormone therapy. Hormones may also damage genes, or cause mutations. When in medical school, this topic was covered briefly in my classes, noting that sex-change surgery is better described as a mutilation, not a transition. Men do not become women, nor women men. Even worse, the so-called transition blurs the distinction between males and females.Medical Consequences of Ignoring Biological SexThese male-female genetic and other differences have profound ramifications in medicine. For years, only males were generally tested to determine proper drug dosages. Then it was discovered that the popular sleep drug, Ambien, is metabolized differently in females than males. Consequently, women obtained about twice the proper systemic dose for some time, resulting in over-medication of some female users, producing a rash of traffic accidents in this group. One major reason for these drug dosage differences was due to the major hormone variations between males and females.Another example is adult males and females having different physiological reactions to alcohol due to major sexual based variations of the detoxifying enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase. Alcohol dehydrogenase breaks down ethanol, causing females to exhibit significantly higher alcohol metabolic rates than males. In other words, liquor is broken down to cause the effects of alcohol much earlier in women, thus alcohol tends to have a stronger effect sooner in women.Research Using Computer EvaluationsA very fruitful area of psychological and physiological research compares males and females as measured by non-invasive medical evaluations. Because differences are virtually always found between males and females, this topic is a favorite for graduate theses. An example is having males and females perform some mental activity, such as reading from a script or looking at pictures, which often results in significant differences in male and female brain scan patterns. Even sleep cycles tend to be different. Females tend to go to sleep earlier, wake up earlier in the morning, and are more active in the morning than males. This fact has an adverse effect on boys and is one of several reasons for their poorer school performance compared to girls, a difference existing from first grade through college.[15]Occupationally, as a whole, women make better neurosurgeons due to their superior fine-muscle coordination, compared to men and men make better diesel mechanics due to their superior gross-muscle coordination.[16] Women lean toward careers that focus on people, like teaching and healthcare. Males tend to go into careers that involve working with things, such as engineering, manufacturing and agriculture. Conversely, some women make better diesel mechanics than most men, and some men, like the man with gifted hands, Dr. Ben Carson, make better neurosurgeons then most women.  This fact, though, does not make women diesel mechanics men, nor Ben Carson a woman.Females tend to choose careers that usually produce more personal rewards, even though their pay may be relatively lower. Males tend to choose better-paying careers over those they would otherwise prefer, because income is often a major consideration. Genetic and other research continues to find evidence of built-in differences in males and females, confirming the biblical record about the implications of God separately creating human males and females for different, but compatible, roles. Together, they reflect His image.Sex hormone therapy may alter these differences between males and females, but no one knows the long-term effects, and we will not know for decades after a large number of persons undergo gender reassignment hormone therapy. Then, if the early reports are accurate, much non-repairable harm will have been done, not the least of which is sterility. In other words, this is a risky experimental treatment with presently unknown deleterious effects.The Progressives Attempt to Suppress the Science[17]Professor Littman surveyed parents who are concerned about rapid onset gender dysphoria in their children. The children were defined as teenagers who suddenly expressed gender dysphoria after showing no signs earlier. Littman found this was especially common after they had spent large amounts of time online or with certain friends. Soon after the study was published, often aggressive hostile, backlash occurred, particularly from transgender activists. Basically, the opposition claimed parents’ observations about their own children are invalid and therefore should be suppressed.The journal that published the study was soon overwhelmed with protests, some demanding they retract the article. In response, the editors re-evaluated Littman’s methodology. Brown University also pulled the press release publicizing her article.  A former Harvard Medical School Dean said he had never seen a comparable reaction from an academic journal.[18] A seemingly overwhelming cultural tide has argued that transgenderism is not to be questioned—ever—even for the good of the children. Some transgender activists are actively encouraging young people to embrace gender dysphoria. This irresponsible activism ignores the potential of long-term risks posed by the commonly used treatments, including surgery and hormone therapy.Most gender-confused youth grow out of it by their late teenage years. Instead of encouraging teens to seek help for the underlying issues that lead to rapid onset gender dysphoria, whether mental or emotional, progressives seek to affirm their immature feelings. They encourage the confused 14-year-old who feels wrong about her gender identity, encouraging her to alter her body, perhaps forever. Online guides even exist to help teens convince a physician to prescribe powerful cross sex hormones on the first visit! Some supporters of the transgender movement are now even pushing parents to give their very young children puberty-blocking drugs so they do not go through puberty, in order to give them time to decide what gender they want to be. Then, they advise administering cross-sex hormones to them when they normally would go through puberty. The long-term effects of this approach are also unknown. Now, one can find wings of children’s hospitals devoted to gender reassignment despite the fact that this therapy likely has long-term deleterious consequences.Some pushback has come from a handful of physicians and therapists who stress we need to realize that this is a dangerous venture into unknown territory. No one knows the effects of giving cross-sex hormones to a person for decades. Those voices, though,  are few and far between in this politically-correct LGBT minefield. Some physicians and therapists have already opined that gender transition is a dangerous trend, but are afraid to say so.  This is sad for a profession devoted to the principle, “Do no harm.”SummaryAside from the rare genetic and biological cases of ambiguous chromosomes, people are born biologically male (XY) or biologically female (XX). Sex differences diverge from the moment of conception. But now, two very contrasting views exist about gender, one is that (contrary to the scientific research), the differences between the sexes are, at best, very minor, mostly plumbing differences. To feel whole, gender dysphoric persons think they have to change a few things about their birth sex to the one they “feel” they want to be, then they will “feel” happy (euphoria). The second position is that the differences are major, affecting the whole person. Scientific evidence clearly favors this view.Is transgenderism a fad? No, it is something deeper and more sinister. It is a rejection not only of the facts of biology, but also of the creation imperative: “From the beginning, God made them male and female.”[19] Because Darwinism denies this view, it opens the door to dangerous tinkering with nature for personal identity. Secular progressives who value personal identity over science encourage it. They think it is possible to be born in the wrong body, and modern medicine can fix the problem by drugs and surgery. The long-term effects of tinkering with God’s design for humans have yet to be experienced.Andrew Walker, a fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, observed that in a “hundred years people will look back on this era of medicine the way we now look back on the eugenicist movements of the early 20th century.”[20]References[1] Littman, Lisa. 2018. Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria. PLOS One. August 16 pp. 1-44.[2] Mark 10:6-8.[3] Hines, Sally. 2018. Is Gender Fluid. London: Thanes & Hudson.  p. 6.[4] Interview with Professor M. Blank.[5] Hines, 2018, pp. 23-26.[6] Hines, 2018, pp. 28-30.[7] Alumkal, A. W. 2017. Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality. New York: New York University Press. 107-108.[8] McPhaul  Michael J. and James E. Griffin 1999. Male Pseudo hermaphroditism Caused by Mutations of the Human Androgen Receptor. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 84(10): 3435–3441. 1 October.[9] Durden-Smith, Jo and Diane DeSimone.1983. Sex and the Brain. New York: Arbor House. p. 42.[10] Weiss, Daniel Evan. 1991. The Great Divide. New York: Poseidon Press.[11] Singal, Jesse. 2018. When Children Say They’re Trans. Hormones? Surgery? The choices are fraught—and there are no easy answers. The Atlantic. July-August.[12] Dean, Jamie. Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria: This year’s social Contagion infects teenagers and their Doctors. World.34(3):34-39.[13] Dean, p. 37[14] Stump, J. B. 1985. What’s the Difference?: How Men and Women Compare. New York: William Morrow.[15] Lusher, L. and V. Yasenov. 2018. Gender Performance Gaps: Quasi-Experimental Evidence of the Role of Gender Difference in Sleep Cycles. Economic Inquiry. 56 (1): 252-262.[16] Lee, P. C. and R. S. Stewart. 1976. Sex Differences: Cultural and Developmental Dimensions. New York: Urizen Books, 138.[17] This entire section was summarized from an interview broadcast on World Radio. March 12, 2019. https://worldandeverything.org/2019/03/embracing-gender-dysphoria/[18] https://worldandeverything.org/2019/03/embracing-gender-dysphoria/[19] Walker, Andrew T. 2017.  God and the Transgender Debate. The Good Book Company.[20] Dean, 2019. p. 39.Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 372 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

For All You Know

first_imgFor all you know:Your dream client is no longer in love with their long time provider. In fact, they moved on 6 months ago, and they are still not happy. Right now, they are getting ready to look for a new provider.That prospect that never used a product or service like you has had a change of circumstances, making what you sell something they now need. They’re not sure where to look to find help, and they are searching for someone with answers.That past client company that left you three years ago has had complete turnover in their management team, and no one there has any memory of your company, positive or negative. They’re not married to anyone, and they are open to new ideas.That lead that doesn’t look like much and clearly hasn’t been qualified is a multi-million dollar user who happened upon your company when they were referred by a friend. They reached out to engage with someone, but they are moving on because no one followed up.That price conscious prospect who you could never do business with now perceives what you sell as something strategic. After being disappointed by three of your competitors in a row, they are now sufficiently disabused of the idea that they can have what they need and the lowest price.Your irrational competitor is strapped for cash and struggling to stay afloat. While you are perceiving them as a threat because they sell on price alone, they are close to the brink of disaster and suffering from serious quality issues.That dream client who doesn’t answer your emails does in fact answer their telephone. Your competitor just booked an appointment because she had the audacity to dial and was pitch perfect in her approach. She’s going to be sitting with the decision-makers next week in a face-to-face meeting because she is willing to do what others are not.Your dream client took your pricing and proposal and met with their team, but they didn’t have the answers to the questions that surfaced in that meeting. Since no one was there to help them with good counsel, they decided to punt the initiative into next year.For all you know, you never really know unless you do the work to discover what is true right now. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Urban havens

first_imgHedonism is not usually a welcome part of Chennai’s social fabric. Keep your knees together, your head down, do your work and go home, can sum up the attitude of the city. Indulgence is a quality that was to be shunned or practised in privacy. Naturally, the concept of spas,,Hedonism is not usually a welcome part of Chennai’s social fabric. Keep your knees together, your head down, do your work and go home, can sum up the attitude of the city. Indulgence is a quality that was to be shunned or practised in privacy. Naturally, the concept of spas, which were perceived as outlets meant for the cream of society, was not popular in the city until recently. Over the last few years there has been a sudden influx of spas and it’s not just the ladies who lunch visit them now. Gyms on the other hand have always been around. You would remember a rudimentary setup at the street corner in your neighbourhood where men used to sweat it out. The growth of premium gyms and fitness centres has happened in the last one decade. The IT boom churned out weary people and their spending power gave rise to fitness centres. The fad for fitness never faded. Our select panel from a cross section of society recommend spas and gyms they have personally tried, tested and loved.Varsha Jain at Influence SpaInfluence SpaInfluence, the wellness group, is owned by Naresh and his wife Varsha Jain, leading builders of Southern India. “I was getting bored sitting at home while he was busy with his construction work. So he gifted me this spa in 2009,” says Varsha Jain. Influence has two branches, one at Egmore, which covers 4,800 sq ft and another in Nungambakkam, which spans over 5,500 sq ft. Unique to the Egmore spa is the Vichy shower, in which large quantities of warm water are poured over a spa guest while he or she lies in a shallow wet bed, similar to a massage table, but with drainage for the water. At Influence the shower has 32 nozzles from where the water flows continuously while the therapist scrubs and massages the body. The interiors are designed according to the healing power of colours. Chroma hydrotherapy is a unique feature offered at this space: lights are flashed during the massage in an attempt to ignite the chakras or the energy centres of the body. Guests are greeted by a foot wash and massage here. All the therapy rooms have separate area for steam. Cross massages (done by the opposite sex) are also performed here. “There is no rule as such against or for it in Chennai. We took precautions by taking permission from the court for a cross massage,” says Jain. Where: House No. 2/3 Wallace Garden Road.Tel: 45038436 www.influencelifestyle.inAmbience: The Egmore outlet is inspired by yingyang and pearls. At Nungambakkam, the design emphasis is on the healing power of colours.Training: The staff is from Indonesia and Bali and all the therapists have undergone a year-long training in international spa massages.What’s good: Vichy shower, chromo hydro therapy and hot bamboo massages.What’s different: Influence signature massage, a combination of Balinese, Thai and Hawaiian techniques.Cost: Rs 2,000 for a body massage and goes up to Rs10,000 for couple massage (inclusive of taxes).advertisementAjit Menon at Kenko SpaKenkoKenko is a Singapore-based chain of foot reflexology and wellness spas founded by Dr. Jimi Tan, a wellness expert, in 1991. The Kenko chain entered India in 2008 and Chennai in November 2010 making it the first international spa in the city. It is located in the luxury section of the premier Express Avenue shopping mall. “Our success lies in the fact that we can convert walk-ins to repeat customers,” says Ajit Menon, COO of the spa. The spa is directed not just at the young but is open to people aged three to 60. A threeyear-old can experience a fish pedicure. There are special reflexology packages for children aged six and above and customised packages for senior citizens. “There are different parts of the feet that govern different organs in the body. With the right technique, a number of ailments can be cured through foot reflexology,” says Menon. There are also scientifically formulated treatments for pregnant women including pre-and-post-natal treatments. The reception area opens to the fish pedicure section where gara rufa fish eat away the dead cells of the feet. Inside is a blue lit area where chairs are separated by sheers. The foot reflexology and head massages, lip treatments, facials take place here. Body massage is conducted in private rooms.Where: Express Avenue Mall, Second Floor, Royapettah.Tel: 28464177, 28464577 www.kenkospachennai.inAmbience: The fragrance of lemongrass wafts all through. The dcor is Oriental.Training: The therapists are trained Kenko, Singapore.What’s good: Kenko foot reflexology, where pressure points on the feet are massaged.What’s different: The treatments for children and senior citizens.Cost: Rs 300 for a 15 minute fish spa and Rs 3,600 for a luxury facial (inclusive of taxes).advertisementVivek Anand at Fitness OneFitness OneFitness One was one of the first gyms with state-of-the-art facilities in Chennai. The Fitness One group was founded by Vivek Anand who was a pilot in the US for 18 years. “We had a very strict fitness regimen and I used to hit the gym everyday. When I came to India I saw there were no standardised gyms but just those local places where men did body-building,” says Anand. He moved back to Chennai and opened Fitness One, the first at Alwarpet was born in 2004. The chain currently has 37 centres across Southern India. The Kilapuk branch is the only stand alone gym in the city to have a swimming pool. Other facilities in the gym include shower and changing rooms, steam room and massage facilities for men and women. Fitness One has also tied up with a number of companies and has facilities in the premises of 110 of these organisations such as Nokia, Royal Bank of Scotland and Cognizant, among others. The chain also has its own brand of fitness machines called Precor with six showrooms in Chennai.Where: The Residency, 133/1, ground Floor, Residency Road.Tel: 43347000 www.zelalife.comAmbience: The gym is done up in shades of neon orange, green and yellow as an effort to infuse energy.Training: All the trainers are certified physiotherapists. The flagship centre has about 30 trainers.What’s good: Physiotherapy rehabilitation and nutrition are core strengths.What’s different: Scientifically designed weight loss programme called TRIM.Cost: Rs 18,000 per year and Rs 4,000 per month (inclusive of taxes).Jeffry Vardon at O2 Healh StudioO2 Health StudioWith a fitness centre, a gym, an aerobics centre and a dance school, this space is much more than a gym. Opened way back in 2001, the aim was to make women take to fitness and draw men into aerobics. The O2 Health Studio hosts a range of cardio respiratory fitness equipment and strength training machines to train all parts of the body. The trainers are certified in fitness and first aid and they constantly undergo fitness-training programmes. The physiotherapists on the floor take care of fitness screening, posture analysis, exercise prescription and injury management. Says Earnest Vijay, the fitness director of the studio, “Our personal trainers take the members to jog on the beach or for hill climbing.” There are a number of group activities offered at O2: kick boxing, dancersize, step, tabata, body jam, zumba and Latin American dance forms such as salsa, cha cha, jive, rumba, samba and passo doble are taught here. The group activities director, Jeffrey Vardon, is the head of the Hot Shoe Dance Company, Chennai’s premier dance school. “You don’t have to lose those extra kilos just by hitting the gym. You can also lose weight by dancing it off and a lot of people are waking up to this face. It’s definitely more fun than working out alone,” says Vardon. The Latin American dance forms have international certification and once a year an expert from the international committee conducts assessments at the centres and gives certificates to successful dancers. There are also Bollywood dance classes conducted here. O2 currently has four operational branches in the city and is soon opening two more. Where: Wallace Garden 2Nd St, Thousand Lights.Tel: 42323231 www.o2healthstudio.comAmbience: Every branch is in different colours in keeping with the area and the clients.Training: The instructors undergo a six-month programme in rehabilitation and physiotherapy.What’s good: The health studio offers many pre-planned packages. There are also programmes for senior citizens and women.What’s different: A virtual cycle, an indoor jogging track and an e-thinner (a spinning bike with a virtual instructor).Cost: Rs16,500 for annual membership (inclusive of taxes).advertisementLata Mohan at OryzaOryzaOryza was the first stand alone luxury spa in Chennai. Lata Mohan, after successfully running her salons, Bounce and Kanya for 20 years opened Oryza in 2005. A novel concept in at the time, the spa located on Chamiers Road is bang in the lap of luxury. The clientele that walks in here carry monogrammed bags, limited edition Louis Vuittons and Chanels. The 3,000 sq.ft spa houses a salon where regular parlour services are offered. On the menu card are spa facials, body beautifiers, massage therapies including Ayurvedic massages. The foot reflexology introduced recently has become a bestseller. For most part of the day, sunlight streams through the rooms while the spa is beautifully lit up in the evening. All the massage rooms are fitted with washrooms and bath tubs. The spa day package is very popular with mom-daughter duo, friends and even colleagues.Where: 46/1, Chamiers Road.Tel: 42110930 www.oryzadayspa.comAmbience: The exteriors look like a traditional Southern Indian home with terracotta accents but the interiors are completely Southeast Asian.Training: The Bounce certifies therapists here.What’s good: All the products used are made at the spa. The lotus and patchouli scrub is special.What’s different: The Hamami Makrabi, the Turkish bath.A luxurious treatment with a scrub and steam.Cost: Starts at Rs 2,250 for a regular Swedish massage and goes upto Rs 5,000 for a luxury body massage (inclusive of taxes).A nail therapy at Senza; Abhishek D Shah, Sravan Raghunath and Yogita Abhishek at the spaSenzaSenza is the city’s only dry spa. A dry spa is essentially a spa where you don’t have to take a shower after any therapy. Perfect if you’re looking at indulging in some soul-therapy during lunch before heading back to work. The spa is owned and managed by Abhishek D Shah, his wife Yogita and their friend Sravan Raghunath. “All three of us are passionate about the beauty and wellness,” says Abhishek. “We started Senza with the intention of converting our passion into a successful service offering.” Considering the average age of the trio is about thirty, this is a spa with some young ideas. Foot reflexology and nail art is what this spa specialises in. The foot reflexology menu is vast and includes unusual ones such as manual lymphatic drainage massage and a hot volcanic stone foot massage. The nail spa offers gel nails, a fad in the city. Other services offered include head, shoulder and back massages, facials, under-eye treatments and a fish pedicure. The fish pedicure tank gives the customers a view of the Indian Ocean which makes the experience even more soothing.Where: T55-B, 6th Avenue, Elliots Beach Road, Besant Nagar.Tel: 43018888 www.senzaspa.comAmbience: Lawn flooring, translucent curtains and purple-blue light gives it a surreal feel.Training: The therapists were given a three-month training before the spa was opened in March this year.Royal treatment: The only spa to offer over nine types of exotic foot massages. They are the first and only nail spa to use and showcase over 60 shades of OPI nail colourCost: Ranges from Rs 250 for 15 minutes of fish pedicure to Rs 2,750 for a signature facial (inclusive of taxes).Dr Anuradha Mathad at AuraAuraWith nine rooms painted in jewel-tones, Aura Spa is at the 9th floor of The Park hotel. These rooms in the myriad colours of the Navaratna gems are designed with the belief that they exude their own unique sensations. For instance in thepearl room that is intended to cool the senses, there are pearl artifacts in the room and the beige bed covers go with the theme.The spa houses steam, sauna chambers and whirlpools. “We didn’t want to slot ourselves as an Ayurvedic or Thai spa. We offer a wide range of treatments from across the world,” says the Associate Director of the spa, Dr Anuradha Mathad, an Ayurvedic doctor who has worked at spas for the past 12 years. Aura Chennai was the first branch of the chain in the country at, started in 2006. The Chairperson of The Park group, Priya Paul, is an avid spa goer and Aura spas were her brainchild. Today there are five branches across the country. Treatments offered here range from Ayurvedic abhyanagas to Swedish and Balinese massages. The regional treatments offered here, such as the Chennai treatment which comprises a sea salt scrub, a massage and a clean up facial, are unique to the spa.Where: The Park Chennai, 601, Anna Salai.Tel: 42676000 www.theparkhotels.comAmbience: The accents and furniture are contemporary Balinese but there are also Indian touches in the form of kuthuviilakkus.Training: Aura hires only certified therapists who are then trained at the spa.What’s good: The Aura massage is a well balanced treatment between ancient Indian and contemporary massage techniquesCost: Rs 1,550 for a facial to Rs 3,500 for a body massage (inclusive of taxes).Ajit Shetty at Score GymScore GymIf you’re a fitness buff or even glance at the papers once in a while you will be familiar with the name Ajit Shetty, a star trainer. He’s the man behind Suriya’s six packs in Ghajini and had also helped actors Vishal and Priya Anand with their workout regimes. Shetty, 38, has been in the fitness field for over 14 year. He was earlier the fitness director of the city’s biggest fitness chain but quit. “I thought it best to and start my own place,” he says. Score was launched in 2010 and the gym spans over 7,500 sq.ft on the busy TTK road. Entering the gym is quite an MI5 affair with doors that open to a bell that’s tucked away. There is a conscious effort to make the ambience as international as possible. The design is very minimalistic; what meets the eye are just slate floors and an array of machines that spell power. Spread over two floors this place screams testosterone with over 30 cardio machines including cycles, rowers, treadmills. “I wanted to make sure that the equipment is top-notch,” says Shetty. There are no frills added to the gym by way of classes such as swimming or yoga. Where: 265,TTK Road Alwarpet Tel: 43129777-888Ambience: Minimalistic and devoid of colour. Grey is the predominant shade here. There is a lotus pond under the staircase for a cooling effect.Training: All the trainers possess CYQ (Central YMCA Qualifications), are stretch-and-remedial posture trained and ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) certified.What’s good: All the gym equipment has been imported from the US. Hoist, Tuff Stuff, Octave and True are the brands used here.What’s different: It is is run by the city’s most popular celebrity trainer, Ajit Shetty.Cost: Rs 16,000 for an annual package and Rs 6,600 for 12 sessions with a personal trainer (inclusive of taxes).Dr Jyothi Choudhary at AnantaAnantaAnanta Spa is part of Le Waterina hotels and Eminence Ananta Spa is a product of their corroboration with the Eminence spa from Hungary. Only 100 per cent organic Eminence products are used here. The spa opened four months ago. Eminence products are a luxury line used by celebrities such as Madonna and Jennifer Anniston. The draw of the spa is in fact the Jennifer Aniston chocolate facial the actress herself indulges in. The body massages at the spa can be coupled with facials. There are rooms themed after Indian flowers and herbs like jamine and tulsi. “People love the spa because there is a definite shift in the society from chemical to herbal to organic,” says Vandana Sundra, the proprietor of the spa. Dr Jyothi Choudhary, senior educator at Eminence says there is science behind the success of organic products “The products are enriched with vitamins, minerals and bio-flavinoids that repair the skin cells and act as anti-oxidants.”Where: 73/74 Rk Salai.Tel: 9500169996Ambience: Beige and brown dominates the area. The rooms are themed according to flowers, fruits and herbs.Training: The therapists undergo a three-level training by senior educators in Hungarian spa techniques.What’s good: Hungarian detox facial. Hungarian mud and paprika detox the skin expelling toxins and leaving the skin fresh and oil free.What’s different: The city’s only organic spa.Cost: On an average a body massage costs Rs 4,000 and it comes with a complimentary facial (inclusive of taxes).Karti Sekar, Sheela Vishwanath and Yashwant Saran 136.1136.1136.1 is India’s first chain of integrated yoga studios. The ambience is swanky and is frequented by the who’s who of the city. The chain currently has two branches, one in Ispahani Centre and one on TTK road offering spacious practice rooms, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft, and also yoga therapy rooms for individuals who can’t participate in the group yoga activity. The yoga studio offers 100 hours of group and personalised yoga every week. The centre was started and is run by Yashwant Saran, Sheela Vishwanath, Karti Sekar and Maitri Shah. Saran was an engineer, Vishwanath, a medical microbiologist, Sekar owned a gym and Shah was an executive. With a common passion for yoga, they began the centre in Janurary this year. At 136.1 there is an open school of thought that embraces all types of Yoga. There are classes in all styles and at all levels from classical Iyengar and Mysore Ashtanga, to Sivananda and Satyanand Yoga tradition and Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga. They currently have 15 teachers on board from reputed yoga schools such as Kaivalyadham, SVYASA (a yoga university in Bengaluru), Bihar School of Yoga, Sivananda ashram, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. There are live demonstrations by yoga exponents, concerts, music therapy in an attempt to familiarize the students with the verticals of yoga. Where: 123 anf 124, Ispahani Centre Basement. Tel: 9500037096 www.136point1.comAmbience: There is fusion of tradition with modernity. Clear spaces with emphasis on peace and tranquillity.Training: There are about 15 Indian and foreign teachers. All teachers are certified from recognised institutions and have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience.What’s good: The centre retails merchandise: yoga mats, covers, meditation mats, yoga wear, books, DVDs, organic products.What’s different: It’s India’s first chain of integrated yoga studios. Various styles and forms of yoga are taught under the same roof, having variety in practice. Cost: It costs Rs 9,000 for three months and annual membership is Rs 16,000 (inclusive of taxes). PanelistsMathangi Srinivasamurti, Owner, Chamiers Cafe She hits the gym every day and spa on weekends.Mario, Model A popular model, Mario is an avid gym enthusiast.Paloma Rao, VJ She is a regular at spas and fitness centres.Sharad Forma, CEO, Forma GroupRecuperates from the pressures of his job at spas around the world.last_img read more