July 6, 2016

Acupuncture for insomnia. Yes or no?

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:40 pm by Margi Macdonald


Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 1.11.23 PM

Louise Bourgeois, #53 from the series The Insomnia Drawings 1994-95

Yesterday somebody asked me if acupuncture for insomnia has been proven effective, so I checked a meta-analysis, and quickly reviewed “insomnia”.

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and/or the inability to remain asleep, with non-restorative sleep lasting for a month or more.
Anyone who’s experienced insomnia understands how this can affect their quality of life, their ability to work efficiently and safely, to concentrate, and to enjoy life and relationships without feeling irritable, frustrated and exhausted.
There are different reasons why people have insomnia, and there are different types of insomnia. Medical doctors understand that insomnia may be a “primary” or “secondary” condition, with the International Classification of Sleep Disorders listing more than 100 differential diagnoses of the condition.(1)
Acupuncture – as part of a comprehensive treatment approach which can include medical care, counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, a nightly bedtime routine or ritual, nutrition and lifestyle changes – may help some people to fall asleep faster, or to sleep longer, or to sleep with fewer awakenings during the night.(2)

As yet, the exact mechanism of action for acupuncture is unknown, but many acupuncture studies have shown that various biological responses may occur in the nervous system. In 2012 it was found that more research is needed to fully understand acupuncture’s efficacy for  this condition.(3)

Acupuncturists  who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) know that there can be many factors contributing to insomnia.

An in-depth consultation at your first visit helps both you and your acupuncturist understand why you have insomnia.
A TCM pattern of disharmony is identified – according to the nature of your Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood – and a course of treatment will be suggested, tailored to your unique needs.

The language of TCM is quite poetic, and insomnia can be summarised as “Spirit not settled”.
As TCM is a holistic therapy, acupuncturists can also help you with lifestyle and nutritional guidance and support. Many of us are also qualified to prescribe herbal medicines for your specific pattern of disharmony.

Insomnia is a common and distressing concern, and I’ve blogged about it before. Go here  and click on the infographic about the importance of sleep, particularly for people living with cancer.

One of my areas of special interest is helping women through menopause transition, when sleep, exhaustion and hot flushes can become a vicious cycle. For most women, a reduction in the number and intensity of hot flushes and better quality sleep go hand-in-hand, and acupuncture may help with this.

You can make an appointment here (acupuncture in Chermside, Brisbane north) or here (acupuncture in Holland Park, Brisbane south)

Cautions and Care: If you or someone you know is suffering from a condition which causes concern, please see your primary health practitioner. This blog is for  information and educational purposes, and is not a substitute for the assessment and care of an appropriately qualified health professional.


1,2,3: Cheuk DKL, Yeung WF, Chung KF, Wong V. Acupuncture for insomnia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD005472. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005472.pub3.

The image: You can read a little more about this series of works by the sculptor Louise Bourgeois here



July 3, 2016

Stirring, stretching, thinking

Posted in health tagged , , at 2:51 pm by Margi Macdonald

watch this space.jpg

November 2, 2014

Getting Lost, finding yourself, midnight plane snack-bars and duels for Papagajka Perks

Posted in health at 7:50 pm by Margi Macdonald

I’d really love for you to read this post from The Eloquent Garden.
Be sure to visit all the links as well!

The Eloquent Garden

IMG0137AI take a long trip, three flights in 34 hours, gloriously in defiance of gravity.

I discover Thai Airways now have adjustable-height foot rests that I can tip gently back and forward to keep that circulation moving. This is very comforting since I’m a fanatic avoider of DVT. I’ve got such a stash of anti DVT stockings, I expect anyday to be contacted by a TV show that feature Famous Collectors.

Watching ‘The Devil wears Prada’ for some extreme fashion tips completes my flying pleasure. Listening to ‘Flight of the Conchords’ just seems so right.

And reading matter ‘How to Kill Your Husband and other handy household tips’  (Attention: Potential Husbands, this was put in by someone else. Possibly the so-called deity who’s just seeing how far he take the limits of ridiculousness in my romances. Extreme Romance, is that an Olympic Sport?)

If the plane goes down, this book’s…

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March 24, 2014

Plum relish… a little tango for your tastebuds

Posted in brisbane, cooking, food, health, life, music tagged , , , , , , at 4:29 pm by Margi Macdonald

The late summer stone fruits are with us, and being late in the season, are not as gorgeous as their earlier siblings.

So here’s a little dish which straddles late summer and early autumn, when the evenings are still warm, and the days humid.

Elegantly dice a couple of plums, and a couple of spring onions.

Place in a bowl, and add apple cider vinegar and some cold pressed, extra virgin nut or seed oil.
Usual ratio of oil : vinegar (or lemon or lime juice) is 2:1
Grind in some pepper. I think pink peppercorns would work beautifully here.

Add some chopped fresh dill.
At this point, decide (as I did) whether it needs a little seeded and diced cucumber.

Select some kind of greenery, which is perhaps a little bitter, and tender yet firm.
I used baby endive.
Roughly, yet kindly shred it.

Toss and serve.
Hey presto!
You have a cute little salad with piquant surprises in every mouthful.

It goes very well with a mackerel or salmon cutlet, and kipfler potatoes, boiled, sliced, and tossed in a little hot ghee and salt.

If your cardiologist faints at the thought of ghee, toss the potatoes in some very fine, “fruity” olive oil.

If you just want to make this as a fresh relish or salsa, add a little seeded, finely chopped chili, some freshly toasted ‘raw’ nuts, and some freshly picked coriander leaf (cilantro). You might like fresh lime juice here, instead of the apple cider vinegar. Fresh mint torn and tumbled through might be sublime.

I am hopeless at photographing cooked fish, so instead, here’s some excellent music; tight ensemble playing, fine musicians.


March 19, 2014

Sleep…one of our most important “natural therapies”

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , at 7:42 am by Margi Macdonald

March 16, 2014


Posted in health at 5:01 pm by Margi Macdonald

Just saying hello and welcome to each of you who recently became a follower here.
A blog is nothing without readers and regular visitors, and I’m so glad you’ve joined us!

Banis bilong susu- baskets of milk

Posted in health at 11:52 am by Margi Macdonald

An oldie-but-a-goodie; the all time most popular piece on this blog!

some energy thing

Tits, boobs, puppies, girls, hooters, fun-bags, bazookas, boozies and norks. For the next few minutes, we’re peeking into bras, bedrooms and beliefs as we discover how marvellous and multi-faceted our breasts can be.

What’s in a name?

Plenty, it would seem. Is there any other organ which so visibly embodies what it means to be Woman? Have you noticed that names given to breasts sit on the continuum of love and affection which ultimately becomes derision and misogyny?

And what on earth is a ‘banis bilong susu’ Well, it’s Papuan Pidgin-English for bra. Literal translations include ‘baskets of milk’ and ‘walls for breasts’. Susu can be either breast, or milk. What could be simpler?

Letting the puppies off the leash

Burning the bra; early feminists may have been onto something. What was once a sociopolitical act of defiance may be conducive to breast health. The stagnation and extra heat generated…

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Change – The Secret Guide To Change

Posted in health at 9:39 am by Margi Macdonald

Here we have our friend and colleague  Sandra Venables with her contribution to our theme of  “change”.

Sandra shares some great ideas here, and the unexpected delight is her wonderful photos of kookaburras!


Natures Healing

Health & Happiness Collective

What is Change?

Change Mahatma Gandhi What is Change?

Have you been saying things such as

  • why do the whales gets hunted?
  • why is there so much hunger in the world?
  • isn’t it sad to see so much war in the world?
  • isn’t it awful that those children were molested?

These questions make us dwell on what is not right in the world, or even in our world. Mahatma Ghandi stated that WE must be the change we wish to see in the world.

This is so very important when we are wishing for things to be different, we need to begin within, to make the changes we wish to see. One person can start a change.  Are you that person?

How do you begin to change?

Change Winston Churchill Quote How do you change?

Change begins one step at a time.  I have been listening to some podcasts recently, and a couple…

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March 11, 2014

crazy little thing called change

Posted in health at 6:32 am by Margi Macdonald

Just one of the most stunning things I’ve read for a while… Do read this latest in our series about “change”, and then venture into your garden, or onto your balcony of little pot plants, with fresh eyes and a curious heart.

The Eloquent Garden

Humans seem  fascinated, sometimes obsessed with change. In the name of change, humans embark on some fabulous,  interesting, and some might say quite crazy behaviours.

I’ve just read “Maddadam’ by Margaret Atwood. Now she’s an author who’s  terrific at imagining change. She  takes our fantasies, our dreams of change and details them in dystopian comedy-dramas. “God’s Gardeners” in charge of the world. Hmm. Not so practical, it turns out. And that marvelous  fantasy that males and females have –  ‘if only we knew exactly when someone wanted to mate with us’ –  that would save us so much time and heartache we think. It’s wonderful what Atwood does with that one. I won’t spoil it for potential readers, but it does involve spontaneous colour change of body parts.

And plants and animals  change too in surprising, fascinating ways.  Convergent evolution, where two unrelated species take on the characteristics of one…

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