September 22, 2013

… loosen the hair and have a relaxed bearing

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , , , at 2:30 pm by Margi Macdonald

ChinaPinks

September is such a busy month, with acupuncture and herbal medicine  seminars, peer reviews and renewed focus and energy for ideas and projects.

During a recent online forum, Robin Marchment shared this gem.

It’s a beautiful counterpoint to the busyness of the season.

Great discourse on the four seasons and harmonising the spirit

四气调神大论篇第

春三月, The three months of spring

此谓发陈,this is called burgeoning

天地俱生,heaven and earth both give birth

万物以荣。So 10,000 things flourish.

夜卧早起,Lie down at night and rise in the morning,

广步于庭,take long strides in the courtyard,

被发缓形,loosen the hair and have a relaxed bearing,

以使志生。and thus enable the aspiration to live.

生而勿杀,Let live and don’t kill,

予而勿夺,give and don’t take,

赏而勿罚。reward and don’t punish.

此春气之应,This corresponds to the qi of spring,

养生之道也。the right path to cultivate life.

逆之则伤肝,To do opposite will damage the liver,

夏为寒变。and in summer one will feel cold.

奉长者少。With insufficient basis to support growth.

Nei Jing, Chapter 2

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Image: © Margi Macdonald

Translation: Awaiting confirmation

Cautions and Care: As ever, all content on this weblog is for general information. If you are concerned about your health or well-being, please see an appropriately qualified health care professional.

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July 20, 2013

Back at work

Posted in brisbane, health tagged , , at 12:06 pm by Margi Macdonald

image

After my very own gap-year, I’m back at work in a lovely new location: tucked away in the Ten Toes Yoga studio in Ascot, I’ve teamed up with Joanne Taylor at Ascot Massage.
Refreshed and recharged, I’m looking forward to helping past clients, and newcomers who want to receive effective, nurturing health care.

To make an appointment with Margi please visit the CONTACT page on this site.

See you soon!

February 7, 2011

Behind the scenes in an acupuncture clinic

Posted in brisbane, health tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:13 pm by Margi Macdonald

During the quiet days of January, many acupuncturists began preparation for national registration of our profession in 2012. We’ll be more accountable, and more closely regulated than ever before. This is a good thing for public safety and for standards of care. Registration will elevate acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine to professional status, alongside doctors, dentists and other allied health professions. Unsurprisingly, national registration will increase practice costs to each practitioner. As the year progresses, we’ll need to pass some of these costs on to the people registration  protects – our wonderful clients and patients.

Our aim is to keep fee increases modest and fair to you and to ourselves, and to tell you well in advance.

Visitors to Echidna Acupuncture and Natural Therapies will notice some additions to the clinic this year; hand-washing charts, more signage, hand sanitiser for visitors and medical-grade handwash solution.  The clinic owner – Nikki Hunt – has done a great job ensuring the clinic is compliant with recent changes to Infection Control  Management in Australia.

For clinic visitors, this means that we’re looking and sounding more like your GP’s surgery. We’ll be assessing folk for nasty contagious bugs, particularly in winter. People deemed potentially contagious may be advised to stay at home, to see their Doctors, or to come and see us, as long as they understand that wearing a surgical mask will be necessary for both patient and practitioner.  If we feel you’re contagious, we’ll also be keeping you separate from other clinic visitors.

Our clinic is now stocked with an even wider range of infection control gear, including a spills kit and more plastic aprons than we can imagine might ever be necessary. Medical supplies – even in the smallest quantities – come in bulk!

Professional development and post-graduate learning are an ongoing process in our profession. Last year many acupuncturists exceeded the minimum ongoing professional development requirements expected of us by legislation, private health insurers, and our professional associations. My own learning and study included acquisition of specialist textbooks, participation in peer review meetings and online discussion groups, business planning, and attendance at a number of important seminars and skill updates, some of them presented by esteemed international specialists. I happily exceeded the minimum requirement, learnt plenty, and look forward to doing it all again in 2011. Those unpaid hours of professional development – usually on weekends and in the evenings – help us to do our best for each of you, and to stay current with the unique mix of science, tradition and wisdom which is Traditional Chinese Medicine in the 21st Century.

Images

Red Door in Hanoi ©Margi Macdonald

Handsanitiser – not stated

Words ©Margi Macdonald

January 22, 2011

Fresh New and Blue: it’s sing-along-time

Posted in brisbane, health, life, love, music tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:21 am by Margi Macdonald

Round about this time of year, I change the blog’s visual theme.

I have no idea why I hadn’t found this theme in the past, as it sits nicely with my business card, and is so fresh and clean.

In Brisbane this morning it’s fresh, sunny and cool, and there’s a song for that!

Now play the video and sing along. Singing is very, very good for our Lung qi – a vital energy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine understands our Lungs are like a bellows which pumps qi through our bodies. Lung qi also oversees our immunity and assists with fluid metabolism. Grief and loss cause Lung qi to dissipate. So really, truly sing out loud!

November 21, 2009

Grappling with the night – insomnia and related torments

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:48 pm by Margi Macdonald

There really is nothing worse than spending wretched nights tangled in the bedclothes, thrashing, watching time tick slowly by, while all around one’s family and neighbours lie sweetly sleeping.

Similarly, nights spent interrupted by graphic, unsettling, incessant or just plain terrifying dreams are no recipe for a refreshed and quietly enlivened mind and body.

Detail from the right ("Hell") panel of Hieronymous Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights" c. 1500

Afterall, such nocturnal torments will have us falling asleep at the wheel, frustratingly unproductive, snippy and snappy, fraught and frazzled.

So what’s going on here?

Quite a bit! If we consider all the information we receive in a day, the thousands of visual and auditory stimuli – many of them pernicious – the way we use our minds, life events and our reactions to them, and what we eat and drink, you can see why difficulty falling and staying asleep can become a problem.

There is an art and science to welcoming sleep into our busy lives, called sleep hygeine by those in the western medical sciences. So as well as counting sheep, you might like to see what works for you here:  Reach Out

Some things to remember:

Daytime – Yang time – is the time for most of our mental and physical activity, including eating and digesting.

Nighttime – Yin time – is for restoration and relaxation of mind, spirit and body.

Our bedrooms are for sleep and sex. They are not information super-highways, so keep your electronic geewhizzery such as TVs, computers and telephones out of them! Why anyone would want these intrusive information-overloaders interfering with two of life’s simple pleasures is a modern-day puzzle!

If alcohol is needed to help us nod off, then we’re headed for trouble, and must seek the help of an empathetic, appropriately qualified health professional.

There is an emerging body of evidence which links high blood pressure and stubborn weight gain with poor sleep. There are also some significant medical and psychological  problems associated with insomnia.

The good news is that most of us will experience transient periods of insomnia which resolve spontaneously. For those who grapple with a chronic inability to sleep well, help is available.

Fortunately Traditional Chinese Medicine provides us with a supreme framework in which to understand the relationships between consciousness – our Shen or Spirit – organ function and dysfunction, the Will and Intellect, the body’s natural rhythms and cycles, our Blood, Essence and Fluids, and our ability to sleep restoratively. Acupuncture, professionally prescribed herbal medicines and essential oils, Reiki and massage can all help us to re-establish restful, refreshing sleep.

But for now, turn on your sound, and enjoy the poetry below, accompanied by this famous old lullaby.

Serenade

by Mary Weston Fordham

Sleep, love sleep,
The night winds sigh,
In soft lullaby.
The Lark is at rest
With the dew on her breast.
So close those dear eyes,
That borrowed their hue
From the heavens so blue,
Sleep, love sleep.
Sleep, love sleep,
The pale moon looks down
On the valleys around,
The Glow Moth is flying,
The South wind is sighing,
And I am low lying,
With lute deftly strung,
To pour out my song,
Sleep, love sleep.
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Staying safe
These pages and the information here are not a substitute for safe and correct health care. If you have a concern about your own physical, mental or emotional health – or that of another – you must seek the guidance of an appropriately qualified and experienced health care professional.
Acknowledgements
Insomnia graphic by ArtbyAllyson; Counting Sheep by matt_collingwood. Both available at BigStockPhoto{dot}com
Artworks available everywhere:
Hieronymous Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights detail from the panel Hell 1504
Gustave Courbet The Sleeping Spinner 1853
Serenade sourced at Poetry Foundation
Blog post content © Margi Macdonald.

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