July 12, 2016

Good sleep needs good design (among other things)

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

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Well, I had no idea last week, when I wrote this post, that it was Sleep Awareness Week.  Who knew?

Information-overloaded like so many of you, I almost missed this gem of an article.

There are so many good ideas here.

Let us know in the comments what’s most appealing to you.


July 6, 2016

Acupuncture for insomnia. Yes or no?

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


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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


February 17, 2014

You are the Garden

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , , at 9:55 pm by Margi Macdonald


Just like us, when our gardens are stressed from poor nutrition, dehydration or damp sogginess, over-crowding or temperature extremes, invading bugs will come and take over, creating an acute health problem.

Did you know that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, we see the mind-body-spirit as a landscape or garden?

Our job is to help you become your own gardener and show you how to cultivate great health and vitality.

Cautions and Care If you’re unwell, or worried about your health, please make an appointment to see a health professional. The information on these pages is not a substitute for the care and attention of appropriately qualified practitioners.

March 13, 2012

How does acupuncture work?

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

RMIT University academic Dr Zhen Zheng explains how acupuncture works.

October 15, 2011

Breast Cancer awareness…. made hot n’ cheeky

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , at 1:09 pm by Margi Macdonald

It’s October, and the breast cancer awareness pink ribbons are everywhere.

I don’t need to say anything, now do I ladies?

Just watch the video, and then do all the things these helpful gentlemen suggest.

Your life might depend on it.

ps: if you’re coy about watching men with wash-board abs, great arms, very cute butts and underwear, and a few nice moves, then you can go here for a more scientific explanation.

Disclaimer: Margi Macdonald writing at this blog Some Energy Thing does not advocate the specific use of the application featured in this video. The video is for your information. If you are uncertain about correct techniques for breast self-examination, have a concern about your breasts, or haven’t received a recent well-woman check-up, then you must see your family doctor.

For an intriguing general article about breasts and breast health, go here.

November 4, 2010

Gentlemen, we’re going in…

Posted in brisbane, health, life tagged , , , , , , , at 9:09 am by Margi Macdonald

It’s November.

In Australia it’s the time of year when we focus on men’s health issues, as men all over the country get into Movember.

So let’s just get to the point.

If Billy Connolly can do it, so can you.

And because it’s Billy, you know there will be some gloriously frank, colloquial language.

My Dad has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and he has an 85-95% chance of being cancer free in five years’ time. His cancer is fully contained within his prostate – there is no spread – and he will not need surgery. He was proactive in his self-care, and his cancer was found early.

If it’s been a while since you saw a GP for a check-up, what’s stopping you?

July 27, 2009

Healthy self-sufficiency: grass roots health care reform

Posted in brisbane, health, life, love tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:54 pm by Margi Macdonald

The other morning one of our cats received a nasty head wound in a neighbourhood stoush with another fiesty feline.

It must have been a tough fight, as he wouldn’t let us near him until late that night, not even for a touch of Reiki healing.

For those of you who don’t know, a cat’s bite is a hideous thing, as those sharp incisors are the next best thing to a hypodermic injection – except the injection is of all kinds of grotty microbes plunged beneath the skin.

Needless to say, our magnificent Bee Mai now has an abscess, despite our initial cleansing of the wound once he’d let us touch him.

Last night we had to intervene: we gently opened up the wound, and then cleaned and irrigated it, using a ‘magic-mix’ of river salt crystals, certain essential oils, freshly boiled water, and love.

The love is important! Cats – indeed any fearful being in pain – need to be approached gently when even a mini-procedure is in progress.

Time and patience, and focussed attention to detail are also important. Our cat’s health will depend upon us tending to his wound at least 2 times each day, and closely observing his general health and behaviour. Healthy self-sufficiency requires mindful attention. It is not the pop-a-pill-and-off-you-go health management typical of western medicine.

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So what’s a little veterinary-science-in-the-kitchen doing on this blog?

Well, obviously this is one of those ‘do not try this at home’ examples. Having said that, I firmly believe in empowering folk to care for themselves and their families using common sense, kitchen remedies, and wise and judicious medical and veterinary assistance.

Our family’s recent experiences of the public health system illustrated how over- reliant so many people have become on the western medical model of health care.  ER waiting rooms, and those of any general practice, are overflowing with folk who have never been taught – in any meaningful, coherent way –  the rudiments of preventative health, correct first aid, or safe, commonsense management of everyday health concerns.

No wonder our health systems are in crisis! It’s the same in the user-pays-and-pays-and-pays model of the USA, as much as in the seeping, groaning ‘free’ NHS models of the UK, and my home town.

I mean… crickey! We needed flying-pig-flu before most Aussies { and I’d suggest, a few too many public health officials and politicians and employers } understood that  staying at home, resting, eating right, staying hydrated, hand-washing, covering our mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, and seeing a doctor when necessary, are the best defence against seasonal influenza and rhinovirus.

Get started as a self-sufficient health care consumer with this basic to-do list:

  1. Attend a comprehensive First Aid Course. Update your skills annually.
  2. Keep a First Aid Kit in your home, and one in your car.
  3. Drive safe. Drive sober.
  4. Live a moderate life.
  5. Keep your body moving.
  6. Know your body and mind; be aware of what’s ‘normal’ and ‘typical’ for you. Be sure to carry that same knowledge about your loved ones.
  7. Keep your body and mind unpolluted, and free of toxins and drugs.
  8. Expect the unexpected, and have a management plan for such events.
  9. Be sure you have a sensible, reliable family doctor whom you trust to hear and guide you. Have regular check-ups.
  10. Be sure you have a sensible, reliable natural medicine practitioner, whom you trust to hear and guide you. Receive regular guidance and treatment.
  11. Stay out of fights! {This applies to world leaders as well. Far too much money is diverted away from health during times of conflict.}
  12. Eat fresh food including all the wonderful greens, and yellows, and reds, and oranges and purples and browns. If a foodstuff has a label with a string of chemical names and numbers on it, and a shelf-life of months or years, or is packaged in styrofoam, chances are it’s not food… it’s food-imitation.
  13. Educate yourself.

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How do you practice healthy self-sufficiency?

Share your wisdom with a short comment below.

Cautions and care: I do not advocate that readers treat their pets or family members for abscesses, or any other lesions, infections, or health concerns, without having sought appropriate medical or veterinary opinions. I treat our cats, because I am competent and safe due to my training, education, and experience. Today- based on my observations of my cat’s wound –  I know there is a 50:50 chance we’ll need a trip to the vet.

Today, and any other day, if in doubt about your health and well-being, or that of another, always seek appropriate assessment and treatment.

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