Acupuncture and Good Deep Sleep

Good sleep is powerful. It resets you, it refuels you, but it doesn’t always come when you need it the most. The effects of chronic sleep loss can impact everything from mood, vitality, mentality, energy, right through to having a dull complexion. Harsh, no? So let’s take a look at what can be done to address some factors that affect sleep, and how Acupuncture could be a great adjunct to reclaiming your R&R.


For those of you that have had Acupuncture before, you’ll likely be all too familiar with an Acu-nap; the nap taken during your Acupuncture treatment, where you’re either at a light doze – neither fully awake or asleep, leaving you feeling refreshed. This blissful sensation is attributed to the activation of your parasympathetic system (“rest and restore”).

Acupuncture’s well known for its effect on the nervous system (pain research is the classic example), and having a doze during your session isn’t crucial for kick-starting the repair process, just a nice side-effect.

Research into the area of Acupuncture and sleep continues to develop, but on the whole is really positive when including Acupuncture as a promising and safe option for those looking to improve their sleep quality. A few examples demonstrating its impact include a clinical trial showing Acupuncture’s beneficial effect on insomnia, compared with certain western medications1, which considering the potential side effects and dependency on sleep medications makes Acupuncture an exceptionally promising option. A course of Acupuncture treatment has also been demonstrated to improve sleep quality during pregnancy, which is particularly notable for those during their third trimester, where nearly half of pregnant people suffer from poor sleep2. Another randomized control trial showed that for peri-menopausal women, Acupuncture significantly improved their sleep efficiency and total sleep time, associated with less wake after sleep onset after the treatment3. There are lots of contributing factors to sleep, and identifying what makes up your sleep picture is crucial. There are things within your external environment that play strong roles, including environmental toxins & pollutants, lifestyle, stressors, foods you eat, down to small daily habits. Your internal environment (such as your hormones and chemicals) is the other side of the picture; how your body manages stress, circadian rhythm cycles, and general systems that are overworking or underperforming.


Sleep is often impacted by stress (that old chestnut), and while that’s a whole other topic that could be tackled at length (and a favourite of mine), for now let’s focus on mentioning our stress hormone, cortisol. It often gets a bad wrap, but it’s actually important to have in our systems. It’s all about the right amount at the right time of day; Cortisol is meant to be higher in the morning (gets you up out of bed and alert in the morning; best time of day for productivity!) and lower in the evening (calmer and setting you up to sleep). Too much stress in your day and your cortisol stays up working over-time. What does this mean when you can’t wind-down? Your body’s circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) becomes out of whack because high cortisol in the evening equates to zero sleep set up! It’s a big contributor to why your brain can still be whirring at a million miles an hour when you’re tucked in and craving sleep.


For many, good quality sleep can feel ever-elusive & it’s hard to unpack where the issues may lie. Overcoming those missed zzz’s doesn’t just begin when your head hits the pillow. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a great slumber, but for many, it’s good to start with assessing whether sleep still gets pushed back (intentionally or otherwise) when we try to fit more into each day. While a course of Acupuncture may see an improvement in sleep quality, optimising these effects means creating long-lasting changes & adjusting some habits at home.

To start: where has sleep been placed on your priority list day-to-day? First thing to rule out is whether you actively put it off to squeeze in one more episode, scroll social media or to get a few more emails sorted. Does it get de-valued when there’s still stuff to do around the house? Do you put it off because you feel it’s “impossible” to get to sleep anyway, regardless of what you do/don’t do?

So many of us are in the habit of closing a screen once we’re already in bed, but this habit tends to amplify the body’s wiring to stay awake. Many patients over the years have voiced this as a habit that’s intended to help distract, switch off and unwind a wired-mind, but unfortunately that same habit creates a longer-term false sense of rest. Sure, you may zone-out, but your brain is being sent a message that it’s on stand-by, because light is still present. You may be lucky & fall asleep soon after everything is officially switched off, but the quality of your sleep can still suffer. How can you tell? A few key factors include how many hours of sleep leave you feeling tired vs. amazing vs. over-slept. We also look at whether you’re waking up refreshed, waking during the night, energy slumping throughout the day, and just rounding back to having difficulty fall asleep in the first place, and the big picture ratio of higher quality sleep week-in, week-out. There are also some who fall into the category of hormonal changes pulling sleep out of whack, or some may find that their sleep feels average (but not necessarily on their radar as problematic) however they have a short-fuse, or feel as though mood has moments of dictating the day. Your body’s stress-responses can leave you managing the same cluster of symptoms over and over. Assisting sleep quality is a simple first step in un-packing where the culprits lye.


Our body’s way of telling us it wants better quality rest hides in plain sight. We have the capacity to clock a lot of symptoms down as our version of “normal” & plough along with daily demands. A trick: Make sleep the most important appointment in your day. Make it your biggest priority. If your bed time is 10:30, then screens shut off an hour before-hand, regardless of unfinished emails or episodes. This is more important. This is going to increase your productivity and happiness in the long run, & short-term gains for long-lived burnout really doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi!

That one final magical hour in your day designated to be technology free time isn’t designed for rushing around fixing meals for the next day, or stressing/getting anxious about things due in the following days/weeks/months, or picking up after other people. It’s for you. For those parents or busy-bee’s who are reading this and shaking their heads with a firm hella-no; the busiest people need the most down-time. These people in my experience are the ones that love Acupuncture the most. For those who can start scheduling in nightly downtime, if it’s hard to imagine what to do with that time when you’re used to it feeling full, write out a handful of things you enjoy doing, and may not have had enough time for regularly. It doesn’t have to be the same thing each evening if you’re not big on autonomy, but each of them must contribute in allowing your body to de-load from the stimulus of your day. Some things that I love to recommend include:

  • Reading a chapter (or more) of something that isn’t work related,
  • Listen. To music, or a podcast (although these often come from your phone you can put them on an automatic timer to switch off after X-amount of time, it’s still a gateway from being visually glued to a screen or running around), or just reflect on the world around you.
  • Write notes to debrief from your day; whether it be 10 things your grateful for, or just getting things off your chest to step back and try to see things from a new angle.
  • Smell. Put a diffuser on in the background to have a smell that will slowly be associated with rest and relaxation (Lavender is the classic, but there are ones that scents that have been suggested to help your sinuses, mood, or focus).
  • Have a bath or a shower. Drastic changes in body temp/ambient temperature help your body fall asleep; when you get out of a hot bath your vessels has vasodilated, so core blood goes to peripheries and because you’re warm, body tries to get heat to escape, resulting in a drop in your body’s temp, and a drop in core temperature makes you drowsy/groggy.
  • Meditate. It’s one of the best things you couldever choose to do. Not one has ever regretted getting into meditation! Ever. If anything, the thing people don’t like is trying to get into it in the first place; being alone with your own thoughts can often be really, really uncomfortable. You may sit there thinking how silly it is that you’re sitting there when there are so many other things you could be doing. But if you submit to it, it’ll change your life.  If you still feel it’s not your thing & you feel like every time you try it you get agitated or can’t make it work, there are guided ones (such as on the app Insight Timer, which has plenty of free resources). If you want to try giving it a go on your own, start with 5 minutes & just count your breaths. If you find you’ve distracted yourself and lost count, or your mind’s wandered, just start again. It’s no big deal. Each night add one minute on until you get up to 15-20.

If your routine becomes established, you’ll see shifts; you’ll start waking up feeling revitalised, your energy will feel more sustained throughout the day, your mood is less likely to fluctuate. Begin great sleep & make that final hour of your day the most important one.


  1. Cao H, Pan X, Li H, Liu J. Acupuncture for treatment of insomnia: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(11):1171-1186. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0041

  1. Foroughinia S, Hessami K, Asadi N, et al.Effect of acupuncture on pregnancy-related insomnia and melatonin: A single-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trialNature Sci Sleep. 2020;12:271-278.

  1. Cong, Fu & Na, Zhao & Zhen, Liu & Lu-Hua, Yuan & Chen, Xie & Wen-Jia, Yang & Xin-Tong, Yu & Yu, Huan & Yun-Fei, Chen. Acupuncture Improves Peri-menopausal Insomnia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Sleep. 2017; 40. 10.1093/sleep/zsx153.


Do you procrastinate?

Do you make a list of things you need to do or would like to do but then find yourself doing everything else but what you had planned?

You might find you are distracting yourself from tasks by repeatedly falling into the trap of “ just checking” social media, only to find yourself still perusing 30 minutes later.
(Ever been on Facebook on your laptop, then absentmindedly picked up your phone and clicked on your Facebook app to find yourself scrolling through Facebook …cough cough…… I’ve never done that.)

You quickly flick on the telly for a 5 minute breather before you start your work and then find yourself entering into the 2nd episode of a Netflix series.

A magazine or book catches your eye and before you know it, you’ve lost track of time and can’t remember what it was that you were going to spend the afternoon doing?

Well those are some of the traps I have found myself falling into when procrastinating.

Procrastination can also be eating food, drinking coffee, having a glass of wine …..anything really that takes you away from the task at hand.

The art of procrastination and I say art because we really can become very skilled at it, can have long lasting effects on your wellbeing.

And from experience, the self talk you have around it can be horrendous.

The things I would think and feel about myself around my ability to procrastinate were debilitating.

I would feel shame, guilt and worthlessness.

Why couldn’t I just get the things done that I had set out to do?

Why is this just so damn hard?

Cue: overwhelm!

I was the QUEEN of procrastination.

It should have been my middle name.

I would ruminate on everything.

It drove me absolutely crackers!

Procrastination caused me much stress and anxiety.

Oh…..the pressure I would place on myself to get something soooo right.

Soooo perfect.

My mind would talk myself out of even starting.

I would give up even before I had even begun.

But I spent plenty of time thinking about it.

I could have probably gotten half the things done in the time I spent thinking about “how” to tackle them.
The big kicker for me was fear.

I had fear of not getting things right, and if they were not right, I had fear I would be judged.

And if I was being judged it was because I wasn’t worthy of producing anything worthwhile.

And if I wasn’t worthwhile, what was I good for?

The list would go on and on.

At the time I wasn’t acutely aware of those reasons.

Back before I built my awareness around my fears, all I simply knew was that I procrastinated an awful lot and it just made me feel useless.

Lazy, even.

I felt weak and that I lacked any willpower.

But the more I worked on my LOVE/HATE relationship of procrastination, the more this became apparent to me.

Procrastination is a by-product, a symptom of different aspects and elements of fear.

Not something that I was aware of in the midst of the procrastination.

But something that I have come to understand that has helped me change my perspective around why I might procrastinate certain things and how to overcome it.

Ah fear, my oh so familiar friend.

Always there by my side, keeping me safe and cosy in the confines of my self constructed box.

The box that kept me from having to put myself out there, try something new, take a chance or make a change.

Fear …how could you create such a mind play for me when you are just trying to keep me safe from being hurt.

Fear comes up to some degree in every single session I have had with a client in my work as a Kinesiologist.

Fear seems to be the constant for holding people back from change.

In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert ( and I am paraphrasing here and not at all doing her words justice ) basically says “ Fear you can get in the car, you can come along for the ride, but that is as much as your doing. You are to be the passenger, and not the driver, courage is driving but you my friend are merely coming along for the ride. You are to get nowhere near the steering wheel….or the map for that matter.”

Fear will always be there.

Fear doesn’t really know how to take a hike.

And rightly so.

The purpose of fear is really to keep us safe from situations that feel threatening.

In primal situations, fear can keep us alive.

Once it has judged a situation dangerous, it literally puts the sirens on, pulls the handbrake up and makes you feel that if you are to carry out a certain task or act, you might be at risk.

You might even die.

But fear can’t differentiate between the intensity of situations.

It sounds the alert regardless.


So really…..why would you do that thing when the under current of doing that thing is that you are not safe.

But as much as we need to thank fear for its well meaning actions (ie the need to keep us safe and alive) often it over reacts based on past events and traumas.

It is red lighting something that indeed doesn’t require a red light.

It is over cautious, over zealous and an extremely dominant emotion.

If it could, it would keep you safe at home with a bunch of food tucked up under a blanket on the lounge.

And the thing with fear is….it really likes to recruit the mind.

It likes to be at the steering wheel of your thoughts and really likes to dictate the direction in which your thoughts and mind will take.

Now once someone starts to realise that and starts to understand more about their fears, this is when fear can start to loosen its grip.

Once you realise what fear is all about and what the motivation behind it is, you can start to take a hold and see it for what it is, and what it is doing.

It’s mainly when we aren’t aware that fear is in the driver seat, the mastermind behind our decisions that we feel powerless to change a situation.

When you can see what’s going on you start to create options for yourself.
And when you couple that will “feeling” the sensation of fear in your body, you can release it.
It feels heard, felt and known and no longer needs to act like the petulant child that needs all of the attention.

You  then start to create different choices and this can be the start of great change.

And more and more you find you are no longer procrastinating.

So what is the opposite of fear?

I guess you could say it’s courage.

Courage would help us move forward, stop the procrastination and make a move.

Make a change.

But where does courage come from?

You can’t just conjure it up out of thin air.

Maybe some people can, but for most of us, it’s not possible.

Courage usually sits on the other side of fear.

And to get to courage, we really need to sit head on and face a fear.
Move through the fear to arrive at courage.

By doing this we are showing ourselves and our fears that we are willing to move forward, willing to take a stand.

And the result of that forward movement is courage.

These steps don’t have to be big.

Or taken all at once.

They can be gradual.

Good things can take time.

And that’s ok.

A few ways in which I faced my fears to avoid the procrastination were:


I made a move to do one simple thing that initiated the task I had been procrastinating.

Sometimes the fear can be the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start. So I wouldn’t. But by just picking a small thing, a small entry point to the task and doing it, I was able to push aside the mind chatter and just do it.

In some cases, before I knew it, I was at the tail end wondering what I was worried about in the first place.


With the help of Kinesiology I was able to dig into my own fears and emotions and find out what was standing in the way of me and what I really wanted to do and why I wasn’t doing it.

Once I started to create this connection I was then able to tell if the procrastination was really that the timing wasn’t right to do the thing I wanted to do or whether I was stalling out of fear or resistance.

I was able to start to get a real sense of what the true picture was.

Connection to myself came from a willingness and curiosity to know more about myself and what made me tick.

Kinesiology showed me how to drop into my heart space where this connection resides and I started to discover a whole side to myself that I never in my wildest dreams could have imagine existed.
And when I found out what they were, and became aware of where they came from and why, I was able to clear the beliefs and move forward.

Now if your wondering what a limiting belief is ( and I really need to write a whole other blog post about this because they are pretty big).

 Limiting beliefs are sneaky little things that usually reside in your sub conscious.

A lot of the time you aren’t even aware they exist.
But the sneaky thing about them is….they are running the show.

They are the quiet achievers.

Literally….you have built your life on them and they are controlling you and the way your perceive yourself and your experiences without you sometimes ever knowing.

How rude !

We all have limiting beliefs, dozens of them.
  I discovered a few whoppers that were driving my actions :

“You can’t be a successful business women and a successful mum at the same time.”

Boom….that caused me major struggle when trying to build a business as a Kinesiologist whilst still being a devoted Mum to my three kids.
  “All work is hard.”

This meant being up late, studying, reading, sorting things for the kids. Burning the candle at both ends. Ending up in burnout no matter how much I had on my plate. Life was just tough. Everything was work and it was hard.
As you can imagine, I was one cranky gal !

“These are just the cards you’ve been dealt”.

In that case there was no hope of change for me. I was who I was. And I just had to deal with it and carry on. ( Forget that ! ) 

I am not worthy to receive money for my gifts.”
So this set me up for failure to think I would never make a living from something I was actually good at. I struggled in the beginning before I discovered this little winner. I found it even hard to ask for payment after a client session and I couldn’t work out why.

This list went on.

But these were some biggies that really set up the foundations for my procrastination.

When I worked through those, the grips of fear and procrastination started to lose their hold and I was able to change and up-level in a way I never thought possible.

  Some other common beliefs I come across with my clients are :

“It Runs In The Family.”
“ That’s impossible.”
“ No pain, no gain.”
“Misery Loves Company”
“ What if something happens”
“ Don’t give up your day job.”
“Theres always a catch.”
“ Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
“ It’s not safe to be me.”

The list really does go on.

Now you can see if some of these are undercurrents to your life, it’s going to make doing certain things pretty fearful and hard.

There is always more to procrastination than meets the eye.

It’s a matter of getting to the root of what is the cause of procrastination.

And that is sometimes easier said than done.

From my humble experience, that is where Intuitive Kinesiology can make a world of difference.

By using Kinesiology we are able to identify what the underlying (sub conscious) causes are that are keeping you in a pattern of fear or procrastination.

We can discover where in the body you are holding emotions that need to be felt, processed and released.
We can shine a light on what’s really going on and with that in your awareness you can become empowered with the ability to make changes.

Lasting changes.

Changes that will see you capable of doing whatever your heart desires.

So if you are ready to put an end to procrastination, get in touch and book in for a some Intuitive Kinesiology.

There is no point bumbling through life feeling cranky at yourself for not getting things done.

There’s just no need.
Let’s check out what’s in the driver seat for you.
Sessions are held on Mondays and Thursdays at NBIP.

The Pleasure/Pain Cycle & How Changing Our thoughts can Change Our Life

Our mind’s number one job is to keep us alive on the planet and it does this be either moving us towards pleasure (safety, comfort, acceptance) and away from pain (danger, discomfort, rejection). Every single action we take is influenced by this connection to pleasure or pain. And the only way our mind knows what causes us pleasure or pain is based on what we tell it – the stories, beliefs and programs we have installed in our subconscious in order to make sense of the world.

Our subconscious mind is the vault for all of our memories and experiences. Everything we have ever seen, heard, done, thought or felt sits in our subconscious. It is also our navigation system and the blueprint on which all of our behaviours, habits, actions and decisions are based. 

Example :

Whenever we experience pleasure, our mind stores the cause of that pleasure, and reminds us of it the next time we need to make ourselves feel better. Take for example, the fresh baked cookies that we used to make with grandma, or the enormous ice-cream sundaes we were only ever allowed to have on family holidays. This gets imprinted in the pleasure receptor of our brain and the next time we feel physically or emotionally hurt, we turn to cookies or ice-cream for comfort.

Similarly, when we experience pain (physical or emotional) this goes into the pain receptor, and the next time we are faced with a similar situation, the mind will do everything in its power to prevent us from repeating the experience.  Take for example, having to do a class presentation at school and everybody laughs at how we couldn’t get the words out or kept making mistakes. Then years later we are asked to do a presentation at work and are completely overcome with the terror of public speaking. So we choose not to do the presentation and remain stuck in a lower level job where there is no risk of being negatively judged.

Unfortunately, our pain receptor is more powerful than our pleasure receptor. The mind is hardwired to steer us away from pain because for so many years this was how we survived. Avoidance of pain (danger) was, and remains our primary instinct. This explains why negative experiences can have such a profound impact on our behaviour.

The subconscious mind is constantly processing the information we take in and sensing for pleasure or pain. It then communicates back to the conscious mind to take action based on what it observes. However, it is this very feedback loop that can be our greatest roadblock to personal success. Our memories and experiences, and the beliefs that we attach to them aren’t always accurate, and are most often outdated. And unlike our technology – phones, laptops etc. we very rarely think about upgrading the internal operating system that is our mind. So we continue to make decisions and take action based on old, redundant information.

The reality is that we are likely to have many more positive experiences in life than negative. If we were to write our true and complete life story it would include thousands of joyful, happy memories.  However, we are so focused on negative experiences (in an effort to avoid repeating them) that the story we tell and ’sell’ ourselves is a work of fiction and not fact. And while this may keep up us safe in the short term, it comes at an enormous cost to our potential for growth and freedom.

But…the great thing about the subconscious is that NONE of the files are ‘read-only’. We have the opportunity to change the meaning we attach to our memories and experiences, to create better thoughts and therefore better experiences.  To do this we need to challenge our story, programs and beliefs, and consciously choose what we link pleasure and pain to.  

If there is something in our lives that we really want and haven’t been able to achieve, it’s safe to assume that there is a part of us that links pain to the goal. So we have to tell our minds new and better stories to get what we want. We need to focus on how good it would feel to achieve our goals, instead of fearing the process of getting there.  Once we remove the fear, we take ‘pain’ out of the drivers seat, and give ourselves the freedom and permission to create the life we want.

RTT hypnotherapy is an amazing technique to help us understand our personal pleasure/pain cycle and remove the roadblocks that are holding us back. It brings a deeper understanding of limiting beliefs and offers effective tools and techniques to clear them out. RTT is a truly transformative hypnotherapy experience.

Immunity and Massage

A novel virus and massage therapy –

There has never been a better time to welcome a new approach to ones health.

When what we once knew as a regular day, is altered by restrictions to our liberties, with underlying concern for personal health, it deserves an intentional review of our decisions on what makes up a healthy character we can display in our relationships, onto our work, and feel within ourselves.

How I describe this idea to my clientele is a modal which I learnt through my days of internal martial arts training, and mentoring youth on the Nth Beaches.

A continuum. A continuous cycle of our lifestyle exhibited in a series of interactions,  with a coherent aim to better ourselves and those around us. It can be peppered with gratitude, and moments of ‘just being’ without need for control or assertiveness of the situation.

I have always loved nature. In ways we all understand as simply feeling alive or connecting with ourselves… which may result in joy, arousal, contentment, a feeling of balance, even being ok with sadness, or fear, our most primal emotion.. all these and more I have learnt do not persuade my behaviours like they did when I was young and unaware of the knowledge and connections. I can tell this story to others now as we encounter pain and discomfort in the body, and we discuss the reasons behind presenting conditions clients bring into the clinic.

Viruses are nature. Bacteria, and other cellular organisms are nature also. Humans are now, always will in the future, and always have been, co exisiting with Nature. The vastness of our capability as individuals, is matched with the capability of natures worth and diversity. We as human beings are scripted in life to be diverse and resilient as do other organisms, such as trees, animals, and various organisms that reside on earth, with a similar need to acquire survival mechanisms like us….. shelter, food, protective characteristics, all to compete and belong amongst our respective communities whether house, homesteads, ant hills or underwater cavans, a person, amphibian, insect or reptile, has the birthright to navigate their own life freely with basic structures and knowledge of how to care for their health, and enhance their homeostasis or internal balance.

A lot of this is genetically geared into us through generational replication, but we also take lead and bio hack! Better our step patterns, BOOK IN A REMEDIAL MASSAGE, play sport to build physical resilience and learn positive character traits, and of course, love ourselves by way of all these actions, and then onto others through relationships and good deeds, love among, physical touch and recognising the cycle of life through cooking and prepping food, eating and talking with wine and song, and enjoying physical feats that stretch us beyond the once known, into the unknown, a suggested action I frequently prescribe!

Our Lives are our own. No one else’s. Do you know of someone you really enjoy being with because they are safe, happy and calm to be around? That is a exhibition of a balanced individual. Take part in their day and enjoy an hour with them and feel and watch the transition of mood or behaviours you will experience…. What does this have to do with massage therapy! Everything!

Manual pressure requires the recipient to yield in order to relax. A two way moment of progressive treatment. Injury or no injury. I push or lean, press or roll, the recipient yields by way of allowing a reciprocal continuous series of reciprocity. I give you receive, I press you yield, we exhale and then inhale… An injury requires time and a reciprocal nurturing effect to heal.

A youth being taught by me the benefits of strength and power will only know the optimal gains by way off how much he or she can relax and be still and be floppy.. That is the matched opposite of the power they so desire. Just as a arrow is loosed at the full extent of the bows arch.

Next time you book a Massage, prepare by being nutritionally mindful of what you present to me. Will your muscle sand soft tissue yield reciprocally with my maul therapy, or will the touch be too abrasive and sensitive? Either way, we will learn a new approach for next time..

Next time you book a Massage, be a new beginner to the session. In other words, turn up early in anticipation of a new feeling afterwards. That moment will never be lived again, and as we work, your response will never be replicated again… take the adventure to gain th effects in each second…. And yes falling asleep is gaining the effects. Disconnect, chat, recall the injury your encountered years ago while we navigate the healing process..

See you soon for a remedial Massage