Mineral Water & Magnesium

Ever wondered if there is any value to mineral waters?  Looking for a practical way to get more magnesium without popping a pill?

In previous posts, I have mentioned that maintaining a diet rich in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and wholegrains is an excellent way to ensure your magnesium intake is in good shape, (and, of course, your amino acid, vitamin and fibre intake). Unfortunately, depletion of magnesium from our soil means that the concentration of magnesium in foods is reducing, and even a great diet may not provide you all the magnesium you need. Happily, if you choose wisely, the water you drink may offer another means to fill your mineral tank.

As rain water slowly seeps through layers of rock it collects minerals and thus becomes mineral water (or spring water, the name depending on total weight of the minerals). Rock-forms abundant in Australia such as granite, sandstone and limestone yield waters rich in silica, potassium or sodium and calcium, but not magnesium. By comparison, water that has filtered through the less familiar dolostone will acquire magnesium.

South Australia boasts one spring water that has a magnesium content comparable to the popular brands Evian and Santa Vittoria. It trades under the name PH8, and it provides 21mg per litre of magnesium [1]. You will see, however, as mineral waters go, this is still a low magnesium content.

Many European mineral waters have considerable quantities of magnesium and provided you are not on a sodium-restricted diet, are suitable for regular consumption (check the label for sodium content). One litre or four glasses of the Czech brand, Magnesia, provides 170mg of naturally occurring magnesium. That is over half the recommended daily intake of 320mg for women over 30. Other magnesium rich brands are German Tonissteiner and Gerolsteiner, which provide 126-108mg/L, and the French brands, Hepar, Quezac, Arvie, Badoit, and Contrex, providing 119-75mg/L [3].

Mineral water without the plastic bottle

Even though certain mineral waters offer a valuable source of dietary magnesium, it is difficult to be an advocate for bottled water due to the environmental impact, impracticality and expense. A positive alternative is offered by an Australian company, Vitel Water. Their custom crafted magnesium oxide beads can be placed overnight in vessels of rain or tap water in order to provide magnesium enriched water in the morning. According to tests carried out by ALS Global, a Brisbane-area tap water sample with 3mg/L of water increased to 15mg/L after 8 hours in contact with the beads.  Drinking eight glasses per day would provide 96mg more magnesium than the original sample. That ‘bonus’ magnesium is equal to one third of the recommended intake for women aged over 30. The other bonus is that the beads are reusable, almost indefinitely.

Mineralised water has long been a source of essential nutrients in the human diet. Our municipal water systems provide us with water that, in more ways than one, is a long way from a mountain spring. This means if you are drinking tap water (or rain water), you’re missing out on nutrition- and you have been for a long time. To make up for it, next time you are fine dining, why not indulge in a glass of Czech mineral water? Or, if you have been considering an upgrade to your Brita filter, you may like to investigate Vitel Water at vitelwater.com.au. More information on the many benefits of magnesium can be found in a future blog post Magnesium under the Microscope.

Photo credit: zone41 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

  1. FineWaters-Media. PH8 Natural Alkaline Water. n.d.; Available from: finewaters.com/bottled-waters-of-the-world/australia/ph8
  2. Zdravilišče-Rogaška. Effects (of Donat Mg). Medical Centre Rogaska 2015 [cited 2017 28 March ]; Available from: rogaska-medical.com/en/donat-mg/effects
  3. Eupedia. Mineral analysis of a few European mineral water brands. n.d.; Available from: eupedia.com/europe/european_mineral_waters.shtml


Acupuncture Syd provides scientific information for the general public on the health aspects of lifestyle factors such as relaxation, rest, mind-set, exercise and diet (including the constituents of foods, beverages and supplements). The information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counselling services on this website. The information should not be used in place of a consultation with a health care professional.

The information on dietary factors and supplements, food, and beverages contained on this website does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, interactions, uses and actions. It is not intended as medical or nutritional advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this website is expressly disclaimed.


Treatment Fees and Packages

HICAPS is available at the clinic for applicable on-the-spot health fund rebates.


Bespoke Treatments $60

Our Bespoke treatments are available 9.40am-4.00pm. They cost $60 and run for 30 minutes. These treatments include a short consultation and individualised acupuncture treatment.

Premium Treatments $90

Our Premium treatments are available 4.00pm-7.00pm. They cost $90 and run for 45 minutes. They allow time for the addition of a second acupuncture treatment (front and back) or a long consultation or moxa or massage, as required or requested. Premium treatments are available at other times by request.

Tandem Treatments (from $45 pp)

Couples and friends can book together,
share a treatment room, and SAVE!
Bespoke Tandem Treatments cost $90, save $30 (i.e. $45 per person)
Premium Tandem Treatments cost $130, save $50 (i.e. $65 per person)


Bespoke Package $240 (save $60)

Bespoke Packages include 5 Bespoke treatments paid in advance for $240. SAVE $60! The Package may be divided among loved ones. Please note, Bespoke Treatments can only be booked 9.40am-4.00pm (inclusive) and need to be used within 12 months of purchase.


Annual Subscription $810

Any 12 treatments in 12 months, paid in advance for $810, with the flexibility to choose between Premium or Bespoke treatments when making your bookings (subject to availability). Couples or families can SAVE UP TO $750 on Premium Tandem Bookings!! Please note Annual Subscriptions belong to one person and expire 12 months after date of purchase.

Transdermal Magnesium

Did you know that simply taking a bath can increase your magnesium absorption? Take relaxation to the next level with transdermal magnesium.

A staple of the bathroom cabinet, Epsom salt has been long hailed for its ability to relax and ease tired, sore muscles. It comes as little surprise then that the secret to its success lies in its other name, magnesium sulfate.

500 grams of Epsom salt dissolved in a bath of hot water will form magnesium ions that are able to cross the skin barrier into the blood and tissues, with excess excreted by the kidneys [1]. The same is true for soaking feet in a hot bucket of aqueous Epsom salts, and for hot Epsom salt compresses. Swapping showers for baths means your daily routine can also become your daily meditation and magnesium booster, in one!

It is still essential to maintain a diet rich in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and wholegrains to guarantee your magnesium intake is in good shape, and so too your amino acid, vitamin and fibre intake. However, since soils are depleted of many minerals including magnesium, and time to prepare foods so often seems scarce, supplementing magnesium may be necessary to ensure your levels are optimum. Baths and regular topical applications will help you achieve this. [See cautions for supplementing at the end of this article.]

A bath in a bottle!

Aqueous magnesium chloride is also absorbed through the skin. It is sometimes labelled liquid magnesium or magnesium oil, a solution that is not oil at all, but does have an oil-like, slippery feel. One such topical magnesium supplement, naturally sourced from Victorian underground aqueducts, is Australian owned Karma Rub.

You can make a preparation of magnesium oil yourself by saturating magnesium chloride salt with water. Magnesium oil can be applied directly to the skin and in ten minutes it will be absorbed. Although it leaves a little salty residue, it has been suggested that the skin absorbs magnesium three times better than the gastro-intestinal tract (which absorbs only 30% of ingested magnesium) [2]. Sufferers of IBS or other gut disease may indeed find it more effective, as diarrhoea and inflammation diminish magnesium absorption by the gut [3]. This is what makes transdermal magnesium a sensible option for magnesium supplementation.

Each method has its own advantages: magnesium oil can be applied directly to the site of pain, and baths have the benefit of being very relaxing. Both methods are obviously appropriate for pain relief, especially post-exercise and in conditions such as arthritis, myalgia, spasms or cramps. However, their benefits are much wider reaching due to the many roles magnesium plays in human biology. A future blog post, Magnesium under the Microscope, will give more detailed information.

So before you reach for the pills, remember it is easy to supplement your magnesium intake and aid muscle relaxation by enjoying more baths or keeping a bottle of magnesium oil at hand. Karma Rub comes in a variety of sizes, making it convenient to keep in your sports bag, handbag or drawer to boost your magnesium on the go, or to apply it when computer posture or a stressful day leads to tight neck and shoulder muscles. For more information visit karmarub.com.
Cautions for supplementing
Continue reading Transdermal Magnesium

Magnesium Matters

Over 50% of Australians are headed for chronic health problems, all related to a single mineral deficiency. Let’s change that!

Our standard diet, while rich in calories, is lacking in fibre and an assortment of nutrients, especially magnesium. Preventable chronic health problems, related to magnesium deficiency alone, range from insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes), heart disease and high blood pressure, to migraines, osteoporosis [2] and inflammatory bowel disease [3]. These problems don’t happen over-night. They’re happening now, gradually, due to life-long eating patterns, distorted dietary information and the comfort of cultural norms. It is so normal, that another Australian is diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes.

Familiar indications of magnesium deficiency include agitation, confusion, anxiety, irritability, restless leg syndrome, muscle spasms and weakness, sleeping problems and cardiac arrhythmias [3]. These seemingly unrelated symptoms are due to magnesium’s involvement in well over 300 vital functions in the body [4].

Due to the radical shift towards mass farming and refined and processed food, the average daily diet today is expected to contain 150-230mg, close to half the recommended intake of 320mg/day for women aged over 30 [5] [6]. Foods that make up the bulk of the typical Western diet are relatively low in magnesium, i.e., white flour (in bread and pasta), white rice, sugar, milk and cheddar cheese, and the same can be said for most meats and fruits [6] [1].

So which foods are high in magnesium?
You may remember from high-school science classes that magnesium sits in the centre of the chlorophyll molecule, the photosynthesising agent in plants, responsible for their green colour [7]. Not surprisingly then, green leafy vegetables and seaweeds are rich sources of magnesium. Seeds, nuts and wholegrains are also rich sources.

  • English spinach has been found to contain 87mg/100g of magnesium with around 156mg in a cooked, one cup serving.
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels) have as much as 535mg /100g
  • Linseeds, wheat bran, caviar and sunflower seeds have 390-325mg/100g
  • Oat bran has approximately 225mg/100g
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts and quality dark chocolate have between 180-145mg/100g.
  • Most legumes, including baked beans and edamame have between 110-135mg/100g [1]
  • Other less dense sources that tend, like leafy greens, to be eaten in larger portion sizes are fish, prickly-pears, dried figs, raw artichokes, avocados and bananas.

It is easy to make some changes to your shopping habits and diet to ensure you are eating magnesium rich foods every day. Try starting your day with a bowl of premium muesli, and choose a lunch abundant in leafy greens. By dinner time, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily magnesium needs and keeping well now and in the future.

For more information on additional sources of magnesium, see future blog posts Mineral Water, Transdermal Magnesium, and Magnesium under the Microscope. You may also find www.dietandfitnesstoday.com a helpful resource for learning more about the mineral content in foods.

Photo credit: CAJC: in the PNW on Visualhunt

  1. Bodyventures. Magnesium. Diet and Fitness Today n.d.; Available from:
  2. Supplements), N.-I.-o.-H.-O.o.D. Magnesium fact sheet for health professionals. 2016 11 February 2016 [cited 2017 27 March]; Available from:
    ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium- HealthProfessional/ .
  3. Longmore, B., Magnesium – the quiet ubiquity, in Australian Pharmacist. 2016, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. . p. 38-41.
  4. Higdon, J., V. Drake, and B. Delage. Magnesium. 2001 October 2013 [cited 2017 27 March]; Available from: lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/magnesium.
  5. Nutritional-Magnesium. Magnesium Health Overview. 2012 [cited 2017 28 March]; Available from: youtube.com/watch?v=4MyiijnGZeU&t=1s.
  6. Nica, A.S., et al., Magnesium supplementation in top athletes-effects and recommendations. Medicina Sportiva: Journal of Romanian Sports Medicine Society, 2015. 11(1): p. 2482.
  7. Guo, W., et al., Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem. The Crop Journal, 2016. 4(2): p. 83-91.

Acupuncture Nest provides scientific information for the general public on the health aspects of lifestyle factors such as relaxation, rest, mind-set, exercise and diet (including the constituents of foods, beverages and supplements). The information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counselling services on this website. The information should not be used in place of a consultation with a health care professional.

The information on dietary factors and supplements, food, and beverages contained on this website does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, interactions, uses and actions. It is not intended as medical or nutritional advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this website is expressly disclaimed.

Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Birth & Breastfeeding

Book online

Do you dream of giving your baby a calm and gentle welcome to the world? At Acupuncture Nest we provide the relaxation you need to help you birth your best.

What is Acupuncture Nest all about?
At Acupuncture Nest we understand what is needed to allow a natural, physiological birth to unfold and it is our dream that you will know the wonder of this experience. You will receive relaxing acupuncture treatments and clear, well researched guidance to set you on your journey to your best birth. It is a journey and it takes time, so book to see us early in your pregnancy.

“One of the most important things I have learned about birthing babies is that the process is more of an unfolding marvel than a routine progression of events.” -Tori Kropp R.N., Author of The Joy of Pregnancy

We use acupuncture to foster physiological birth by treating fear, stress and anxiety. This is possible because acupuncture is known to influence the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and its functions. This is so significant because it is the primary system used by the body to regulate hormones, the physiological stress response1 and natural, physiological birth.

Read on to learn more about how Acupuncture Nest can help to make your journey through pregnancy, birth and parenthood a wonderful one.

Is Acupuncture Nest only for pregnant women?
No. Although created specially for pregnant women (and their partners and midwives), Acupuncture Nest is open to everyone. We particularly encourage new mothers to book in for restorative treatments. We treat pain, stress, digestion, low energy etc.

What can I expect from the clinic?
Treatments are given in private rooms. Special care is taken to make you comfortable during your treatment- we have ample cushions and air conditioning. Couples may choose to have treatments in the same room at the same time. These Tandem Treatments are offered at a discount. Our practitioners are experienced and AHPRA registered. We have HICAPS for applicable on the spot health fund rebates. For more information about our range of treatments, see our Treatment Fees & Packages page.

Is it safe to use acupuncture during pregnancy, and what can it treat?
In the hands of a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a safe, drug-free therapy with recognised therapeutic effects in many of the common conditions experienced by pregnant women. These include headaches, insomnia, nausea, sinus congestion, back pain, sciatica,2 restless-leg syndrome and constipation.3

Can you help me to turn my baby? (32-36 weeks)
In weeks 32-36, acupuncture, moxa and specific postures 4 can be used to prompt your baby to spontaneously turn and settle in a cephalic presentation. The targeted use of moxa (a traditional companion to acupuncture) has been found to result in babies turning 75.4-81% of the time compared to 47.7-49% of the time when moxa was not used.5, 6 Employing these strategies is highly recommended, because having your baby in the most favourable position for birth is a primary consideration in creating a smooth labour experience.

Moxa sticks can be purchased at Acupuncture Nest, and you will receive instructions on how to perform the moxa procedure to best affect at home. Your partner or support person can also come along to learn about using moxa since it can be awkward to manage with your bountiful belly in the way.

What is pre-birth acupuncture? (37-40+ weeks)
One treatment per week from 37 weeks is recommended by renowned nurse/acupuncturist Debra Betts for assisting cervical ripening and for helping expectant mothers to stay calm and rested.7 We recommend this course of treatments, too, and it is known as pre-birth acupuncture. If an induction date approaches or due date passes, similar treatments can be given more frequently to reinforce their effect. (This is referred to as acupuncture-induction.)

How does acupuncture help women after childbirth?
After your baby is born, acupuncture is used to help you recover physically and, if needed, to help you with anxiety or overwhelm, all while improving your energy levels.

How does acupuncture help with breastfeeding?
Initial difficulties with breastfeeding are often associated with medical interventions during childbirth which is why we do all we can to promote natural, physiological birth with acupuncture during your pregnancy.

Low milk supply can occur over time as sleep deprivation runs down your energy reserves. Inhibition of let-down may appear if your stress hormones rise and has the potential to result in infection (mastitis). Acupuncture is used to restore your health, improve your energy and milk production and facilitate let-down (by lowering your stress hormones and regulating the flow of energy through the body and specifically the breasts). In fact, there are acupuncture points expressly for lactation! Acupuncture is used in conjunction with standard treatments for mastitis.

Acupuncture for Midwives
It takes a village….Midwives care for mothers and babies all hours of the day and night, on occasion getting themselves into less than organic positions to offer a birthing mother support. Sometimes it is the carer who needs a dose of TLC, and at Acupuncture Nest, we are delighted to be offering much needed rest, relaxation and restoration to these remarkable, important individuals.

Making acupuncture affordable
Acupuncture in a group setting is a wonderful way to keep it affordable while still tailoring treatments to each patient’s individual needs. Practitioners must be registered by AHPRA ensuring safe, quality treatments and the room maintains a pleasing sense of calm and community.

Acupuncture Nest is committed to following NSW Health directives to mitigate the risks associated with Covid-19. For the foreseeable future, the practitioner and patients will wear masks and physical distancing measures will be in place for patients.

Book online

1 Cho ZH, Hwang SC, Wong EK, et al. Neural substrates, experimental evidences and functional hypothesis of acupuncture mechanisms. Acta Neurol Scand 2006;113:370–7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.2006.00600.x

2 https://holistic-health.org.uk/world-health-organisation-recommends-acupuncture-100-conditions/
3 https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/acupuncture-scientific-evidence/

4 spiningbabies.com.au
5 Cardini F, Weixin H. “Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation”, Journal of the American Medical Association, (1998) 280:1580-1584.
6 Co-operative Research Group on Moxibustion Version . “Clinical observation on the effects of version by moxibustion”. Abstracts from the Second National Symposium on Acupuncture and Moxibustion and Acupuncture Anaesthesia, All China Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Beijing, (1984) p150
7 Betts, D. “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth.” (2006), Chapter 20 Acupuncture as a routine pre-birth treatment, pp139-147

Photo credit: katya_alagich on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Autumn Armour

Time to fortify your immune system.

Sydney’s smokey summer has drawn to a close, fires finally out, in part due to exceptionally heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. As basements dry out we find ourselves starting Autumn feeling rather soggy and low in vitamin sun. Not the best warm-up for our immune systems in the face of Covid-19.

Now really is the time to fortify your immune-system, and I don’t mean locking yourself in your house with hoarded toilet paper. Here are four things you can do today to scale-up your defences.

Go to bed earlier. It is during sleep that we “recharge”. Turn off your devices and plug yourself in instead.

Activities that promote slower, deeper breaths, such as swimming and Qi Gong, promote the strength and function of the Lungs specifically, and the body generally. This is important, because in Chinese medical theory, Lung function is a major component of Wei Qi production, which could be roughly translated as the immune system’s first line of defence.
Strong Lungs are always essential for resisting communicable diseases, however, SARS-CoV-2 is known to target and damage the Lungs, therefore taking steps to fortify the Lungs, now, is all the more prudent.

Please click on the link below to a tutorial of Qi Gong for the Lungs by renowned Chinese Medical Scholar Peter Deadman.

Qi Gong for the Lungs instructed by Peter Deadman

Vitamin D is known to modulate both innate and adaptive immune responses. This is in part due to the associated receptors for Vitamin D being found in various white blood cells [1].

While it is possible to take oral Vitamin D supplements, the primary source of vitamin D is not a nutritional one, rather it synthesised in the skin cells when the skin is exposed to UVB rays in sunlight. Owing to the diminished ozone layer over the sunburnt country, the best time to do this is before 10 am. The more skin you can expose the better, keeping in mind the modesty of your neighbours.

Allow me to get nerdy for a moment. SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as a positive stranded RNA virus. Studies of other corona viruses have demonstrated that “Increased intracellular Zn2+ concentrations are known to efficiently impair replication of a number of RNA viruses, e.g. by interfering with correct proteolytic processing of viral polyproteins.” [2]. In other words, in laboratory experiments, the mechanism that such viruses need to replicate is impaired when cells have abundant zinc.

While it is not reasonable to say that what happens in a petri dish is equivalent to what happens in humans, it may again be prudent to ensure you are getting upwards of your minimum recommended daily intake of zinc. 40mg per day of zinc is seen to be the upper tolerable limit for short-term zinc supplementation [3].

Seafoods, especially oysters, are high in zinc. The next best sources are protein rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts [3]. Fortified breakfast cereals and zinc supplements are also widely available.

At the time of writing, it is not clear to me which form of zinc supplement is most effective, however, a 2014 study found that chloroquine (an antimalarial medicine related to quinine) markedly enhanced zinc uptake by cells [4]. In recent weeks, chloroquine has been used in China and Korea to treat cases of Covid-19. The results, while not yet properly clinically tested, are positive [5].

There is a modicum of quinine in genuine tonic water, so I can’t say that your Z’nT will keep Covid-19 at bay, but if you drank a couple of litres of tonic water per day, maybe more zinc will get into your cells (where it is needed)- otherwise you will need a script for chloroquine.

If performing Qi Gong naked in the morning sun is not for you, you can always book in for an acupuncture treatment.

  1. Drake, V.J., Immunity In Depth, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. August 2010. (Reviewed July 2016 by Gombart, A.F.) [cited March 12, 2020] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity#micronutrients
  2. te Velthuis, A.J.W., van den Worm, S.H.E., Sims, A.C., Baric, R.S., Snijder, E.J., van Hemert, M.J., Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture, PLOS Pathogens, 2010 Nov; 6(11): e1001176. San Francisco, California, USA. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973827/  
  3. Higdon, J., Zinc, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. Updated February 2019 by Delage, B. [cited March 12, 2020] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/zinc
  4. Wue, J., Moyer, A., Peng, B., Wu, J., Hannafon, B.N., Ding, W-Q., Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore, PLOS Pathogens, 2014; 9(10): e109180. San Francisco, California, USA. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4182877/
  5. Gao, J., Tian, Z., Yang, X., Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies, March 2020 [cited March 12, 2020], International Research and Cooperation Association for Bio & Socio-Sciences Advancement, Japan Science and Technology Agency. Available at: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bst/advpub/0/advpub_2020.01047/_article/-char/ja/


Acupuncture Syd provides scientific information for the general public on the health aspects of lifestyle factors such as relaxation, rest, mind-set, exercise and diet (including the constituents of foods, beverages and supplements). The information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counselling services on this website. The information should not be used in place of a consultation with a health care professional.

The information on dietary factors and supplements, food, and beverages contained on this website does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, interactions, uses and actions. It is not intended as medical or nutritional advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this website is expressly disclaimed.