FAQs – Natural Therapies


A1. Acupuncture: What is it?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting very fine, sterile, disposable needles at very precise acupuncture points.

A2. Does acupuncture really work?

In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, America, the Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in Australia by patients and physicians. Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.

A3. What can I expect during a treatment?

First of all the practitioner will take a thorough history from you in order to determine the best course of treatment. Diagnosis includes extensive questioning, astute observation and practiced palpation. Traditional Pulse and Tongue diagnosis are used to ascertain the state of the body’s internal organ systems by observing the physical/visual characteristics of the tongue and by palpating the 12 different pulses located on the wrists. Following diagnosis the patient lies either face down or face up on the treatment table (depending on where the needles will be placed) and the needles are inserted. When the DeQi sensation is obtained at each point, the practitioner ensures the patient is comfortable before leaving them to rest for about 35 minutes. Other treatments (such as moxibustion/massage/cupping/gua sha) may be administered during or after the course of the 35 minutes. On completion the needles are removed and Chinese herbs may be prescribed. You may feel slightly disoriented and sleepy or energized and clear after the treatment.

A4. What is the scope of medical acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care: promotion of health and well-being, prevention of illness, and the treatment of various medical conditions. While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be an effective treatment on its own, or can be used as support to other medical treatments. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including;

  • Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, crohn’s disease
  • Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections
  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendonitis, low back pain, sciatica & osteoarthritis
  • Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems: morning sickness, infertility, as an aid to IVF, PCOS, irregular menstruation Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.

If you have questions about a specific illness or disorder not listed above, we are happy to answer your questions.

A5. Are there any side effects to the treatment?

Usually not.
As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.

A6. What are the needles like? Do they hurt?

People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, you may feel a slight discomfort or minimal painful sensation which often indicates that the treatment is working. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle. Because we use disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.

A7. How long will the treatment go for?

You will need to put aside at least an hour and a half for your initial consultation as questioning is quite thorough. Follow up treatments require 1 hour.

A8. How many treatments will i need?

It depends.
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required.

A9. Are there any do’s and don’ts on the day of a treatment?

To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
  • Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
  • Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your acupuncturist to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem.

Acupuncture is most effective when used as early as possible in the course of a medical problem

A10. Can I get health fund rebates?

If you have private health cover we have HICAPS for most of our services. Our practitioners are all members of accredited Australian Associations ensuring we are able to offer rebates where they apply.

A11. Can you treat my child?

Sometimes, please call to discuss (07) 3852 1688.

A12. Do you treat pets?

We do not practice veterinary acupuncture at this clinic – however we do encourage you find someone in your area who does if your pet is sick!

A13. What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?

As much notice as possible is appreciated and 24 hours notice is required to cancel an appointment – as this gives other people the opportunity to make use of that appointment time. Failing this you may be asked to pay a fee for your missed appointment.

A14. Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?