Frequently Asked Questions
What does acupuncture do?
This is a very hard question to answer in a short paragraph, but put simply, Acupuncture helps to rebalance the energy or ‘qi’ in the body by communicating with body organs and tissues through channels or meridians. Although there is no known physiological equivalent to these energy pathways a Western medical analogy for this type of energy transference may be seen in the relatively recent discovery of the relationship between brain chemistry and the immune system.
What is acupuncture good for?
The following ailments and conditions generally respond well to acupuncture treatment: acute strains and sprains of muscles and joints; chronic neck and back pain; headache; menstrual irregularities; gastrointestinal complaints; post-stroke paralysis; bells palsy; respiratory complaints and hayfever; recovering from viral infections; low energy; chest pain and cardiovascular complaints; recovering from addiction dependence; stress, anxiety and insomnia; cosmetic issues such as muscle flaccidity, rosea, spider veins and facial pallor; as well as much more.
What's involved in having an acupuncture treatment?
Depending on the location and nature of your complaint you will be asked to lie on the treatment table either face down or on your back and sometimes on one side. Usually 4 to 12 acupuncture points are selected for needling. Commonly needled points are located on the arms below the elbows, the legs below the knees and along both sides of the spine from the neck to the buttocks. Generally, needles are left in place for about 20 minutes. Many patients drift away during a treatment and some even fall asleep. During the treatment, concurrent therapies such as moxibustion, cupping, massage or gua sha are also usually applied to enhance the treatment.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles vary significantly in length and thickness. In Japanese style needling only very thin needles are used at a very shallow depth. Most of the time these needles slide between the skin cells and the patient will not feel any pain. Sometimes as energy comes to the point the patient will feel a dull ache or tingling sensation around the needle or strange sensations on other areas of the body. Every now and again, a needle may feel generate a strong electrical sensation or a slight sting when the needle is inserted if an area being needled has an energy blockage at the point, however it is not expected to hurt, and is a very different experience to the feeling you get from an injection needle at a GP.
Can children receive acupuncture?
Yes, children can receive acupuncture and often have excellent results with this treatment. However, in cases where the children are uneasy about the needles or too young to sit still, different techniques such as shoni-shin tools, tiny stick on needles, acupressure or gentle massage stimulating the correct energy flow on the meridians can be used alternatively to acupuncture.
How do you get a pet to stay still during an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture is not for everyone, however many domestic animals such as cats and dogs that enjoy being handled will surprise you. Unless they are stressed or scared in an unfamiliar environment, once one or two needles are in, they generally relax very quickly and lie down or go to sleep. I use a gentle restraining system called a ‘groomers friend’ to help position dogs with tricky points, however ideally they will just be lying on the floor with their owners patting their head for comfort. Many actually enjoy the experience.
What side effects are possible with acupuncture?
Although rare, fainting can happen with some people, if you have a history of fainting, low blood pressure or dizzy spells it is a good idea to inform your practitioner. A bruise can appear at the site where you have been needled, this is minor and disappears completely after a few days. If a person has a lot of heat or inflammation in their body around an acupuncture point, then bleeding may occur, however this is a positive sign and often beneficial as the heat in the area needs to be released as part of the treatment.
Are the needles sterile?
All the needles I use are single use, pre-sterilised and disposable. Using appropriate measures such as quality, sterile needles, ensures your safety.
Can I claim rebates from my health fund for acupuncture treatment?
Yes, if your private health insurance includes acupuncture as an extra, then we can to an automatic health fund rebate through HICAPS. For some reason patients on HCF can claim acupuncture rebates with a practitioner receipt, but they have not added acupuncture as a service onto their HICAPS system as of yet.
If you have any further quesitons, please email Victoria by clicking the email icon below.