Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect within the consultation?
The initial consultation is approximately 1 hour. An in-depth discussion will include aspects of your life other than your main complaint. Such as your diet, lifestyle, miscellaneous aches and pains, gynaecology (for women) and medications/supplements etc. Understanding how certain conditions are impacting on your life is an important aspect of the consultation. You have a goal to improve your energy to do more of the things that you love, be pain free so that you can get back to your weekly sport, reduce anxiety so that you can meet new people and make new friends, or make a change in your life.
I will palpate your body and look at your tongue for further diagnostic clarification to determine the best treatment for you. If this is not your first visit, these techniques are still applied to monitor progress. For you to gain the best out of treatments, your honesty and openness is important, and I know it can take some trust for you to feel comfortable with my asking about every aspect of your life, but I’m here to support you so that you can heal and grow as a human being.
Will I experience side effects?
It is unlikely that you will experience side effects. Very occasionally people note a slight light-headedness following acupuncture, or loose bowels after taking herbs, but this is rare. If you do experience side effects, your treatment can usually be easily modified to avoid these reactions.
How long will I need treatment?
A common question that is asked in the clinic, and there is no definite answer. As Chinese medicine treats each person individually, no person is the same. One person with a main complaint of constant headaches may also experience constipation, insomnia, stress and have a very poor diet. Compared to another person with constant headaches who gets sick often, is chronically fatigued and is emotionally unstable. The treatments will be vastly different.
People often say they have tried acupuncture once and it didn’t work. Ideally, it is recommended to receive treatment in a course, the same way that antibiotics are advised. For example, if your main complaint has been present for a couple or a few days, you could expect a quick healing response with 1-2 treatment. If you’re main complaint has been for 2-3 months, you could expect treatments to be twice weekly treatments for 2-3 weeks, until symptoms subside and then resolve. If you’re complaint has been chronically present for years, you could expect months of treatment, depending on the condition.
In saying that, if for example your main complaint is digestive issues and you continue to eat a poor diet and foods that aggravate the condition, acupuncture can only do so much. It is up to you to take responsibility in making dietary changes that are going to support the treatment and get your digestion happy again! We are in this together, you and I, to get you back on track as soon as possible.
Once people have experienced the benefits of acupuncture for their condition, they continue to pop in for a treatment every 4-5 weeks as a preventive treatment to stay well. Like giving yourself a “tune up” or maintenance service.
Can babies, children and adolescents receive acupuncture?
Of course! I see many children in the clinic. Once we’ve gone through the initial appointment, the follow up treatments are generally shorter in time. Children often respond very quickly to treatment, in the same way that they get sick quickly but recover quickly. Parents/guardians are advised to be in the treatment room to help answer questions about their health and lifestyle.
Is acupuncture painful?
No. Acupuncture is safe, effective and quite a relaxing experience. The needles are so thin and flexible – the width of a hair strand. Patients often describe the sensation on some points as warm, heavy, achy, tingling, radiating or buzzing. This is a sign the needle is in place and is doing its work.
If you are worried it’s anything like getting a blood test or vaccination, then NO it is nothing like those!
What is the cost of treatment?
Initial treatments run for approximately 60-75 minutes including the consultation – $97.00 fee
Follow up/standard appointments run for approximately 45 minutes there after – $75.00 fee
Children follow up/standard appointments run for approximately 30 minutes there after the initial – $60.00 fee
Herbal medicine an additional cost.
How does Chinese medicine help with fertility?
The aim of pre-conception care is to promote optimal gynaecological health in preparation for pregnancy. It is designed to get a woman’s body in the best possible position to fall pregnant, stay pregnant and nourish a baby for the entire pregnancy and beyond.
For women having difficulty falling pregnant naturally, the treatment includes regulating the cycle so that everything is functioning well. Treatments are aimed at regulating the follicular development, ovulation, correcting hormones after the egg bursts from its follicle at ovulation, healthy vaginal discharge and then preparing the cycle to repeat, or treat in accordance with assisting the woman stay pregnant.
Men are also recommended to receive treatment and seek tests for semen analysis if needed. Although many people still think of infertility as a “woman’s problem,” in about 40% of infertile couples, the man is the sole cause or a contributing cause of the inability to conceive.
Along with acupuncture, pre-conception care usually involves a combination of diet, herbal remedies, lifestyle and exercise modification such as decreasing stress and light-moderate exercise 3-4 times per week for both the man and the woman. There may be additional lifestyle changes when gynaecological conditions are present such as Polycystic ovaries, however each individual is treated according to their presentation.
Contact me here about any questions regarding acupuncture for your IVF transfer or labour induction.
Click here to read more about basal body temperature (BBT) mapping for woman.
Can Chinese medicine help with mental and emotional wellbeing?
In the tradition of TCM, a physical complaint addressed with acupuncture and/or herbs simultaneously addresses the corresponding emotional and spiritual counterpart to that physical complaint. In the same way, treating an emotional and/or spiritual complaint will also address the corresponding physical complaint. An example of this can be seen with digestive issues and the tendency to ruminate, worry or over think. Chinese medicine being a holistic therapy may maximize your overall energy level and minimize fearful reactions, anxiety, in your daily life. This is achieved by regulating both the systems of the body and the mind simultaneously.
In my experience, patients that start acupuncture for a physical complaint, come back for subsequent treatments with unexpected improvement in symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety or other and emotional difficulties. I’ve also seen many patients ashamed or embarrassed to share with me that they are experiencing emotional or mental upheaval as a main complaint, while addressing a physical ailment such as “tense shoulders from sitting behind the desk at the office”, yet they are experiencing insomnia, panic attacks or deep depression simultaneously.
Everyone experiences ups and downs …that’s life! But the stigma around mental health in Australia is BIG! As a holistic practitioner, I strive to make you feel as comfortable as possible during the treatment so that all aspects of your health improve – body, mind and spirit 🙂
Will I need to stop other therapies while receiving acupuncture?
Not unless you feel that other therapies are not helping you or it is advised by your doctor, otherwise Chinese medicine is very complementary. Be sure to share all relevant health information so all practitioners are on the same page.
What is the private health rebate for acupuncture?
Your rebate will depend on which plan you have with your private health insurance provider, such a hospital cover and/or extras i.e. acupuncture, chiropractic or physiotherapy. Your monthly premium will depend on what your gap payment will be such as 50%, 65% or 80%. I suggest to do some research and look at what you really use and then find the most fitting cover for you and your family.
Is there any bleeding or risk of infection?
There is no bleeding in my practice. Unlike hypodermic needles (used for injections and to draw blood), acupuncture needles don’t cut you. The needles are sterile and disposable so there’s no risk of infection. Alcohol is used to clean the skin before inserting the sterile needle as an added layer of sterilisation.
Do acupuncturists in Australia need to be registered or licensed?
Yes. Acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners or any practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine need to be licensed by the Australian Health Practitioners Agency (AHPRA), alongside general practitioners, nurses etc. AHPRA sets standards and policies that all acupuncturists must meet in order to practice Chinese Medicine. Registration now requires a 4 year Bachelor of Health Science degree, hundreds of hours of supervised clinical training and have Western physiological, biochemistry and pharmacokinetic drug interaction knowledge. Read more about my training here.
Is dry needling the same as acupuncture?
No. Dry needling is a technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction, based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles often known as trigger points. It is a very short course, such as weekend training, taken by practitioners of physical therapy such as sports massage therapists or physiotherapists. Dry needling should not to be confused with the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture which is based on thousands of years of clinical practice to treat a large array of health concerns where the root of the issue is treated. Registered acupuncturists can also use trigger point techniques however it is only one small area of the 4 years of full-time training. AHPRA registered acupuncturists must now do a Bachelor level training with a high level of needle training before graduating (see the image below), plus maintain continuing education every year. Make sure your practitioner is AHPRA (acupuncture) registered when using needles on you.
Why cant I find a review online?
To be a registered health practitioner in Australia, whether general practitioner, acupuncturist, nurse or chiropractor, it is required that testimonials and reviews are not allowed. It is a scheme that regulates health practitioners for the primary purpose of protecting the public.
Registered Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture practitioners have to practice in accordance with national standards. Tanya is registered as an acupuncturist with the CMBA and is also a member of the Australian Natural Therapy Association (ANTA), which means an added layer of protection and reassurance for the public.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine originated in China more than 2000 years ago and has become well-established in the mainstream health systems of China, Japan, Korea and other parts of East and South East Asia. Chinese medicine has been established as a profession in Australia for more than 35 years.
Do you have any other questions?
If so, contact me here.