Frequently asked questions about our clinic and services
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a modality that has been developed over thousands of years and is used by millions of people worldwide to improve their health and wellbeing. Acupuncture uses a holistic approach, with each individually tailored treatment usually consisting of the shallow insertion of very fine, high-grade, single-use needles at specific points on the skin to stimulate the healing processes of the body. Treatments may also be complimented by heat therapy, moxibustion, cupping, massage (including gua sha), Chinese herbal medicine, as well as nutritional and lifestyle advice.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Within the framework of Chinese Medicine, your symptoms are seen to be the result of imbalances in the functioning of your body’s affected systems. Your body systems include the Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary, Reproductive, Skeletal, and Integumentary (skin, hair, nails, exocrine glands) systems.
Acupuncture is a sophisticated and drug free treatment that uses specific points on the skin to stimulate the central nervous system to release biochemicals that are then distributed throughout the body to encourage the body’s natural healing processes within those targeted systems.
What Types of Conditions Can Acupuncture Help?
There is a vast amount of quality research on the positive effects of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine on a wide variety of conditions.
Acute and chronic conditions that we regularly see include:
- Fertility, Gynaecology: menstrual cycle issues, PMS and PMDD, fertility issues, endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), recurrent miscarriage, sperm issues (count, motility, morphology, libido), low AMH, IVF support, issues with egg quality, perimenopause and menopause symptoms, chronic cystitis
- Pregnancy: morning sickness, heartburn and reflux during pregnancy, insomnia during pregnancy, fatigue during pregnancy, labour induction, back, hip and pubic symphysis pain during pregnancy.
- Digestion: constipation, nausea, abdominal bloating, chronic indigestion, food sensitivities, heartburn, reflux, GERD, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), SIBO and dysbiosis, diarrhoea, gastritis, haemorrhoids, issues with appetite, issues with weight gain or weight loss.
- Pain: back pain and disc issues, neck pain, shoulder pain and frozen shoulder, headaches and migraines, injuries, knee pain, hip pain and sciatica, trigeminal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow.
- General Health: fatigue, insomnia, low immunity, autoimmune conditions, tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo, brain fog, blood pressure issues, poor circulation and Raynaud’s, eye issues, chronic fatigue syndrome and post viral syndromes.
- Emotional issues: Stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, emotional disturbances, emotional dysregulation.
- Skin issues: eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, cold sores, shingles, hives, dry skin, itchy skin, rashes.
- Respiratory issues: cough, common cold, sinus issues, asthma, hay fever, sore throat, chronic rhinitis, postnasal drip, wheezing, shortness of breath.
- Thyroid issues: including hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease, hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid antibodies.
What if I Have a Specific Condition?
Acupuncture can be applied to a wide range of health concerns by addressing your individual issues in a holistic way. If you wish to enquire about a specific condition and whether acupuncture may help you, simply book an appointment, complete the intake form accordingly, and we can discuss your health enquiry in person during your initial appointment. Or you may “Ask a question” on the homepage and we will respond promptly.
What Can I Expect During My Treatment?
Your initial treatment will begin with a comprehensive consultation to assess your current complaints as well as a review of your previous medical history. Dr Audrey will then invite you to get comfortable on the treatment table and make any further assessments about your condition before explaining the diagnosis to you in plain language and answering any questions before treatment commences.
Treatment entails the gentle and specific application of high-grade, single-use acupuncture needles to various points followed by a relaxing rest period to enable the treatment to take effect. Most patients find it a relaxing and comforting experience and depending on your issue, you may feel a significant level of improvement after your very first treatment. Chinese herbs and supplements may also be prescribed for you during your treatment, along with appropriately tailored dietary and lifestyle advice.
How Often Would I Need Treatment?
This will depend on your condition, with treatments usually once per week until the issue is resolved. Many conditions can resolve within 4-6 treatments, though if it is an acute condition or injury then only one or two treatments may be required. We treat the underlying condition identified during treatment to achieve lasting results. The aim is for you to experience an improvement after each treatment and to be able to self-manage once the issue has been resolved.
Is Acupuncture Covered by My Health Insurance or Medicare?
Dr Audrey is registered with all the major health funds and you may claim your rebate on the spot at your time of treatment. If you are unsure if you are covered for acupuncture, please check with your policy provider.
Acupuncture is not currently covered by Medicare.
What Do I Need to Bring to My Treatment?
Please bring in any relevant reports or scans if you have not emailed them prior to your appointment.
You are not required to wear anything specific.
What if I Don’t Like Needles? Does it Hurt?
Dr Audrey uses gentle and sophisticated Japanese techniques with an emphasis on patient comfort. Dr Audrey has treated many patients with a fear of needles who love coming for their acupuncture treatments! Most came initially at the insistence of friends or family and they are often pleasantly surprised how quickly they are able to relax and enjoy the treatment because of the gentle needling techniques and the calm and relaxing environment of the clinic.
If you have any apprehension about any of the techniques being offered, simply let your practitioner know and your needs will be considered regarding your treatment and your treatment plan.
What is the Difference Between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?
I often get asked this question and as ‘trigger points’ correspond to acupuncture points nearly all of the time, and dry needling therapists are also using acupuncture needles, what is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
Importantly there can be differences in safety level, skill level and expertise between practitioners.
Acupuncture is a an extensively researched practice that is regulated by a national government board in Australia. To qualify as an acupuncturist in Australia, the minimum requirement is a Bachelor level degree with a minimum of 4 years specialised training. Acupuncturists are registered professionals with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), just like your GP and Specialist, and must adhere to strict safety, hygiene and continuing education standards. To perform dry needling techniques using acupuncture needles in Australia, therapists typically qualify by completing a 2-day dry needling course.
Acupuncture is also a holistic and comprehensive treatment modality that addresses the underlying cause of your condition to help resolve it and achieve lasting relief. Dry needling techniques may relieve the symptoms of pain and tension temporarily, but they are unlikely to prevent your issue from reoccurring and further treatment most likely required.
Dry needling is a technique used to relieve muscle tension and pain by using acupuncture needles inserted into ‘trigger points’ on the body. Originally hypodermic needles were used to inject saline and other substances into the ‘trigger points’, but the realisation was made that it was the needles that gave the therapeutic effect rather than the injected substance, so acupuncture needles became the ‘go to’ needle used for dry needling. Trigger point locations correspond to acupuncture points 92% of the time according to the pioneer of dry needling Janet Travell, and studies have also concluded that there is a correlation between trigger points used for referred pain and the location of corresponding acupuncture meridian pathways.