Below is a list of some of the more frequently asked questions about Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. If you are unable to find the information you are seeking on this page, please feel free to contact us so that we may help in any way possible.
What is acupuncture and how does it hep?
Acupuncture is one part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine health care system, and can be dated back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest and longest standing health care systems in the world. Acupuncture is a treatment that involves inserting very fine, sterile, single use disposable needles into specific acupuncture points throughout the body. These acupuncture points are located along the body’s energy pathways (meridians), which provide the whole body with essential energy (qi), and are used to encourage the normal flow of qi through the body.
What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?
A review of the evidence supporting the efficacy of acupuncture was published in 2017. This review is called the Acupuncture Evidence Project1
and it reviewed 122 conditions, of which 117 conditions were found with supporting evidence of various levels.
- conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture included knee osteoarthritis, migraine prophylaxis, chronic low back pain, headache (tension type & chronic), postoperative pain, postoperative nausea & vomiting, allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal) and chemotherapy-induced nausea & vomiting (with anti-emetics).
- conditions with moderate evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture included acute lower back pain, neck pain, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, perimenopausal & postmenopausal insomnia, menopausal hot flushes, acute stroke, obesity, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma in adults and hypertension (with medications).
To see a list of some of the conditions from the Acupuncture Evidence Project where the efficacy of acupuncture was supported at varying levels, head over to my Health Concerns page. If you wish to read through the Acupuncture Evidence Project, you can find the reference at the bottom of this page.
How do I prepare for my first acupuncture appointment?
- Wearing loose fitting, comfortable clothing makes it much easier for your practitioner to be able to access the required acupuncture points for your treatment. Quite often, most points used are on the lower arms, wrists, hands and lower legs, ankles, feet. When points are required where clothing is needed to be removed (eg back treatment), your practitioner will leave the room, allowing you to remove any necessary clothing items, and towels will be left for you to cover up, as you would when going for a massage.
- Make sure you have something to eat before your appointment, usually about 2 hours prior to your appointment is best. Coming to an appointment with an empty stomach means you could end up feeling light headed.
- Bring a list of all medications and supplements you are currently taking to make filling out the initial consultation paperwork much easier.
How long is an acupuncture appointment?
You initial acupuncture appointment will usually last between 1 – 1.5 hours. In this appointment, there will be a thorough consultation assessment to discuss your health concerns and try to discover what may be the underlying causes of those concerns. This will give the therapist a clearer picture of how to best address your health concerns and which aspects of Chinese medicine treatment to use.
Follow up appointment will usually last between 45 minutes – 1 hour. As the full assessment was already carried out in your initial appointment, follow up treatments focus on continuing the treatment plan and improving your overall health and well being, while continuing to focus on the main health concerns outlined at your first appointment.
Jon Rose Acupuncture also offers shorter follow up appointments that last 30 minutes, as well as longer follow up appointments that have the same duration as an initial appointment. If these appointments are thought to be best suited for you, then that will be discussed with you ahead of those appointments being made.
How often should you get acupuncture treatments?
Frequency of treatment is very individualised, as every patient has different underlying cause/s of their health concerns, and every person will respond to treatments at different rates. Initially I tend to see patients 1-2 times a week in order to try and achieve results as quick as possible, and to determine your body’s rate of response to the treatment. Treatments can then be spread further apart as ideal results are achieved and maintained for longer periods of time.
Once your health concerns are under control, we may discuss a preventative care treatment plan to try and help avoid those health concerns returning, and to focus on keeping your overall health and well being at a desired level.
Does acupuncture hurt?
This is a question that gets asked all the time. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin, sterilised, single-use disposable needles that are as thin as a strand of hair. It is actually possible to fit 7-10 of these needles into the tip of the needles used by doctors. Acupuncture needles are so fine that there is often no mark left at the point of insertion, and often no bleeding occurs when they are removed.
Patients might only feel a slight sensation at the locations of treatment, if anything at all. Occasionally some points may be more sensitive than others, so I always instruct my patients to let me know if anything feels to strong or uncomfortable, that way I can rectify this right away to make your treatment as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Acupuncture should not be a painful experience when done correctly, and often people become so relaxed they have what many patients have come to call an “acunap” during treatment.
What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
Does insurance pay for acupuncture?
In Australia, most private health insurance companies offer cover for acupuncture services within their extras packages, as long as the treatments are performed by a registered Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine Practitioner. Fully trained practitioners must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA). You can check on the AHPRA website to make sure a practitioner is properly trained and registered with them.
At Jon Rose Acupuncture, I have on the spot claims through the use of a HICAPS terminal, so you will only need to pay the gap amount remaining after your insurance claim has been processed for you.
Does Medicare cover acupuncture?
Unfortunately at this stage, Medicare does not cover acupuncture performed by fully trained and registered Acupuncturists. However, as stated above, most private health insurance companies do cover acupuncture treatments performed by registered practitioners within their extras packages.
1. McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). © Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, 2017: http://www.acupuncture.org.au