Delivering acupuncture + traditional Chinese medicine to Gippsland.
NO! Most new patients profess to be scared of needles, from the kiddies to the 6 foot tall footy player... yet all are surprised at how acupuncture doesn't hurt. I always take into consideration any fears a patient may have and adjust treatments accordingly. You may feel some heaviness, tingling or other sensations during your treatment (which is normal).
YES! - When provided by a registered acupuncturist. Education standards for acupuncturists in Australia are some of the highest and most stringent in the world, involving years of training in human anatomy, physiology + biology. Registration as an acupuncturist requires a 4 year Bachelor degree in Health Science + thousands of hours of supervised clinical training. Severe adverse events (injury by acupuncture provided by a registered acupuncturist) are very rare (Linde et al, 2006) , and our extensive training in safe needling techniques means that you can be confident that you're in good hands.
The evidence for acupuncture is strong! Recent research (McDonald & Janz, 2017), shows acupuncture is an effective treatment for 42 different conditions, including (just to name a few):
MY FAVOURITE QUESTION! Acupuncture works by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that help your body maintain (or re-gain) balance - aka homeostasis. A pleasant side effect of acupuncture is the extreme sense of relaxation and decreased levels of stress and anxiety many experience during treatment. In fact, many people fall asleep during their treatment!
That depends on your treatment goal. Chronic conditions build up over years and will take longer to resolve than an acute condition. All initial consultations involve development of a treatment plan, where you will be advised about how many treatments it will typically take to see positive change. Goals are set + progress is carefully tracked each follow-up treatment.
GREAT QUESTION! Acupuncture starts working from the very first treatment. The effects are cumulative, meaning that they build up with each consequent treatment. A recent study (McPherson et al, 2017) revealed that the effects of acupuncture treatment for chronic pain were present twelve months later! Leaving too long between treatments means that your body slips right back to where you started, and conversely, having more frequent treatments means that you may reach your goal a whole lot sooner. During your initial consult, a treatment plan is developed which will outline your optimum treatment frequency.
TRAINING - Real acupuncture (RA) is performed by a registered acupuncturist who has undertaken over 1000 hours of clinical training under supervision. In Australia, anyone can do dry needling (DN) with no training required!
SAFETY - because there are no minimum training standards for DN in Australia, safety can be an issue. DN is a rudimentary type of acupuncture that involves finding a sore spot in a muscle and needling into it. It causes the muscle fibres to tear and the tightness (or knot) is released. Needling safely over the lungs, organs, along the spine and face takes practice, skill and a thorough knowledge of correct technique. Certain areas of the body are contra-indicated (not to be needled) under certain conditions and for certain people, which DN does not take into consideration. Pregnant women, children and the elderly require specialised treatment protocols that only a registered acupuncturist can provide.
Dry needling often hurts and is only ever a short term solution, whereas real acupuncture is most often painless and addresses the underlying cause, in order for long term healing to take place.
FOR SAFETY'S SAKE, ALWAYS ASK YOUR PRACTITIONER IF THEY ARE A REGISTERED ACUPUNCTURIST BEFORE BEING NEEDLED.