Read some frequently asked questions regarding your acupuncture treatment.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are hair thin and are inserted shallowly into the skin. Generally if you have experienced getting a tattoo or blood work drawn from your arm, then you have most likely experienced much more pain than acupuncture. Upon the first visit I will talk with you regarding your sensitivity to pain and adjust the treatments accordingly. Each patient experiences acupuncture treatments differently and at most may feel a slight pinch akin to a mosquito bite. Many people find acupuncture treatments to be relaxing and will often fall asleep, waking feeling rested and more energetic. Especially with our stressful lifestyles, you may benefit from allowing your body to relax in order to handle stress and demands in your life. At my clinic Laser Acupuncture is available so if you have a real phobia of needles this can be easily accommodated.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes – acupuncture is very safe. In fact, many randomised controlled trials compare not only the efficacy of acupuncture to other modalities but also the rate and level of adverse effects. Acupuncture consistently has fewer and less harmful adverse effects than other modalities.
Only single use, sterilised, fine gauge needles are used during treatments.
In Australia, practitioners usually have at least 4 years of full-time practical experience whilst they complete a university level Bachelor qualification. They undergo thousands of supervised clinical practice hours in addition to both Western and Eastern medical study.
Where does acupuncture come from?
Acupuncture is a therapy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is the oldest established medical system in the world, originating in China. In China, TCM is considered to be one of the primary modalities in the treatment of various medical disorders from emotional imbalances to broken bones. Hair thin needles are inserted with a goal of balancing the circulation and energetics of the body. Acupuncture treatments may have a strong affect on the body's systems and many conditions may be addressed simultaneously depending on your condition.
What should I expect from my first acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture is a therapy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is the oldest established medical system in the world, originating in China. In China, TCM is considered to be one of the primary modalities in the treatment of various medical disorders from emotional imbalances to broken bones.
Hair thin needles are inserted with a goal of balancing the circulation and energetics of the body. Acupuncture treatments may have a strong affect on the body's systems and many conditions may be addressed simultaneously depending on your condition.
Expect to feel relaxed and a little sleepy after your first session. This is completely normal and is due to being in a quiet, caring and relaxed atmosphere and the release of the feel good and pain alleviating hormones stored in the brain that are triggered by the acupuncture. These are: endorphins, enkephalins and the natural balancing of your serotonin levels (anti-depressants). This very relaxed state can last from 15 minutes to one whole day and is no cause for concern.
After several acupuncture treatments you will become accustomed to the increased release of these feel good hormones that you will become more energised from the treatments.
What does a treatment involve?
At your first treatment, your practitioner will discuss your health concerns and ask you a variety of questions to gain a complete understanding of your past and current health. The information you provide is private and confidential. Some questions may seem unusual however the honesty of your answers help us to form the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for you to achieve the best possible outcomes. Patients often find that acupuncture is able to address more of their health issues than they initially sought treatment for.
Each treatment usually lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour and we kindly ask you to arrive ten minutes early to your first appointment. We advise that you do not come on an empty stomach and you are welcome to bring any relevant tests results or scans with you to your appointment.
In addition to acupuncture, Chinese Medicine treatments may involve any of the following therapies:
- Laser (pain free) acupuncture
- Herbal medicine prescriptions
- Scalp Massage
How many treatments do I need to have?
Acupuncture works in the sense of accumulation, meaning the more treatments you receive the better you become. Each treatment works on the last like building blocks so it is extremely important not to miss your scheduled appointments. Acupuncture and herbal medicine work on consistency and persistency. In order to obtain optimal and long-term results a course of treatment is required for most conditions.
Every person is different. If two people come in with a similar complaint, each will receive a different treatment plan and recommended frequency of visits. At the first visit I obtain a sense of your overall health and the time frame of your treatment plan depending on the severity of the illness, injury, symptoms and your genetic constitution.
Generally, three treatment levels can be used to determine the frequency and longevity of treatments: acute symptom relief, restorative and continuing care. This gives you a clear idea of my plan for you to relieve symptoms and try to maintain your existing health!
Know what to expect by these general stages of treatment:
Acute Symptom Relief Level: an acute pain and/or another condition is interfering in your ability to function in your daily activities as usual. The treatment plan: more frequent visits over the next few weeks or months to relieve and reduce the intensity of the symptoms as quickly as possible. For example, a patient with acute back pain may have 1-2 visits each week for two to five weeks. Remember that each individual is different and some acute pains can be treated more than others. Other will possible notice relief after one or two treatments.
Restorative Care Level: acute symptoms have been relieved and treatments are decreased in frequency. This level maintains the gains in your health you have made and sets the foundation for a continued deeper healing. Even if the most upsetting symptoms have been alleviated, it is important to continue your treatments as they have a cumulative effect in the body. Over a longer period of time the body will maintain the progress towards wellness you have achieved.
Continuing Care Level: a longer-term support plan with less frequent visits, monthly or even seasonal for preventative maintenance. This supports strengthening your body’s resistance to illness and keep you optimally healthy.
Can I receive a medical certificate from my Chinese Medicine Doctor?
You may not always be able to make an appointment outside of work hours.
If you need to leave your workplace during the day to come for an appointment, don’t stress! As registered practitioners, we can provide you with a medical certificate should your employer require one. If you need to leave your workplace during the day to come for an appointment that is fine. As registered practitioners, we can provide you with a medical certificate should your employer require one.
Do Acupuncturists in Australia need to be registered or licensed?
Acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners or any practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine need to be licensed by the Australian Health Practitioners Agency (AHPRA).
AHPRA sets standards and policies that all acupuncturists must meet in order to practice Chinese Medicine. I encourage you to check the qualifications before receiving acupuncture. There are other modalities that use "dry needling" and "needling" techniques, this is not the same as acupuncture and those types of modalities tend to have limited training in placing needles into your body.
Dr Sally Uebergang is registered with the following bodies:
AHPRA, AACMA & CMBA.