What should I bring/wear to my first appointment?

At your first appointment you need to bring any relevant test or imaging reports, your private health insurance card (if you wish to utilise our HICAPS machine) and wear comfortable and loose fitting clothing.  Copies will be taken of any reports you supply and originals returned to you. To preserve your comfort and modesty it is best to wear loose fitting clothing however we will have plenty of towels for discretion should the need arise.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are not much thicker than a human hair and have a very smooth surface. Most people generally feel little sensation other than the therapist’ applying pressure for the precise acupoint and occasionally needle insertion can feel like a pinch which is momentary. Tingling, numbness and heaviness in the local area is a sensation that the acupuncturist may elicit to produce a specific effect. Once inserted they are left for a time and as the treatment proceeds there is usually an increasing sense of relaxation and subtle warmth throughout the body. Many recipients feel deeply relaxed and often fall asleep.

How often should I get treatment?

In many cases the improvements with acupuncture can be felt straightaway, however each person’s condition is unique with multiple causes that have lead to their symptoms.  Progressive improvements occur over time as acupuncture treatments continue within a prescribed timeframe. There are several factors that will determine how many sessions will be needed. An ongoing course commonly shows a positive trend over time and this trend of change will give insight into the number and intensity of treatments required. We suggest that 5 to 10 regular sessions to give you an appreciation of the effects of acupuncture on your condition. Naturally to achieve your goals more quickly, the more frequently you receive treatments the quicker the progress. Therapeutic programs can have appointments ranging from daily sessions in serious cases to once monthly. In most cases, regular monthly sessions can consolidate improvements and prevent relapse.

Ask the clinic about the savings benefits of using a plan.

Are there any side effects?

Mild side effects can occur such as light-headedness, dizziness and nausea which are transient. A small bruise can occasionally occur from the session which will disappear after a few days. Unusually, certain health conditions may flare for a short time afterwards which settle to an improved state indicating an effective treatment. Acupuncture is very safe when performed by a trained acupuncturist. Any side effects should be reported to your therapist.

Should I tell my doctor I’m having acupuncture?

Yes. If you are currently receiving treatment from your doctor it is sensible to mention that you plan to have acupuncture. Similarly your acupuncturist will want to know of any medications, herbs or supplements you are taking as this may influence your response to the acupuncture treatment.

What should I do after my session?

Taking it easy after an session will allow the acupuncture effect to maximise.

Avoid coffee and alcohol that day as they disturb the regulating effect of acupuncture.

If you feel sleepy afterwards you should relax and take a nap if you can.

If you feel a marked increase in energy don’t spend it all on excess activity, it’s best to conserve this. If you have had work on a painful condition use warmth such as heat bags to help improve and the reduce any pain or discomfort.

Icing is not recommended on painful sites as it induces constriction of blood and lymph flow reducing healing times.

How quickly can I expect to feel better?

Acute conditions such as colds and acute muscle sprain can respond immediately or soon after post session. Chronic conditions generally develop over time and can take weeks or months to resolve.

Lifestyle can also markedly affect how your health benefits progress. Reducing stress, appropriate rest and eating healthily is an important basis for the extraordinary benefits of acupuncture. Maintaining a treatment program with continuity produces far better results which accrue progressively over time. We will give you realistic time-frames for your specific condition.

Evidence of effectiveness of acupuncture

Scientific trials around the world have found that when acupuncture is performed by a skilled practitioner, it is a safe and useful treatment for many different disorders.

The British National Health Service carried out a systematic review of the evidence for the use of acupuncture to treat or manage a range of disorders. They found that there was evidence that acupuncture is effective to treat dental pain, jaw pain and to control nausea after operations and chemotherapy treatment.

For many conditions where acupuncture can be used, the evidence has not been systematically reviewed, or the current scientific evidence to prove that it is effective is not yet established.

Clinical guidelines published in many different countries have found that acupuncture is moderately helpful in a wide range of conditions, particularly those which involve pain.

Laws and regulations for acupuncture practice

Any person who wishes to practise acupuncture in Australia must be registered to practice by the Australian

Health Practioner Regulation Agency.
Also there are a number of indirect laws that may apply, including:

  • Drugs and poisoning scheduling – to restrict access to herbs and herbal substances that are known to be toxic
  • Skin penetration regulations – which emphasise the necessity of strict hygiene practices, such as using pre-sterilised, single-use and disposable acupuncture needles
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration – this government organisation has legislation that requires Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for goods that claim to be sterile, which includes acupuncture needles. In order to be legally sold, acupuncture needles have to be included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Choosing an acupuncturist

Some healthcare practitioners offer acupuncture after completing a short course. However, the philosophy of acupuncture is complex, so you should only use a qualified acupuncturist. Since 2000, all Queensland acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists have to be registered. You don’t need a referral from your doctor to see an acupuncturist.

Risks of acupuncture

In the hands of an unskilled practitioner, acupuncture may lead to a number of problems including:

  • Allergic reactions – herbs are sometimes burnt over the skin to create specific points of heat near acupuncture points. Herbs are as powerful as pharmaceutical medications and need to be treated with the same respect and caution
  • Infection – if the needle is unsterile, bacteria can cause local infection. There is also a risk of contracting hepatitis, HIV or any other bloodborne disease if the needles are reused
  • Injury to the skin – clumsy insertion, or entry of a needle into a blood vessel, can cause bleeding, bruising and pain.
  • Unexpected side effects – such as an increase in pain, depression, convulsions or insomnia. Acupuncture can produce significant changes within the nervous system and it is vital that the correct points are stimulated in the right way.
Are health fund rebates available?

Yes! Health fund rebates are available for all the major funds. To see if your policy covers acupuncture and to find out how much your rebate will be, contact your health fund.

Participating Health Funds that cover Acupuncture

The following Health Funds cover Acupuncture, Health funds are continuously updating their polices to be sure contact you health fund directly.

  • ACA Health Benefits Fund
  • AHM Health Insurance
  • Api Health Insurance
  • Australian Unity Health Ltd
  • Budget Direct
  • Bupa Australia
  • Hunter health insurance
  • CBHS Health Fund Limited
  • CBHS Corporate Health Limited
  • CUA Health Limited
  • Defence Health Limited
  • Emergency Service Health
  • Frank Health insurance
  • GMHBA Limited
  • Grand United Health
  • HBF Health Limited
  • Health Care Insurance Ltd
  • Health Insurance Fund Australia (HIF)
  • Health Partners
  • Health.com.au
  • La Trobe Health Services
  • Medibank Private Ltd
  • Mildura Health Fund
  • MyOwn Health Fund
  • National Health Benefits Australia Pty Ltd
  • Navy Health Limited
  • NIB Health Funds Ltd
  • Nurses & Midwifes Insurance
  • Peoplecare Health Insurance
  • Phonix Health Ltd
  • Police Health
  • Qantas Assure Health Insurance
  • Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd
  • Railway Health Fund Ltd
  • Reserve Bank Health Society Limited
  • St Lukes Health Fund
  • Teachers Health Fund
  • Transport Health Pty Ltd
  • TUH
  • Uni Health
  • Westfund Ltd
Non Participating Health Funds that do NOT cover Acupuncture yet

The following Health Funds do NOT cover Acupuncture, Health funds are continuously updating their polices to be sure contact you health fund directly.

  • HCF * ( * HCF coming on board soon)
  • Australian Defence Force Family Health
  • The Doctors’ Health Fund