These Frequently Asked Questions contain general information only and do not take into account your personal health, fitness or wellbeing circumstances, needs or objectives. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement by Avaana and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare, fitness or wellbeing professional. All site users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their health, fitness and wellbeing questions.
1. I’m scared of needles – should I have acupuncture?
Some people feel no pain or sensation when they have acupuncture, whereas others may feel a very small sting or sensation as the acupuncture needle is inserted. This may depend on several factors including whether you have very tight muscles, soreness in the region being treated, a pre-existing injury and how deep your acupuncturist needs to insert the needle for effective treatment. You may also find that you are more aware of a transient sting if it’s your first couple of acupuncture sessions.
Acupuncture, when administered properly, should not cause much (if any) pain or discomfort. If you do feel pain during your consultation when your TCM practitioner administers a needle, it’s important that you alert your Chinese medicine practitioner immediately.
If you are afraid of needles, remember that the needles used by your Melbourne acupuncturist are very different to the needles you may have encountered when having your blood drawn or receiving a vaccination. Most people assume acupuncture needles are similar to those used by your GP or phlebotomist, but the sensation associated with the insertion of an acupuncture needle is very different to the ‘sharp sting’ experienced with an injection or when drawing blood. Most people describe the insertion of an acupuncture needle as a ‘transient sensation’ and would not describe it as painful, when administered correctly.
2. Can I have acupuncture while I’m being treated by a GP or medical specialist?
Acupuncture is a great form of alternative medicine and complementary medicine. This means it can be used instead of Western medicine (as an alternative form of medicine) or to accompany it (as a complementary form of medicine).
If you are receiving treatment from a GP or medical specialist (or have just finished receiving such treatment) or have any concerns about Acupuncture, you may wish to consult your doctor before commencing any complementary or alternative therapies.
3. What happens at my first acupuncture consultation in Melbourne?
As with any modality, there may be differences in approaches taken by individual acupuncturists when it comes to your consultations. Having said that, you will most likely have a conversation with your acupuncturist in Melbourne when you first see them. The aim of this chat is to collect your health, fitness and wellbeing history so that your practitioner can provide you with a tailored, holistic treatment plan. It’s not too dissimilar to how you interact with your GP and other allied health practitioner or natural therapy providers.
In addition to taking your history, your TCM practitioner may also undertake a physical examination. This may involve examining your tongue and taking your radial pulse, for example.
Your custom treatment plan will then be discussed with you and your treatment will commence.
4. What are the side effects of acupuncture?
Some people experience little to no side effects, while others may experience tenderness (like the sensation you feel after a good work out at the gym) or mild headaches which are self-correcting. These side effects should disappear after a day or two.
Some people find acupuncture extremely relaxing and drift off to sleep during treatment. Others report a sense of relief and relaxation, greater mobility or movement and improved general wellbeing after having acupuncture in Melbourne.
5. Why should I try acupuncture in Melbourne?
Firstly, acupuncture is a traditional, natural form of medicine that doesn’t rely on pharmaceuticals. This is particularly enticing if you:
- don’t like taking medication
- are already taking a lot of medication and don’t want to add another drug to the mix
- have found that all the pharmaceuticals you’ve tried haven’t worked
That said, your TCM practitioner may suggest you take some natural herbs in conjunction with your acupuncture treatment. However, this is usually not compulsory.
Secondly, acupuncture is effective in treating several physical, emotional and mental health conditions.
Thirdly, if you’ve exhausted all other medical options, you might find that seeing an acupuncture practitioner solves your issues. You won’t know unless you try!
6. Are Melbourne-based acupuncturists registered practitioners?
Since July 2012, Chinese medicine practitioners (acupuncturists, Chinese herbal medicine practitioners and Chinese herbal dispensers) must be registered under the national registration and accreditation scheme with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. This means they need to meet the Chinese Medicine Board’s standards to practise in Australia.
7. How long does an acupuncture session in Melbourne go for?
Sessions can go from 30-90 minutes. Typically, it’s best to book at least a 60 minute consultation if it is the first time you are seeing an acupuncturist in Melbourne.
8. Does Medicare cover acupuncture consultations?
According to the Australian Government’s Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, Medicare doesn’t cover acupuncture unless it’s part of your GP’s consultation.
Acupuncture may be covered by your private health insurance depending on the type and level of cover you have. Contact your private health provider to find out if acupuncture is covered by your policy.
9. Does acupuncture actually work?
People who get acupuncture regularly swear by it and it is strongly endorsed by some medical practitioners like fertility and gynaecology service providers in Melbourne.
Research into the effectiveness of acupuncture is ongoing, with recent studies proving effectiveness when it comes to headaches, migraines, chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, pelvic or back pain during pregnancy, hay fever, fertility and more.