If you’ve never tried Acupuncture before, it can seem a bit of a foreign or unusual experience to put yourself through. But thousands of Australians are using the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to help with aches and pains, bouts of insomnia, headaches, migraines, and managing their PMS. Traditional Chinese Medicine tools of Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine also have a good reputation with the research to back it up for improving fertility too. Here we look at the FAQ’s for the Acupuncture first-timer.FAQ #1: What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a technique of inserting thin needles into specific acupoints to stimulate the body to recover, repair and improve health.
Acupuncture originates from China and is seen as part of their traditional medicine & accepted as part of their modern health care. Today Acupuncture Doctors practice in Chinese Hospitals as part of an integrated Medical system utilising both East & Western Medicine.
In Australia, Acupuncturists are registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), alongside doctors, dentists and other medical & health professionals. Australian Acupuncturists generally work in Private Practice.
FAQ #2: Does it hurt?
No. If you see a Registered Acupuncturist, they would have done years of needling training, and practice makes perfect. Studying Acupuncture is a 4 year full time University Bachelor degree and needling practice is done frequently throughout the 4 years. A Registered Acupuncturist has to pass many needling competency assessments to become fully qualified. All of this experience means the practitioner has the skill to make it as pain-free for you as possible. In fact, if it hurts, the practitioner is NOT doing it correctly.
FAQ #3: How does it work?
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The inserted acupuncture needles give feedback to the brain and nervous system to encourage healing, reduce pain and promote normal bodily functions[/pullquote]
. This is the Western Medical understanding and is supported by thousands of clinical trials performed over decades that generally report Acupuncture has a positive effect on the body.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, the needles move qi (or energy) and blood where it is stuck, blocked or not circulating very well. Promoting circulation both of qi and blood is the foundation for acupuncture’s success and the body’s health.
FAQ #4: What happens during an Acupuncture Treatment?
A Registered Acupuncturist will ask you about what you need help with. Is it an injury? Pain? Digestion? and so on. There is a whole case history that needs to be taken before starting any acupuncture treatment. Questions might be asked of any aspect of your health regarding why yuo made an appointment.
The practitioner will take a pulse reading and or look at your tongue. These are the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnostic techniques. They help the practitioner get a nsense for what is going on internally and may spark a few extra questions.
The treatment is usually conducted with you lying down on a massage table. Although due to pain or discomfort, acupuncture can also be performed with the client seated, lying on their side. Acupuncture treatment can be done on the front and or back of the body, to access the acupoints needed by the practitioner.
Now you relax… This is the enjoyable bit. Where you get to lie back and relax as your body does the work, integrating the stimulus given by the acupuncture needles.
FAQ #5: What do the needles feel like?
The needles shouldn’t feel like much at all, being inserted, if the practitioner knows what they’re doing. Once the needles are inserted, it is normal to feel sensations of warmth, tingling, heaviness or a dull ache around the needles. But if you don’t feel anything, that’s ok too. If you experience a pin-prick sensation or sharpness, just tell your practitioner and they should aim to make you feel as comfortable as possible or adjust the needle.
FAQ #6: Is there anything I shouldn’t do before or after an Acupuncture treatment?
Before a treatment, its best to be hydrated and have had something to eat. But a bursting Bladder isn’t recommended either, if you need to go to the bathroom mid- treatment, it can be distracting and you won’t relax as much. Avoiding coffee, stimulants, alcohol and smoking beforehand is ideal.
After treatment, its fine to be mindful of your body’s needs; if you’re tired then rest. If you’re hungry, eat and if you need to move, go to the gym/ walk/ surf then that’s fine too. I recommend to clients to always drink water after a treatment, especially if they were coming for pain management. Just be sensible – If you came in for treatment on a back injury, take it easy after a treatment, drink water, gentle walking is fine and resting. But avoid movements that created your injury in the first place.
FAQ # 7: Is Acupuncture covered by my Private Health Fund?
You should always check your own policy for what’s covered and not covered. But in most cases, Acupuncture IS part of an ‘Extras’ Policy attached to most Ancillary cover. Each health fund refunds different amounts depending on your fund (HCF/ Medibank / NIB etc) and your specific policy (Singles/ Family/ Top Cover etc.)
For more information about Acupuncture, what’s involved and if we haven’t covered your question here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org today. I’m sure we can answer it!