What to Expect
An acupuncture treatment generally nvolves at least these four steps
1. Detailed Case History
Be prepared for a detailed case history to ensure that adequate information is gathered regarding your case. Some of this history you will have a chance to complete before your initial booking. This level of detail is to ensure that your practitioner can provide quality care and attention to your health. Your practitioner will look carefully for signs of health and dysfunction, paying particular attention not only to the presenting signs and symptoms, but also to the medical history, general constitution, and the pulse and tongue.
2. Physical Assessment
Gathering information through the “4 observations” includes questioning, looking, listening, and palpating. Your practitioner will also examine your the tongue and pulse. This involves feeling the pulse on both wrists and looking at the tongue. Where necessary, your practitioner will need to assess Range of Motion and carry out muscle testing if this is applicable to your treatment as well as a postural assessment. A hands-on approach may also be used. This would include palpating affected and related areas of the body.
During your treatment your practitioner will talk you through each therapy before and as provided. In most instances treatment is performed on the legs, from the knees, down, on the arms, from the elbows down, and on the back or belly. Wearing loose fitting clothing is appropriate so that disrobing can be kept to a minimum. If disrobing to undergarments is required, rest assured that appropriate draping will be provided to assure your comfort and privacy. Treatment may include acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping or guasha, nutrition and herbal medicine, exercise, tuning forks or lasers, and press seeds or dermal needles.
4. Home Care
Treatment is a team effort; we work together for the desired result. Where relevant, you will be given home-care advice. This may include nutrition recommendations, exercises and lifestyle “homework.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Most patients are amazed at how painless acupuncture is. With careful consideration to the needs of the patient, discomfort can well be avoided and/or reduced. Many patients ask about the needles we use for acupuncture. Firstly, acupuncture needles are drastically smaller than the needles used to draw your blood or give you a shot in your doctor’s office; additionally they are not hollow as a syringe. Acupuncture needles are only marginally thicker than a human hair. Needles are sterile and for single use only, and are disposed of after removal. Insertion of needles is generally painless. As the Qi arrives at the needle, sensations like heaviness, dull aching or distention can be felt.This is a normal response to Qi sensation. Generally speaking, acupuncture treatments are very relaxing, and many patients fall asleep during a treatment.
What should I wear to my treatment ?
Wearing loose fitting clothing is preferable so that disrobing can be kept to a minimum. In most instances treatment is performed on the legs, from the knees, down, on the arms, from the elbows down, and on the back or belly. If disrobing to undergarments is required, rest assured that appropriate draping will be provided to assure your comfort and privacy.
How many times do I need to come for acupuncture treatment?
The amount of treatment necessary is assessed case by case and can be discussed with your practitioner to suit your needs. To achieve the best results, you will often have a course of treatment which can be between 4-8 treatments at a frequency of at least once a week. Twice weekly treatments can yield faster results. Some studies have shown that the benefits from acupuncture continue to increase for up to 3 months following the end of a course of treatment involving treatment frequencies of twice weekly.
If longer treatment is necessary which can be the case, then a break of 1-2 weeks is advised before continuing with a new course of treatment. This allows for the body to adjust given the new information/experience received from the previous treatment. Additionally, after the condition is resolved, health promotion sessions are recommended at a interval of 4-8 weeks to consolidate the improvement and build your health and well being to cope with the ongoing demands of modern life.
What should I do after an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture changes the state of energy of the body and affects nerve and blood vessels as well as the tone within the muscles. For this reason, it is best to avoid heavy physical labor/exercise following a treatment. Avoidance of alcohol is also recommended. Drinking ample water is always recommended. Usually there is relief from the first or second treatment and this is consolidated with progressive treatments. Occasionally patients may notice a brief worsening of the symptoms of the condition prior to an improvement.
Is Acupuncture available on the ACC?
Yes. You will need to have an ACC45 number already which can be obtained by first visiting your doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath. You can continue treatment with other health practitioners of a different modality with acupuncture. The treatments just need to be on different days. Please see the ACC information page on this website for additional information.
Should I tell my doctor I am coming for treatment?
It is advisable that you inform all healthcare professionals of treatments that you are receiving. It is also important to inform practitioners of any medication that you are taking. Certain medications and treatments can have an effect on the expected outcomes of your treatment.