Chinese Medicine FAQ

Chinese Medicine FAQ

1. Does acupuncture hurt?

This is one of the most common Chinese Medicine FAQs.

The short answer: No.

The most common reaction I hear after inserting an acupuncture needle for the first time is, ‘Oh is that it?’

It’s really natural to be cautious of a therapy that involves sharp objects. The pins come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, but all chosen for your treatment are as thin as a hair.

The pins elicit a sensation along the channel and a reaction in the body. What will you feel? The ‘sensation‘ could be experienced as a satisfying dull ache, tingling, expansiveness, lightness, numbness, heaviness. Other responses commonly seen are a relaxing of muscles, dropping into relaxation, sleepiness, sighs and small twitches, gurgling of the belly, spontaneous good feelings.

2. What conditions do you treat? Can you help me with my particular issue?

I work in a manner similar to a GP. I see a variety of people, with a variety of issues. Chinese Medicine is concerned with treating the person, not the disease process or a set of symptoms. 

Most people come seeking help with something in mind, but through treatment, you’ll improve in vitality across the board.

Most people who come to see me need assistance to address an underlying issue where treating the symptom alone has not been able to resolve the cause of the problem. Chinese medicine is a therapeutic approach you seek when you wish to strengthen you – the entire body, mind and heart – when you want to drill down and understand the cause of the imbalance, as well as address any current discomfort.

If I don’t feel I’m the best person for the job, I have a whole team of experts to refer to, including Osteo, Clinical Pilates, Western GP, Chinese Herbalists, Naturopath, Yoga Instructors, Kinesiologists, other Acupuncturists, detox clinics, Colonic Hydrotherapists, Counsellors, Meditation Instructors. I don’t hesitate to refer you on if need be.

If you want to find out in more detail how we could help you, please contact us and we can advise you on your particular needs.

3. What should I expect at a Chinese Medicine consult at Cloud Gate Acupuncture?

Professionalism and comprehensive care.

You’ll come in to the Thornbury studio and fill out a health history. Then we sit, sip some tea and talk about why you’ve come and what you need.

Diagnostic tools that we use involve questioning, observation, tongue analysis, pulse and abdomen palpation.

I’ll ask a lot of questions about your body-mind-heart and its systems. We talk about your diet, digestion, sleep, energy, exercise, moods, cycles, pain, stress etc.

I’ll then take your pulse, look at your tongue and I may get you up on the table and palpate your abdomen.

This all takes about 20 minutes. From there, we have the background and the info to move into treatment.

We design a treatment that is specific to what you need each time. Therapeutic tools that we use at Cloud Gate include:

  • acupuncture
  • moxibustion
  • heat lamps
  • cups
  • gua sha
  • herbal liniments
  • conversation.

Often I suggest a take-home therapeutic practice. This could involve lifestyle changes, dietary therapy, Chinese herbs, nutritional supplement prescription, therapeutic or corrective exercise, take-home moxa, breathing practice or meditation techniques.

4. How long do I have to do this for?

The length of your treatment with Chinese Medicine will differ according to your individual condition.

Your first consultation is a chance for you and your practitioner to meet and understand what is occurring for you. From there, we will create a treatment plan, prioritising immediate concerns and longer-term solutions.

The aim of your Chinese Medicine treatment plan is to help you to feel better as soon as possible. Your practitioner will give you an idea of how long treatment will take for you and will identify milestones along the way.

Remember: the things that are concerns now have usually taken time to develop. So they can take time to heal.

5. Is acupuncture safe? Is Chinese Medicine safe?

Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) is generally considered to be safe but occasionally (as with all health treatments) may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases.

Chinese Medicine is tightly regulated in Australia. Practitioners need to have completed an approved university degree, be registered with AHPRA and belong to a professional association.

It is unique and very successful in treating many health complaints.

For acupuncture, we use single-use only needles from quality assured manufacturers. All herbs and supplements are practitioner-prescribed only, are approved by the Australian TGA and go through stringent testing and evaluation by reputable independent bodies.

6. Does Chinese Medicine work?

No medicine works 100% of the time for 100% of the population.

Yet, would a technique that has lasted 2000 years (continual practice), that is practiced in hundreds of countries and that has undergone thousands of evaluations still be around if it wasn’t effective?

Why would I dedicate 6 years of study and 12 years of practice to something that didn’t yield tangible results?

Try Chinese Medicine for yourself and find out!

7. What the heck is ‘TCM’ and Chinese Medicine?

Chinese Medicine is the name given to the traditional medicine of Southeast Asia.

TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine. This term represents the standardisation of Chinese Medicine across China from around 1945. It was standardised to teach in universities and practice in hospitals in China. TCM is the main system of Chinese Medicine that is taught in universities in Australia, America and Canada.

The Chinese medical paradigm is holistic. It always looks at the root cause of the issue and is concerned with providing solutions at that level as well as symptomatic relief.

Chinese Medicine is designed to be preventative care. Chinese Medicine Practitioners are carefully trained in observation and diagnostic techniques to pick up issues at a sub-clinical level and provide support before these imbalances develop into disease processes.

It is a powerful but gentle technology. Great attention is paid to create harmonious therapeutics. Chinese Medicine is tailored to the individual – you will receive appropriate corrective care designed specifically to your needs, constitution and lifestyle.

8. I’ve heard I have to take herbs that taste like dirt? Is that true?

Well, maybe. Chinese Herbs is granule form, when dissolved into a tea, depending on the formula, can be bitter, or new to your palate. The reaction to the flavour, is part of the medicine. As your body responds to the herbs, the flavour will change.

However, there are a range of ways that our top-quality medicines can be administered. If you can’t cope with a taste or have trouble swallowing  pills, then talk to your practitioner – there are a range of options available.

9. Are there any other things I need to know before my Chinese Medicine treatment?

Your practitioner is going to ask you a lot of questions and has reserved this time especially for you. Our intention is to be non-judgemental, compassionate, very present and honest.

Everything you share is completely confidential, so feel absolutely safe to spill it. Let us know what is going on and what you need.

You’ll feel best if you’re not too blood-sugar low or caffeine high when you come for treatment. It’s also good to be hydrated and stay hydrated after treatment.

Acupuncture generally puts you into a deep relaxation. How you feel afterward will depend on your body. Sometimes you’ll feel out of it, tired, want to sleep. Most of the time you’ll be energised and feeling ‘in the zone’.

It’s often good to not book social events after treatment as you may feel more internal and reflective. It’s also best not to drink caffeine or alcohol after treatment.

What’s important is to respect how you feel and give yourself what you need.

We hope these answer some of your Chinese Medicine FAQ. Still have questions? Contact us to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in our Thornbury clinic.

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