Before we get started with your treatment, it is probably a good idea that we get the official stuff out of the way. Below contains important information which applies for all appointments:
Late Cancellation Policy
In order provide a valuable service the community, we have to put a late cancellation policy in place. Not only does it keep our clinic running smoothly, it also enables clients access to appointments when otherwise held in your name. Cancellations made under 24 hours are hard to fill as clients on wait-list have usually made plans. So, if you need to make a change to your appointment, please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice. We send out sms reminders 2 days prior in order to help you make relevant changes within the required timeframe.
Changes made under this notice period will automatically attract a cancellation fee of 100% of the consultation fee to cover the cost of appointments kindly held in your name. Payment must be made before being able to schedule further appointments. The only exception is personal and immediate family emergencies (and labour if you’re coming in for birth induction!). You are welcome to attend appointments with colds and flus as we have treatments available for both.
We we don’t like charging it, so please just give us enough notice. Thank you!
Is Chinese medicine eligible for private health rebates?
Yes! The rebate depends on your health fund and level of cover. For private health fund rebates please bring your health fund card with you. Due to HiCaps processing limitations, some health funds may not go through immediately, in which instance rebates can be claimed manually via your health fund claiming options.
Is Acupuncture covered by TAC, Workcover, SIRA?
Acupuncture is an allied health service covered by TAC under section 60 of the Transportation Accident Act 1986. Please note that a gap will apply between consult cost and that which TAC covers. Appointments will be privately billed and the applicant to access rebate via TAC directly. For more information and for amounts covered please visit the policy here.
Under some circumstances and with approval, acupuncture is covered by Workcover and SIRA. Please contact the organisations directly to arrange approval.
All consultation and prescription costs are payable in full at the conclusion of your appointment.
Which appointment type do I select?
If you haven’t attended the clinic before, you will need to book an INITIAL consult.
If you are seeking treatment for natural fertility or undergoing Assisted Reproduction (IUI, IVF, ICI) please select INITIAL-LONG.
All returning clients to the clinic – regardless of location and practitioner – can book a STANDARD consultation. If you haven’t attended the clinic in some time and in rare instances, you may be charged a Standard-Long consult at the time of payment due to the time consuming nature of re-intake. This is at practitioner discretion and practitioners will notify you as soon as it becomes apparent.
Please do be aware that booking the incorrect consultation online will still attract the relevant fee at time of payment.
How do I prepare for my first appointment?
Clients attending all INITIAL appointments will need to arrive 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time to complete the necessary paperwork. If you prefer, you can download and complete the following forms ahead of time:
Once arriving to clinic, check in with the reception staff. As your practitioner is trying their best to stay on schedule, we request that you make sure you arrive with enough time to use the lavatories first so appointments can get started on time for consideration of following clients.
What do I wear?
There is no specific clothing required for receiving acupuncture. Treatments often involve cupping applied to the skin, and requires access to the back. Acupuncture can often involve points up to the knees, elbows, head, abdomen. In some cases the higher on the leg (this is discussed with you first). If you prefer, you can wear loose fitting clothing to avoid removing pants. It is preferred that women wear a bra that unclasps at the back. If you are coming from work, no sweat, we give ample privacy to de-robe before treatment begins.
What does a consult look like?
A consultation, whether it be INITIAL or STANDARD will involve a consultation of approximately 10 minutes (longer for Initial and Fertility). During the consultation we will ask some questions about what you are experiencing, feel the pulse and observe the tongue. We also make observations about skin, face, nails, voice, mannerisms, that can give clues as to underlying patters. Do not fret, this is all a part of the diagnostic process, we are trained to read the body.
In most cases, next you will receive cupping as part of your medicinal treatment. During this time your practitioner is also looking for marks, and tension, temperature changes and other little clues to help cross check and add to the diagnosis. Cupping may be a brief sliding or a few minutes of stationary cups depending on the treatment principle. At this point you may get Gua Sha which is a scraping on the skin to draw out stagnation and heat alleviating tension and pain.
Acupuncture needles are then inserted at specific points on the body as according to the treatment principle. You may have heat lamps applied over certain points, or moxibustion used at this time. In a few instances you may receive a few prickles to draw dots of blood (called lancing) which will be discussed with you prior.
The acupuncture needles are retained from anywhere from 15 – 45 minutes depending on treatment principle. During this time you are relaxed and cosy and may meditate or even have an ‘acu-snooze’. You have the option to have a buzzer to call your practitioner back at any point. If herbs are applicable your practitioner will be preparing your herbs during this time.
I’ve seen the marks but what exactly is cupping and gua sha?
Cupping is a form of treatment where suction is created on target areas of the skin with a specialized glass cup and lit ethanol soaked cotton ball. Cupping usually occurs on the back at key areas relating to internal organs. Cupping can also occur on areas of physical pain. Cupping can either be stationary, sliding along skin, or “flashing” – a quick succession of suction and removal along affected areas.
Cupping separates soft tissue and breaks up painful adhesions. Cupping also promotes blood and qi flow, stimulates lymphatic circulation, has a therapeutic effect on internal organs, and expels cold and flu symptoms.
During cupping you may experience tenderness in certain areas, itching and a mild to moderate suction sensation. Mild to moderate pain may be experienced as target areas are released. You should be aware that cupping often results in painless circular marks that differ from bruising, and typically fade within a few days.
Gua Sha involves scraping a ceramic soup spoon along certain areas of the skin to bring up “sha” to promote healing and alleviate pain. You should be aware that Gua Sha typically is accompanied with tenderness and pain that is normal and necessary to achieve therapeutic effect. Please alert your practitioner if at any time you feel major discomfort. Gua Sha results in mild pink to deep purple marks that differ from bruising and typically fade within a few days.
What does acupuncture feel like?
During your acupuncture treatment, you might experience mild sensations including pricking on needle insertion; tingling; aching; soreness; numbness; fullness; distention; pressure; heaviness; warmth. These sensations are a normal part of acupuncture treatment. The quality and strength of sensation varies, depending on the individual, the condition and its severity. If at any point you do experience feelings of discomfort or sharp pain that does not subside, please tell your practitioner immediately so that they can ensure you are comfortable. This likely involves adjusting or reinsertion of the needle.
Any adverse sides to acupuncture?
Mild bruising may occur on one or more points and will usually fade within a few days. In the rare instance you experience dizziness, faintness, light-headedness, mild nausea, chills, sweating or anxiety please notify your practitioner who will attend to you accordingly. These symptoms relate to a phenomenon called “needle shock”, and is considered a harmless transient reaction to acupuncture, usually in the presence of low blood sugar, exhaustion or anxiety.
What should I feel like after the treatment?
It is not always possible to predict an outcome of treatment as responses vary depending on the individual, the condition and its severity. In most cases, after the treatment, you should feel improved physical and psychological wellbeing, a sense of an energy shift and in some instances tiredness. Pain relief can be expected immediately or in the ensuing days. In few instances symptoms may worsen and is a normal part of the healing process (keep this in mind if your practitioner mentions “damp” in your pattern).
Do I have to have acupuncture, are there any alternative treatments?
Some instances people are very scared of needles, and it is not mandatory to receive acupuncture. We can start of with more subtle techniques such as cupping, tui-na (a type of acupressure massage), intradermal needles (very very tiny needles retained in place by adhesive), ear seeds, and herbal medicine.
Do the herbal medicine taste bad?
The format of herbs that are notoriously bad tasting are what we call the Raw herbs which you will receive bags of a formula to cook up (decoct) and drink the reduced liquid. It’s safe to say yes they do taste bad. Be prepared for a strong herby taste and his will all depend on the constituents of your formula – some herbs purposefully needing to be bitter as that has a specific action on the body. We provide useful tips in taking your medicine. The majority of our clients report enjoying the taste and the ritual and engagement with cooking the herbs (your medicine!) which sometimes outweighs the taste. We also stock pills and some granules which are less offensive.
How do I cook the raw herbs, and how often?
You will be provided with cooking instructions and the opportunity to purchase a specific ceramic herbal cooking pot at the conclusion of your treatment. Allow for up to 1.5 hours in total. The herbs can be cooking in the background while pottering around the home – just make sure you use a timer!
General dose requires cooking 2 bags a week. To alleviate cooking and because…life!…sometimes we give pills as a back up to the raw herbs to keep treatment going while giving you a break from cooking, so usually 1 bag a week, pills in between. If we need to make some significant progress there might be a period of taking 2 bags a week.
When do I take the herbs?
You will likely be given a herbal dose to take in the morning and a dose in the evening, whether it be pills of the decoction.
How long will treatment take?
Length of treatment depends on how your body response and how deeply entrenched the imbalance is (and how many co-existing patterns or conditions!). Of course we do our best to make swift progress, however many factors can get in the way, including any aggravating lifestyle of dietary factors. After about 3 treatments your practitioner can have a more clear picture of treatment timeline. Do be aware that some patterns such as deeply lodged damp-phlegm treatment time can be lengthy, however we do our best to restore quality of life as much as possible during your treatment time.
If you have got this far we are seriously impressed! Thank you for taking the time to become familiar with the offical information. We look forward to a wonderful collaboration with you in your healthcare.