Frequently Asked Questions

Does acupuncture hurt?

A common misconception of acupuncture is that it is either going to be extremely painful due to the “sharp receptors” in the skin or, if the acupuncturist is good, I will feel nothing. While sharp receptors are distributed mainly superficially in our bodily structures to warn us of potential damage by sharp objects, the relatively thin acupuncture needle can miss a lot of these receptors. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body in order to trigger therapeutic changes. Through this acupuncture “stimulation” it is more likely you may experience a variety of sensations including pricking, movement, temperature changes-warm/cool, electric tingling/ numbness, aching and even burning or pain. If you feel uncomfortable at any time during treatment, it is important to let your practitioner know so they can adjust the intensity of the sensations. It is not a case of ‘no pain no gain’ and one should be able get the therapeutic triggering stimulation of acupuncture within a range of sensations they can tolerate.

Does acupuncture work?

Research has shown that acupuncture can be used effectively in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, from musculoskeletal and gastronomical issues to mental health, stress, reproductive and gynaecological concerns. Acupuncture has been proven to effectively complement the treatment of conditions such as allergic rhinitis, knee osteoarthritis, headaches and chronic lower back pain.

What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?

Both modalities involve the placing of needles at specific points in the body, but there are vast differences. Acupuncturists study for a minimum of 4 years and are registered with the CMBA. Acupuncture follows a holistic approach by balancing body, mind and spirit, while dry needling focuses only on the affected area.

How many treatments will I need and how often?

While trying not to sound like I’m dodging the question. This can be complex as a medical prognosis takes in many factors to try form an approximate answer. But here goes…

Depending on the nature, length and complexity of your health issue(s), your individual constitution and history, a general rule of thumb is short term conditions with few and mild symptoms will often respond better and quicker than longstanding conditions with many and/or severe symptoms. We usually recommend 1 or 2 appointments per week for the first two weeks to gauge the responsiveness of your body and give it the best dosage to initiate positive changes with the treatment and from there be able to better form a prognosis of fast, medium or poor improvement. When an acceptable level of change is achieved as your condition improves, treatment is often reduced to once per week or per fortnight. If continually responding positively, the duration between visits becomes longer until your condition is resolved to an acceptable level and treatment will cease to be needed. The aim of Traditional Chinese mMedicine treatment is to improve your body’s functioning to a point where your body can support itself. Please note that certain conditions require treatment to be arranged around the body’s natural cycles (eg. women’s health & fertility support).

How do I prepare for my first appointment?

We suggest not to eat a big meal before but have something light to eat so that you don’t receive treatment on an empty stomach. Also, we recommend the following things to avoid a few hours before your appointment:

  • Avoid excessive tea, coffee, alcohol;
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and emotional upsets;
  • Do not brush or clear your tongue coating;
  • Arrive early so to not be stressed from rushing.

The above can disturb your circulation and symptoms for diagnosis, tire or over-stimulate your body or change the natural appearance of your tongue. If any of the above happens, simply mention them so it can be taken into account to achieve the most accurate diagnosis. On the day wearing clothes and footwear that are comfortable and easily changed or adjusted is advised.

What questions will I be asked?

A Traditional Chinese Medicine consultation considers each person as a whole including their physical and emotional symptoms as well as their lifestyle, home and work environment. Practitioners will ask you about your body’s physical functions, including bowel movements, urination, menstruation, sleep, digestion, energy and stress levels. Also, please bring copies of any modern test results or reports involving your health issue. With all these indicators your practitioner can better understand your body’s health. So please don’t be shy to discuss whatever is worrying you.

How long will my appointment be?

Our practitioners take the time to listen to you, explain your diagnosis, discuss your treatment plan and answer your questions. We recommend setting aside 1 hour for your initial acupuncture consultation and treatment. Follow up treatment times will vary depending on what treatment is needed (See services menu for timelines).

Can I receive Chinese Medicine treatment alongside other treatments and medications?

If you are receiving treatment and medications from other health practitioners (including self-supplied supplements and/or prescription medications from your GP) please indicate the details on the intake form. It usually does not interfere with being able to receive treatment from us but if you are currently taking any medications or supplements your practitioner will need to know. We take all types of medicines and treatments into account and will arrange your treatment plan accordingly.

How much will my appointment cost?

Our consulting and treatment fees are openly listed under services or in the descriptors in the online booking portal, although any Chinese Herbal Medicines are an extra purchase only dispensed on informed patient agreement. Our team will be happy to answer any other specific questions regarding your appointment or health condition.

What payment options are there?

We accept cash or card with EFTPOS and credit card payments available.

Can I claim a Private Health Insurance rebate?

Yes, through our HICAPS terminal. Please bring your private health insurance card with you, we will process your health fund rebate on-the-spot. Most major Australian private health insurance rebate Acupuncture and/or Chinese Medicine but the amounts, inclusions and annual limits depend on your private health insurance provider and the level of cover you have. Please contact your private health fund for the details of your cover.

What is the cancellation policy?

Missed recommended appointments can slow treatment outcomes.
However, there may be times when you need to change or cancel a scheduled appointment. Should this occur, please try to provide at least 24 hours’ notice so as to give others the best opportunity to book the short notice treatment availability.
Please note: a late cancellation/rescheduling fee will apply if a cancellation/rescheduling occurs on the day of a scheduled appointment and the cancelled/rescheduled time slot is not able to be filled by someone on the clinic waiting list.

What is Pinpoint Acupuncture Geelong’s position on the use of endangered animal or plants and unethical animal treatment in Chinese Medicine?

Today, up to date conservation knowledge and ethics of the endangered state of many animal and plant species traditionally used and unethical animal treatment have resulted in local and international condemnation and prohibition. In Australia, it is prohibited (and rightly so) to import or sell illegally traded animal products, and our clinic is firmly against supporting any animal cruelty and /or illegal activities such as rhino and tiger poaching, and bear bile farming.
These cruel, unethical practices and use of endangered species have no place in a modern traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine practice and strong government initiatives world-wide have been made to replace these with sustainable plant based farmed alternatives.
Pinpoint Acupuncture Geelong and representative association AACMA supports and adheres to the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) list of endangered species. Pinpoint Acupuncture Geelong chooses to use predominately sustainably farmed plant-based herbs but may, on occasion, use herbal preparations containing minerals and/ or animal products such as oyster shell or pearl. Patients will be made aware of any animal product used in herbal medicine preparation and offered alternatives.