FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
very Question is a Good One. Chinese Medicine Theory and practice can be hard to grasp and comprehend sometimes. It’s always good to stay inquisitive & open minded.
“He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever”– Chinese Proverb
Some questions have multiple ways of looking at the answer, and some questions may need to be experienced for you to answer them yourself.
Anna Helms is your qualified, accredited, & experienced Acupuncturist.
Anna uses traditional Chinese acupuncture. She has a gentle and effective approach to treatment and uses a lot of moxibustion where appropriate along with other techniques such as electro acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, acupressure & massage. She enjoys getting to the root causes of your condition. Her main focus is on education; inspiring and empowering you to take your health into your own hands, and thus has a strong focus on diet and lifestyle advice and tools you can use at home to help yourself. She will work with a team of other health professionals and doctors if you need, so you are fully supported and stay motivated in achieving your health goals.
To be a qualified acupuncturist in Australia you need to be registered under AHPRA.
This ensures your practitioner has the relevant qualifications, (Bachelor or masters level of study) is a member of an industry association, (Anna is with AACMA, the peak Australian acupuncture association) and complies with annual professional development requirements which include keeping up to date with current professional industry ethics, laws and regulations.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated in China some 5,000 years ago. With it’s outstanding clinical results in treating a broad range of medical health conditions it has spread through the west and is continuously growing in popularity and demand.
It is an ancient art, for modern medicine with more and more modern research to back it up, proving efficacy and results, which have been seen clinically for thousands of years. It is a very holistic approach to medicine and has it’s own unique understanding of the body, health and disease. There are many forms of treatment which come under Chinese Medicine such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping therapy, gua sha, tui na massage and more. Each technique is used to facilitate change and balance in the body depending on what is wrong. It has a strong focus on prevention and ‘staying healthy’ so diet and lifestyle factors are addressed.
Our aim is to restore you to your optimum health and help you maintain this through knowledge, understanding and simple effective tools and techniques.
Pulse: We are feeling different pulses to the standard radial pulse normally felt in western medicine. In TCM we feel six pulse positions, three on each wrist, and each position has three levels. Each level relates to a TCM organ system and can give us an indication as to your TCM diagnosis.
Tongue: We look at your tongue to again help us formulate your TCM diagnosis. We look for colour, coating, shape, thickness, different areas, moisture etc all, which can indicate various TCM patterns, which will help build your case and TCM diagnosis.
Other TCM diagnostics
Abdominal/Hara: We may also feel your abdomen, again to help build the overall case. We look for pain, tenderness, temperature, and skin changes and again specific areas relate to different organs.
Channel/Meridian palpation: We may palpate various channels/meridians to help determine where an imbalance may be.
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles piercing the skin to facilitate healing and balance to the body. It works by influencing the nervous system and the hormones to bring about a return to balance in the body known as homeostasis.
If you think of a river system, or our roads, this gives you an idea of our channels in the body. They act as a transportation or feedback system connecting all the organs/systems together.
Yes. There are other techniques we can use if there is no way you want needles, however, a lot of patients who are afraid of needles have come to love their treatments. I can use a gentle style, work with your breath and use other TCM techniques.
Dry needling is generally a weekend course, which does not incorporate Chinese medicine theoretical training whereas a Bachelor degree, for example, requires 800 hours of needling training.
Dry needling is essentially only one aspect of acupuncture, which is called trigger point or ashi needling in Chinese Medicine, where local needles are used to create a twitch like reaction in a specific muscle, or muscle groups or areas targeted specifically.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on Chinese Medicine theories and principles and is one treatment form of Chinese Medicine. It uses natural herbal substances, in different forms, raw, pills, powders, capsules, liquids etc to help bring the body back into balance.
The theory and understanding behind it, as well as the herbs themselves, however a lot of Chinese Herbs are being used in western herbal formulas now as well.
Herbs can be a great adjunct to your treatments if applicable, and give you something to take between treatments so you keep moving forward.
If administered by a registered practitioner, Chinese Herbs are regulated by the TGA and undergo stringent testing. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is a part of the Australian government department of health sector and ensures the population is safeguarded in relation to therapeutic goods including all medications, which includes Chinese Herbal Medicine.
As registered Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners, we only use high-grade herbs from respected suppliers. I use Safflower herbal dispensary & Empirical Health herbs.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique used to facilitate healing through burning a herb called mugwort (artemesia vulgaris or ai ye in Chinese) on certain acupuncture points or body areas either using a direct or indirect application. If you don’t like the smoke or smell we can use a smokeless type which is made with charcoal and moxa extract.
Cupping is a suction type treatment where glass or plastic cups are applied to the skin to promote blood flow, release tightness, move stagnation, break up phlegm, release heat and remove toxins from the body. Purple circular superficial bruises may stay for up to a week sometimes longer. The colour may vary depending on the state of your health and the strength applied. Cups only stay on for around 8-10 minutes depending on your case and it feels like a giant “Chinese burn” but releases and softens very quickly. It’s always important to drink lots of water afterwards to help prevent any headaches or tiredness from the possible release of any toxins.
Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese Medicine technique where various tools are used to scrape the surface of the skin for therapeutic benefit.
This is a technique where we add a current to pairs of needles. It can be used for a variety of conditions or used with pads as a TENS unit where no needles are necessary.
Tui Na is an ancient Chinese therapeutic form of massage based on TCM principles.
Infrared heat lamp therapy can be used to warm the body and promote blood flow.
I would advise you to make sure you have eaten prior to coming in for treatment. Not directly before, but within an hour or so of coming in.
Wear comfortable loose clothing if possible, however, we can drape you with towels if needed.
If you have any past medical records, which are relevant to your current condition, yes, please bring these along.
If you are new to us please also arrive 10 minutes early to fill out some paperwork.
If you have not experienced acupuncture before it’s good to know you may feel very relaxed after treatment so allow enough time to re-focus before you hop in your car or continue your day. Everyone is different and you may not feel this but if it is your first time I’d recommend to allow for some processing time afterwards.
Upon arrival, make your way into the reception room, where you will find a double-sided intake form for you to fill out if you are new to us. If you are early you can wait here comfortably until we are ready to take you into your treatment room. We have bathroom facilities and please ask if you need to be shown where they are.
Once in your private treatment room we will do your consultation. Your story, prompted by questions we will ask, and take notes. We will discuss any questions you may have and an individualized treatment plan for you. With your informed consent, you will receive your treatment and then left to rest for 20-40 minutes (or we can talk/discuss further while you rest if this is preferred). I will organize any additional information/herbs etc for you while you relax, and then I will come back, pull out the needles and finish up with any other techniques ie. Moxa, gua sha, massage and then let you get up in your own time. We can recap and address any further questions. We can book your next appointment if needed, process your payment and supply your receipt for private health if applicable.
More on What to Expect
Each consult and treatment is approximately 50-60 minutes. Your initial visit may be up to 75 minutes depending on your case complexity, and follow-up appointments can be up to 75 minutes sometimes as well depending on treatment complexity. Please advise if you need to leave at a certain time.
The number of treatments you will need will depend on your condition and the current state of health. On your initial consultation, we will suggest an individual treatment plan from our TCM diagnosis and assessment. This will give you an indication of what is involved and it is then up to you to decide if this will be suitable and possible for you.
Chinese Medicine is traditionally known to be used for preventative measures.
You can use our easy online booking system, call us, or e-mail us to book your appointment. To book online simply go to our ‘Online Bookings’ page and follow the prompts. Simply select your desired location, initial or follow-up appointment type, then select your preferred day and time depending on availability, enter your details and you will receive your confirmation e-mail. If you can’t find a time that suits you, or you have not received your confirmation, please e-mail or give us a call. There are times we are out of reception range and will get back to you at our earliest convenience.
Yes. If you have private health, we will provide you with a receipt which you can claim with, either online or to take into your provider. The amount you receive back depends on your provider and cover.
You can pay using eftpos facilities or by cash.
Yes. In my experience, children love Acupuncture. We can use non-needle techniques if needed.
Still Have Questions?
Still have questions, which have not been answered or addressed? Please contact us either by phone or e-mail and we will endeavor to answer any further questions you may have. Thank you.