Q & A

Hopefully the Q&A section below will provide an answer to your question. In case you can’t find the answer to your question please email me and I will respond to your enquiry as soon as I can.

 

What is Chinese Medicine?
What is acupuncture?
Is acupuncture safe?
Does acupuncture hurt?
Can I bring someone to the appointment?
Is it safe to take herbal medicine?
Can I take herbal medicine while I am also taking prescription medication?


What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine is a complete system of medicine which evolved over 2000 years ago. According to Chinese Medicine, health is seen as a state when the Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), which can loosely be translated as ‘vital life force’ is in balance or, in other words, when the Qi circulates smoothly around the body along certain pathways (or channels). Illness, on the other hand, is a state in which the body is unable to maintain this balance that is, when the flow of Qi is disturbed. Thus the goal of Chinese Medicine is to promote and restore a harmonious state within the body by balancing the Qi.
Chinese Medicine encompasses acupuncture, herbal medicine, tuina (a form of massage), taichi/qigong (exercises to maintain the balance of Qi), and diet.

What is acupuncture?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi (which can loosely be translated as vital life force) courses through 12 main ‘meridians’ (energy pathways) which span the body and connect internally with the organs. If Qi is balanced, it can flow smoothly throughout the body and there will be good health. However, the flow of Qi can be disrupted, for example due to poor diet, emotional states, injury or trauma, or infections. By inserting needles into points located on the meridians, the acupuncturist seeks to stimulate the body’s own healing process and the balanced circulation of Qi.
Very fine and flexible needles are inserted rapidly and in most cases painlessly. Sometimes a small pinch can be felt. In order to eliminate the risk of infection only disposable stainless steel needles are used.

Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe form of therapy. Only disposable, single-use stainless steel needles are used. Very occasionally slight bruising may occur. It is recommended to only see practitioners who are a member of a professional organisation.

Does acupuncture hurt?
Sometimes a little pinch or sting can be felt when the needle is inserted but often people say that they can’t feel ‘anything at all’. The needles used in acupuncture are solid, not hollow like hypodermic needles, and therefore they are much finer. Sometimes a warm or tingling sensation can be experienced at the site of the needle insertion but this is a desirable effect.
What sometimes amazes people is that they can feel a relaxing or releasing sensation in a body part where there has been no needle insertion at all. This phenomenon can usually be explained based on the meridian pathways.
Clients are also often surprised that, despite feeling no or hardly any needle sensation, they can feel a deep sense of relaxation.
If you feel uneasy about being needled, coming for a free 15-minute consultation is a good way of trying out what acupuncture feels like and discussing any issues you might be concerned about.

Can I bring someone to the appointment?
Absolutely! Please feel free to bring your partner, spouse, carer, or friend to the appointment – they are welcome to sit in, especially if you feel this would help you to feel more relaxed.
Sometimes I will suggest dietary or other lifestyle changes. In such cases it can also be helpful to have your partner present since it will allow them to better understand why such changes are of benefit to your healing process.
If you are under 18 it is a legal requirement that your parent or carer is present during the treatment.

Is it safe to take herbal medicine?
Yes, herbal medicine is a very safe form of treatment. I only use suppliers who are accredited under the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) Approved Suppliers Scheme. Under this scheme suppliers of herbs and herbal products are audited by a trained pharmaceutical. Standards are based on those required by any pharmaceutical product.
In keeping with RCHM requirements I do not prescribe any medicine from endangered species or animal products.

Can I take herbal medicine while I am also taking prescription medication?
This will always depend on the individual case. Sometimes it is perfectly fine to combine Western medication with Chinese herbs. However, in other cases there might be an interaction between a particular drug and certain herbs or it might be not possible at all to add a herbal prescription to your medication regimen.
It is important that you tell me about any medication (both prescription and over the counter drugs) and any supplements that you are taking.