FAQs about Acupuncture


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture has a history dating back over 2000 years, making it one of the oldest healing practices in the world. It uses very fine needles that are painlessly inserted in different areas of the body to help restore balance and reduce pain. Other modalities that are typically also employed alongside acupuncture include heat therapy, cupping and massage.

Does acupuncture hurt? Are there any side effects?

No, acupuncture doesn’t hurt when provided by a skilled practitioner. The needles used are very fine, and are much thinner than a hypodermic needle used to take blood. A small pinch may be felt when the needle is inserted, but generally you won’t feel much at all. There are usually only occasional side effects after a treatment, such as minor bruising, but these are rare, very mild, and will usually heal up in a couple of days. If you have any concerns, feel free to get in touch before your first appointment.

Does acupuncture work?

Recent research has shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating a number of conditions including stress and mental health concerns, pain and musculoskeletal conditions, headaches and migraines, gastrointestinal complaints, and reproductive and gynaecological issues.

What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?

Both acupuncture and dry needling use fine needles that are placed at specific points across the body. Dry needling is a term that has been used by Western based therapists, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors and myotherapists, but is actually just a technique that is used by acupuncturists on a daily basis. Dry needling (also sometimes called trigger point therapy or intramuscular stimulation) is the technique of inserting a needle into an area of tight muscle, mainly used for sporting injuries. The term used for this by an acupuncturist is a “Ashi” needling, but is the same technique. However acupuncture has a lot more to offer than just treating the local area of pain, and is able to incorporate a wider variety of acupuncture points spread right across the body to achieve more substantial results.

How many sessions will I need? How long will it take to work?

Most people will notice some sort of change after the first session, though for some it may take a bit longer. In general though, the longer you have had a condition for, the longer the course of treatment.

Acupuncture works cumulatively, so the benefits you get will increase as you get more treatments. But how long this may take in an individual case is hard to tell before the initial consult. If you would like to discuss your particular situation, feel free to get in touch.

Can I exercise after acupuncture?

Going out for a walk after an acupuncture session can be very beneficial, but vigorous exercise should be done before the session, or save it for the next day.

What should I wear?

Loose comfortable clothing is preferable, but if you’ve just come straight from work, don’t worry. You’ll have an opportunity to change and prepare as needed.

Is acupuncture covered by Medicare or private health insurance?

Unfortunately, acupuncture is not covered by Medicare as yet. But most private health insurance funds (such as Bupa, Australian Unity, Medibank, etc) will cover acupuncture with Extras cover. Check with your insurer if you are not sure. We have a HiCaps machine, so if you have your benefits card with you, you will be able to claim your rebate at the end of your session.