Patricia Kowal Acupuncture Noosa QLD

Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture FAQ

Chinese Herbs FAQ

Cupping FAQ

 

Acupuncture FAQ

How do I schedule an appointment?
Where does acupuncture come from?
What is the difference between Chinese and Japanese acupuncture?
What should I expect from receiving my first acupuncture treatment?
Can I still get acupuncture if I’m afraid of needles?
What do acupuncture needles look like?
How will I react to an acupuncture treatment, what are the side effects?
What are other options for treatment if I prefer to not have needles?
Does acupuncture hurt?
Is acupuncture safe?
How long do I go to acupuncture to get results?
Should I get acupuncture if I’m going for surgery?
Why do some people choose to go to acupuncture for a long period of time?
Can I benefit from acupuncture even though I don’t have reason to get medical treatment?
Can I get acupuncture treatments even if I’m under the care of my primary care physician?
Is there modern research on the effectiveness of acupuncture?
Do health funds cover the cost of acupuncture?
Do acupuncture and Chinese herbs treat anxiety and depression?
What are the known conditions treated by acupuncture?
Can acupuncture help with infertility in males and females?
Do acupuncturists in Australia need to be registered or licensed?


How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment for acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine, contact me via phone or email.

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Where does acupuncture come from?

Acupuncture is a therapy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is the oldest established medical system in the world, originating in China. In China, TCM is considered to be one of the primary modalities in the treatment of various medical disorders from emotional imbalances to broken bones. Hair thin needles are inserted with a goal of balancing the circulation and energetics of the body. Acupuncture treatments may have a strong affect on the body's systems and many conditions may be addressed simultaneously depending on your condition.

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What is the difference between Chinese and Japanese style acupuncture?

Ear Acupuncture Chinese and Japanese acupuncture styles differ in the way the practitioner diagnoses a patient’s condition. It can also vary in the treatment approach. Typically Traditional Chinese Medicine style acupuncture will diagnose via your pulse, tongue and reported symptoms. Japanese style acupuncture typically uses your pulse, abdominal and body palpation to identify areas of imbalance in order to best develop your treatment plan. Practitioners trained in Chinese and Japanese acupuncture may incorporate both styles into a treatment. Japanese style treatments are known to use a gentler approach to needling which is beneficial if you are sensitive or have a fear of needles.

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What should I expect from receiving my first acupuncture treatment?

Your first acupuncture visit consists of an initial one-hour interview and treatment, upon which a thorough medical history is taken. Ample time is allowed for you to explain your health concerns and goals. Upon the second session a report of findings regarding your health condition is discussed and a recommendation will be made regarding length and frequency of treatment. The length of time that needles stay in the body varies depending on the condition of the patient. Herbal consultations are included in the initial interview if desired.

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How will I react to an acupuncture treatment, what are the side effects?

Reactions during and after acupuncture treatments vary. You may experience any or all of the following: increased sense of circulation throughout the entire body and outward towards the limbs, muscular relaxation, calmness and peace of mind. You may also feel warmth, tingling or a heavy sensation around the needles.

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Can I still get acupuncture if I’m afraid of needles?

Don’t shy away from acupuncture if you don’t like needles! You may still benefit from alternative acupuncture therapies! If you are considering trying acupuncture but are afraid or sensitive to needling therapies, consult with me first to express your concerns and to discuss non-needle alternative treatment options. You will have the opportunity to see the needles and try a demonstration if you desire. If you are uncomfortable with needles, alternative non-needle therapies and/or Chinese herbs can be used to gain a similar effect as you would with the needle treatments.

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What do acupuncture needles look like?

Acupuncture needles are hair thin, solid, sterile, used once only and discarded. Approximately fifteen acupuncture needles can fit into a hollow hypodermic needle used for injections and giving blood. Acupuncture needles vary in size depending on the condition treated. My approach will accommodate you if you are nervous about receiving treatments with needles. Alternative treatment modalities are explored with you, such as magnet therapy, non-insertive techniques, cupping and moxibustion. Try an alternative method!

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What are other options for treatment do I have if I don't want needles?

Acupuncture treatments consist of needles and additional therapy strategies as well. Some therapies include moxibustion, cupping, gua-sha (scraping technique), tui-na (massage technique), and the use of magnets. Choosing different types of therapies gives me the ability to offer creative multi-directional treatment approaches for you (especially if you're needle sensitive). My treatments are focused on you and your needs, customizing and tailoring each session to you.

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Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are hair thin and are inserted shallowly into the skin. Generally if you have experienced getting a tattoo or blood work drawn from your arm, then you have most likely experienced much more pain than acupuncture. Upon the first visit I will talk with you regarding your sensitivity to pain and adjust the treatments accordingly. Each patient experiences acupuncture treatments differently and at most may feel a slight pinch akin to a mosquito bite. Many people find acupuncture treatments to be relaxing and will often fall asleep, waking feeling rested and more energetic. Especially with our stressful lifestyles, you may benefit from allowing your body to relax in order to handle stress and demands in your life.

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Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture does not use pharmaceutical drugs; it is safe and does no harm to the body when properly administered by trained practitioners. The needles are solid, unlike hypodermic needles, and are more shallowly inserted into the skin. Please ask if you have any specific questions regarding the safety of acupuncture treatments and always check that you are being treated by a licensed acupuncturist. It is also very important to tell your practitioner about serious illnesses, especially easy bruising and problems with clotting.

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How long do I have to go to acupuncture to get results?

Every person is different. If two people come in with a similar complaint, each will receive a different treatment plan and recommended frequency of visits. At the first visit I obtain a sense of your overall health and the time frame of your treatment plan depending on the severity of the illness, injury, symptoms and your genetic constitution. Generally, three treatment levels can be used to determine the frequency and longevity of treatments: acute symptom relief, restorative and continuing care. This gives you a clear idea of my plan for you to relieve symptoms and try to maintain your existing health! Know what to expect by these general stages of treatment:

Acute Symptom Relief Level: an acute pain and/or another condition is interfering in your ability to function in your daily activities as usual. The treatment plan: more frequent visits over the next few weeks or months to relieve and reduce the intensity of the symptoms as quickly as possible. For example, a patient with acute back pain may have 1-2 visits each week for two to five weeks. Remember that each individual is different and some acute pains can be treated more than others. Other will possible notice relief after one or two treatments.

Restorative Care Level: acute symptoms have been relieved and treatments are decreased in frequency. This level maintains the gains in your health you have made and sets the foundation for a continued deeper healing. Even if the most upsetting symptoms have been alleviated, it is important to continue your treatments as they have a cumulative effect in the body. Over a longer period of time the body will maintain the progress towards wellness you have achieved.

Continuing Care Level: a longer-term support plan with less frequent visits, monthly or even seasonal for preventative maintenance. This supports strengthening your body’s resistance to illness and keep you optimally healthy.

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Should I get acupuncture if I’m going for surgery?

Acupuncture may be effective in pre and post surgical situations. Acupuncture may help reduce pain, side effects and the amount of pain relieving medicines needed for the recovery process. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may be used to prepare your body for surgery and help alleviate symptoms in a post-surgical situation. Consult your doctor if you are thinking of trying Chinese medicine before having surgery.

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Why do some people choose to continue acupuncture treatments for longer periods of time?

Acupuncture may be used to achieve optimal wellness. It may have a cumulative effect on the body and mind. Each treatment builds on itself to achieve the optimal balance of circulation, internal functioning and to help keep you potentially free from illness. Some people (see above for a description of the three treatment levels) in the continuing care phase even choose to stay with regular weekly treatments because of the sense of stress reduction and how it benefits their lives positively.

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Can I benefit from acupuncture even though I don’t have reason to get medical treatment?

People often come to me and say they would come in for acupuncture if they had something “wrong” with them. Even as a picture of health you may benefit from acupuncture treatments by staying healthy and strengthening your body’s resistance!

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Can I get acupuncture treatments even if I’m under the care of my general physician?

Yes, acupuncture and traditional Western medical treatments can be given in tandem with prescription and over the counter medicines. I can work as a team with any of your providers such as your general physician, physio or mental health counsellor. This creates a team approach to your healing and is beneficial in addressing your condition from all perspectives.

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Is there modern research on the effectiveness of acupuncture?

Modern scientific research is being conducted in regard to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which points towards its effectiveness. The 1997 National Institute of Health declared, “There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture's value to expand its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and clinical value." See my links page for a link to the Society on Acupuncture Research where you will find the most up to date research being conducted on acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture links and downloads

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Do private health care funds cover the cost of acupuncture?

You will need to check your private health fund carrier for covered acupuncture benefits. You may find your benefits under the title “complementary alternative” treatment in your health fund booklet. Acupuncture is on the rise with more private health find companies willing to reimburse for treatments. I often recommend patients advocate for themselves with their health fund carriers. The higher the demand for acupuncture the more likely health care plan providers will understand the desire of their customers.

I accept most health funds in Australia. See my fees page for some of the major ones covered. If you have questions regarding your insurance coverage, feel free to contact your insurance carrier or contact me about your questions.

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Do acupuncture and Chinese herbs help with anxiety and depression?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs may have a positive affect on depression and anxiety. In the tradition of TCM a physical complaint addressed with acupuncture or Chinese medicinal herbs simultaneously addresses the corresponding emotional and spiritual counterpart to that physical complaint. In the same way, treating an emotional and/or spiritual complaint will also address the corresponding physical complaint. An example of this can be seen with digestive issues and the tendency to ruminate, worry or over think. Chinese medicine being a holistic therapy may maximize your overall energy level and minimize fearful reactions, anxiety, in your daily living. This is achieved by regulating both the systems of the body and the mind simultaneously. In my experience, patients that start acupuncture for a physical complaint, come back for subsequent treatments with unexpected improvement in symptoms such as insomnia and emotional difficulties.

Acupuncture for anxiety and depression

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What are the known conditions treated by acupuncture?

Many health problems can be addressed with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It is well documented that acupuncture offers relief in pain conditions. It also may help profoundly reduce stress levels, which is paired with health conditions in the mind body connection. The NIH (National Institute of Health) and WHO (World Health Organization) recognize many conditions effectively treated by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Conditions treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs

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Can acupuncture help with infertility in males and females?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are popular forms of Complementary Alternative Medicine in the treatment of infertility in both men and women. In Chinese medicine there are various reasons why women struggle with getting pregnant, therefore Chinese medicine has multiple approaches to choose from depending on the individual. A thorough holistic approach is taken in carefully collecting a symptom list and medical history. You are given attention to your specific symptoms, and a plan is carefully put together with you based on your body, desires and time frame. See our fertility link for more information on acupuncture and fertility.

Acupuncture and Fertility

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Do acupuncturists in Australia need to be registered or licensed?

Yes! Acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners or any practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine need to be licensed by the Australian Health Practitioners Agency (AHPRA). AHPRA sets standards and policies that all acupuncturists must meet in order to practice Chinese Medicine. I encourage you to check the qualifications before receiving acupuncture. There are other modalities that use "dry needling" and "needling" techniques, this is not the same as acupuncture and those types of modalities tend to have limited training in placing needles into your body.

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