Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are unfamiliar with acupuncture treatment, you will probably want to know more about Austin Therapies, what happens during our acupuncture sessions, and how it feels to have an acupuncture treatment done. I have created this page for you in order to answer some of the common questions that you may have before coming in for an appointment.


What are your Opening Hours?
Are you qualified to treat me?
Do you have EFTPOS and Credit card facilities?
Do you give health fund rebates?
Is there parking and wheelchair access available?
How does acupuncture work?
Can you treat people of all ages?
My condition is not listed anywhere on your site. Can Acupuncture work for me?
Is acupuncture safe?
Warfarin
For those with lymph nodes removed
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
What do I look for when choosing an acupuncturist??
What should I bring to my first treatment?
How many treatments will I need?
How often do I need to come for treatment?
How will I know whether acupuncture is working for me?
What will acupuncture feel like?
What is moxibustion?
Do you use Chinese Herbal medicine?
Do I need a western diagnosis before I have an Acupuncture treatment?
Will you refer me to a doctor, if necessary?
How do acupuncturists diagnose a condition?
Why do acupuncturists check the pulse?
What do you look for on the tongue?

 

Call Austin Therapies if you have any questions

 

What are your opening hours?

Austin Therapies is open:

MONDAY and WEDNESDAY 9am to 7pm

TUESDAY and FRIDAY 8am to 5pm

THURSDAY CLOSED

 

Appointments outside of these hours can be arranged, where required, including weekends.

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Are you qualified to treat me?

Hi, I’m Sally Austin, your treating therapist and practitioner at Austin Therapies and yes, I am qualified to treat you.

I am registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) and the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (Registration Number: CMR0001711552).

I am also registered with AACMA – Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association – No. 1590

ATMS – Australian Traditional Medicine Society – No. 8711

Further qualifications include:

• Bachelor Health Science (Acupuncture) 2002 – Australian College of Natural Medicine, Brisbane

• Certificate of Excellence in Clinical Practice (Acupuncture) 2003 – Australian College of Natural Medicine, Brisbane

• Advanced Full Time Studies in Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Internal Medicine, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Herbal Medicine of TCM, Guangxi

Traditional Chinese Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China. 2002

• Advanced Diploma Health Science (Acupuncture) 2001 – Australian College of Natural Medicine, Brisbane

• Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Performance in Clinical Practice Acupuncture 2002 – Australian College of Natural Medicine

• Diploma Holistic Massage 1997 – Sunshine Health Academy, Cape Town, SA

• Diploma Holistic Reflexology 1997 – Sunshine Health Academy, Cape Town, SA

• Diploma Holistic Shiatsu and Meridian Therapies 1997 – Sunshine Health Academy, Cape Town, SA

• Diploma Holistic Aromatherapy 1997 – Sunshine Health Academy, Cape Town, SA

• Bates Therapy I and II 2006 – Beverley Bates, Brisbane

• Reiki III – Joy Austin – Reiki Master – UK

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Do you have EFTPOS and Credit card facilities?

Yes, we do – Visa, MasterCard and EFTPOS are all accepted.

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Do you give health fund rebates?

Yes, we do, please call us to check the status of your health fund and its coverage.

We use Health Point Software (which is similar to the more common Hi-Caps) allowing you to pay just the gap, providing you are covered for Extras (Ancillary Benefits) with your fund.

Please note, with the first treatment, we only accept Cash, EFTPOS or Credit Card as payment.

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Is there parking and wheelchair access available?

Yes, and plenty of it.

Austin Therapies is located 2 minutes off the Gateway Motorway taking the Old Cleveland Road exit – making it very easy to get here from the North/South of Brisbane or from the bayside suburbs. The clinic is located on a beautiful and peaceful acreage property with ample parking and wheelchair access as the rooms are situated on the ground floor.

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How does acupuncture work?

There are many complex theories out there!

Those theories include neurological mechanisms, such as blocking ascending pain pathways via the spinal cord, and the effects of acupuncture on neurotransmitters, endorphins and other hormonal effects.

Acupuncture is also proven to have anti-inflammatory effects, improving blood circulation, balance hormones and more.

However, all these findings fall short of explaining the impressive results.

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Can you treat people of all ages?

In short – yes: we have treated children as well as people over 90 years of age.

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My condition is not listed anywhere on your site. Can Acupuncture work for me?

Acupuncture is a medical system that has been used for over 2,000 years in the most advanced medical establishments in both eastern and western medicine.

It is used to treat a wide range of conditions from neurological problems such as stroke, paralysis, fertility and pregnancy problems, to painful conditions such as arthritis/rheumatism, headache and back pain.

Acupuncture is used to treat many conditions, so even though you may not see your specific ailment listed, please call and I will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

At Austin Therapies, I treat according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis and work in with the Western Medical approach.

I do this in the form of blood tests, scans, pathology results, etc. It is important that I take all of your information into account to obtain the most effective results for you.

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Is acupuncture safe?

This question arises most commonly in relation to:

1. People taking Warfarin.

2. Acupuncture during pregnancy.

3. For those who have undergone lymphadenectomy (lymph node removal), usually in relation to a cancer treatment.

Acupuncture is an extremely safe methodology and there have been research studies done to support this claim when performed by a fully trained professional Acupuncturist.

In Australia – 1st July, 2012, all Acupuncturists went through the National Registration process with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) under the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia.

The minimum requirement to practice Acupuncture is a 4-year Degree level qualification or a recognized equivalent. It is important to make sure that your Acupuncturist has the required qualifications and is registered appropriately.

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Warfarin

Acupuncture uses extremely fine needles, much smaller than hypodermic needles used by your doctor.

It is rare for any bleeding at Acupuncture points to occur but occasionally there may be a spot or two when patients are using blood thinners.

There have been no incidences of fully qualified acupuncturists causing any serious bleeding when treating patients on Warfarin or Aspirin and especially at Austin Therapies this has never posed a problem.

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For those with lymph nodes removed

Lymph nodes are an area that cancer nurses are very concerned about. However, there have been no reported cases of acupuncture causing any infections in patients who have had their lymph nodes removed. If this is something that concerns you, it is perfectly possible to treat pain on a limb without having to use that particular side of the body. I want your treatment to be whatever you feel comfortable with.

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Is Acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

Acupuncture is a very safe form of treatment during pregnancy.

I have personally been treating women with fertility issues and pregnancy-related conditions for 15 years with fantastic results.

Many doctors and specialists also recommend acupuncture to their patients for fertility issues to support IVF treatment during pregnancy and those also suffering from post-partum issues.

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What do I look for when choosing an acupuncturist?

There are three main things to look for in an acupuncturist.

1. Experience.

2. In-depth acupuncture-specific training.

3. Members of AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency)

With acupuncture, experience counts for a lot! Each year of experience exponentially increases an acupuncturist’s acuity for diagnosis and their ability to provide powerful treatments that work.

In-depth acupuncture-specific training should take a minimum of 4 years, covering Western physiology, pathology, clinical medicine and this usually takes up 1/3 of an acupuncture course. The acupuncture specific training needs to be in-depth regardless of any other medical training. Acupuncture training also needs to cover the function and location of 361 main acupuncture points, 71 pathways of energy, and complex systems approach to understanding health and illness, as well as unique methods of diagnosis.

Members of AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency)

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What should I bring to my first treatment?

Please bring along any x-rays, scans, pathology results, recent blood test results and a list of all current medications (both Western and natural).

Have a drink (non alcoholic) and a light snack about an hour or so before your treatment, you do not want to be lying on the table trying to relax with your stomach rumbling or feeling slightly nauseous due to hunger.

This is especially important if you are a little nervous about having your first treatment.

Please DO NOT brush/scrape your tongue before your appointment

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners observe the tongue coating to determine the condition of the stomach, whether your pattern is

Excess or Deficient, Hot or Cold and to evaluate the level of body fluids.

I am able to learn a lot about the condition of your health and your body by looking very closely at your tongue and taking your pulse.

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How many treatments will I need?

This all depends on your condition – which includes your particular illness as well as your ‘energetic’ condition. Ordinarily a course of acupuncture is six to ten treatments.

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How often do I need to come for treatment?

At the beginning you may need to come for treatment twice a week until it takes effect, then quickly change to weekly or fortnightly or in some cases once every three, four or even six weeks.

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How will I know whether acupuncture is working for me?

The obvious answer would be that all of your symptoms disappear when the treatment is working for you.

However, if a course of treatment is commonly 6 – 12 treatments, how will you know you are on track?

While some treatments bring quite a dramatic and quick effect, others may build up more slowly towards attaining your goal.

You may experience a quick response at the beginning, then take a longer period of time to get rid of the last little bit.

Conversely, it may take a couple of treatments to get things moving.

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What will acupuncture feel like?

You are likely to experience a deep relaxation while the needles are in.

Other sensations, such as heaviness in the limb being needled or a temporary numbness are common.

Acupuncture sessions can be quiet and reflective, or they may be relaxing and provide space for you to talk or to laugh or cry.

Many people remark that Acupuncture is the most relaxing treatment they have ever had.

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What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion, or moxa, is commonly used in traditional acupuncture treatment. It is a Chinese herb called Mugwort Leaf that smoulders either over the acupuncture point or on the needle.

Moxa can be part of an acupuncture treatment and is used to either tonify the body in a particular way or to move stagnation in a particular channel or meridian.

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Do you use Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Yes, I do use Chinese Herbal Medicine to complement acupuncture treatment when needed.

These are pre-formulated and prescribed mostly in capsule form and sometimes easy-to-take coffee-like granules that are mixed with water and then you drink them.

There are no animal or heavy-metal content in any of the formulas that I use.

However, it is not necessary to take Chinese Herbs and you will never be asked to take these if you prefer not to

I am qualified to use pre-formulated Chinese Herbs as an adjunct to acupuncture treatment.

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Do I need a Western diagnosis before I have an acupuncture treatment?

No, that is not necessary.

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Will you refer me to a doctor, if necessary?

Yes. As a fully qualified acupuncturist and member of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia, I am trained to recognise critical symptoms which require further investigation.

I will know when to refer you to a doctor if I suspect a previously undiagnosed condition.

This is to allow you to be fully informed about choices you might like to make.

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How do acupuncturists diagnose a condition?

Acupuncture practitioners are interested in you as an individual and not just in isolated symptoms.

Therefore, I will ask you about your sleep and lifestyle as well as other, seemingly unrelated symptoms.

I ask many questions and will take your pulse and look at your tongue.

I may also palpate your abdomen for signs such as hardness or weakness in specific areas.

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Why do acupuncturists check the pulse?

According to Chinese medical theory, Qi energy moves the blood, and for that reason, I take several minutes assessing how blood flow and Qi interact.

I do this by checking the pulse on both wrists. Most patients are very surprised at the amount of information I am able to garner from the pulse.

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What do you look for on the tongue?

I will look at your tongue for signs of dehydration or poor digestive function.

Your tongue may exhibit different colours such as pale pink, dark red, or purple.

It may have a variety of coatings, or have cracks, bumps or tooth marks. This, along with the other information I have collected, will help inform me of your diagnosis and treatment.

Please DO NOT brush or scrape your tongue prior to treatment as it will interfere with your diagnosis and may result in you not receiving the best possible treatment.

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