The most commonly asked question and the one with many answers!
From a physiological point of view, Acupuncture works to increase blood circulation and healing in the affected area. It works to rebalance hormones, switch your body from stressed out ‘fight or flight mode’ into normal ‘rest and recovery mode’. Acupuncture even works to dull down the messages of pain received by the brain to relieve pain in the body.
From a Chinese Medicine point of view, Acupuncture works to ensure the free flow of Qi (energy) so that every part of the body receives enough and can heal and function at its best. It works to rebalance the body, relieve heat when you’re really hot, provide more warmth when your bodies been very cold and to nourish it and restore it when its run down.
Every person has a slightly different Chinese Med ‘pattern’ that their body and symptoms fall into. Once this pattern is treated with Acupuncture (and herbs or cupping when applicable), the main condition AND the other seemingly unrelated symptoms are relieved. This is the magic of Chinese Medicine and how it has such a holistic effect.
At Embrace Acupuncture, your comfort and happiness are our greatest concern. Super fine, pain minimising needles are coupled with the gentlest techniques to leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
Some points are chosen close to the effected area (eg on the abdomen for digestive issues) and some are away from the area but along the channel (meridian).
Areas of the body that have thin skin and minimal overlying muscle (eg the hand) can be more sesnsitive than areas with more flesh/muscle (eg the back). Keeping this is mind we keep these points to a minimum and do only what is really needed for relief for the symptoms.
Once the needles have been gently inserted, any discomfort will fade quickly so you can lie back, relax and let the acupuncture do its work!
Most people feel lovely and calm and relaxed after an Acupuncture session. This is one of the best parts of Acupuncture is that it relaxes you whilst working to heal you. Some people feel a bit sleepy after the treatment as your whole body and mind has relaxed.
There may be a little stiffness as you have been in the one position for a little while but this generally fades once you are up and moving.
This will depend on the type of condition, the severity of it, how long you’ve had it and whether we are just alleviating symptoms or working to also prevent reoccurrence.
People generally have one of four responses to their first Acupuncture treatment:
- Feel an initial relief from the acupuncture but it only lasts a short while – this is a good thing. It shows your body is responding to acupuncture and as each session has an accumulative effect, the duration of relief will keep increasing.
- Feel a mild initial flare up of symptoms, then they become much less intense than before your treatment. – This is more common with musculoskeletal pain conditions. This is a similar effect to a therapeutic massage where it’s a little more painful but then there’s relief.
- After your first treatment, you may not notice much of a reduction in symptoms – that’s ok. As acupuncture has an accumulative effect it may take a couple of sessions before a big difference is noticed. Different acupuncture techniques work better for different people, its a matter of finding which technique provides the most relief as fast as possible. If we feel that acupuncture isn’t working for your condition then will refer you to practitioners we know and trust.
- Or your symptoms greatly reduce after the first treatment and we just keep working to prevent reoccurrence. Fantastic!
We are very passionate acupuncture, love what it does and how it makes us feel afterwards so we encourage everyone to try it at least once. We do everything possible to ensure its gentle and relaxing experience for you.
However if you really dont feel acupuncture is for you then there is still the great options of a Herbal Medicine consult. Book in a regular Acupuncture consult and be sure to let us know before we start and we can just do the full consultation and order herbs for you. We highly recommend trying Acupuncture first!
Please note herbs are addititonal to the consult fee.
Do I need them?
As trained Chinese Herbalists as well as Acupuncturists, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.
During your Initial Consultation, our job is to ascertain the most effective way to relieve your symptoms, as quickly as apossible and have you feeling great again! Sometimes this involves just Acupuncture, other times a combination of herbs and Acupuncture is best. If we think herbs are needed we will let you know before hand as they are addititonal to the consult price.
Our herbs are premade into a liquid (other forms available) that’s very easy to dispense and drink. The TGA approved herbs are brewed by an Aussie company according to strict guidelines and delivered straight to your door!
While we absolutely encourage you to try at least one session of Acupuncture with us (not all acupuncturists are alike!), if you strongly feel Acupuncture is not for you, we do offer herbs only consultations, upon request (just book in a regular consultation and advise us that youre not having Acupuncture.
Please call Danielle on 0432 544 610. She may be seeing clients so please leave your name, number and a brief message and she’ll get back to you.
Alternatively, email her at email@example.com
All consults are inclusive of Acupuncture.
Please allow at least 5 mins for parking and an extra 5 mins before your Initial Consult to fill in any extra forms.
Fertility Initial Consult: $190 – 110mins
Regular Initial Consult: $120 – 55mins
Extended Intitial Consult: $160 – 80mins
Return Patient Consult: $85 – 40mins
Embrace Acupuncture is located at 239a Murray Rd Preston, almost on the corner of High st & Murray Rd. It is a 5-10 min walk from Preston Market and Bell Station on the South Morang train line.
We are located at Happy Hubbub which is behind Jika Jika Anglican Parish. Access to Happy Hubbub from Murray Rd, High St and Roseberry Ave (behind the Old Fire Station Cafe).
When you have made a booking, this appointment space has been kept for you, at the exclusion of others who may want the same appointment time as you. While we do understand things change and can happen, in fairness to the practitioner for holding that time for you, we do have a strict 24h cancellation policy.
Appointment reminders are sent out 2 days before hand, allowing plenty of time to ensure this time is still suitable for you. If less than 24h notice is given to rescheduling or cancelling an appointment, an invoice will be sent out for 50% of the consult fee.
1 hour parking is available on all the surrounding streets including Murray Rd, High St & Roseberry Ave. This is ample time for a 45min consult but not recommended for an Initial Consult.
For an Initial Consult, a 2h park is recommended. They are available at the Preston Market, on Central Ave (off Murray Rd) or on Gower St or Murray Rd towards Plenty Rd.
We have HICAPS available at the clinic so if you have Private Health INsurance and it covers Acupuncture, then you can claim instantly and pay only the gap – hooray!
Exciting times in the worlds of research and Chinese Medicine!
Chinese Medicine (usually Acupuncture and herbs) has been used for thousands of years to assist women with their health, from puberty to pregnancy to menopause and beyond. It is an amazing system of medicine that has spread across the globe and helped millions of people. While Chinese Medicine isnt the answer for all people for all conditions, a growing body of research is confirming the efficacy of Chinese Medicine! This page is will continue to be a work in progress. The more good quality research we can find, the more we will pop up here for you to read.
It isnt always smooth sailing though. The most conclusive form of research available is a Systematic Review. This reviews Randomised Control Trials (RCTS’s – subjects dont know which treatment they are getting) and takes into consideration how good the methodology of the studies are.
Obtaining large volumes of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine high-quality data can be tricky for three reasons:
- Chinese Medicine individualises its treatments according to the patients presenting symptoms. The beauty of it is that you’re receiving personalised care. This doesnt fit very well into a scientific trial where everything needs to be standardised in order to ‘prove’ that something works.
- Its hard to rule out the placebo effect. Excellent studies have a group comparing the treatment to a ‘fake treatment’ to see which is better. Its hard to do ‘fake Acupuncture’. Given theres more than 300 Acupuncture points on the body, even when researchers choose an Acupuncture point away from the other Acupuncture points, it may be very close to another point thats having a positive effect on the body, which confuses results.
While its very important to prove that Acupuncture works better than doing nothing, better than the standard of care treatments AND better than placebo, its important to know that placebo effects play a role in any kind of medicine/trial and is often hard to rule out. Eg feeling better after seeing a doctor or taking a tablet.
- While there is some excellent research coming out across the globe from universities and other institutions, big research projects cost lots of money and that kind of funding isnt always easily accessible for Chinese Medicine research.
Its also important to know, that while we would love to share some of the amazing results we are achieving in our clinic, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency prevents us from using testimonials as no two people or their conditions are the same.
Every person is different, if you would like to find out how we would address your unique situation, please contact us directly.
Although earlier systematic reviews found that evidence for the effectiveness of Acupuncture used to support IVF or other assisted reproductive technology was “unclear”, a more recent systematic review by Qian et al 2016 found that
“Based on an analysis of the studies, Acupuncture improves the CPR [clinical pregnancy rate] among women undergoing IVF.”
Shen et al 2015 found that “Acupuncture is ineffective when used only on the day of oocyte retrieval but effective when used on the day of embryo transfer ”
Though a singular Randomised Control Trial isnt as strong a piece of evidence as a systematic review, this RCT from Westergaard et al 2006 found “Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture.”
In a systematic review of 4 high quality RCT’s, Jo et al 2017 found “Acupuncture may increase the clinical pregnancy rate and ongoing pregnancy rate and decrease the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in women with PCOS undergoing IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection”
Acupuncture is increasingly being recommended as a pre birthing treatment and is currently used routinely in hospitals in Germany and by trained Midwives in New Zealand. It involves the use of specific Acupuncture points mostly located on the legs that help prepare the cervix and pelvis for labour and other customised points are chosen that may help alleviate other symptoms (eg pain) you have at the time. Acupressure points for labour are also taught during these sessions.
The recommended time to commence Pre-birth Acupuncture is 36/37 weeks, with once a week treatments until 40 weeks. This is based on classical treatments and positive research papers, of which you can see more of here. Acupuncture is done in conjunction with regular testing and monitoring from Midwives and Obstetricians to ensure safety for mother and baby. Acupuncture can be done before this time to help alleviate other health symptoms but would not be specifically Pre-Birth Acupuncture.
Though more rigorous scientific trials are needed in this area, and while this study does not meet the gold standard of systematic reviews of randomised control trials (see more on Chinese Medicine research here), an observational study had positive findings. The study was conducted by midwives over 4 months in New Zealand in 2004 with 169 pregnant women taking part. It found results supported the findings of earlier studies by Zeisler et al in 1998 and concluded the number of women who had Pre-Birth Acupuncture going into labour without intervention was higher, labour time was shorter and the epidural rate was lower.
Every pregnancy is different and there is no one size fits all approach. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we would address your unique situation, please contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0432 544 610
The use of moxibustion (moxa) applied to the little toe has been used in Chinese hospitals to treat breech presentations for decades, however the research to date, although promising, is not yet sufficient for this method to be incorporated into clinical practice guidelines for obstetricians in Australia, although the New Zealand clinical practice guidelines do recommend it.
The latest Cochrane systematic review on this was 2012 and found “limited evidence”.
However, Vas et al 2012 found that “Moxibustion at acupuncture point BL67 is effective and safe to correct non-vertex presentation when used between 33 and 35 weeks of gestation. We believe that moxibustion represents a treatment option that should be considered to achieve a version of the non-vertex fetus.”
This review by Qian-Qian Li et al 2013 found there’s emerging evidence to suggest the way Acupuncture works is to alleviate the ‘fight or flight’ response and restore balance within the brain and in the body.
“Emerging evidence indicates that Acupuncture treatment not only activates distinct brain regions in different kinds of diseases caused by imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities but also modulates adaptive neurotransmitter in related brain regions to alleviate autonomic response.”
A 2018 Systematic Review of 13 research papers by Amorim et al, showed Acupuncture may be effective for anxiety disorders.
“Overall, there is good scientific evidence encouraging Acupuncture therapy to treat anxiety disorders as it yields effective outcomes, with fewer side effects than conventional treatment. More research in this area is however needed.”
While more studies are needed to confirm these results, this Systematic Review of 30 studies by Shergis et al in 2016 found Acupuncture may be effective for insomnia.
“Acupuncture compared to sham/placebo and pharmacotherapy showed statistically significant results”
In the scientific world, period pain is called Primary Dysmenorrhea and it is when it occurs for no known reason. Endometriosis and Adenomyosis are considered separate diagnosis so these studies are not considered relevant to those conditions, stay tuned for more research updates.
Despite Chinese Medicine working to alleviate period pain for approx 2000 years, the current evidence is positive but unfortunately many studies’ methodology and reporting have been of poor quality.
Two systematic reviews of RCT’s have shown a benefit for using Acupuncture to treat period pain and one systematic review found Acupuncture to be a cost-effective treatment for Dysmenorrhoea.
In 2014, Xu et al acknowledged more high quality studies need to be done but from the current data found “Moxibustion and acupoint therapy can relieve pain effectively for individuals with PD, and these treatments have advantages in overall efficiency”
In 2015, Abaraogu et al concluded “Acupressure showed evidence of pain relief while acupuncture improved both the mental and the physical components of quality of life” but acknowledged that more high quality of research was needed.
Of course, allowing for different health systems across the globe but overall Kim et al found that “this review demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture” including for Dysmenorrhea in 2012.
However, due to the large volume of low-quality studies, the 2016 Cochrane review found there was “insufficient evidence” to make a judgement.
Every person is different, if you would like to find out how we would address your unique situation, please contact us directly.