What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles (usually thinner than human hair!) into the body, which creates some form of response and returns the body to a state of balance (or homeostasis). This type of treatment dates back thousands of years; first discovered and used in China. Whilst acupuncture is well known around the world for the treatment of conditions such as pain and fertility, the scope of this modality is vast and can be applied to a wide variety of conditions. Within this paradigm, other techniques are used too, including: gua-sha, moxibustion, acupressure, electro-acupuncture, cupping and auricular therapy. 

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine? 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back thousands of years and has evolved through close observation of nature. It is a coherent and independent system of thinking, that considers the individual as a whole and assesses relationships and patterns to identify disharmonies. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and tuina (massage). 

Is acupuncture safe?

Chinese Medicine is generally considered to be safe but occasionally (as with all health treatments) may be associated with possible adverse reactions. Cat holds degrees is Nursing, Paramedicine and Acupuncture which allow her to have an in-depth understanding of the body. Furthermore, Acupuncture is regulated in Australia and Cat proudly upholds a strict code of conduct when it comes to considering, communicating and potentially dealing with any adverse outcomes. 

Is acupuncture painful? 

Acupuncture is an incredibly precise and gentle treatment. It is our goal at all times to make sure that you are comfortable and in control of your body, so will always ask your permission before we treat you. There are different types of sensations that are felt once a needle is inserted, however pain is not what we are trying to achieve. People are often surprised by how relaxing the treatment is and often fall asleep. One of the fundamental principles of Chinese Medicine is that humans are part of nature and therefore are constantly changing with the ebb and flow of the day and cycles of the seasons. Every moment, every day, we feel different depending on multiple factors (such as the weather, our emotions and what we have eaten) and this is a part of life. On the day, if you are not up for needles we can always treat you using other techniques, such as heat therapy, cupping, gua-sha, auricular therapy and moxibustion. 

Why should I try acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a unique method of addressing many health concerns, including those that are acute and chronic. Ultimately, it aims to address the underlying cause or pattern to help the physiology of the body run smoothly and bring the body to a state of balance naturally. Chinese medicine not only focuses of the physical aspect of health, but looks at the mental aspect as well and can be beneficial at treating a range of emotional related concerns. 

What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling? 

Acupuncture uses the system of Chinese Medicine to form a diagnosis and treat an underlying cause or pattern of a condition. It is performed by a practitioner that is registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia and has undergone university qualifications that involves extensive clinical supervision. Dry needling is a term given to ‘trigger point needling’, which involves the musculo-skeletal system. It is one of the techniques within the acupuncture paradigm that is used by other allied health therapists for localised pain. 

Does acupuncture work?

Evidence for acupuncture is growing at an astronomical rate worldwide. Some of the conditions that have been examined include: lower back pain, cancer, pregnancy, stroke, mood disorders, sleep disorders, gynaecological health and infection, to name a few. For a comprehensive overview of what acupuncture can help with, please see:

The Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald & Janz, 2017). Click here 

Acupuncture: An Overview of Scientific Evidence (Mel Hopper Koppelman). Click here

What happens during an initial consult? 

If you have never been to Cocoon Acupuncture in the past, we ask that you please book into an ‘initial consultation’. Generally these consults run for one hour.

On arrival at the clinic, you will be asked to fill in an intake form with basic information, such as past medical history and current medications. This process normally takes 15 minutes, so please take this into consideration and arrive early for your consultation. Bring any relevant reports and pathology with you to your appointment. 

The first stage of the initial consult involves an in depth analysis of your current goals and pattern identification. We are very thorough and take into consideration all body systems so that we have the whole picture. With your permission, the tongue and pulse will also be examined. After this process is complete, Cat will formulate a diagnosis from a Chinese Medicine perspective and communicate with you how many treatments are likely. The number of treatments can vary from person to person and can range from 3-8 depending on the condition being treated. Remember that often health conditions come about after months or years and it can take some time to bring the body back into a state of balance. It is our intention and pleasure to evaluate carefully each week and if we are not seeing intended improvement, will refer you on.

Ensuring you are 100% comfortable, we will then work with you to insert the acupuncture needles. If you are scared about this process, please don’t be! Remember you are always in control. Most people who come and visit us come to love the deep state of relaxation that acupuncture provides and often even fall asleep. Adjunct therapies may also be suggested during your consultation, such as moxibustion, gua-sha, cupping, electrotherapy, auricular therapy and acupressure. We either stay in the room with you (if you wish!) or leave the room if you would like to be alone.

Once the time is up, we carefully come back into the room and wake you gently, removing the needles.  

What happens during follow up appointment? 

Follow up appointments run for 45 minutes. We ask that you please arrive at least five minutes early for your appointment. This consult involves a conversation about how you are going, to see what changes may have occurred since the previous appointment. After tongue and pulse analysis, it is straight onto the table for you to enjoy the next treatment. 

Parking & Access? 

If you are visiting us at the Warragul clinic, you will be able to find a park easily at Warragul Wellness Centre. The centre is located at 78 Albert Street, Warragul. Please access the carpark from Gladstone Street. In the case that you are unable to find a park, there are additional parks along either side of Gladstone Street. Wheelchair access is also provided, with appropriate ramp into the clinic. If you’re visiting us at the Drouin clinic, the centre is located at 171 Princes Way, Drouin. There is plenty of parking and wheelchair around the back. 

What time should I arrive for an appointment?  

If you are attending the clinic for the first time please arrive fifteen minutes early to complete a brief medical questionnaire. Your medical information is kept private and confidential in accordance with our privacy policy. For follow up appointments, please arrive five minutes early. Give us a buzz if you’re running a little late, however unfortunately, this time will run into your treatment time. 

What to wear? 

Don’t worry about dressing to impress, come in your most comfortable clothes and optimally- those that are loose fitting. Otherwise, we have plenty of towels in the clinic to make sure you are covered and comfortable. During group acupuncture bookings, points on the scalp, hands, arms, feet and legs are prioritised in order to maintain privacy.