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Acupuncture

Acupuncturist Natasha Lake-BrunoDr. Natasha Lake-Bruno

BSc (Hons) Biology
Diplomate of Acupuncture
Doctor of Chiropractic

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a passion to help people. After years of believing this would lead to a career in medicine, my life and career path was changed when I met my first Chiropractor! Chiropractic, which was then very new to me, opened my eyes to another type of health care; a drug/medicine free type of health care, which greatly appealed to me.

Read more about Natasha »

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine.Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites–commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness.

Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.

What to expect


To determine the type of acupuncture treatment that will help you the most, your practitioner may ask you about your symptoms, behaviors and lifestyle. She may also closely examine:

  • The parts of your body that are painful
  • The shape, coating and color of your tongue
  • The color of your face
  • The strength, rhythm and quality of the pulse in your wrist
  • Possible perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual needs.

Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition.

Acupuncture points are situated in all areas of the body. Sometimes the appropriate points are far removed from the area of your pain. Your acupuncture practitioner will tell you the general site of the planned treatment and whether you need to remove any clothing. A gown, towel or sheet will be provided. You lie on a padded table for the treatment, which involves:

  • Needle insertion. Acupuncture needles are inserted to various depths at strategic points on your body. The needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes little discomfort. People often don’t feel them inserted at all. Between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment. You may feel a mild aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth.
  • Needle manipulation. Your practitioner may gently move or twirl the needles after placement.
  • Needle removal. In most cases, the needles remain in place for 10 to 20 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.
  • The needles will stay in place for between 5 and 30 minutes.

Each acupuncture needle produces a tiny injury at the insertion site, and although it’s slight enough to cause little to no discomfort, it’s enough of a signal to let the body know it needs to respond. This response involves stimulation of the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing, and pain modulation.

How many treatments will I need?

The frequency and number of treatments differ from person to person. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first treatment. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, usually eight to ten visits in total. An individualized treatment plan that includes the expected number of treatments will be discussed during your initial visit.

Risks

All therapies have risks as well as benefits.As with any complementary therapy, it is advisable to use it alongside conventional treatments in cases of chronic or severe illness.The risks of acupuncture are low. Common side effects include soreness and minor bleeding or bruising where the needles were inserted. Single-use, disposable needles are now the practice standard, so the risk of infection is minimal. Not everyone is a good candidate for acupuncture. You may be at risk of complications if you:

  • Have a bleeding disorder. Your chances of bleeding or bruising from the needles increase if you have a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking blood thinners.
  • Have a pacemaker. Acupuncture that involves applying mild electrical pulses to the needles can interfere with a pacemaker’s operation.
  • Are pregnant. Some types of acupuncture are thought to stimulate labor, which could result in a premature delivery.

Benefits

Acupuncture can be beneficial in that:

  • Performed correctly, it is safe.
  • There are very few side effects.
  • It can be effectively combined with other treatments.
  • It can control some types of pain.
  • It may help patients for whom pain medications are not suitable.

What conditions are commonly treated by acupuncture?

Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.

Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for the following diseases, symptoms or conditions:

  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression
  • Dysentery
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain
  • Headache
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Induction of labor
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

The following diseases, symptoms or conditions have limited but probable evidence to support the therapeutic use of acupuncture:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

How much does acupuncture cost?

Acupuncture Fee Schedule:

Number of Treatments Price Price/Treatment
Initial consultation treatment $85 $85
Subsequent treatments $65 $65
4 treatment package $240 $60
8 treatment package $440 $55

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Acupuncture Mindarie | (08) 9301 2300