Frequently asked questions:

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?


TCM is one of the oldest medical systems in the world and is based on strong         theoretical principles.  The practice has transcended time and now takes place in contemporary health care systems. It is a method of promoting balance in the body and treating both acute and chronic conditions. It focuses on the concept of 'qi' or energy and its circulation in the body. In recent times, modern research has become a key element of practical wisdom.



Is chinese herbal medicine safe?


Yes it is. All medicine manufactured in Australia is controlled by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration). Compliance with safety and quality standards are enforced.  It is important to follow instructions from your AHPRA and ACCMA registered practitioner to ensure safety. Self-medication is not recommended.


What happens in a consult?


An initial consult involves a range of questions that may seem surprising given your health complaint. For example, presenting with a sore back may prompt questions regarding sleep habits or even bowel movements. This is because TCM treats and views the body as a connective whole. Additional questions may involve questions about; diet, appetite, menstrual cycle, lifestyle habits and past or family medical conditions. Observation of the tongue and palpation of the radial pulse will also take place. After assessment acupuncture needles may be left in for an average of 30 minutes.


Does chinese medicine use endangered species or toxic products?


In Australia, strict regulations prevent the use of endangered species and toxic substances. At Emma-Jane Acupuncture, we believe in the fundamental principles of balance and harmony in both the human body and our surrounding environments. For this reason Emma-Jane Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is committed to sustainable practice and the replacement of endangered species or toxic substances are replaces with safer herbs. 


What are the qualifications needed to practice TCM in Australia?


Practitioners are required to do 4 years of study. This may be completed, most commonly at university but also at a college. At university the course involves in depth study in both western medicine and Chinese medicine topics. All professionals are registered under the CMBA (Chinese Medicine Board of Australia) and under AHPRA.


AHPRA registration distinguishes Chinese medicine as a professional allied health service akin to that of a physiotherapist or podiatrist. Chinese medicine is a type of ‘Complementary’ medicine and is often confused with the title of ‘Alternative Medicine’ as it was previously known. National Registration in 2012 also outlines a clear distinction between a ‘registered acupuncturist’ and that of anybody performing ‘dry needling’.


How does it work?


TCM theory understands the body as an energetic force with a circulation of ‘Qi’ (life energy). If Qi becomes blocked, disease will result. By different methods TCM practitioners aim to restore this circulation and promote wellbeing. Rather than treating signs and symptoms and ‘maintaining’ the body, TCM treats the root cause to ‘fix’ the body. Treatment is modified each visit as the condition improves.


Does Acupuncture hurt?


When an acupuncture needle is inserted, patients may feel a slight sting that disappears within a second. After insertion there may be a slight dull sensation that is often described by patients as feeling ‘heavy’, ‘tingly’ and ‘deep’. After an initial session; rarely, a patient may feel a slight sense of dizziness. Sometimes in nervous patients, sweating may occur. Sweating and dizziness are the main and most common side effects of acupuncture.


How do I ensure I get the best person for the job?


Consult an Acupuncturist who is registered with AHPRA and AACMA (Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association). To find this information phone AACMA on 1300 725 334.


What can acupuncture treat?


Acupuncture can be used for musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, mental health, stress, reproductive and respiratory disorders. It can also be used to treat insomnia, depression, headaches, sciatica and much more.


TCM is broad; in china it is used in conjunction with western medicine (and as a stand alone protocol) to help manage almost every health disorder treated with modern medical techniques. It can be used to both fix health problems as well as manage symptoms of chronic issues and regulate the side-effects of modern drugs.