True Health > Services > Acupuncture


Acupuncture is a natural and increasingly popular form of health care that can help in the management of a wide range of ailments, as well as assisting in the prevention of illness.


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Dr Benjamin Heathcote

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Dr Matt Boyle

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What is Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine is one of the oldest complete medical systems in the world with its own form of diagnosis and treatment. The two most popular branches of this system are acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a technique used by Chinese medicine practitioners that involves insertion of very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomical points in the body for therapeutic purposes.


What should I expect on my first visit?

On your first visit you will be asked for a general medical history, including details about your primary complaint. You will also be asked a series of other seemingly unrelated questions which guide the Chinese medical diagnosis. Your practitioner will then look at your tongue and feel your pulse. Once all this information has been collated and analysed the treatment can begin. The treatment itself may include any of the following: acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, gua sha, TDP heat lamp therapy and/or the application of topical liniments. Your practitioner will always ask you before they carry out any treatment options to make sure you are comfortable with proceeding. If you don’t understand a particular technique or type of treatment, make sure to ask your practitioner.


How long will it take?

Depending on the nature of your complaint your first treatment may take between 70-90 minutes. Return visits usually take from 45-60 minutes depending on the nature of the problem.


How many treatments do I need?

There is no hard and fast rule on this one. The longer you’ve had your condition the more likely it is that it will take longer to resolve. Treatment may begin with acupuncture sessions 1-3 times per week depending on the condition, with sessions becoming less frequent as results are observed and sustained. A treatment plan will be personalised for you on your initial visit.


How should I prepare for a treatment?

A few tips:

Complementary Treatments

Blog Posts about Acupuncture


Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture uses very fine needles that are not much thicker than your hair. Occasionally you may feel a moment of acute skin sensation, but this is generally mild and typically leaves a pleasant heaviness or slight ache at the insertion point.

How many needles are used in one treatment?

Anywhere from one to 20 needles may be used during a session. The number depends on why you are having treatment and the method by which the practitioner chooses to treat your problem.

What if I don’t like needles?

While the needles are generally painless, if you have strong concerns about acupuncture, discuss them with your practitioner.

What are cupping and Gua Sha?

Cupping is a form of massage that uses special glass cups under vacuum to attach to your skin surface. Cups are left in place over acupoints or gently moved over oiled skin to reduce muscle tension and balance your qi.

Gua Sha is the gentle scraping of a special tool or ‘spoon’ over oiled skin to remove blockages in energy pathways or areas of qi stagnation to restore balance and function.

Please note that occasionally slight bruising may result from treatment. Check with your practitioner if you have any concerns.

How long are appointments?

Initial treatments can last up to 90 minutes. Subsequent appointments last for 30 to 60 minutes.