True Health > Services > Acupuncture


Acupuncture is the process of puncturing your skin with fine needles. It can help with headaches, digestive disorders, muscle and joint pain, women’s health issues, stress and battling addictions.

It is just one of the many traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) techniques on offer at True Health, designed to ‘unblock’ or ‘balance’ your life-force energy.


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Dr Benjamin Heathcote

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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of TCM that involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin, to stimulate specific anatomical points in the body (called acupoints, or acupuncture points) for therapeutic purposes.

Further, acupuncturists can also use other methods to stimulate acupoints, including heat (called ‘moxibustion’), friction and electromagnetic stimulation.

Acupoints are stimulated to balance the movement of life-force energy called ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) within your body, to restore health and prevent disease.


What is traditional Chinese medicine?

TCM originated over 5,000 years ago. It is founded on the belief that you are a unique energy system in which your body and mind are unified. The goal of a TCM practitioner is to balance your body, mind and spirit as a whole, bringing balance to you and how you interact with the world around you.

TCM is a complete medicine that can aid in the treatment of a very wide range of conditions including pain, muscle and joint problems, digestive issues, skin conditions, breathing problems, women’s health issues, stress and addiction.

TCM can be suitable for people of all ages, including children and pregnant women.


Why is balancing your qi important?

Harmonising your qi enables you to restore and maintain good health. A TCM practitioner may use acupuncture, heat therapy, massage, cupping and Gua Sha, Chinese herbal medicines, dietary advice and exercise therapy to restore harmony to your qi and encourage your body, mind and spirit to work at their best. After treatment you should feel relaxed, balanced and whole.


What should I expect on my first visit?

As with most health practitioners, your first visit to an acupuncturist usually begins with the practitioner taking a detailed medical history. Since TCM takes a more holistic approach to patient care than Western medicine, our acupuncturists may ask you questions that appear unimportant (for example, your sleep habits, your ability to tolerate heat or cold, your dietary habits, etc), but these are actually vital in determining the type of care you will receive.

The goal is to assemble all the jigsaw puzzle pieces of information into one coherent picture, allowing your acupuncturist to determine the most appropriate treatment for you.

In addition to asking questions, your acupuncturist will also ask to see your tongue and will feel your pulse on both sides of your wrist. Tongue and pulse diagnosis is a method of observing how your body is functioning internally.

Needles will then be inserted into specific acupoints on your body. Your therapist may also use heat or electrical stimulation to enhance acupuncture’s therapeutic effect.


How long will it take?

Depending on your condition, your first visit may take between 60-90 minutes.

Return visits can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

It may take several visits to see a significant improvement or to resolve your condition. If you don’t understand a particular technique or type of treatment, make sure to ask your therapist.


How many treatments do I need?

The number and frequency of visits depends upon several factors, such as the duration and intensity of your condition; your age and general constitution; your response to treatment and your willingness to do things to help yourself (e.g. taking prescribed herbs, doing exercises, making suggested lifestyle changes, etc).

TCM is effective because it makes very specific yet subtle changes to your body’s energy system. The effects are cumulative so compliance with a suggested treatment schedule will maximise your chance of improvement.

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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 as the needle is inserted, but this is generally mild, leaving 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 non-painful 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.

How much will this cost me?

Treatments cost between $55 and $95. You may have additional charges for herbal medicines.  Please look at our treatment charges here.