What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine that has been developed over thousands of years into a very modern and effective system of healthcare.

  • Its origins start with the earliest writings in China such as the orical bones and is based on the concept that all illness and health issues come from an imbalance in the body which affects the flow of energy (Qi 氣 ) and fluids (Jīn yè – 津液). 

  • Your own body is in costantant maintenance towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. 

  • At Acute Acupuncture we work with you to restore your body's natural balance - this is known as homeostasis.(In Western Medical Science (WMS) your own body is also trying to restore this balance).

  • By correcting this imbalance of yin and yang we can eliminate many symptoms and help facilitate you on your wellness journey.

How is traditional Chinese Medicine different to Western Conventional Medicine?​​

  • Whereas western medicine looks at individual physical symptoms and uses drugs or surgery to directly manage or treat the condition;

  • TCM looks at all the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms, in conjunction with your symptoms to create a holistic diagnosis of the patient; and uses one or more of the following to reverse the condition or illness.

    • ​Herbal medicine  (中草药)

    • Acupuncture  (針灸 )

    • Diet ( 食饮 )

    • Qi gong (氣功)

    • Medical massage (tuina – 推拿)

  • Western medicine tends to be pathogenic or looks at disease as an enemy to be destroyed or to be blocked, often with many other side effects.

  • TCM tends to be salutogenesis and aims to reverse the condition or illness. 

  • Rather than attacking the disease headon it aims to program the brain to boost the body. In return this eliminates the sickness with minimal or no side effects.

Which is better?

  • Both TCM and WMS have a purpose and ideally you should use both to treat the ailments you are suffering from. For example: 

    • If you were in a car accident and broke a bone, you will need WMS to reset the bone then put some screws in and put a cast on. When WMS finishes, Acute Acupuncture using TCM treatments aims to help by increasing circulation, promoting a faster and speedier recovery, and can also help reduce the pain and the reliance on pharmaceuticals. 

  • TCM has shown positive results for long term solutions with more complex problems like infertility, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromialgia, or a weak immune system.

  • TCM has proven that it may support preventative maintenance as it will help prevent illness from developing in the first place.


How does it work?

  • The insertion of a few scripted acupuncture needles into selected acupuncture points triggers a reaction within the body.  

  • This response involves stimulation of the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing, and pain modulation

  • Acupuncture points are selected as a prescription around how you present in the clinic and your condition.

  • Much of what happens is done through the nervous system and brain level. 

  • Acupuncture helps with the regulation and flow of electromagnetic bioenergy which is also very important. 


Does it really work?

  • Absolutely. Chinese Medicine has treated billions of people for thousands of years with great results. 

  • The first trial, a double blind placebo controlled trial in which two groups of boys (one on real ginseng, the other on fake ginseng) raced against each other was done in 12th century Korea under Chinese rule.  

  • In the 1950s another wave of large scale trials were undertaken and where much of today’s practices come from Shanghai is increasingly known as a medical hotspot in the world due to its large and rapidly growing medical research industry.

What are the common conditions people seek TCM treatments for?

TCM often works to boost your bodies immune system, and may be used to treat the following conditions (but not limited to):

  • Acupuncture for Addictions

  • Acupuncture for All Pain Conditions

  • Acupuncture for Andrology (Men’s Problems)

  • Acupuncture for Autoimmune Disorders

  • Acupuncture for Bipolar Disorder

  • Acupuncture for Cancer

  • Acupuncture for Chronic Back Pain

  • Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue

  • Acupuncture for Depression

  • Acupuncture for Digestive Disorders

  • Acupuncture for Eczema & Dermatology

  • Acupuncture for Emotional & Psychological disorders

  • Acupuncture for Endometriosis

  • Acupuncture for Gynaecology

  • Acupuncture for Hypertension- Hypotension

  • Acupuncture for Infertility

  • Acupuncture for Insomnia

  • Acupuncture for Metabolic Syndromes

  • Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain & Injury

  • Acupuncture for Pregnancy

  • Acupuncture for Stress

  • Acupuncture for Weight Loss​

Is my treatment covered by ACC?

In New Zealand accidents are covered by ACC, this is not limited to workplace accidents, or if you are not working as people visiting New Zealand are also eligible for acc claims if thier accident happened in New Zealand while they were visiting. Also returning citizen and residents of New Zealand May also claim for injuries while they were abroad. so in the case you do have an accident, ACC can subsidise your treatments. We just need to know your ACC-45 number, the date of injury, and your treatment could be subsidised. 


In New Zealand accidents are covered by ACC, so in the case you do have an accident, ACC can subsidise your treatments. We just need to know your ACC-45 number, the date of injury, and your treatment could be subsidised.


Things to know: 

  • You must have an ACC45 form before booking or a full payment will be charged

  • ACC-45 numbers consist of two letters followed by five numbers.  If you are unsure of your ACC-45 number or if your injury is covered you can call ACC on 0800 101 996 to find out.

  • You DON’T need to be referred by your GP, physiotherapist or other health provider.  

  • Any injuries that are over 12 months old may require additional paperwork, this needs to be completed before treatment can commence.

  • Your ACC Acupuncture treatment is subsidised by ACC and what the clinic charges is the difference.

  • Switching practitioners will require another initial ACC consultation.


What if I have a cast or you can't access the injury?

​If the injured area is inaccessible due to a plaster cast or dressing, acupuncture points can be chosen above and below the site to treat the injury. Because acupuncture points occur on both sides of the body, the uninjured side may be needled to effect treatment.

What should I expect from my consultation?

All appointments at Acute Acupuncture will begin with an initial consultation where we will take time to listen and understand your concerns and symptoms. 

  • You will be asked several questions,

    • Some of which may seem unrelated to your symptoms but will give us a good understanding of the underlying causes. 

    • Please feel free to bring along any information from your conventional doctor if it is relevant to your case.

  • We will:

    • Look at your tongue and observe the colour, coating, shape and patterns. 

    • Feel your pulse. 

All experienced physicians can distinguish between hundreds of different pulse and tongue types. These methods may seem unusual but are very effective ways to get a clear insight into your health status.

After the consultation, treatment will be explained and will be conducted within the initial hour.


What should I expect from an acupuncture treatment?

If you are having acupuncture then micro-fine needles will be inserted and you will be to relax for the necessary time of your booking (about 20-45 minutes). Please be aware that this time is paramount for you to receive an effective acupuncture treatment. 

  • We may ask you to remove some outer clothing and lie down. 

  • Acupuncture needles will be inserted as necessary treatment to continue. 

  • You may be left for up to 40 minutes in the room with the needles in as this is the time that is required to reach a therapeutic level. 

    • This time has a therapeutic effect and you will not have been forgotten.

  • After the necessary duration of treatment, we will return and remove the acupuncture needles and allow you time to dress.

It is normal for you to feel very relaxed and a little sleepy after an acupuncture treatment, so try not to organise anything too strenuous immediately after your session.

Does it hurt?

  • Most of the time it is painless with just the slightest pricking sensation, however, it varies from patient to patient and point to point as some points have a stronger response. Some people may feel uncomfortable with the needling, if this happens, they should advise the practitioner.

  • If there is a lot of blocked energy at a point then you may feel a mild electric charge or slight stinging sensation. But most pain if any  is very brief. 

  • A dull aching sensation is common and many people get used to the acupuncture energy sensations. 

  • You may feel a range of sensations from a warm tingling to a dull ache at the area, which is normal and beneficial. 

  • Sometimes this is perceived as unusual at first, until you get used to the sensation.

  • A common response from clients is that they can feel a whole body buzz.


How long does it take for my appointment?

  • First time appointments usually last about one hour and follow up appointments are usually 45 minutes. 

  • Acupuncture follow-up 30 minute treatments have been designed with the busy professionals in mind, who have limited amount of time and who are seeking a quick treatment around their hectic schedule 

    • Because of the shortened time there is not enough time to do cupping or tuina as the needles need time to reach their therapeutic level. 

  • If you wish to have cupping or a small amount of tuina you will need to opt for the 45 minute treatment. 

  • If you are only being prescribed herbal formulas this takes 30 mins only. 


How will I feel after a treatment?

  • Many patients feel very relaxed after treatment and may be a little drowsy. 

  • It's also important not to have a big meal 1 hour prior to, or 1 hour after your treatment. 

  • Snacks are ok but not a big meal as this may affect the effectiveness of your treatment. 

  • You will be able to get on with your day directly after treatment but you might want to try not to plan to do anything strenuous and enjoy the chance to relax. 

  • It is also recommended that you don't do any strenuous activity or exercise within the first 12 to 24 hours from receiving your treatment. 


How soon will I feel or see results, and how many sessions will I need?

  • This depends a lot on the patient and the severity of your condition. 

  • We should be able to give you a good idea of what results you should see and when you should expect to see them. 

  • It is most common for patients to feel the first effects of the treatment after one or two sessions but it may take up to a month to start seeing results.

Should I bring any scans, blood tests or other information ?

  • Yes. Any extra information such as blood analysis or letters from other health professionals will be useful to get a better picture of your western medical diagnosis and your corresponding treatment.

TCM and Herbal Prescriptions 

  • We may recommend you to take some herbal formulas to supplement your treatments

  • These formulas will usually be given to you at the clinic, or may have to be ordered in from a herbal pharmacy. 

  • The prescription may be in the form of tablets or granules.

  • This is charged separately to your treatment

What should I expect from any herbal prescriptions?

  • If you are going to take Chinese Herbal Medicine then the examination is much the same as above for an acupuncture session. 

    • Afterwards your practitioner will advise you on what herbal formula to take and how best to do this.

  • Usually these are in tablet form or granules and you just have to take some black pills in the morning and the evening after dinner or brewing up hot water and drinking the tea.

  • For skin disease you may be given or have manufactured for you a cream or oil for external application only. 

  • You will always be given the scientific names of all the herbs if you ask and often they are things that people have heard of like, ginger, goji berries, peony root, honeysuckle flower among many others.


Do the herbs interact with my western medication?

  • In most cases there is absolutely no problem combining Chinese and Western medicine but please do discuss any western medication that you are taking with a practitioner. 

  • Due to the way herbs work in different areas of the body there is almost always no issue, however, there are some herbs that can not be given out if you are taking certain pharmaceuticals.

What are your hygiene standards and processes?

Acute Acupuncture adheres to, and goes beyond, the WHO and Clean Needle Technique as a minimum hygiene standard.


At the clinic we take hygiene seriously and to ensure we protect our patients from any possible person to person exposure, after each patient we:


  • Change all of the linen after each patient and wipe down all surfaces with Dettol Disinfectant wipes

  • We wash all linen:

    • At 60 degrees on anti-allergy and anti-microbial setting 

    • Use Persil Sensitive Soap 

    • Use Huggy sensitive fabric softener

    • Use Canesten antifungal, anti-bacterial, antiviral laundry rinse  


We also use single use, disposable face covers for each of our patients.

Are your practitioners Qualified / Registered?

  • Yes. Acute Acupuncture requires our practitioners to be registered with Acupuncture New Zealand (AcNZ) formerly known as New Zealand Register Acupuncture (NZRA), in turn this enables us to be an ACC treatment provider.

  • ​Acute Acupuncture also uses single use acupuncture needles and is registered with NZBLOOD. 


Common questions about treatments

Does it hurt?

  • Most of the time it is painless with just the slightest pricking sensation, however, it varies from patient to patient and point to point as some points have a stronger response. 

  • If there is a lot of blocked energy at a point then you may feel a mild electric charge or slight stinging sensation. But most pain is very brief. 

  • A dull aching sensation is common and many people come to enjoy the acupuncture energy sensations. 

  • You may feel a range of sensations from a warm tingling to a dull ache at the area, which is normal and beneficial. 

  • Sometimes this is perceived as unusual by the person until they get used to the sensation.

  • A common response from clients that they can feel a whole body buzz.


Are there any side effects?

  • Acupuncture is extremely safe and serious side effects are rare. 

  • Drowsiness or tiredness may occur for some people. 

    • This is normal and you may want to take it easy for the day. 

  • Minor bleeding or bruising at a point can occur in about 3% of treatments. 

  • Some acute symptoms can be exacerbated after the first treatment. 

    • This is normal and beneficial when we are moving ‘stuck’ energy and will improve. 

    • Fainting can occur for a small percentage. 

    • This is minimized by having my clients lying down and continuously monitoring how you are feeling.


Will it affect my other treatments or medications?

  • Acupuncture is very complimentary to other modalities and will generally enhance their effectiveness. 

  • It is also safe to use while on medications. 

  • All medications and treatments used, however, will be discussed at the first meeting to be sure. 

  • We are happy to communicate with your GP and other health practitioners for the best results of your healthcare.


How long will I need acupuncture for my condition?

  • As acupuncture and TCM are very individual, so are the lengths of treatment times. 

  • Generally acute problems will take less time than more serious problems, and patience may be required. 

  • The benefit is that you will notice improvements along the way, and the results will be long lasting.


Can children have acupuncture?

  • Yes, pediatric acupuncture is very successful. 

  • In these cases only one or two needles are used, and are inserted and removed straight away very superficially. 

  • Often children do not even realize a needle has been in! 

  • Alternatively we can use pediatric acupressure and massage.

Is there anyone who cannot have acupuncture?

  • There is no age limit and no particular groups of people who should not have acupuncture. 

  • However we do need to know your medical information to assess on an individual basis if it is right for you, or we need to adjust the treatment. 

  • For example:

    • If you have a pacemaker

    • Are prone to fainting

    • Have epilepsy

    • A blood disorder

    • Are immune-compromised or pregnant.


How are needles used?

Do you use sterile needs?

  • Yes Acute Acupuncture only uses sterile single use disposable needles and is registered with NZ Blood.

What happens to those needles?

  • Only single-use, sterile, disposable needles are used in this clinic and get disposed of.


Where can I read, or leave feedback on your services?

Acute Acupuncture strives to be the best in our field and understanding feedback is an important part of ensuring we meet our customers needs and expectations, and to do this we like to offer customers the opportunity to feedback on their experiences. For this reason Acute Acupuncture uses many different online services where you can leave or review feedback:

Covid Traffic Lights: What does it mean?

We are excited to resume full servicing for all our patients under the Covid-19 Protection Framework and are pleased to inform you that as of 2nd December 2021, all Acute Acupuncture Initial colleagues and subcontractors are fully vaccinated. The safety of our team, clients, and family is of the utmost importance to us so we made the decision to mandate this within our business to protect our colleagues, patients and the community.

That health services which are partly or wholly funded by certain government entities and operating from what have been called "designated premises" are NOT to request people to provide a COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate or other evidence of being vaccinated to access our services. Practices that receive ACC funding are considered to be "designated premises".

Acute Acupuncture has always had the health and well being of our patients as a high priority. We already had a strict health and safety policy in place before all this started in 2020. This included a scheduled time between clients to allow for equipment wipe-down and linen change, along with airing of the room.

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