Any good health fund will cover TCM/Acupuncture if you have ‘extras’ cover. The amount that the health fund will pay, per consultation, and the overall limit that the fund will pay in a year, is individual to your health fund. The fund often pays part of the consultation, through a system called ‘HICAPS’. Using HICAPS means that when you pay for your consultation, you are able to swipe your health fund card, and then only pay the difference between what the health fund pays, and the consultation fee. This saves you a trip to the health fund office! Make an enquiry with your health fund to find out the specifics of how much your health fund will cover.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of primary health care that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, remedial massage, exercise and breathing therapy (such as qigong), and diet and lifestyle advice. In Australia, the most popular forms of TCM health care are acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has an uninterrupted history of development in China and other parts of East Asia dating back thousands of years. The primary feature of modern TCM is the premise that good health relies on the restoration and maintenance of harmony, balance and order to the individual.
TCM takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as it does on the treatment.
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine uses over 450 substances that come from plant, animal and mineral sources. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden. These substances have been used in ancient times to establish the use of herbal formulas that are used to address health issues. Most Chinese herbal medicine requires a prescription from a licensed Chinese herbal practitioner.
Chinese herbal formulas have various tastes depending on your body type and condition. Herbal substances have many different flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, bland.
Acupuncture is a form of needle therapy, which involves inserting fine, sterile needles into different points in the body in order to treat disease or relieve pain.
The needles are believed to restore normal functions in the body. When the acupuncture needles are inserted they send signals to the brain that promote healing by activating the body’s existing self-healing abilities.
This is the most common question asked about acupuncture because many people associate needles with pain. Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a dog’s whisker, so they are virtually painless when inserted. After insertion, the practitioner will bring the needle to the appropriate depth. You will then usually feel a very unique sensation that can vary from tingling, to heaviness, to warmth, or nothing at all. Each person’s experience is different.
This depends on the condition being treated. Although the points are located throughout the entire body, usually the needles are placed on the extremities from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Other common areas include the abdomen, back, and ears.
Needles are wrapped and sterilized by the manufacturer. They are opened only when they are ready to be used, and afterwards, each needle is disposed of in a medical waste container.
It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions. It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
It might surprise you, but many people see a chiropractor simply to have their spine ‘checked’. It’s not really any different to having you teeth checked by a dentist. After all, prevention is a lot cheaper and more effective than trying to repair a spine after several years of damage have occurred.
Many people, however, don’t realise they have a problem until the trouble is well under way. Commonly, people may present with low back pain, neck pain, dizziness, hip pain, shoulder pain, headaches, migraines, leg pain, heel pain, rib pain, wrist pain, numbness & pins and needles, jaw pain, and a host of other things. Children often present with ‘growing pains’, which usually don’t have much to do with growing!
Generally, how long it takes to recover from an injury depends on how long you’ve had the injury, and the severity of the damage. If you injured yourself yesterday, and present today, depending on the injury, it might take days to weeks to recover. If you have saved your injury up for a few years, recovery may take a lot longer. The human body is built to repair, but sometimes its processes are slower than we would like!
There isn’t any way to rush healing, but you can certainly encourage it by eating well, keeping up regular and safe exercise, and staying in a positive and low-stress mindset.
Fees are set by consultation. That means you will not come away with a large itemised bill. You pay for our experience and knowledge, rather than our time. If your needs are more complex than a standard consultation allows, we may in some circumstances recommend an extended consultation. For more specific information on prices, please call 4323 9100. You certainly won’t be asked to sign up to an extended care plan, or pay up front for future visits.
In general, chiropractic, like private physiotherapy, osteopathy or dental care, is not covered by Medicare. In certain circumstances, particularly if you suffer from a chronic medical condition, you may be able to claim up to five treatments under a government program using what is commonly called an EPC plan or the ‘Chronic Disease Allied Health (Individual) Services under Medicare’ program (what a mouthful!). Speak to your general practitioner to discuss whether this might be applicable to you. If it is, you will require a care plan to be completed by your GP.
Any good health fund will cover chiropractic if you have ‘extras’ cover. The amount that the health fund will pay, per consultation, and the overall limit that the fund will pay in a year, is individual to your health fund. The fund often pays part of the consultation, through a system called ‘HICAPS’. Using HICAPS means that when you pay for your consultation, you are able to swipe your health fund card, and then only pay the difference between what the health fund pays, and the consultation fee. This saves you a trip to the health fund office! Make an enquiry with your health fund to find out the specifics of how much your health fund will cover.
Indeed, we do have HICAPS! Using HICAPS means that when you pay for your consultation, you are able to swipe your health fund card, and then only pay the difference between what the health fund pays, and the consultation fee. This saves you a trip to the health fund office!
Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners, and therefore you do not need a referral from a GP to attend. All you need to do is call, and book an appointment.
If you have x-rays, scans or other imaging or test reports, it is important that you bring them. Bringing a ‘health summary’ from your GP can also be very helpful and time saving. The health summary should include any medical conditions you have, and a list of any medications that you might be on, and the reasons why you are on them.
The best clothing to wear would be something loose fitting and easy to move around in. Generally, it is unlikely that you will need to disrobe for your chiropractic consultation.
Depending on your condition, you may need x-rays. If you have x-rays at home, bring them in, including any reports. X-Rays are not taken routinely; they are only taken if there is a good clinical reason, and the radiology equipment we use is state of the art. If you require x-rays, your chiropractor will refer you for them, under Medicare.
X-Rays, if necessary, will be bulk billed, if you have a Medicare card.
Yes. Riverside Medical Imaging is on site in West Gosford, and has a brand new, state of the art, digital radiography room. All x-rays are bulk billed.
It is quite common for Chiropractors, Remedial Massage Therapists and Physiotherapists to co-manage a patient’s condition. If you are seeing a physiotherapist, we will be very happy to communicate with them and discuss an approach that will best suit your condition. In our centre we have physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, dietitians, psychologists, GPs, massage therapists and several others. We all work together to achieve the best outcome for anybody who comes to visit us.
We have a child friendly environment, and we love kids! There is a play area in our waiting room with plenty of toys and books, and our consultation rooms have toy boxes. Each of our chiropractors are happy to have your children around. You may find that it is easier to have your child minded during the first and second consultations, if you think they might distract you from being able to fully relay to the chiropractor the information you need to get across.
Many adult spinal conditions can be traced back to childhood injuries, and even to birth trauma. It is well worth having your young children checked, particularly if they were born by caesarian, forceps or suction. We monitor developmental milestones, and collaborate with GPs and other health providers, if issues are found. Older children will benefit from having their posture assessed. Many a case of bad posture starts in childhood, and can be more effectively sorted out early, rather than waiting until skeletal maturity has been reached. We can also check to make sure scoliosis is not developing.
There is some (low level) research, and a lot of anecdotal evidence, suggesting that, in certain cases, with chiropractic care, babies may sleep more soundly, be less irritable, and suffer less frequently and severely from ear infections. Our chiropractors work collaboratively with your child’s GP, working within the current best practice guidelines for otitis media (ear infection).
Treatment of any person is tailored to their age and condition. Any adjustments or other procedures that your child might need are fully discussed with you, and we always choose the most gentle approach. Most parents are surprised to discover that, during an adjustment of a baby, the chiropractor usually applies no more force than you would be willing to apply when pushing on your own eyeball. This is because a child’s spine and nervous system is more delicate and should be cared for, accordingly. Most children enjoy being adjusted.
Definitely not! A qualified chiropractor looks for joints that show restricted movement, particularly in one or more given directions. The detection of these ‘joint fixations’ (traditionally called ‘subluxations’) can appear simple, however, it is not, and requires a great deal of experience, and understanding of joint biomechanics, thus should not be treated lightly.
When that joint is manually adjusted, by applying a specific, short sharp thrust in the direction of the restriction, a small amount of separation between the joint surfaces occurs, as does a small degree of movement in the direction of restriction. (Note that most spinal joints individually have only small amounts of movement, yet collectively, allows the large ranges of movement we can see in regions like the neck). During the fraction of a second when the joint surfaces are separated, occasionally, the pressure can decrease inside the joint just enough for dissolved gasses (presumably nitrogen) to form bubbles (like opening a soft drink bottle) and can produce a popping sound.
Producing this sound IS NOT the object of the adjustment, nor should it be used as an indicator of the effectiveness of an adjustment. Our emphasis is on regaining movement in the direction of restriction by the thrust. Many think that a joint has ‘gone back into place’ if you hear a crack or noise. The truth is that joints cannot get ‘out of place’ as such, unless they are actually dislocated. As it happens, joints that are already too mobile will generate noises more easily, hence the unqualified practitioner is more likely causing greater harm by creating that ‘popping’ noise.
Chiropractic involves ‘teaching’ dysfunctional joints and their associated muscles how to move properly again. The longer a joint problem has been allowed to exist, the more a person will have adapted and compensated over time. Furthermore, tissue changes such as muscle spasm, ‘muscle memory’, muscle wasting, scar tissue formation and inflammation will have developed.
Treating you for the first time often involves dealing with the most recent damage first. This is because recent damage is more likely to be reversible. Following this, the longer term problems and consequent damage can then be addressed. How fast you respond depends on several factors including how quickly the problem is detected, how severe and extensive the problem is, your age and how diligent you are in following instructions/advice from the chiropractor.
Many people experience enormous benefits from chiropractic care for recent and long-term injuries, often termed ‘acute care’. Some people may also benefit from a more ‘supportive’ or preventative approach to their spinal health, where chiropractors can identify and correct joint problems early, before they have a chance to develop complications, and result in more serious harm. This can be particularly important when there is a lot of pre-existing damage.
Patients sometimes experience immediate relief from their pain. Sometimes chiropractic procedures may be uncomfortable if the area requiring attention is already sore and inflamed, or if the person has a tendency to resist and ‘tense up’. However, common sense will ensure these sore areas are taken into account. Chiropractic procedures, which mostly involve spinal and other limb ‘adjustments’, are not inherently painful. Other procedures such as trigger point work, stretches and massage can be uncomfortable, however most people actually enjoy having these sore areas attended to this way.
When spinal joints undergo abnormal mechanical changes, traditionally referred to by chiropractors as joint fixations or ‘subluxations’, the nervous system changes the way it does things, to compensate for the problem such as a change in gait (how you walk/move). The longer joint and muscle issues are present, the more ingrained the compensation pattern is, and hence will offer more resistance to getting back to normal.
When you are adjusted, your brain, through the nervous system, must re-learn how to operate the affected joints and muscles properly again. This often takes a little time. For this reason, any person, particularly people who engage in high-performance activities such as sport or heavy manual labour, should not exercise at their usual ‘100%’ for a few days after their adjustment. It is often best to build up the workload in steps, so the new changes can be integrated into your new ‘action’. The first day back to exercise/work should be at about 60%. Any adverse outcome should show up within 12-24 hrs, so if things go well, then move to 80% the next session, and if feeling good, perhaps 100% on the session after that. Your chiropractor may recommend differently, based on your individual condition.