Frequently Asked Questions (Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine)

Browse our commonly asked questions. Be sure to let us know if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Osteopathy

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide variety of treatment techniques. These may include soft tissue techniques, rhythmic passive joint mobilization or the high velocity thrust techniques designed to improve mobility and the range of movement of a joint. Gentle release techniques are widely used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients. This allows the body to return to efficient normal function by maximizing blood, neural (nerve) and lymphatic flow.

What happens during my first treatment?

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  • First up, you will be asked to fill out your personal details, and provide relevant information regarding your medical history.
  • The Osteopath will then take a Patient History, asking more detailed questions relating specifically to your problem – and any points of note such as accidents, trauma, etc.
  • The Osteopath will then examine your posture, ask you to move certain body parts, and palpate (feel with the hands) in order to hone in on the problem region. Even if you only suffer headaches, the whole body is considered in order to discount as many contributing factors as possible.
  • The treatment itself will consist of a lot of hands on techniques including soft tissue massage, muscle stretching, and joint manipulation in order to restore full function to your body.

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How many treatments will I need?

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  • This is always a hard question to answer. Obviously, the longer a problem has been there, the longer the time required for full recovery. However, at ReachHealth we guarantee that you will feel lasting relief with 3 treatments or less.
  • Generally, if Osteopathic treatment is to be effective, you will notice a change in symptoms within the first or second treatment. Factors that can affect the speed of recovery include posture, compliance with home advice, & frequency of treatments.

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What should I wear to my appointment?

Osteopathy is a ‘hands on’ medicine, so you will most likely be asked to remove certain items of clothing (e.g. tops and trousers) depending on the location of your presenting complaint. We recommended you wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move around. Gowns are also available.

How long does an Osteo appointment take?

An initial treatment may last up to one hour, depending on how many questions need to be asked. After that, appointments are scheduled at 30 minutes.

Should I bring my X-rays?

Yes, please bring with you any x-rays, ultrasounds, CT and MRI scans and reports or any other test results that you feel are applicable to your presenting complaint on your initial consultation.

Will osteopathy hurt?

Osteopathic treatment aims to align inflamed joints and release surrounding muscle spasm. There may be a degree of therapeutic pain (the kind of pain that you know is good for you) during this process. Acute conditions may require a more strenuous treatment program, which may cause slightly more discomfort. This short-term pain is insignificant when compared to the long-term benefits it brings. Any discomfort should relieve itself within 48 hours of your treatment.

Do osteopaths treat work injuries?

Yes! Osteopaths are able to treat third-party patients, or those invloved in a Workcover, TAC or Veterans Affairs related injury.

Do I need a referral from a GP?

No, you don’t need a referral to see an osteopath. They are primary health care practitioners, which means all you need to do is call to make an appointment.

Do Osteopaths treat babies and children?

Osteopathy can be very beneficial for babies and children. The process of birth can be very traumatic for a child, and can sometimes result in strain patterns throughout the body, which can affect the child’s ability to feed, sleep and digest. We use very gentle techniques, such as craniosacral osteopathy, to help undo the strain patterns, aiming to optimise the health of the child.

Can osteopathy prevent future injuries?

Osteopaths believe that getting patients to keep returning for more treatments is not the best form of long term preventive care. The key to preventing health problems recurring, and to developing long-term solutions, lies in increasing patients’ awareness of the causes of problems, and in giving them the help they need to take responsibility for their own health. This is done in a number of ways:

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  • By identifying the causative factors of a patient’s problems, such as problems with workplace ergonomics, and trying to reduce or eliminate them.
  • By teaching patients more efficient and less strenuous body usage in their actions at home or at work.
  • By helping patients become aware of postural problems and how to correct them.
  • By providing individually tailored exercise programmes both for rehabilitation and prevention.
  • By teaching relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
  • By working in conjunction with other practitioners such as dieticians, occupational therapists etc. where appropriate.

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Osteopaths thus believe that long-term prevention is the result of a cooperative effort between patient and practitioner.

Is osteopathic treatment safe during pregnancy?

Osteopathy has one of the best safety records of any of the manual therapies, and with pregnancy the techniques used are carefully selected in order to minimize risk. The comfort of the mother is always a priority, and at ReachHealth clinic, we have equipment such as special pregnancy pillows that minimize discomfort while being treated.

Can Osteopaths gives out medical certificates?

Osteopaths are no longer able to issue medical certificates. A General Practitioner can only give these. Most employers will honour a Certificate of Continuing Incapacity issued by a registered Osteopath.

Can I claim my osteopathic treatment on Medicare or private health insurance?

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  • Normally, Medicare does not cover Osteopathic treatment. However, most private health insurance funds with “extras” cover do re-imburse a portion of the cost of treatment.
  • Additionally, as of July 1 2004, people with chronic conditions and complex care needs who are being managed through an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan may be eligible for up to 5 allied health services per year on referral from their General Practitioner.
  • Osteopaths fall under the umbrella of eligible allied health professionals in this scheme. The Osteopaths at ReachHealth are registered providers with the Health Insurance Commission (HIC).
  • As a facility our scheduled fees will still apply to EPC referred clients.
  • The $44.95 Medicare benefit can then be claimed.

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Acupuncture

How does Acupuncture work from a medical perspective?

The general view of mainstream medicine is that acupuncture works by stimulating certain nerves in the body. These nerves often coincide with the traditional meridians. Treatment is also thought to cause the release of natural chemicals into the bloodstream, such as endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. These chemicals are also thought to help the healing process in joint and muscle problems and aid recovery perhaps by boosting the immune system. Exactly how this might work has not yet been shown scientifically.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Are Chinese herbs safe?

Chinese Medicine has been used as front line medicine by the majority of the world’s population since before recorded history and is still the most widely utilised medical system in the world today. Adverse reactions to Chinese herbs are extremely rare and are negligible when compared to those commonly produced by pharmaceutical drugs.

What are the herbs like and how much will they cost?

Dr. Emma uses the powdered herbs that are mixed with boiling water and drunk. This herbal decoction is taken twice or three times per day depending on your particular health issues. It is usual to have 1-3 months of treatment to assess the effectiveness on the patient’s health. Powdered herbs cost around $24-$30 per week.

What can Chinese Herbal Medicine treat?

Chinese Herbal Medicine can understand and treat all forms of ill health. The results that can be expected and the length of treatment required depend on the severity of the disease, its duration and the general health of the patient. Chinese Herbal Medicine is probably most renowned in the West for its effects on:

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  • Skin disease
  • Gynaecological complaints
  • Digestive complaints
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Allergies

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  • Disorders of the immune system
  • Psychological problems
  • Children’s diseases
  • Addiction
  • Pain

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Who can have treatment?

People of any age or constitution can benefit from Chinese Herbal Medicine. The practitioner will always take into account any previous or current illness or medication into account before providing treatment. Children and pregnant women can be, and commonly are, cared for by Chinese Medicine practitioners.

Appointments

What can I expect in a consultation?

The aim during the first consultation is to determine the nature of the disharmony by careful questioning and observation. Diagnosis may include examination of the tongue for its structure, colour and coating and of the pulses at the wrists, which are felt for their quality strength and rhythm.

How many treatments will I need?

There is no set number of treatments. However characteristically, if treating with herbs alone, once a month is sufficient. In practice, the clinician usually combines the herbs with some or several of the following treatments: Acupuncture, Dietary Therapy, Exercise, and Lifestyle Management.