Perhaps you suffer from:
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Stomach bloating
- Bad constipation
- Difficulty conceiving
- Tightness or pain in your back, neck, knee, or other muscles
- Frequent colds or hayfever
Well you’re not alone if you suffer from these ‘common’ health concerns. Many people put it down as normal and suffer alone. Never seeking help.
They rest. Take over-the-counter medicines to get by. And repeat.
But months later, the problem is still there. You’ve just been masking it. And it’s slowly getting worse.
Conditions we treat with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Doing nothing may amplify a problem that needs attention. The problem starts to get worse. Now you may feel:
- Pain so bad you need different medications to manage it
- Restless nights and long tiring days from poor sleep, stress and ongoing pain
- Grumpy, frustrated, and confused as nothing seems to work
- Embarrassed about post-pregnancy aches and weaknesses
- Self-conscious about your swollen degenerative knees
- Bad tolerance to stress
- Sick most of the time
You are not alone. We hear these concerns all the time. In fact, women and families are the most common people we see at our clinic in Moonee Ponds.
Your obstetrician may have suggested that you give TCM a try in conjunction to IVF. Maybe you've already conceived (congratulations!) but you want to ease the nausea and back pain. Or you've started to get depressed after suffering for so long with chronic pain.
Well, we would love to help you. Here’s how
6 reasons to see a TCM Practitioner from Body and Brain Centre
- Treat the source: You’ll get to the bottom of your problem and together we’ll find simple ways to ease your pain and avoid it from happening again. No more guessing.
- Your main guide: You may have tried pain meds, heat pads, consulted Dr Google, taken advice from family and friends, visited many practitioners. We aim to be a reliable, knowledgeable, experienced guide you can trust for your health concerns.
- Evidence-based approach: Research is performed to ensure TCM treats pain effectively (rather than being a feel-good treatment). A few examples are included below.
- Knowledgeable: We never stop learning so you can be sure your treatment is based on the most relevant techniques proven to work over hundreds of years and backed up by western medicine.
- Plain English: We’ll speak simply so you can easily understand your treatment, know what to expect, and feel comfortable asking questions.
- ‘Homework’: We empower you to get better faster in between sessions so you don’t have to see us as often. This may include herbal medicines, lifestyle tips related to areas such as eating, exercise, sleeping, and posture.
Types of appointments available
- Initial consultation: 1.5 hours
- Standard consultation: 1 hour
- Paediatric consultations: between 30-45 minutes
What happens during a TCM session?
First session (Initial consultation)
From the moment you contact us, your health is as important to us as it is to you.
You can expect a warm and friendly greeting, with relaxing, organic cuppa while you wait for your appointment. From here you’ll be taken to your treatment room.
To give us an insight into what’s troubling you, we’ll ask about:
- Energy and stress levels
- Menstruation (women)
We’ll check your tongue and pulse.
This will give us a good understanding of your condition and health so we know exactly what TCM treatment may help.
You’ll be given:
- Easy to understand explanations so you know what will be done and why
- Simple lifestyle changes
- Health guidance to enhance the benefits of your treatment in between sessions
- A comfortable and professional environment so you feel relaxed and calm
- Acupuncture treatment and other treatment (if needed) such as:
- Heat / Moxa therapy
- Prescription of herbal supplements
Got any results or reports?
Send us your:
- X-Rays, MRIs, CAT scans, Blood tests
- Any other results you’ve gotten from doctors or other practitioners
Follow up sessions (Standard consultation)
In general, for the first few weeks, one or two appointments a week are ideal to get the quickest response from your body. As your condition improves, you’ll only need to drop in once a week or a fortnight. The duration between appointments increases until you no longer need treatment.
The longer your concern has been bothering you, the more likely you will need more than one session. We’re sure you realise this. After all, you’ve tried so many ‘fixes’ - for long enough - to know a quick fix isn’t realistic.
Your body has a natural state of balance in good health. Together we’ll find that balance as quickly as possible - so you don’t need to rely on regular, long-term treatment.
What kind of techniques do we use?
We may use one or more methods tailored to treat your concerns. These may include:
- Heat therapy
- Herbal medicine (available as granules or pills)
We’re trained and experienced to safely use these. We’ll explain what’s involved, demonstrate, and give you instructions so you’re comfortable and know what to expect.
FAQs about TCM
How many sessions are needed?
This depends on the severity or length of the problem. For mild conditions sometimes just two treatments are sufficient. For more long term imbalances, the process takes longer. In general, for the first few weeks, one or two appointments a week are ideal to get the quickest response from your body.
As your condition improves, you may only need to visit once per week or once per fortnight. The duration between appointments increases until you no longer need treatment.
The aim of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to support your internal organ function and circulation so that your body can maintain a state of balanced wellness without regular treatment.
Is TCM safe?
TCM is generally considered to be safe but occasionally (as with all health services) may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases. This might be a tummy ache or a little tenderness.
Chinese Medicine has become a widely accepted - and sought after - form of complementary medicine within our society. One indicator of this is that almost every health insurance company offers rebates for treatment.
All the Chinese herbs we provide at the Body and Brain Centre are listed and regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for quality and safety. We do not use any medicines containing endangered or illegally traded wildlife ingredients.
Chinese herbs consist mainly of natural plants and minerals. There are thousands of years of documentation about the safety and effectiveness of these herbs when used correctly.
Are there any side effects?
There are no harmful side effects of acupuncture. Occasionally there may be mild soreness or a small bruise at the site of insertion. Sterile, single use disposable needles are used and the risk of infection is extremely minimal.
If you have never taken Chinese Herbal Medicine before, in some cases there may be mild, temporary gastrointestinal changes as your system initially responds to the herbs.
In the rare case of experiencing more significant symptoms, please contact the clinic for advice as we may need to adjust your dosages or formula.
Generally people get a mark on the cupped areas. The type of mark depends on how much “internal stagnation” or “congestion” each person has - how “blocked up” they are.
If there’s not much stagnation and you’re relatively healthy, you may leave with the outline of a circle. This may last 1-3 days. If you get bad muscle tightness, headaches, painful periods, or different types of muscle pain often, you’re more likely to leave the session with with purple-black marks. It lasts on average up to 7 days - though for some people it may last up to 15 days.
These marks are often mistaken for bruising, yet they are:
- Therapeutic: as they bring the stagnation out of your tissues to the surface, where it can heal
- Diagnostic: the amount and nature of the discoloration gives us an insight into your body
You may also feel a bit drowsy after your session. This is normal.
Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and cupping have been used to relieve pain effectively.
Cupping therapy was shown to reduce neck and shoulder pain and increase the skin surface temperature in a group of subjects as compared to the control group who received no cupping therapy. These results demonstrated that cupping therapy is an effective tool for reducing neck and shoulder pain.
In the rare occasion you have a concerning reaction or have more questions about side effects, please contact us. We may need to adjust dosages, formulas, or intensity.
Where’s the evidence that TCM works?
This medicine has been used for thousands of years. There is also plenty of evidence based research being conducted which validates its efficacy from a western perspective.
One of many such articles published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal is: Acupuncture for Chronic Pain - Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis
Another study by Ried (2015) found that the "management of female infertility with Chinese herbal medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 3-6 month period compared with Western medical fertility drug therapy."
For IVF, Qian and his colleagues (2017) looked at 6344 people and found improvements in pregnancy rates. This study didn't measure at how many embryos were used.
What’s the difference between a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor and an Acupuncturist?
In addition to providing acupuncture treatments, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors are trained to prescribe Chinese herbal medicine. This has been used to successfully treat a range of health conditions over thousands of years.
An acupuncturist typically has completed a 4-year university course. A TCM practitioner has usually completed a 5-year degree.
What is Chinese herbal medicine used for?
The origins of Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back at least 5,000 years. Chinese medicine consists primarily of plants, but also some minerals and animal products.
Different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, are used.
In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, granules, powders or pills.
Chinese herbal medicine takes a holistic approach to disease and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as the treatment of it.
These medicinal substances are used to:
- target pain or disease
- correct imbalances in the body
- improve overall function and health
Your Chinese Medicine practitioner will provide you with clear, easy to understand instructions on how to take your prescribed herbal medicine.
Remember to always inform your practitioner of any and all other medications you may be taking so that any potential interactions may be avoided.
How to take Chinese herbs
Herbal medicine comes in different forms:
- Liquid herbs: no preparation required
- Raw herbs: these require boiling
- Granules: mix with hot water
- Patent pills: swallow with water as you would a normal pill
We offer liquid herbs at Body and Brain Centre. These are easy and convenient for you to take.
I’m scared of needles - should I get acupuncture done?
Many anxious patients who come for their first treatment are surprised at how comfortable and painless it is. There are 2 main reasons:
- Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and insertion is painless
- Acupuncture needles are typically inserted just into the layers of the skin. This is much more shallow than the needling performed by chiropractors and remedial massage therapists with dry needling where the needles penetrate deeper down into the muscle tissue.
Read more about Acupuncture.
How does cupping therapy work?
Cupping uses gentle, controlled suction to boost circulation in your muscle.
You may feel like your skin is pulled up slightly, as in a vacuum. This produces a 'tight' sensation which may be a little weird for people who have never had cupping before but should be comfortable and relieving.
Cupping opens up your muscle tissue and “cleans up” the area. This does a few things:
- Helps to treat scar tissue
- Improves mobility and range of movement
- Improves skin tone
- Breaks up cellulite
- Encourages more blood and fluids to circulate
- Calms your nervous system
- Draws inflammation out of your body
- Gets your lymphatic system moving
- Gets rid of waste through your arteries, capillaries, and veins
Cupping can only be done by a qualified practitioner who has formally studied - and has practiced the skills in a clinic.
About your TCM Therapist
All our TCM therapists have formal qualifications along with plenty of practical TCM experience in different clinics helping people with different needs.
You’ll find them really easy to talk to and understand. Importantly, they’ll be there for you in between sessions - checking in on you, answering any worries or questions you may have, and getting insight from other health practitioners in the clinic (with your consent of course).
What’s more, to keep their skills and knowledge updated, they are always learning.
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TCM in Melbourne’s western suburbs
We’re based in Moonee Ponds and are visited by patients from the Western suburbs of Melbourne, and beyond. Includes:
- Ascot Vale
- Moonee Ponds
- Pascoe Vale
TCM at Body and Brain Centre
- Qualified and reputable professionals with formal degrees and industry registration
- A professional and friendly environment so you can enjoy your treatments
- All herbal medicines regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for quality and safety
A doctor who treats disease after it has happened is a mediocre doctor… A doctor who treats a disease before it happens is a superior doctor. - Yellow Emperor
- Cohen MM, Smit V, Andrianopoulos N, et al. (2017). Acupuncture for analgesia in the emergency department: a multicentre, randomised, equivalence and non-inferiority trial. Med J Aust. 2017;206(11):494-499.
- Furlan AD,van Tulder MW, Cherkin D, Tsukayama H, Lao L,Koes BW, Berman BM (2005). Acupuncture and dry‐needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 24 January 2005. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD001351.pub2
- Qian Y, Xia XR, Ochin H, Huang C, Gao C, Gao L, Cui YG, Liu JY & Meng Y (2017). Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2017 Mar;295(3):543-558. doi: 10.1007/s00404-016-4255-y. Epub 2016 Dec 19.
- Ried K (2015). Chinese herbal medicine for female infertility: an updated meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Feb;23(1):116-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 3.
- Wang Y, Qin X, Liu J & Zhang K (2018). Acupuncture combined with oral western medication for Meniere's disease: a randomized controlled trial. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2018 Oct 12;38(10):1047-52. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2018.10.005.