FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine which has now developed over thousands of years into a very modern and effective system of healthcare.
It’s origins start with the earliest writings in China and It 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).
Therefore by correcting this imbalance of yin and yang we can eliminate the dis-ease and make you feel happy and healthy !
HOW IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE DIFFERENT TO WESTERN OR CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE?
Western medicine looks at individual physical symptoms and uses drugs or surgery to directly manage or combat the condition.
TCM looks at all the physical, mental and emotional symptoms to create a holistic diagnosis of the patient and uses one or more of
• Herbal medicine (中草药)
• Acupuncture (針灸 )
• Diet ( 食饮 )
• Reiki or Qi gong (氣功)
• medical massage (tuina – 推拿)
to reverse the condition or illness.
Western medicine tends to be pathogenic or looks at disease as an enemy to be destroyed or blocked, often with many side effects.
TCM tends to be salutogenic or rather than attacking the disease will instead program the brain and boost and the body and thus eliminate the sickness without side effects.
WHICH IS BETTER?
Both Western and TCM have a purpose and ideally you should use both depending on what you are suffering from.
Western Medicine is great at direct, short term solutions to problems like if you are in a car accident or have broken a bone.
TCM is perfect for long term solutions and more complex problems like infertility, chronic pain or a weak immune system.
TCM is also excellent at preventative care to stop illness from developing in the first place.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Much of what is done is at the nervous system and brain level. The regulation and flow of electromagnetic bioenergy is also very important. Further detail is explained here
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 was undertaken and where much off today’s practices come from. Shanghai is increasingly known as a medical hotspot in the world due to it’s large and rapidly growing medical research industry.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES IT TREAT?
As it often works by boosting your body any kind of sickness can be treated but the following complaints are commonly treated;
Endometriosis - Sub-fertility - Gynaecology - Pregnancy - All Pain Conditions - Andrology (Men’s Problems) - Digestive Disorders - Autoimmune Disorders - Eczema & Dermatology - Metabolic Syndromes - Chronic Fatigue - Emotional & Psychological disorders - Addictions – Innsomnia - Paediatrics - Stress & Hypertension - Chronic Back Pain - Cancer - Musculoskeletal Pain & Injury - Weight Loss
ARE YOU QUALIFIED/REGISTERED?
Richard is a member of the Acupuncture New Zealand, the acupuncture registration body in New Zealand. He has also served on the executive of this organisation in the past.
Through this he is approved to provide ACC treatments also .
He trained for 9 years at University with degrees in Western science and Chinese medicine before setting up his practice and is continually learning. He has been practicing for over 15 yrs and his experience includes things like Cyclones in 3rd world countries and working for aid agencies, teaching TCM, as well as private practice.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY CONSULTATION?
All appointments will begin with an initial consultation. Richard will take time to listen and understand your concerns. You will be asked many questions, some of which may seem unrelated to your symptoms but will give him a good understanding of underlying causes.
Please feel free to bring along any information from your conventional doctor if it is relevant.
Richard will look at your tongue and observe the colour, coating, shape and patterns. Richard will also will feel your pulse. An experienced physician can distinguish between hundreds of different pulse and tongue types. These methods may seem strange but are effective ways to get a clear insight into your internal, mental and emotional health.
After the consultation, treatment will be explained and will begin.
If you are having acupuncture then micro-fine needles will be inserted and you will be left alone to relax for about 20-40 minutes. Please be aware that this is crucial treatment time for the acupuncture to have a therapeutic effect and you have not been forgotten. After acupuncture it is normal for you to feel very relaxed and a little sleepy so try not to organise anything too strenuous immediately after your session.
If Richard thinks that you should take some herbal medicines then these will be given to you usually at the clinic though you may have to go and get them from a Chinese herbal pharmacy. This is charged separately to your treatment. The prescription may be in the form of tablets, raw herbs, herbal extract or occasionaly a fresh plant is used.
SHOULD I BRING ANY SCANS, BLOOD TESTS OR OTHER INFORMATION?
Yes. Any extra information, blood analysis or letters from other heath professionals will be useful to get a better picture of your Western medical diagnosis and your corresponding treatment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM AN ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT?
Richard will most probably ask you to remove some outer clothing and lie down. Acupuncture needles will be inserted as necessary and then you will probably be left alone in the room for the acupuncture treatment to continue. You may be left for up to half an hour as the time left with the needles is important for treatment. After the necessary duration of treatment, Richard will return and remove the acupuncture needles and allow you to dress.
DOES IT HURT?
It varies from patient to patient and the position of the acupuncture point. Most of the time it is painless with just the slightest pricking sensation. 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.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER TREATMENT?
Many patients feel very relaxed after treatment and may be a little drowsy. 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.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MY APPOINTMENT?
First time appointments usually last about one hour and follow up appointments are usually 45 minutes. If you are only being prescribed herbs or this takes 30 mins only.
For Children (under 16yrs) It takes 30 mins for an initial appointment and 15 mins for a follow up.
DO YOU USE STERILE NEEDLES?
Yes Richard only uses sterile single use disposable needles.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM AN HERBAL PRESCRIPTION?
If you are going to take Chinese Herbal Medicine then the examination is much the same as above for an acupuncture session. Afterwards Richard will advise you on which herbs to take and how best to do this.
Usually this is in tablet form and you just have to take some black pills in the morning and the evening after dinner.
If your disease is more serious then you may be given an individualised formula that you prepare every day and make a ‘herbal soup’ that you drink.
For skin disease you may be given or have manufactured for you a cream or potion for external apllication.
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 Richard.
As they work in different areas of the body there is almost always no issue but sometimes there are herbs that are not given out if you are taking certain pharmaceuticals.
DO YOU SELL ANY BANNED HERBS?
Absolutely not. So please do not ask.
HOW SOON WILL I FEEL OR SEE RESULTS? HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
This depends a lot on the patient and the severity of your condition. Richard 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 a bit longer.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Please take a look at the booking page for the current fees.
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED?
please look at the Acupuncture, Introducing TCM, Chinese Herbal, or ACC pages for further information. If you still cannot find your answer then please contact Richard