Treating the Qi (chee)

Pain, in Acupuncture circles, is viewed quite differently to that in the west. In the West pain generally indicates an organic (physical) problem. To an Acupuncturist, pain can mean many things and this article is a great starting point in your understanding of how Acupuncture works. If you can understand this then the rest is easy.

With that in mind, I hope to give you a very quick lesson in Acupuncture theory, by looking at Painful Obstruction Syndrome (Pain). Chinese Medicine - and in particular Acupuncture - is an energetic medicine. We talk about energy, it’s flow through the body and its connections with both the internal world of your BodyMind and the external world - out here. It is said in the ancient Chinese medical classics that when one is healthy the energy (called Qi - pronounced chee ) flows freely; one's body is like that of a graceful bird, and one's mind is sharp and clear.

There are basically two disturbances that interfere with the flow of the Qi: obstruction and depletion. When the flow is obstructed the Qi slows down and, initially, this can cause a sense of heaviness, as if the body becomes stuck or slow and the Mind becomes shrouded in fog. If the Qi is further impaired it becomes stuck and this results in obstructions and this creates sharp, intense pain.

The other common presentation is the depletion of the Qi. This is often a more serious condition because it usually comes as the result of a long standing problem. In this case the pain is often more chronic, non-responsive to almost all other forms of treatment, and variously described as deep, dull, non-fixed and aching - or a weak pain that drains the sufferer. It is also accompanied by other symptoms such as tiredness, weakness, depression and general malaise.

For me, it is not about treating a headache, upset bowel, coughing and sneezing, or a back pain. No, I treat disorders of Qi - disharmonies in the body’s landscape. I interpret the flow, the nature of the impairment, and the likely causes. I then set about correcting the flow of the Qi. Once corrected the BodyMind is in a better position to reclaim its authority over the terrain - restoring harmony and balance. The pain then dissipates.

For me, it really is that simple. The challenge lies in reading the landscape of your BodyMind; working out how best to restore it to Harmony and then placing the needles delicately and decisively, in just the right places, at just the right time, Your Body and your Mind does the rest.

Painful Obstruction Syndrome

Painful and Obstructive conditions are - broadly speaking - all of those conditions that involve bones, muscles, tendons and soft tissue. So, we are talking about muscular aches, pains, sprains, and strains.

A recent report provides some evidence for the efficacy of Acupuncture treatment for a range of painful muscular-skeletal conditions. Acupuncture's gentle and subtle nature makes it a great choice for those in pain. Some conditions for which Acupuncture may be helpful include, but are not limited to:
back pain
neck pain
shoulder pain
elbow pain and stiffness
wrist pain and stiffness
knee injuries
sports injuries
general muscular aches and pains
tendon and joint injuries
sports injuries
post trauma pain
post operative pain
and more ….

Stress Equals Emotional Obstruction

A large spectrum of emotional issues respond well to Acupuncture treatment - especially where stress is a contributing factor. When we find ourselves being obstructed by others behaviour towards us, or our own negative and obsessive thinking then the Qi becomes blocked.

When the Qi is blocked the flow becomes obstructed and this often manifests in emotional disharmony (i.e. we become sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, fearful, or just plain emotionally exhausted).

Acupuncture is a fantastic and supportive treatment for those suffering from the wear and tear of everyday life and the stresses it brings to the body. It aids in the restoration of flow, which in turn brings about a more harmonious state in the body-mind landscape.

Consider for a moment all of the symptoms that you could attribute to Stress, other than the ones I listed above, and you have an idea of how useful Acupuncture could be in your life.

Digestive Wellbeing

So many people come to me with vague signs and symptoms of an impaired digestive system. Whilst the more serious of these conditions may need to be referred to an appropriate medical and dietary specialist, I often find that Acupuncture can assist the work of these modalities.

I find digestive distresses of this sort are often part of a very complex pattern. This makes it very resistant to standard forms of treatment alone. However, the Acupuncture paradigm allows me to generate a clearer picture of your overall state of wellbeing. Given the diversity of my experience and theoretical models, I believe I am able to create a helpful explanation, and wellness intervention for you.

Enhancing Wellbeing

Historically, Acupuncture has been used to help enhance and strengthen the individual's resistance (known as Wei Qi - protective energy) against the day to day stressors. To this end I have a special interest in working with people who wish to take care of their general wellbeing.

Utilising a combination of Acupuncture, Oriental Dietary Therapy, various Exercise Therapies (eg. Tai Chi and Qi Gong), Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques I can work with you to improve your bodymind's strength and resistance to ill health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it hurt?

Honest answer is: not much - if at all! If you were to take a look at an Acupuncture needle you would notice that it is very, very fine. The needles I use are made of the very best surgical stainless steel.

The other thing that must be remembered about Acupuncture needles is that they are solid. This means that they actually push the skin and tissue aside when inserted; they don't cut like a normal hypodermic (injection) needle does. This means little or no pain on insertion.

Finally, the main source of pain with an injection is the liquid being forced into the tissue. With Acupuncture, there is nothing being injected; therefore no pain.

Combine this with 30+ years experience and hundreds of thousands of needles inserted by my very own hand, and I think I am reasonably good at painless insertions.

Of course, having said that, I must say there are always those who are so nervous that they will feel something. For you folk, all I can suggest is that the most common remark I have after a first session is, "is that all there is to it; I hardly felt a thing."

In fact, a recent client who was recommended to me took almost 4 year to build up the nerve to come in. He is now a convert; and yes he is still anxious before every treatment. However, after the first needle he relaxes into it.

So if you like your needles with a touch of pain, perhaps you will have to look elsewhere.

How long will it take?

If by this you mean how many treatments will you need, all I can say is how long is a piece of string? If you mean how long does a session last ? About 30 - 60 minutes. When you compare Acupuncture to drugs, the response time is certainly much slower; but then Acupuncture doesn't have side effects. When you compare it to doing nothing then Acupuncture is much quicker - and still without side effects.

In all honesty I would rather we reframe this question. It really isn't helpful to lock ourselves into precise time frames. Everybody varies; everybody's experience of pain is subject to so many variables and everybody has a different level of wellness. For some, to be well is to have no pain; for others it is a little pain, and yet for some it is pain, but without the discomfort.

Let me make you this promise instead. I will provide you with the very best treatment that I can, and I will always aim at achieving the very best results in the shortest possible time frame; all this without ever compromising your comfort and wellbeing. How does that sound?

How effective is it?

Let me put it to you like this. Acupuncture has undergone the longest clinical trials in the history of any medicine. Billions of cases over 5,000 or so years. What does that say? I don't know about you, but I think that speaks volumes! You don't last that long if you don't have something to offer. Right?

When I began practice 32 years ago there are about 300 Acupuncturists in Australian; today there are more than 5,000 (and that is not counting the thousands of dry needle therapists). When I began people asked me what Acupuncture was. Now almost everyone I speak with has either had Acupuncture or has someone in their family who has. Thats sort of meteoric rise in popularity doesn't happen by accident. It happens because people speak about their positive experiences.

I expect by the next generation fo Acupuncturists that my modality will be the most utilised after medicine. I'll let you work out why that might be.

Protecting Your Privacy?

Keep Ballarat Acupuncture Informed

Help Ballarat Acupuncture to keep you informed. If any of your information has changed please email or ring Ballarat Acupuncture.
Ballarat Acupuncture is committed to providing its clients with the highest levels of service, including the protection of clients' privacy. Following is the information that the Privacy Act requires us to communicate to our clients.

Ballarat Acupuncture provides a range of practitioner services including: Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Tui Na (Chinese Massage Therapy) & Oriental Health Coaching.

Your Personal Information

Personal information held by Ballarat Acupuncture may include your name, date of birth, current and previous addresses, telephone/mobile phone numbers, e-mail address, without which Ballarat Acupuncture may not be able to provide you with the services you require, or the level of service on which we pride ourselves.

Other information, which we will collect, and hold (as a direct consequence of practitioner consultations only) includes, but is not limited to, your patient symptom profile, medical history and treatment details.

How Personal Information is Collected

Ballarat Acupuncture collects personal information in a number of ways, including: directly from you, when you provide information at treatment sessions and from third parties such as your parents (if you are under 16)

How Ballarat Acupuncture Uses Your Personal Information

Your personal information may be used by us in order to:

  • provide the services you require;
  • administer and manage those services, including charging, billing and collecting debts;
  • inform you of ways the services provided to you could be improved;
  • research and develop our services;
  • gain an understanding of your needs in order for us to provide you with a better service; and
  • maintain and develop our business systems and infrastructure, including testing and upgrading of these systems.
Your personal information is also collected to promote and market other services directly to you, which we consider may be of interest to you.

If you do not wish Ballarat Acupuncture to contact you regarding other services please call (0419 375 596) or
email us and ask for your name to removed from our mailing list.

When Ballarat Acupuncture Discloses Your Personal Information

For the purposes set out above Ballarat Acupuncture may disclose your personal information to:

  • other practitioners for referral purposes only (and only with your written permission, and only that which you would have us pass on). In these instances we will give you the information to take with you, we will not discuss your details with any practitioner directly, unless you are present at the time;
  • private health funds for payment of your refunds, but only with your written permission. The only exception to this will be to verify receipt details, should that be requested;
  • government and regulatory authorities and other organisations, as required or authorised by law.

We will not provide written reports to legal firms unless the following criteria are first met:
  • a written request from yourself and the legal firm requiring the report;
  • payment for the report isa made prior to it being sent, and at our set rate; and
  • a release form signed by you stating that you have read the report and agree for it to be sent to the legal firm concerned.

When Ballarat Acupuncture Do Not Disclose Your Personal Information

Ballarat Acupuncture has a policy of not providing patient names to outside parties other than that which is detailed in the latter section, unless the supply of that information has been directly or impliedly authorised (such as updating postal addresses).

When advertising material is forwarded to you (ie. newsletters and/or service offers) it is done so via our clinic (ie Greg Horgan personally affixing the address labels to the individual envelopes).

We do not, nor will we ever allow a third party to do this. In the case of emails, it is done by Greg Horgan personally and directly to you, under a group identification tag only. Your email address is therefore not (knowingly) identifiable by third parties.

If Ballarat Acupuncture needs to contact you personally we first do so by the means you identified as your preference during your initial consultation, and as recorded on your file at that time.

How Ballarat Acupuncture Ensures Information Held is Correct

Ballarat Acupuncture takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that the personal information we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. However, the accuracy of that information depends to a large extent on the information you provide us.

We therefore recommend that you advise us of any errors in your personal information in writing; and keep us up to date with changes to personal information such as your name, address or contact details.

You can access your personal information

You have a right to access your personal information, subject to some exceptions allowed by law. If you would like to do so, please advise Ballarat Acupuncture. For security reasons, such a request is required to be in writing.

Ballarat Acupuncture reserves the right to charge a fee for searching for and providing access to your information. Should fees become payable for accessing personal information, details of the charges will be provided to you, in writing, at the time of your request.

If you have any questions in relation to privacy, please contact Ballarat Acupuncture by phone 0419 375 596, between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can
email Ballarat Acupuncture

Fees 2020

Payment of Private Accounts

Payment of fees for Clinical Services are due and payable at the time of the appointment. I do not undertake Workcover, TAC, Comcare or Medicare work. Nor do I undertake any other third party insurance work.

Cancellation Policy

I know everyone will understand my need to offer the very best service possible at all times. In order to do this I must know in advance if you are not able to attend a scheduled appointment. I understand that emergencies crop up and I do take that into account when applying the following policy.

I would request that you phone - or text - the clinic (0419 375 596) as soon as you know that you will be unable to attend; giving me as much notice as possible - preferably 24 hours. Failure to do so will incur the full cost of the service missed, and no future appointments will be scheduled until this fee is paid.

Fees for 2020

Initial Consultation: $90.00
Standard Consultation: $80.00 (up to 45 mins)
Extended Consultation: $100.00 (60 mins or more)

Payment Options Available
You have the option of paying with cash, credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), Apple Pay, Google Pay or Osko.

Duplicate Receipts and Statements
Duplicate Receipt/Statement for the current financial year - $10.00
Duplicate Receipt/Statement for past financial year - $ 20.00

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Wednesday 10.00am - 5.00pm
Restricted hours for May 2020


0419 375 596


109 Eyre Street
Ballarat, 3350

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