Top Frequently Asked Questions
How long have you been practising acupuncture?
Peter Kington started studying acupuncture in 2002.
He opened his clinic, full time, in early 2005.
What's the process when I make first contact?
Peter generally fields most new client enquiries himself (unless he’s away, in which case one of his associates may speak with you).
Peter likes to speak with new clients on the phone to make sure he feels he can help before scheduling the first appointment.
So, whether you contact Peter by phone or email, you will speak with him or one of his associates.
Can I book online without speaking to Peter?
Due to scheduling requirements associated with first consultations, Peter needs to speak with you to ensure the appropriate time is set aside for your consultation.
What happens when I arrive at the clinic?
When you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to complete a new client form and also a consent document. You will also receive a copy of the fees we charge (which includes our cancellation and no-show policy)
Cancellation and missed appointments?
When you attend your first consultation you will receive a copy of Peter’s cancellation and no-show policy.
Making a sustainable living as an acupuncturist is a tricky business and there are a lot of hidden costs that come with operating an acupuncture practice.
While Peter’s focus is always about your health, well-being and improvement the hard reality is that his is a business with significant operating costs. When a client no shows a confirmed appointment this means lost income.
It also means another client has been denied that spot – especially out-of-hours.
Having said that, Peter also understands emergent situations sometimes occur at the last minute (so he applies this policy with discretion and consideration of your individual circumstances).
To help you remember your appointment Peter offers an SMS reminder service which you are welcome to opt out from (but if you do and you forget your appointment then expect to be charged).
What can I expect in my first consultation with Peter?
Your first consultation will generally be longer and more detailed so Peter can get all the information he needs to craft a treatment plan.
Your consultation will include questions, discussion and acupuncture. If you require herbs Peter will also prepare those for you.
Is acupuncture the same as 'dry needling'?
All acupuncturists know how to dry needle but not all dry needlers are acupuncturists.
Anyone who calls themselves an acupuncturist is trained in Chinese medicine which includes an understanding of meridians. In Australia, being an acupuncturist requires a minimum four year Chinese medicine degree.
Someone who dry needles may be a physiotherapist or Chiropractor or Osteopath or myotherapist or even a massage therapist.
Training levels for these professions vary and don’t include the extensive training Chinese medicine practitioners undertake in their craft.
Is acupuncture safe?
In the hands of a registered acupuncturist, yes.
Peter Kington is a registered and experienced acupuncturist.
You can check out his registrations status by typing his name – Peter Kington – into the practitioner search function on this government website: www.ahpra.gov.au
Does acupuncture hurt?
Everyone has different pain thresholds, but generally speaking acupuncture hurts no more than a mozzie bite (if at all).
If there is any discomfort it will be felt as the needle is inserted but should disappear very quickly.
Once the pins are in you will hardly no they are there.
I saw on the news that Chinese herbs are not safe to take. Is this true?
OK, let’s set some facts straight.
The first issue is the difference between an adverse reaction and dangerous herbs.
Anyone, whether they take herbs or vitamins or medicine from your GP or specialist, can potentially have an adverse reaction.
An adverse reaction can happen even when the most conservative and prudent care is taken to ensure a herbal mixture, capsule or pill is right for you.
Adverse reactions can happen simply because your body reacts in some way to something you have ingested. An example might be some nausea or a loosening of your stools.
To help minimise the impact such a reaction has on you, Peter always asks his clients to be in touch the minute they suspect something is up.
Generally, adverse reactions a rare and easily solved or managed (provided you communicate with Peter so he can help you).
Sometimes in the media there are stories about Chinese herbs containing heavy metals (like lead) or aristolochic acid which can cause kidney failure.
Australia has an extremely rigorous testing standard for Chinese herbs. This testing standard includes batch assays of herbal products to ensure there is no evidence of heavy metals or aristolochic acid.
Peter DOES NOT use raw herbs (sticks and twigs). He uses high-quality, processed herbal granules, capsules and pills.
These products are well tested, regulated and safe.
Payment options and private health insurance?
Peter accepts cash payments, debit cards, Visa and Mastercard and AMEX.
Peter does not accept payment by way of cheque.
Peter has a HICAPS machine where he can process your private health insurance claim on the spot (for participating health funds).
It is your responsibility to ensure your fund covers you for acupuncture if claiming a rebate is important for you.
Parking and public transport?
There is on-street parking around Nurture Studio, New Farm – do allow time before time before your appointment to find a suitable spot.
The 196 bus will drop you on the corner of Annie and Brunswick Streets. A 7 minute walk will have you at the clinic (where a glass of water and great AC awaits you).
Acupuncture evidence: what is the state of evidence to support the use of acupuncture as a therapy?
Acupuncture evidence: is there evidence for acupuncture therapy?
Acupuncture evidence is an emerging field of research and application in clinical practice.
This page explains what evidence is. If you want to get straight to the bit about the evidence supporting acupuncture as a therapy then scroll down (but to understand that it is recommended you read the whole page).
What is evidence based medicine?
Evidence based medicine is a model of medical practice the relies on using the best available evidence to inform clinical practice.
Historically, medicine relied on empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is evidence which is developed to inform practice that is based on observation. Often, doctors would call this ‘clinical judgement’ or when your doctor says, “based on my experience” they may be drawing from their own clinical observations of patient response to treatment or disease progression.
Since the latter part of the twentieth century, the concept of evidence based medicine has evolved. Where once evidence would inform clinical practice, there is a greater tendency now for it to determine clinical practice and where once the ‘best available’ evidence was used, there is now a greater tendency for only ‘gold standard’ evidence to be used.
Due to this redefinition of evidence based medicine, there has been a noticeable shift in the way evidence is used in clinical practice and a greater expectation that all forms of health care comply to this model.
What constitutes ‘evidence’?
Evidence is classified according to the type of study undertaken to gather the information. Evidence is also graded according to the reliability of the data that is gathered and how that data was gathered.
For example, clinical outcomes published as a result of a large study of people, perhaps conducted as part of a professional research team based in a noted research facility in a university, holds greater evidentiary weight than a single case report written up by a practitioner on the same topic.
There are many reasons for this classification, but assessing the validity of evidence is crucial to the practice of evidence based medicine.
Is there evidence to support the use of acupuncture as a treatment therapy?
Yes, but like everything there is a mixture of strong, moderate and weak acupuncture evidence to support acupuncture as a therapy.
What are the current strengths and weaknesses of acupuncture evidence research in Australia?
Although the practice of acupuncture possibly goes back several thousand years, as far as its integration into western healthcare, it is a fairly new method of treatment.
Some of the limitations acupuncture evidence researchers face include:
- Securing funding from universities and government grants to conduct a study
- Finding sufficient participants from the general population to participate in the study
- Achieving an effective ‘blind’ in the study (‘blinding’ means including some people who are not receiving the therapy in question but think they might be receiving it). It is challenging to ‘blind’ any manual therapy (like acupuncture or physiotherapy). “Blinding” works better for drug trials
Some of the strengths acupuncture evidence researchers have include:
- Australia has a very robust research culture around acupuncture which is led from four major tertiary education institutions including University Technology Sydney , Western Sydney University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology . Other researchers have completed their research projects as part of medical schools not affiliated with Chinese medicine researchers (for example, The Acupuncture Evidence Project , 2017).
- Research in acupuncture is a growth area partly because there is demand from the public to incorporate it into their treatment, partly because we wish to know how it might work and partly because there is demand to build the evidence base to support empirical observations.
What does it mean if there is “no” acupuncture evidence to support acupuncture as a therapy for the condition I’m experiencing?
It could just mean that – empirical evidence suggests acupuncture can help condition x but no study has been completed to provide evidence the therapy is effective.
It may also mean a study has been completed and failed to demonstrate any clinical effect.
When interpreting ‘no evidence’ one must take care not to confuse “evidence which failed to demonstrate any clinical improvement with treatment” against “no or not enough research has been completed in this area”. In this instance does this mean acupuncture doesn’t work? No, it just means research is incomplete and therefore doesn’t support or reject it either way.
What evidence does exist to support the use of acupuncture as a therapy?
The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association is the peak professional body for acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners in Australia.
To assist practitioners and members of the public to better understand the level of acupuncture evidence to support acupuncture therapy across a variety of conditions, the Association undertook a comprehensive analysis of the available evidence.
You can download a Plain English summary of The Acupuncture Evidence Project here. [link to PDF file “please English”]
If you would like to read the full document then The Acupuncture Evidence Project is here.[link to PDF file “full report”.]
The correct citation for the document is: McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017