Some common questions

Question 1

Is there evidence of the efficacy of Chinese medicine?

In addition to 2000 years of well-documented clinical observation, contemporary research constantly confirms the efficacy of Chinese medicine in many areas, including the use of MRI scans to demonstrate the effect on the brain of acupuncture located on various parts of the body. The World health Organisation recognises a wide range of conditions treated by acupuncture. International research has shown that acupuncture increases the success of IVF, and that Chinese herbal medicine achieves better results for female fertility than Western medicine treatment.

Question 2

What methods are used?

Following a thorough and comprehensive assessment, and after discussion with the patient, herbs and/or acupuncture, guasha (scraping), moxibustion (warming) or tuina (Chinese remedial massage) are used as appropriate. No endangered species, either plants or animals are used.

Question 3

How long is a course of treatment?

The length of treatment is very much dependent on the length of time the problem has persisted, the individual constitution of the patient, and compliance with treatment advice. Simple acute illnesses like the common cold may require 1-3 days of herbs, whilst chronic disease can take weeks or months.

Question 4

Are there side effects?

The effects of Chinese medicine are positive rather than negative. It is only in rare cases that an individual might have a sensitivity to herbs. Even in individuals with food sensitivities however, Chinese herbs are well tolerated.

Question 5

What about the safety and ethics of herbal products?

At Maru Clinic only top quality refined herbal granules are used, which undergo a strict quality control process from the time of planting (including soil selection), and are rigorously tested for contaminants and for efficacy. They are safer than high quality drinking water.  No endangered species, either plants or animals, are used.

Question 6

How long does a consultation last?

The initial consultation includes a comprehensive assessment and the first treatment. This takes up to 90 minutes. Follow-up consultations generally take 40-60 minutes.

Question 7

Is Chinese medicine safe?

In the hands of a registered Chinese medicine practitioner who has completed a bachelor degree in Chinese medicine, safety is assured. Many who use acupuncture or Chinese herbs do not have the qualifications required to be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board as an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist, and may just have completed a short course, a few weekends , or a few lectures as part of another course of study.

Question 8

Is acupuncture painful?

Unfortunately, the word ‘needle’ is associated with a hypodermic syringe, which is hollow and has an angled cutting edge for the purpose of injecting substances into the muscles or veins. Acupuncture needles, on the other hand, are fine and flexible and approximately 10th the diameter of a hypodermic syringe. In most cases insertion causes no discomfort, and rather than a ‘stabbing sensation’ there will be a sensation of distension or pressure.

Question 9

What disorders are treated?

Chinese medicine treats the cause of illness – the constitutional pattern which has allowed the illness to arise. We treat the pattern, not the disease. For this reason, two people with asthma may be treated differently while 2 patients with different complaints may be treated similarly. Because the underlying pattern which causes the disease is treated, most complaints respond to Chinese medicine. Even in terminal disease treatment has been shown to reduce the relapse, increase the incidence of remission, and at the very least, to improve the quality of life.

Question 10

What is the practitioner’s level of qualifications, knowledge and experience?

Robin completed 5 years full-time study in Chinese medicine then undertook further studies and internships in China, focusing on gynaecology and paediatrics. She has lectured in the major Victorian universities and colleges, and is a published author of texts on gynaecology and obstetrics, and classic literature of Chinese medicine. She has a private practice in Melbourne and is the trusted family physician of many. She is highly experienced in the area of women’s health and fertility, cares for women throughout pregnancy, and attends both home and hospital births.

Robin has extensive experience successfully treating most of the problems that can plague women: Pre-menstrual symptoms, Menstrual pain, irregular menstruation, excessive menstruation, cervical dysplasia, conception difficulties, morning sickness, post-partum haemorrhage, postnatal depression, lactation problems are all treated with excellent results. Chinese medicine also gets excellent results with men suffering energy or digestive problems, headaches, stress or low tolerance of frustration.