FAQ

Some common questions

Question 1

Is there evidence of the efficacy of Chinese medicine?

   Chinese medicine has a rich literary history recorded for over 2000 years. Many of the text record observed outcomes of treatment providing practitioners with an accumulated observational study by many practitioners over hundreds of years. Modern research has also supported many of the traditional observations regarding indications and the appropriate treatment protocols for those.

Amongst other studies, MRI scans have demonstrated the effect on the brain of acupuncture located on various parts of the body.   http://www.robinmarchment.com.au/?s=recent+research

A 2 year retroactive study or 89,000 patients showed that 93% were satisfied with the success of treating their conditions and 99% were satisfied the quality of care.       http://files.clickdimensions.com/ashcompaniescom-a7oce/files/acupuncturecahps.pdf

The Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald and Janz) reported that over 1000 trials had demonstrated NHMRC Level 1 evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in 117 conditions including migraine, tension headaches, lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis, allergic rhinitis, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, post-operative nausea and vomiting, post-operative pain, rotator cuff syndrome to name some.   http://www.acupuncture.org.au/Portals/0/The%20Acupuncture%20Evidence%20Project_Mcdonald%20and%20Janz_Feb_2017_Reissued_April_2017.pdf?ver=2017-04-21-150632-950

Research has also shown that:

Acupuncture increases the success of IVF. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18258932

Chinese herbal medicine achieves better results for female fertility than Western medicine treatment.   http://www.jcm.co.uk/drum-tower-archive/article/researchers-find-chinese-herbal-medicine-more-effective-than-modern-medicine-for-female-infertility-1875/

And a study undertaken at Homerton University Hospital in London found that combining acupuncture with IVF treatment doubles the chance of pregnancy. Pregnancy rates in those receiving acupuncture were approximately double that of those who did not. The study involved 160 couples suffering from fertility problems. Half were assigned to have acupuncture during their IVF cycle. One year on, those who received acupuncture had achieved pregnancy rates of 46.2 per cent. Among those who had not, pregnancy rates were just 21.7 per cent.


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?

In order to be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA), Chinese medicine practitioners must have a bachelor degree in Chinese medicine, and meet high standards of training and competence in order to provide safe and effective care.  They must also continue to develop their knowledge and skills as part of their professional development. It is therefore recommended that you see only a registered Chinese medicine practitioner as some practitioners are not registered with the CMBA and may have just completed a short course or a few units as part of another course of study.  You can check here: http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx

Although Chinese medicine has a long history of safe practice, and is generally considered to be safe, there are always some risks associated with any form of treatment and, as with any form of treatment, there can be adverse reactions in individual cases. Only sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used and in the hands of a registered practitioner the risk of adverse reactions is very low.


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 order to be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA), Chinese medicine practitioners must have a bachelor degree in Chinese medicine, and meet high standards of training and competence in order to provide safe and effective care.  They must also continue to develop their knowledge and skills as part of their professional development. It is therefore recommended that you see only a registered Chinese medicine practitioner as some practitioners are not registered with the CMBA and may have just completed a short course or a few units as part of another course of study.  You can check here: http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx

Although Chinese medicine has a long history of safe practice, and is generally considered to be safe, there are always some risks associated with any form of treatment and, as with any form of treatment, there can be adverse reactions in individual cases. Only sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used and in the hands of a registered practitioner the risk of adverse reactions is very low.


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 in helping women with most of the problems that can plague them: Pre-menstrual symptoms, Menstrual pain, irregular menstruation, excessive menstruation, conception difficulties, morning sickness, to nae a few.