FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We periodically update this material to more accurately reflect the latest changes in understanding, practice, and policy. These questions come from real-life questions posed by individuals like yourself. We hope you find them helpful.
Please let us know if your question is not answered here. To send a question, please email us FAQ in the subject line and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A brief outline of your medical history
- Your Health Questionnaire if mailed out to you prior to your appointment
- The results (pathology, scans, reports) of any investigations or specialist consultations relevant to your current health problem.
- A list of all medications and supplements you are taking (Please bring the bottles with you so we can check the actual amounts of the various nutrients in the supplements).
- A 7 day example of your normal diet and exercise routines
If you have been very ill or are over 38 weeks pregnant please arrange for your partner or primary care-giver to attend with you for these sessions. It is important that they understand the program being developed for you and the rationale behind it.
There are many conditions that we help our clients with, too many to be listed but here are some of the more common questions we get asked:
I have PCOS can you help?
Most definitely, we treat hundreds of women with PCOS, our approach is truly integrative combining four different types of medicine to balance all your hormones according to the latest research.
I have poor sperm parameters can you help?
Most definitely, our ground breaking male fertility protocols as proven by scientific research have helped hundreds of men with low sperm count, low levels of testosterone, high FSH, poor sperm motility, low sperm concentration, sperm antibodies just to name a few.
I have thyroid problem, can you help?
Absolutely, please refer to our thyroid page as this gives a great overview how we treat and why our program works.
I have MTHFR polymorphism can you help?
This very important genetic change is very important to understand and be treated correctly for fertility, healthy sperm parameters, thyroid, cancer and overall general health. Without this knowledge your current supplement regime and diet could be hindering your fertility and hormone health.
I have endometriosis can you help?
Most definitely, our approach is truly integrative and as a result many of our clients receive the outcome they want.
I am taking Tamoxifen can you help with hot flushes?
Absolutely, we have many women that cannot believe the results.
For initial consultations one should allow 1 hour: 30 minutes for the actual consultation to chat about you then the rest of the time is to sit back relax and enjoy your treatment. All acupuncture clients receive relevant dietary and nutritional advice and a booklet sent via email.
For subsequent consultations we allow 45 mins, this includes time for you to ask any questions you may have regarding your treatment plan, progress and pathology results. The rest of the time is to allow you to enjoy your treatment.
The preventantive care treatment is designed for our clients whom are short of time, relatively well and need a quick tune up. A popular treatment for busy Mum’s, Dad’s and business people. For a preventative care treatment allow 25 mins: 5 minutes to ask some questions and 20 mins for a treatment.
Nutritional and Naturopathic Medicine
Your initial consultations with our Naturopathic and Nutritional Practitioner consists of two initial appointments. The first appointment is about gathering all the facts and information about diet, lifestyle and environment. After this consult you will be given preliminary dietary advice or adjustment. The second initial appointment is the testing appointment. This ensures all the information is gathered and appropriate testing is performed, so that you receive treatment recommendations based on evidence based functional medicine in the most efficient amount of time.
All Naturopathic and Nutritional clients receive relevant dietary, environmental, nutritional and herbal advice along with a treatment plan for future testing and consultations after there second initial consult.
We have designed Skype consultations especially for our interstate and international clients. Your appointment will go for 30 minutes in which we will go through a full case history with you, including a diet, lifestyle and environmental questionnaire as designed by Dr Costa along with a full analysis of your pathology results. Following your consult a treatment plan, is designed to maximize your fertility, balance your hormones and manage your health better.
What if I want to have both Acupuncture, Naturopathic and Nutritional Medicine Consults?
We offer individual modalities to those allready seeing another practitioner or whom just want one modality such as acupuncture. However those whom want the complete package receive great value and advice for fertility and general health.
The first two appointments are similar to the initial naturopathic and nutritional appointments but include an extra ½ hour to receive your acupuncture treatment. Thus initial appointments are 1-2 weeks apart and take 1.5 hours each.
Follow up visits are scheduled according to your Chinese medicine and naturopathic/nutritional medicine diagnosis, this will be outlined and explained to you as part of your treatment protocol at your second visit.
How often do I have to come for an appointment?
This depends upon the problem being treated. Acupuncture treatments require regular appointments, usually at least once per week and as you improve then visits may extend to fortnightly or monthly depending on progress. Naturopathic and Nutritional appointments are less frequent, although the initial two appointments may be two to three weeks apart.
Do I have to go somewhere else to get my herbs and supplements?
At Acumedica we utilise and integrate the power, science and tradition of nutritional medicine, Chinese, Western and Ayurvedic herbal medicine, to maximise your fertility, balance your hormones and manage overall health.
All your herbs and nutritional supplements are dispensed on the premises. We only recommend products that are TGA approved, contain the highest quality ingredients at the best price, have the lowest amount of excipients, and thoroughly researched and tested to contain the real product.
We also ensure at Acumedica that your herbs and supplements have been screened for toxins and heavy metals, thus helping you avoid exposure to potential toxins. This way we ensure what you are taking maximises your fertility and other health parameters rather than hindering it.
How do I pay?
Charges are settled on the day of appointment. We accept cash and eftpos payments, but not American Express or Diners Club. We do not accept personal cheques.
Can I get a health fund rebate?
All funds give rebates for naturopathy and all but one fund (HCF) give rebates for acupuncture. To be certain, please contact your own health fund.
Do I need to disrobe?
This will depend on what you are wearing thus we encourage you to wear loose comfortable clothing so that way you do not need to disrobe.
Does it hurt?
It does not feel like an injection at all (see “needles” below). The sensation is an interesting dull, heavy, numb, relaxing feeling that the Chinese call “sour”. Occassionally there may be a slight pricking when the needle passes through the skin; most people do not even feel this. If there is any sharpness after this, let your practitioner know so that the point can be adjusted to be more comfortable. Our techniques at acumedica are very gentle and most of our clients leave feeling relaxed and calm.
Acupuncture needles are very fine and much smaller in diameter than hypodermic needles. they are gently rounded at the tip, as they ease their way into the tissues they are often not even felt.
Only sterile, single-use, disposable Korean or Japanese needles are used.
Length of Treatment
We aim to bring the body and mind back into normal healthy functioning, as far as possible and as quickly as possible, using herbs and acupuncture or nutritional and dietary advice. For recent or mild illnesses, the treatment is brief, sometimes even just two appointments. The longer the imbalance, the longer it will take to bring balance back. The rule of thumb for conditions which have persisted for longer than two years is “one month of treatment for one year of problem.” It is often surprising how people will expect instant results for a condition they have been developing for many years!
After relative balance and normal functioning has been restored, the last phase of treatment will be to consolidate this, usually employing easy-to-take pills, drops or powders, or less frequent acupuncture visits.
Age is not such a big deal in Chinese Medicine (within limits, of course) many of our clients are over the age of 38 and come to us for the reason that we aim to improve egg and sperm quality with herbal treatment, nutritional medicine and acupuncture. However, egg quality is not the only factor in fertility. Many things have to come together in the right way and at the right time for conception to occur and a viable pregnancy to develop. Chief amongst these, and the fastest to improve, is the condition of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Next is egg quality, followed by the proper functioning of other hormones such as thyroid and adrenal hormones, along with ovulation, tubal patency and functioning, then luteal phase stability and of course sperm quality.
Some of these factors are de-emphasised in many fertility treatments because either not much can be done, or it is all too hard.
How long will it take for me to fall pregnant?
This is often the most burning question: How long will it take?! The simple answer is that it is often between six to twelve months. We cannot force a pregnancy, we can only ensure that the conditions are as optimal as possible for you to reach your full fertile potential.
Herbs are fine during IVF procedures (for most fertility specialists in Australia, anyway). During the initial IVF try however we usually do not use herbs during the down regulation and stimulation phases, in order to determine the patient’s baseline response to the IVF protocol.
Ideally we would like to see a patient for two or three months before beginning an IVF program, as this is the minimum amount of time needed to improve egg and sperm parameters along with the endometrium which is where the fertilized ovum has to implant. We believe that this investment of a few weeks pays big dividends in IVF success rates.
Herbs in pregnancy
Chinese and naturopathic gynaecology has a very clear understanding of what can and cannot be used safely in pregnancy. In fact, there are three levels of herbs used in Chinese gynaecology:
- Those herbs which should not be used in pregnancy;
- Herbs that are quite safe in pregnancy;
- Herbs that are not only safe, but beneficial to both mother and baby; these are known in traditional Chinese gynaecology as “foetal-calming herbs”.
In general during pregnancy we choose herbs only from the foetal-calming category, unless there is a specific need to use a herb from category two for a specific effect and a short time.
Herbs can be very effective for treating morning sickness and a wide variety of other problems in pregnancy.
The benefits of acupuncture in IVF treatment have been measured and is now considered routine treatment alongside your IVF treatment.
How do I take my tincture?
Take the drops in water, it doesn’t matter how much water. Be sure to notice that the dosage is not in ‘drops’, but ‘droppers’. To signal this we say “full droppers” but they don’t have to be full all the way to the top of the dropper, half or three quarters is sufficient.
Why do I have to take supplements and/or herbs?
Often a herbal or supplement prescription will be taken AM & PM, these pills are not concentrated chemicals, they are simply plants, vitamins and minerals therefore a certain amount of time is needed before there will be an effect but the wait is worth it.
Some people have trouble swallowing pills, however; if this is the case inform your practitioner and an alternative can easily be arranged.