natural medicine centre
john gemmill & associates
(03) 5672 2692 or (03) 5662 5644
Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question? You'll find at least some of the answers you are looking for here!
If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to contact us on either of the clinic numbers above and we will do our best to answer your query.
What are your fees?
Initial acupuncture appointments are $95, or $90 if you have a concession card.
Follow up appointments are $78, or $75 with concession.
Any herbs or supplements recommended by John will be on top of this cost.
Can I get a health fund rebate?
Yes! John has a provider number and depending on your level of cover you are able to claim consultations to get a rebate. All the information you need will be provided on the receipt given to you following your appointment. We cannot estimate the type of refund you will get as it is dependent on the type and level of cover you have. A quick call to your health insurance provider will give you the answer.
How do I pay?
Charges are settled on the day of appointment. We accept cash, eftpos payments and major credit cards, but not American Express or Diners Club.
Do I have to go somewhere else to get my herbs or supplements?
No. We have comprehensive nutritional and traditional herbal medicines.
How often do I have to come for an appointment?
This depends on the problem being treated. Acupuncture treatments require regular appointments, usually once per week while treating an acute condition. Treatment for more chronic illness normally occurs in blocks of weekly treatments for six weeks with a time for reviewal at the end of each block.
As you improve, maintenance appointments will be less frequent, usually every couple of months. In this case we generally recomment coming before you need it. As an ancient Chinese proverb says: "Seeing your doctor once you are sick is like starting to dig a well when you are already thirsty."
Different health conditions require different frequency of visits, and John tailors a health plan to suit your specific needs.
How long will my appointment take?
Generally all consultations last one hour. This enables time for a comprehensive case history and exploration of your needs.
What are your opening hours?
John practices in Wonthaggi on Mondays and Thursdays, and in Leongatha on Tuesdays and Fridays. Hours vary depending on client needs, with mornings, afternoons and evenings available. Call either one of the clinic numbers to book a time that best suits you.
What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?
All consultations are available by appointment only. If your mobile phone number is provided to the clinic you will receive a text two days ahead of the scheduled time.
We are a busy practice and John works his days around the appointment diary. Last minute cancellations mean a missed opportunity for other patients to take advantage of this time, as well as a loss of income for John. For this reason we enforce a 24 hour cancellation policy. Where appointments are cancelled, missed or changed without 24 hours’ notice, a 50% cancellation fee will be applied. Confirmation of an appointment is acknowledgement of this cancellation policy. A 24 hour period allows us to rebook this time for another patient.
Patients who cancel last minute numerous times will no longer be able to book appointments in advance and will have to ring on the day if they would like to see John.
NB: we recognise there are some special circumstances requiring flexibility of our cancellation policy.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very fine, single use, sterile and stainless steel. They are much smaller in diameter than hypodermic needles, which need to inject substances into a vein. Acupuncture needles usually come in a small guide tube and are tapped gently but quickly into the skin. They are so fine and insertion is so quick, minimal sensation is felt during needling. No contact with veins or arteries is needed, and therefore in most cases little bleeding is expected when the needles are removed.
The sensation is an interesting dull numbness that the Chinese call “de qi”. This can be a mild to strong sensation depending on the needle technique of your practitioner. John tends to needle very gently and any de qi sensation is usually mild. It can best be described as a heaviness, tingling or tightness in the area. 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.
John has been trained specifically in pain-free Japanese acupuncture, and some of his patients are young children. If you have any concerns feel free to chat with him before your treatment.
Do I need to disrobe?
In general you will not be required to disrobe for your acupuncture treatment, though areas to be needled will be required to be exposed. This can usually be done with minimal exposure, though at times we will request removal of clothing to facilitate treatment (e.g. we may need you to remove your top in order to needle points on your back). You will always be effectively draped to ensure privacy and warmth. Please feel free to ask your practitioner for additional covering if you are not completely comfortable.
If your question has not been answered above, or you would like further details prior to coming in, please ring us on 5672 2692 (Wonthaggi) or 5662 5644 (Leongatha).