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Acupuncture and Lower Back Pain

Acupuncture originated as a Chinese medical treatment involving the insertion of thin sterile metal needles into specific areas of the body. There is a debate about how acupuncture actually works.   Chinese theory says that illness is caused by an imbalance of energy  channels in the body known as Meridians.   Needles are inserted into points on those channels to allow the "in" and "out" flow of energy.   Points are chosen depending on what part of the body is being treated.

Western scientists think that the needles inhibit the transmission of pain signals so that the perception of pain is reduced.

Acupuncture may be an effective alternative treatment for some chronic pain conditions.  In Japan, Korea and China it is widely used for a variety of medical conditions.  Some examples  include post operative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting, post operative dental pain, addictions, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma.

In Western society acupuncture is predominantly used for musculoskeletal pain e.g. low back pain.  Lower back pain is considered to be chronic when it has lasted for longer than 3 months.  It has been estimated that one -third of patients will not have fully recovered after 6 months and up to two-thirds will experience a recurrence of back pain within 2 years.  

Patients with chronic lower back pain need to be fully assessed by a medical practitioner who may consider that they are a suitable candidate for acupuncture.  In some patients acupuncture can improve pain and function as effectively as medications and the impact of acupuncture can last for up to 3 months following a course of  treatment.

Acupuncture is a safe treatment with minimal or no  adverse affects when practised by a trained professional.  Acupuncture can be a viable alternative to the use of pharmacological analgesic medications.

 In Australia, Chinese medical acupuncturists are required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and require endorsement by AHPRA.

At Treetops General Practice, Dr Soheil Torktorabi is an accredited medical acupuncture practitioner endorsed for acupuncture by the Medical Board of Australia.  He completed his acupuncture internship at Shanghai University, Shanghai in 2005.   Dr Torktorabi has also been recognised by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners for his acupuncture.


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Chronic Disease

Medicare funding is available to people who suffer from one or more chronic diseases to allow them access to Allied Health Professional services. 

A chronic disease is one that has been evident for six months or more and can include conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity,  heart disease and arthritis.

Referrals can be made for a maximum of five visits per year to participating providers including chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, dietitians, diabetic educators, and podiatrists.

Patients who feel they might benefit from such referrals must have a GP management plan in place first.   This service can be arranged at our practice after a brief consultation with your GP who may refer you to our onsite Chronic Disease Management Clinic.  This service is Bulk Billed for eligible patients.

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Importance of good mental health

Many General Practice consultations involve helping people with their mental health.  This is every bit as important as physical health and is a part of our holistic approach to caring for our patients and their families at Treetops General Practice. 

The following statistics give an insight into the prevalence of mental health issues in our society today and highlight the importance of discussing any mental health issues with your GP.

Each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness.

About 4% of people will experience a major depressive episode in a 12 month period with 5 % of women and 3% of men affected.

Around 14 % of Australians will be affected by an anxiety disorder in any 12 month period.

About 3 % of Australians are affected by psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, and involving  a loss of contact with reality during such episodes.

Approximately 2% of Australians will experience some type of eating disorder in their life, with women nine times more susceptible than men.

About 5%  of Australians will experience substance abuse disorders in any 12 month period, with men more than twice as likely as women to succumb.

See more at:


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Sporting Injuries

Which rugby team lost a world cup semi final in 2015 because of an error by the referee?

Which net ball team won the final two test matches in this year's Constellation Cup ?

Which cricket team lead after the first innings in this year's second test between Australia and New Zealand?

Which team won the soccer match in September 2015 between Iran and India?

Early and accurate diagnosis of sporting injury is crucial to rapidly restore normal function and activity levels in the injured sports person.

There are over 5 million sporting injuries in Australia each year!

Medical investigation is very important as leaving an injury untreated can have far more serious consequences.

All our doctors can refer patients for ultrasound scans, x-rays, CT scans and MRI scans ( of head, knees and back ) in specific circumstances.


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Pap Smear

Good news is on the horizon. 

From 2017 Australia will align it's recommendations with other countries that advise a pap smear test every three years between the ages of 21 and 65  for women who have not had a hysterectomy and who have not had previously abnormal smear results.

There may also be an option for a smear test combined with another test to detect a wart virus done every five years from ages 30 to 65.

In the meantime Australian women are advised to continue with the previously recommended smear every two years.

More information can be found at:

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