Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect at my first visit?
When you arrive, you will be welcomed into the consultation room where we will sit and have a chat about your health history and any present health concerns you may have.
Ideally, I will have a copy of your electronic health history questionnaire that you have completed before your initial consultation as a basis of our discussion. This can be downloaded from the Calm Shen website or I can email the link to you. In the interest of time, completing this form ahead of your appointment will enable me to give adequate focus on your treatment.
In Chinese Medicine we use tongue analysis along with taking your pulses to assist with a diagnosis. Some people may feel uncomfortable with showing their tongue but please rest assured that this is a completely normal part of a Chinese Medicine consultation and there is no need to feel self-conscious.
We will then move into the Treatment room where I may use one or a combination of therapies including acupuncture; acupressure/massage; cupping; gua sha and/or essential oil application. This will depend on your treatment plan and what you feel comfortable with. I will communicate with you throughout the treatment to explain what is being done and to ensure you are comfortable with everything.
Along the way we can discuss lifestyle and self care changes that you may be open to implement to assist with bringing about better health. Herbs may also be recommended and prescribed to you which we can discuss during your consultation.
What days and times do you accept appointments?
Thursday & Friday evenings only
Saturday 11am ~ 4pm
Sunday 12pm ~ 4pm
If you cannot find a time that suits, please make contact as I may be able to, under some circumstances, take appointments at other times on Saturdays & Sundays.
How do I make an appointment?
On the Home and Contact pages there is a Book an Appointment link. You can manage your bookings including rescheduling and cancelling your appointments through the Halaxy online booking platform. Halaxy allows patients to manage their appointment times with Calm Shen and with other Halaxy registered health practitioners. It also allows you to access your invoices centrally, and the ability to pay them online through the secured portal.
After making your initial appointment, if you need to reschedule or cancel, first time users of Halaxy will need to click on the "Forgot my password" link to activate their portal.
Alternatively, I can be reached via email email@example.com or phone on 0431 008 555 to discuss appointments times and any other questions you may have.
Will I receive a reminder text or email before my scheduled appointment time?
A confirmation email and text message will be sent shortly after you have booked your appointment. A reminder email and text message will also be sent the day before your scheduled appointment.
What happens if I cannot make my appointment and need to cancel at short notice?
The online appointment platform will allow you to rescheduled your appointment or make a cancellation if it is more than 24 hours from your scheduled appointment time.
I understand you may need to cancel at short notice due to many different reasons outside of your control. However, for patients where this becomes a pattern with cancelling their scheduled Calm Shen appointments at short notice, a cancellation fee may apply. This will be at Tara's discretion.
If you need to cancel or reschedule at short notice please phone on 0431 008 555 to discuss alternative times.
Confirmation and reminder texts and emails will be issued with your scheduled appointment time in advance. This allows patients to cancel and reschedule as needed and is also a reminder of their upcoming appointment. Therefore, missed appointments ("no shows") where notification was not provided to Calm Shen before a scheduled appointment time will attract a 50% fee and must be paid before any further appointment bookings are accepted.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I am presently looking into acquiring a HICAPS EFTPOS machine. In the interim, I accept the below forms of payment:
Bank transfer /direct deposit
Credit and debit cards, via the secured Halaxy patient portal. This can be done either at the end of your appointment by Tara, or you can log into your secured Halaxy patient portal within 24 hours after your appointment time to pay your invoice. Halaxy charge $1 per successful transaction plus 1.96% of the transaction cost. eg. if your consultation is $80, the transaction fee will be $2.57.
PayPal. This can also be done via the secured Halaxy Patient portal where your Calm Shen appointments and invoices are all centralised. Halaxy charges the same transaction fees as credit/debit card payments ie. $1 per successful transaction plus 1.96% of the transaction cost.
Payment of the consultation, plus any prescribed herbs, is to be made at the end of your appointment or within 24 hours thereof.
I heard or read somewhere that you have a strict policy that no synthetically scented perfumes, colognes, sprays and lotions etc. are to be worn to the Calm Shen practice. Can you provide more detail?
Some people are sensitive to the chemical constituents used in synthetic perfumes; colognes; sprays; and fragrant lotions etc.
For a number of patients, and a significant portion of the general population, these synthetic chemicals can trigger headaches; migraines; nausea; sneezing; irritated and itchy eyes and nose (histamine response); skin allergies; and difficulty breathing; to name just a few adverse effects.
Although every effort is made to clean surfaces between appointments and fresh laundered towels are used for each patient, the chemical particles that linger from these fragrances cannot practically be eradicated before the next patient arrives.
Accordingly, please refrain from wearing synthetically scented perfumes; colognes; sprays; fragranced body lotions etc. when attending appointments at the Calm Shen practice. Essential oil scented products are okay. I appreciate your understanding.
There are many personal care products that are unscented or use subtle essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances, available on the market today to consider as a substitute for those who wish to wear them to the practice.
What should I wear to my appointment?
Comfortable, loose fitting clothing is recommended to wear during your treatment. You will be suitably draped with towels and blankets where necessary to keep you warm and comfortable.
I have private health insurance, can I make claims?
Yes, I am registered with most health insurers as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. If you have an extras policy that covers you for acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine (depending on the nature of your appointment), I can issue you with an invoice to provide directly to your health insurance company if you wish to make a claim. Please check with your health insurance company if you are unsure of your level of cover. I am in the process of obtaining a HICAPS machine, therefore at this time I am unable to process your claim during your appointment. This is only in the short term.
I don't like needles, are there alternatives to acupuncture I can have during my treatment?
Yes, acupuncture needling does not need to be a part of your treatment plan. Other modalities can be provided during your treatment session. This may include prescribed herbs and/or cupping, acupressure massage, Chinese Medicine based food therapy and lifestyle practice advice to name a few. Your comfort is of utmost importance. We can discuss and tailor a treatment plan that suits you.
Do you make home visits if I am too unwell or physically unable to make it to your practice?
Yes, this can be arranged for return patients only. This will attract an additional charge and is based on travel time. Please make contact to discuss if needed.
What should I be aware of before I attend my appointment?
1. If receiving acupuncture, please eat within a few hours of your appointment time. If you are fasting at the time of your appointment, I will be unable to provide acupuncture to you. This is because fasting and skipped meals is contraindicated with acupuncture as some patients may experience a slight drop in their blood sugar and blood pressure levels after receiving an acupuncture treatment. This is a safety and precautionary measure.
What are some other contraindicators with acupuncture? (Contraindicator refers to anything, including a symptom or medical condition, that is a reason for a person to not receive a particular treatment or procedure because it may be harmful)
Intoxication from drug or alcohol use. I will be unable to treat you in such instances. Please arrive to your appointment sober.
Bleeding disorder such as hemophilia or use of blood thinners
An infectious skin disorder or disease
Severely immunocompromised patients
With pregnant patients, although acupuncture can be beneficial on many levels, there are certain points we are trained to avoid. These including needling in the abdominal area; lumbosacral region; and a few other commonly used points. If you are pregnant, or suspect you may be, please mention this at the commencement of your treatment.
Seizure disorders such as some forms of severe epilepsy
I have other questions that are not answered here or on your website. What is the best way to find further details about your practice?
Please reach out to me with any questions you may have. Please refer to the Contact page on how I can be reached.