Do you have a question?

You will find the most commonly asked questions about the clinic and Acupuncture here.


What is the parking like?
There is free off street parking available on Brighton Terrace. 

What are your prices, do you take ACC and insurance?
Please find the list for treatment prices, ACC and insurance info here

How may I pay?
Charges are settled on the day of appointment. She accepts cash and bank transfer. 

Do I have to go elsewhere for my herbs or supplements?
No. Ilana has a comprehensive nutritional supplement and traditional Chinese medicine herbal dispensaries. Your herbs and supplements are dispensed on the premises. 

How often do I need an appointment?
Ilana will explain to you how often and when you will need your appointments, which is dependent on your condition. Acupuncture treatment requires regular appointments, usually once weekly but it depends on the condition. Ilana will explain a tailored treatment plan with frequency of recommended treatment. Chinese herbal medicine appointments are less frequent, the initial first and then second appointments may be one to two weeks apart. Quick Scripts is a once off appointment. Chinese Herbal Medicine appointments for fertility and gynaecological issues tend to be every 4 to 6 weeks depending on the person and condition. 

Is it confidential?
Yes, completely. No-one has a right to this information without your consent. 


How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by allowing the qi (vital force) in your body to move and become unstuck. In Chinese medicine, we say that stuck qi or qi stagnation causes pain and unwanted physical signs and symptoms. By allowing your qi to move at its optimum level, you feel better physically and emotionally. Scientifically, acupuncture has been shown to alleviate pain by releasing endorphins which are pain-blocking biochemicals. It can influence the cellular matrix of connective tissue, stimulate regions of the brain which correlate to specific acupoints and activate the parasympathetic nervous system to enable homeostasis.

Are you a registered practitioner?
Yes, Ilana is a fully qualified practitioner of Chinese medicine. She holds a strict code of ethics, accountability and is registered with the New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Authority (NZASA). She is also registered with the Australian CMRB and is a member of AACMA. For more about Dr.Ilana and her qualifications go here.

Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. As long as you are being treated by a registered acupuncturist who is a member of the Chinese Medicine Registration Board (CMRB) you can be assured that they have completed thorough training, experience and understanding in relevant medical and Chinese medicine theory.

Are the needles sterile?
Yes, the needles are taken from a sterile blister pack; they are disposable and single-use only. 

Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very fine and are rarely felt when inserted. Some people report a strange sensation such as a slight numbness, dull ache or a tingling sensation as the needle begins to work with the body’s energetics. 

Will I need to get completely undressed?
No, you will only need to expose the parts of your body where the needles are inserted. It is recommended to wear comfortable and loose-fitted clothing. 

Do I need to be sick to have acupuncture?
No, acupuncture is a form of preventative medicine. Acupuncture can be used to attain optimum wellbeing. Many people have acupuncture and Chinese herbs to keep young, vital and healthy. 

Do I need to do anything before treatment?
Be on time so you can relax; it is preferable to make sure you have eaten something and are adequately hydrated before your acupuncture session. 

Will I need to do anything after treatment?
Acupuncture affects people in different ways. Some feel a little light-headed or tired after their first treatment, and others feel invigorated. I recommend patients try to relax to gain full benefit from their treatment in the next 24 hours.

Will you be able to help me cut down on my medication?
It depends on what you are taking, and the reason you are taking it. This will only be done in conjunction with your GP.

Chinese herbs for fertility in a pot
Chinese herbs can be taken easily as a powder form, taking away the time-consuming manner of boiling them for hours.


What are the benefits of taking Chinese herbs?
Herbs nourish your body, eggs and sperm, and most people want to get pregnant sooner than later. I recommend you take herbs to increase your fertility naturally and sooner.

What do the herbs taste like?
Interestingly, sometimes okay, sometimes not so palatable! Most patients say that after a few times they become accustomed to the taste, some of them even like it because they can feel the physiological benefits of taking the herbs.


What does Fertility Acupuncture do?
It aims to diagnose, rebalance and improve your health in order for you to achieve a strong, healthy pregnancy. Learn more about a Fertility Consultation with Ilana here

How does Chinese Medicine improve your fertility?
Chinese Medicine has been the trusted healthcare system on the Chinese for hundreds of years. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can regulate your hormones to increase follicular count. They can increase blood flow to the uterus to thicken the endometrium and increase the likelihood of implantation. Acupuncture is excellent to reduce the side effects of IVF drugs such as feeling very hot and sweaty, dry, red rashes and moodiness. It is very effective at reducing inflammation, boosting immunity and detoxing the body. Acupuncture brings qi (energy) and blood to your uterus and ovaries, to improve their function and better nourish your eggs and lining. Following pregnancy, it decreases the chances of miscarriage by keeping the mother relaxed, balancing circulation and supporting progesterone levels. Above all, it is ideal to keep you calm and relaxed, so your body can naturally do what it needs to. 

How will I get more fertile?
Depending on where you are at in your fertility journey, Ilana= can support you with the guidance of coaching, lifestyle advice, dietary therapy and optimal mindset to help you become pregnant. You will find with this treatment that particular signs and symptoms will abate with time such as pre-menstrual tension (PMT), period pain, swollen breasts, dark and clotty menstrual blood becoming more fresh and red, less headaches, better energy, increased libido, more regular cycles and ovulation. Many women notice an increase in fertile mucus which is paramount for successful conception.

How often do I require treatment for Fertility?
Usually once weekly. As both acupuncture and Chinese herbs are essential for nourishing fertility, Dr. Ilana often sees patients fortnightly for acupuncture with a two-week herb prescription. Treatment around the period and ovulation work well. Chinese herbs are very important for fertility, many women are physically burnt out and running low on reserves for many reasons such as living in a busy, polluted city such as Auckland getting older, and a history of working high level jobs with little rest. She can also refer and recommend Fertility Specialists as appropriate should you need a good referral.  Acupuncture works well to support IVF, ideally weekly throughout the cycle and before and after transfer.

What do I bring to my first treatment?
Please bring any medical reports or blood tests that will aid an accurate diagnosis such as ultrasounds, blood tests and x-rays.

Do you only treat fertility? What about other conditions?
Ilana is experienced in treating many other conditions beyond fertility such as pregnancy support, musculoskeletal, immunity, pain, digestion, mens’, womens’ and childrens’ health. Please contact Ilana if you would like to find out more.


I have already started my IVF Cycle, is it too late to start?
No, you can start Acupuncture support at any time. The best time to start your treatment is 3 months before you commence your cycle.

It is my first attempt at IVF, can I still have acupuncture?
Absolutely. Acupuncture can reduce the signs and symptoms of IVF medications, along with increase follicular and egg count, reduce bloating and pain and increase the chance of implantation occurring.

My husband has poor sperm, would acupuncture improve his sperm?
Yes, many studies have shown this. Ideally he would start 3 to 4 months before the IVF cycle or trying to conceive. Once pregnant, he should continue treatment until clearing the first trimester scan.

How many treatments will I need?
There are many variables, depending on your previous history and health condition. If you have a history of infertility, I suggest weekly for 3 months prior to your IVF Cycle. Each individual varies, please ask if you are unsure.

Do I need to eat well?
Yes, think of your baby as a seed. If you plant it in nutritious soil, and it has all the right conditions to grow, and has come from healthy parents, it will grow well and you are giving it the best chance and start to life.

I need to lose some weight, what is your opinion on this for fertility?
I prefer my patients who need to lose weight to focus on being healthy by drinking water and herbal tea, enjoying a nutritious and varied wholesome diet, exercise regularly and to be good to themselves. They seem to fall pregnant more easily when they do this and continue to stay healthy throughout, and not excessively gain weight. Start your treatment three months prior to starting trying to conceive.

Can you help reduce high FSH levels?
Yes, for women who have high FSH, I can support you to rebalance your hormone levels.


Can I have acupuncture if I’m pregnant?
Yes. Acupuncture is excellent for preventing miscarriage, managing any pathological signs, symptoms or pains during pregnancy. Ilana has over seven years experience in private practice treating women from conception to birth. Please make sure that Ilana is aware that you are pregnant or are trying to conceive. For birth preparation and labour induction acupuncture, the best time to start is usually at 36 weeks. For many women, pregnancy is a wonderful and cherished time. However, for some it is a physical challenge that can cause her to feel uncomfortable and ill. Pregnancy-related symptoms can dramatically affect the quality of life of a pregnant woman, sometimes to the point of anxiety or depression, because there are very few options available that are effective yet safe for both mum and baby.

I am pregnant! How often should I have acupuncture?
Congratulations, that is wonderful news! The frequency of treatment depends on your history and presentation. For women who have a history of miscarriage, weekly acupuncture is recommended with herbal support. Women who have had previously healthy pregnancies may only need acupuncture fortnightly for wellbeing, sickness prevention and relaxation. Acupuncture can reduce the risk of miscarriage, Acupuncture can abate morning sickness, without taking drugs. Acupuncture can help with general health complaints in pregnancy such as back & pelvis pain, fatigue, swelling to stress and in the last trimester, acupuncture prepares you for a natural labour, can turn breech babies and can support spontaneous labour for overdue babies.

Acupuncture is safe and non-invasive during pregnancy
Acupuncture has been found to be a natural and safe way to treat a number of pregnancy-related symptoms, such as sciatica, cramps, threatened miscarriage, nausea and vomiting, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, fatigue and exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety and depression, anaemia, constipation, vaginal discharge, heartburn, itching, oedema, sinusitis, haemorrhoids and more. Utilising a combination of modern research & ancient wisdom. Acupuncture is used to help return the body back to its most optimal natural balanced state, so that it has the best possible opportunity for a comfortable and healthy pregnancy. 

Are you experienced in treating pregnant women?
Yes, Ilana has been treating pregnant women with acupuncture and Chinese herbs for over 8 years. She is passionate about inspiring and supporting couples who are trying to conceive or who have conceived, and to ensure you have the best possible health during pregnancy.

How does Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture helps to reduce stress, regulate hormones, block pain receptors, improve blood flow and maintain homeostasis.

Breech and posterior positions
It is always daunting to hear that your baby is breech in the last couple of months of pregnancy, especially if you are hoping for a natural birth. Research has shown that acupuncture (more specifically moxibustion) is a safe and effective way to turn a malpositioned foetus. Cardini & Weixin (1998) of 260 women experiencing their first pregnancy found that 75% of those treated with acupuncture had their babies turn, in comparison to 47% in those with no treatment. In a similar Chinese study, 81% of the babies turned with acupuncture, compared to 49% in the control group with no treatment.

Acupuncture to encourage labour and as a pre-birth treatment
Clinical trials have indicated that acupuncture can assist in reducing average labour time, and improving the chances of a natural birth. In one particular study carried out on a group of women who were giving birth for the first time, the average labour time was 6 hours in those who received pre-birth acupuncture compared to 8 hours in the control group.

When do I start Acupuncture birth preparation and labour induction?
In preparation for birth, acupuncture is recommended from 36 weeks gestation, weekly for 3-4 weeks. Treatment focuses on  softening the cervix, relaxing and softening the ligaments, regulating the hormones and reducing stress. Acupuncture has been found to be very effective in encouraging and progressing labour, once the due date is reached. Once overdue, Ilana will work out a frequency of treatment to support spontaneous labour.

What does the treatment plan consist of?
Everyone is different, but most women feel an improvement in their symptoms after the first session. Up to six sessions may be required, depending on the particular problem presented. Treatments are usually scheduled weekly depending on your presentation.

You’re in good hands

Ilana is a fully qualified and registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Medicine Practitioner, who practices acupuncture in Auckland, New Zealand.

ACC available.

What are the next steps?

Contact Ilana on 020 4159 8393 or info@ilanasowter.com to book. Skype consultations available for international clients.

Copyright © 2018 Ilana Sowter · All Rights Reserved