Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the frequently asked questions section of our website. We have endeavored to provide information for any questions you may have.

Please feel free to browse or use the search boxes provided. Remember, feel free to contact us with any of your questions.


Where are you located?

To see our locations please visit our locations page. Please note that all sites apart from 133 Nepean Highway Seaford only offer Physiotherapy services.

What are your operating hours?

We are currently open six days a week (Monday through Saturday). For our current opening hours please visit this page, or call us on 9036 7700.

What parking is available at Beachbox Physiotherapy?

At Beachbox Physiotherapy Seaford, not only do we have a major car park off Chapman Street, we also have a dedicated car park off Chapman Street. Click here to see image.


Do you have HICAPS facilities?

Yes, you are able to claim a rebate from your health fund via the HICAPS system if you bring your current health fund card and have extras cover that includes the service you used. Please note that a ‘gap’ fee may be payable depending on your level of cover.


Am I covered by Medicare?

Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Dietitian services are available for all patients referred under the Medicare Care plan program. These services are eligible to be bulk billed if your medicare care plan is current. If you are at all unsure if your care plan is current, please call Medicare to confirm prior to your appointment.

Am I covered by Workcover?

Physiotherapy and Podiatry are primary care providers. This means that a referral to physiotherapy or podiatry is not required as long as the Workcover claim is current/open and accepted.* However, a referral is encouraged as it allows better communication between practitioners and to better provide the necessary details of the injury.

Acupuncture, Remedial Massage and Dietitian services are available under Workcover, however, a referral and prior approval of appointments is required before attending your initial appointment.

*Please discuss your claim details with your employer or insurer and bring all necessary paperwork (claim number, Employer, Insurer, date of injury) to your initial appointment.
Am I covered by Transport Accident Commission?

Physiotherapy and Podiatry are primary care providers. This means that a referral to physiotherapy or podiatry is not required as long as the TAC claim is current/open and accepted.* However, a referral is encouraged as it allows better communication between practitioners and to better provide the necessary details of the injury.

Acupuncture, Remedial Massage and Dietitian services are available under TAC, however, a referral and prior approval of appointments is required before attending your initial appointment.

*Please discuss your claim details with your employer or insurer and bring all necessary paperwork (claim number, insurer, date of injury) to your initial appointment.
Am I covered by the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA)?

Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Dietitian services are available for all Department of Veterans Affairs patients who hold a Gold Card. A referral is required from your General Practitioner.

Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Dietitian services are available for all Department of Veterans Affairs patients who hold a White Card, as long as the appointment relates to the injury covered under the white card. A referral is required from your General Practitioner.



What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that assesses, diagnoses, treats, and works to prevent disease and disability through physical means. Physiotherapists are experts in movement, function and work in partnership with their patients, assisting them to overcome movement disorders. These disorders may have been present from birth, acquired through accident or injury, are the result of ageing, or from life-changing events.

What should I expect from our physiotherapist?

At your first consultation, the physiotherapist takes a detailed medical history, including information about your lifestyle, such as your level of physical activity, your work environment and your diet, as well as any relevant past medical history.  The physiotherapist is just as interested in what is causing your problem, as much as the effect the problem is having on your health.   For example, is your shoulder condition caused by a rotator cuff lesion be due to hours spent each day at a desk in front of your computer? but there may be another cause, such as referred pain from a tight muscle in the neck?  By understanding the cause of your problem, the physiotherapist will decide on a physiotherapy program which addresses it.

After your history has been taken the physiotherapist examines how you move. You may be asked to remove some of your clothing (it is helpful if you are able to attend the visit in gym clothes) and perform a series of simple movements. The physiotherapist will assess your mobility by observing your range of movement and by gently feeling your spine, shoulders and muscles as you perform the movements.

It should be noted that our physiotherapists are trained to recognise when physiotherapy won’t help you and when to refer you to a doctor. Our physiotherapists will not begin your treatment until they believe they fully understand your condition and what can be done to help.

Our physiotherapists are also able to arrange X-rays or MRI scans if they are required. If you have pre-existing scans or x-rays then please bring them to your consultation.

Your treatment will generally consist of one or several of the following:

  •     mobilisation
  •     manipulation
  •     functional and rehabilitative exercises/Pilates based exercise
  •     postural assessment, correction and advice
  •     laser, ultrasound, electro-therapy and heat treatment; and
  •     massage
How many times will I have to see a physiotherapist?

The frequency and duration of treatment is entirely dependent on the type and severity of the injury. Some clients only need to see a physiotherapist once and others will require long term rehabilitation.

Do physiotherapists ‘crack’ your neck or back?

Physiotherapists are qualified and experienced in neck or back manipulation, however at Beachbox Physiotherapy we use them sparingly. We prefer a program of mobilisations (deep massage) and exercises to achieve the same effect.
If a manipulation is required, then this will be fully explained prior to conducting the treatment.

Are your physiotherapy treatments holistic?

Yes. Not only do our physiotherapists treat the problem, they also address the factors that contribute to the cause. For example, a persistent back pain may be triggered by a combination of factors such as poor posture, being overweight, repetitive work-related activities, or an incorrect technique when playing sport.   Our physiotherapists work to improve your mobility and health, in order to reduce the risk of the injury happening again.

Is dry needling the same as acupuncture?

No they are very different. While both dry needling and acupuncture use sterile fine needles which are inserted into body, the two techniques are based on completely different principles of diagnosis and action. Dry Needling inserts needles into “knots” in muscles. This can provide relief from chronically tight and painful muscles and joints.

Chinese acupuncture inserts needles into selected acupuncture points according to Chinese medicine theory and principles. The needles are meant to release the follow of qi and blood. This relieves pain and balances the body energy system (meridians). Chinese acupuncture has a far wider application in treating illnesses because it balances the inner harmony of the organs and brain.

In Australia, Chinese acupuncture which can only be done by an acupuncturist who is registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia.

Physiotherapist led Group Exercise Class


Do I need a GP referral to see the podiatrist?

If you are a private patient you do not need a referral. However, you will require a referral from a qualifying health professional in the following circumstances:

  1. If you wish to claim the treatment through the Department of Veteran Affairs.
  2. If you wish to claim the treatment through workcover.
  3. If you are a patient on a Medicare Enhanced Primary Care plan
Is podiatry covered by private health insurance?

Yes. Private health funds in Australia cover podiatry, however it depends on your level of cover.  You will need to contact your health fund to see what benefits and level of cover you are entitled to. Our HICAPS facility allows you to claim directly from your private health fund at the time of your visit.

Is podiatry covered by Medicare?

Medicare can cover podiatry, but only if you are under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) scheme. This is for people who are classified as having a qualifying chronic medical condition. Your GP will assess whether this is the case, and whether you are eligible to be covered by an EPC.

What should I bring to my podiatry appointment?

If you have been referred to the podiatrist, please bring your referral letter.

In addition, any medical records and relevant scans such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s etc should also be shown to the podiatrist. It can also be helpful to bring in shoes that you commonly wear, so they can be examined  for wear and suitability. Also, any existing inner soles or orthotics should be brought in.

Shorts are also preferred as they allow the Podiatrist to check the foot, ankle, knee and leg when completing the examination.


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine sterile needles in specific areas (acupuncture points) of the body.  It is a holistic approach which involves understanding the body’s normal function and disease processes as viewed from the Chinese medicine perspective.  Pain and illness are seen as signs that the body is out of balance and the aim of treatment is to restore the body’s equilibrium by inserting needles which trigger the body’s natural healing response.  Treatment includes focusing on prevention of illness as well as on the treatment.

There are many styles of acupuncture which share a common root but are distinct and different in their emphasis: TCM, Five Elements, Stems and Branches, Japanese Meridian Therapy and Balance Method.  Furthermore, there is also medical acupuncture but this style does not follow Chinese medicine theory and only general practitioners with the appropriate training can do this style of acupuncture.

Please note that dry needling (which is sometimes referred to as acupuncture) is not the same as the acupuncture carried out by a registered Acupuncturist/Chinese medicine practitioner.  If you decide to have dry needling it is important to know how much training your practitioner has and, to be aware they can only treat conditions within their scope of practice (musculoskeletal). In Australia, Acupuncturists/Chinese Medicine Practitioners must be registered with AHPRA and have completed a fulltime 4 year bachelor degree or part-time 3 year masters degree in acupuncture or Chinese medicine.  In 2012, it became mandatory for Acupuncturists/Chinese Medicine Practitioners to be registered with AHPRA with the primary aim of protecting the public.  Only a registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner can call themselves an Acupuncturist (protected title), whereas anyone with dry needling training can state they practice acupuncture.  You can view the AHPRA website to check whether a practitioner is registered as an Acupuncturist.

How does acupuncture work?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through these meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning and practicing it. In Australia, the most common forms of acupuncture are Chinese acupuncture, Japanese acupuncture, Toyohari, ear acupuncture and medical acupuncture.

Does acupuncture really work?

Each person is unique and as such responds to acupuncture differently.  Normally 5-6 treatments are required in order to see an improvement but for some people it may take 8-10 treatments; if there has been no improvement at all after this number of treatments then it is likely that acupuncture is not suitable.  Informed consent is part of the process so you can terminate a treatment at any point if you do not feel it is working for you.  Self-care between appointments is important – avoid things that could aggravate or trigger the problem and thus reduce progress.

The evidence base for the effectiveness of acupuncture for western conditions is:

Conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture: chronic back pain, headache (tension-type and chronic), migraine prophylaxis, knee osteoarthritis and postoperative pain.  The reviews have consistent statistically significant positive effects and where authors have recommended the intervention.  The quality of evidence is rated as moderate or high quality.

Conditions with moderate evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture: acute back pain, cancer pain, neck pain, lateral elbow pain, plantar heel pain and shoulder pain. Reviews reporting all individual RCTs or pooled effects across RCTs as positive, but the reviewers deeming the evidence insufficient to draw firm conclusions. The quality of evidence is rated as moderate or high quality.

Conditions with evidence of cost effectiveness: chronic pain, neck pain (plus usual medical care), low back pain, migraine headache and dysmenorrhoea.

Source: McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?

No. Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude (“I don’t know if I really believe in this.”) will not block the treatment results.

What happens in an acupuncture session?

You will be required to fill in an acupuncture treatment form on your first visit. Then a number of questions will be asked based on your symptoms, digestion, pain, moods etc and lifestyle. In addition, you may have your pulses and tongue checked to aid in the diagnosis. The information is analysed according to Chinese medicine principles; a diagnosis is made and a treatment is devised. The initial consultation which includes treatment is one hour and a 45 minute review session is booked for the following week.

The style of acupuncture is the ‘Balance Method’, which means the insertion of needles are primarily from the elbow to fingertips and/or knee to toes. The needle gauge ranges from 0.20 to 0.32 and depth of insertion depends on where the acupuncture point is on the body.  Needle sensation is obtained and are manipulated at least once during the treatment. The needles will remain insitu for 15-45 minutes.

Informed consent is part of the process, thus at any point you may ask to terminate the treatment.


What are the needles like? Do they hurt?

People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. Part of the treatment is to get ‘de qi’ with the needles and this may be experienced as electrical shock, numbness, heaviness, dull ache, itching, cold or heat.

Are there any “do’s and don’ts” for me on the day of a treatment?

Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
  • Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
  • Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your medical doctor.
  • Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to your treatment will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your TCM doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem
Are there any side effects to the treatment?

Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not be seen as cause for concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work.

The most common side effects are minor bruising or irritation at the needle insertion site.  Less common, but other side effects to be aware of: bent needle, fainting, needle shock or dizziness.  On rare occasions, pneumothorax or puncturing of an organ may occur. Acupuncturists are trained to needle over these areas at a certain angle and depth to avoid this happening. This should not occur if the health professional has appropriate training. Therefore, it is essential that you receive acupuncture from an adequately trained health professional. Always ask about their level of training. Informed consent is part of every consultation process, so if you are apprehensive about needles being inserted at a particular site of risk you must let your health professional know and they can then choose other acupuncture points.


How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required.

Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?

Most private health insurance companies cover acupuncture costs in their ‘extras’ policies. However, it is important to check your level of cover and limits. We also have a HICAPS terminal onsite to provide an immediate refund from your private health insurance provider.

Chinese Medicine

What is traditional Chinese medicine?

“Traditional Chinese medicine includes the use of herbs as medicine, and therapeutic practice such as acupuncture, tui-na(massage), and moxibustion. The 5000 year-old holistic tradition has been written, improved, documented, tested over and over until it became a complete system of health-care, with its confirmed theories, long lists of published books and documented clinical cases.”(Vander 2009)

Traditional Chinese medicine looks at the body systems as a whole. Chinese medical diagnosis is based on myriads of patterns that have been finely tuned over the centuries. Symptoms, signs, emotions and lifestyle are all examined and classified into patterns of disharmony. The pathogenesis of the illness, the treatment, progress and the prognosis are all determined according to Chinese medicine principles. For example a patient who has failing eyesight may have also have back pain, sore knees, poor hearing, urinary incontinence, diarrhoea, insomnia, and panic attacks. In western medicine it is difficult to treat all these problems at once, particularly when there is an emotional component. However in Chinese medicine this common pattern is called ‘kidney yin and yang deficiency’ and there are a number of classical formulas that can easily treat this condition.

What is traditional Chinese herbal medicine?

There are approximately 6000 Chinese materia medica, which consist of herbal products such as leaves, seeds, fruits, stems and roots, animal products, and mineral products.

The ancient texts classified each product according to its inherent nature and the effects it will have on the organs of the body. More recently scientists have identified and documented the active ingredients in many of the Chinese materia medica.

Chinese herbal medicine is rarely prescribed as a single product.

A combination of Chinese herbal medicine, or a formula, is nearly always prescribed. There are literally thousands of documented formulas. However of these, there are about 200 classic traditional formulas that have been tested and documented over hundreds of years. These classical formulas form the templates to which the practitioner adds extra individual Chinese herbs, thus making each formula very specific to the condition of the patient.

Nowadays, Chinese herbal formulas come in many forms including granules, drops, pills, liniments, plasters and raw herbs.

Producers of the granules, pills and liquid extracts test each batch of herbs to confirm the presence of the active ingredient, and to certify that there is no contamination by pesticides, heavy metals, herbal substitutes and toxins. The use of products from endangered animal species and cruel practices is illegal in Australia. All Chinese herbal medicinal products, in Australia, are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

What happens in a Chinese herbal medicine session?

The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctor will take a western medicine history, particularly noting any western medications, as well as a Chinese medicine history. The Chinese medicine history is divided into four parts: asking, looking, feeling, and listening. The TCM doctor will ask about your symptoms and ask general questions about digestion, sleeping, menstrual cycle, lifestyle, moods and energy, then inspect your tongue, and feel your pulse. This information is analysed according to Chinese medicine theory and a Chinese medicine formula is prescribed. The formula could be in the form of herbal tea, herbal drops, granules or pills.

As you recover, your symptoms may change so you will need different formulas. For example, if you suffer migraine as well as bloating, indigestion, back pain, sore knees and chronic fatigue, your first treatment will address the migraine, indigestion and bloating. As these symptoms resolve the TCM doctor will prescribe a further formula with extra herbs for the fatigue and then another formula with additional herbs to treat the back pain and sore knees.

Chinese herbal medicine is used as a therapy when needed. Prevention in Chinese medicine is based on diet, exercise and lifestyle according to Chinese medicine theory. The TCM doctor will give you some guidance on changes that you could make to improve your health.

The initial Chinese medicine consultation session lasts about 45 minutes.


Are there any adverse reactions of Chinese herbal medicine?

Yes, there is always a risk of an allergic reaction to herbs, although this is very rare, and usually takes the form of mild diarrhoea or digestive upset. Interaction between western medicine and Chinese herbal medicine can lead to an adverse reaction.

It is important that you let the Chinese  medicine doctor know of any other medications you are taking, so she will know which herbs to avoid giving you. It is  strongly recommended that you tell your medical doctor that you are taking Chinese herbal medicine.

The herbal formulas are strong medicines that should be taken only as directed.

Do I have to keep taking Chinese herbs?

Generally no. Once your symptoms have resolved and your body is balanced again you don’t need to continue taking Chinese herbal medicine. However, if you have a long lasting chronic problem you may need to take the formulas for a few months.

Do health funds give rebates for Chinese herbal medicine?

Some health funds offer rebates on the Chinese medicine consultation, however the cost of the Chinese herbal products usually do not attract health fund rebates.

You will need to check with your health fund as to your level of cover and yearly limits.

Can I claim Chinese medicine on Medicare?

No, unfortunately Chinese medicine is not claimable from Medicare.

Do Worksafe and the TAC cover Chinese herbal medicine?

No, unfortunately they don’t.

Massage/Sports Therapy

What should I expect from a sports injury consultation?

You should expect the following:

  • Discussion of your injury / sporting history
  • Physical Examination of the injured area including range of movement and strength.
  • Expert hands on treatment.
  • Exercise prescription of remedial exercises.
Who would benefit from sports therapy?


  • Have you noticed persistent niggles that never seem to come right?
  • Has your physical performance reached a plateau? Have you lost power in your serve or stroke? Perhaps there is an underlying physical reason.


  • Are there day to day niggles from work or sport that get in the way of your favourite pastime?
  • Do you find yourself considering giving up your sport because you are too sore after competing?


  • Pain that is related to poor muscular/joint movement or strength.


What do dietitians do?

Dietitians work across many different fields, including:

  • Patient care in hospitals and nursing homes
  • Community nutrition and public health
  • Consultancy and private practice
  • Food service management
  • Food and medical nutrition industries
  • Public relations
  • Marketing and communications
  • Government
  • Research and teaching.
Who is an accredited nutritionist?

Accredited nutritionists (AN) are tertiary-qualified nutrition professionals who have expertise in a range of nutrition services. These may include areas such as community and public health nutrition, nutrition research and education related to nutrition, but they have no qualifications in individual dietary counselling, group dietary therapy or medical nutrition therapy. Depending on their area of work, some dietitians call themselves nutritionists. All accredited practicing dietitians (APDs) are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are APDs.

Who is an accredited practising dietitian?

Accredited Practising Dietitians (APD) have university qualifications gained from courses accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). They undertake ongoing training and education, and meet the Association’s guidelines for evidence-based practice.

Is dietetics covered by Medicare and health funds?

Many private health funds offer rebates for these services, and some dietetic consultations provided by accredited practising dietitians are covered under the Medicare Allied Health Care Initiative. If you have been referred under the Medicare Allied Health Care Initiative, please inform reception when booking for an appointment.

What should I expect from a session with a dietitian?

The initial consultation may run for around 30 minutes. The dietitian will ask detailed questions about your current diet, exercise habits, general health and lifestyle. These questions allow the dietitian to tailor an individual eating plan for you.

If you have a specific medical problem and have been referred to a dietitian by your doctor, the dietitian will work in close consultation with your doctor and may review blood and other test results to devise a suitable diet. You may be given written materials to take home and read.

Follow-up appointments allow the dietitian to keep track of your progress and fine-tune your eating plan. The dietitian’s ultimate aim is to educate you on how to eat in a way that will keep you healthy, so that you can choose the best food on your own.

Exercise Physiology

What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)?

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist has a minimum 4 year equivalent University degree and specialises in exercise and movement for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries.

An AEP differs from other exercise professionals as they:

  • Are University qualified
  • They undertake strict accreditation requirements
  • They are eligible to register with Medicare Australia, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and WorkCover and are recognised by most private health insurers
  • They can treat and work with all types of people, those who want to improve their health and wellbeing to those suffering from a chronic illnesss
How can Exercise Physiology assist me?

An AEP can assist with:

Chronic Disease Management

  • Enhanced Primary Care Plans (Medicare)
  • Mind Your Own Health Program (Alzheimer’s/Dementia)
  • Living with Cancer Program

Diabetes Prevention and Management

Diabetes Australia Life! Diabetes Prevention Program

Medicare Subsidised Type 2 Diabetes Management Group Program

Injury Prevention and Management

  • Work Conditioning Programs (Work Safe/TAC)
  • Pre and post surgical rehabilitation
  • Postural screenings and correction programs
  • Balance and falls prevention

Sports Conditioning

  • PACE Performance Program
  • Biomechanics
  • Periodisation

Personal Fitness and Health

  • Personal training
  • Waist girth reduction
  • Group training
What should I expect from an Exercise Physiology session at BeachBox Seaford?

In your first session, a full initial assessment will be completed, covering; medical and exercise history, posture, range of motion, anthropometry, and goal setting. We will then work together to develop a treatment plan to assist you in achieving your goals, whether it be returning to work, managing your chronic health condition, improving your posture, achieving your peak performance in your chosen sport, or being able to keep up with the grandkids!

Who are PACE Exercise Physiology?

PACE Exercise Physiology was established in 1998, and have since grown to 10 different locations throughout South East Victoria, to become one of Australia’s leading EP providers. PACE are very excited to join the team at BeachBox Physiotherapy Seaford to offer Exercise Physiology services.