Frequently Asked Questions

Is it covered by ACC for injuries?


Does it hurt?

No. There might be a mild sensation as the needle is inserted, followed by a slight ache. Generally it is completely pain free.

What are the needles made of?

Acupuncture Heretaunga uses single use stainless steel needles. No coating or drugs are on or in the needles. Gold and silver needles ordered in advance at the patients expense.

What do I wear to a treatment?

Comfortable clothes. You may be asked to remove an item of clothing or uncover an area of skin to access particular acupuncture points. You will be covered at all times.

How long is a treatment?

Usually from between 45 minutes to an hour.

What happens in a treatment?

A history is taken regarding your injury or malady. Your pulse will be taken with a visual tongee examination. From this a diagnosis is made according to Chinese Medicine and you will then lie on the table. Very fine needles will be inserted in various points over the body. These will be left in for a minimum of 20 minutes, but more likely half an hour. There may also be massage, cupping, moxibustion, and discussion on dietary therapy. You are left to rest for a period within the treatment. A large number of patients fall asleep in this time.

Are you affiliated to a national body?

Yes, we are members of Acupuncture New Zealand

Acupuncture Heretaunga

Acupuncture Heretaunga is owned and operated by Shelley Hickson with clinics in both Hastings and Havelock North. She has been providing acupuncture to Hawkes Bay since 1989, promoting health and well being throughout the province, and is one of the original health practitioners in TCM to practice from this province.

Shelley works from both clinics.

Qualifications of practitioners

All members of Acupuncture New Zealand must have a minimum of 4 years training in Traditional Chinese Medicine either in NZ or overseas. They must also complete on-going professional education of a minimum of 20 hours per year. They are all ACC Registered practitioners. Shelley trained in Sydney and has regularly attended conferences throughout the world. (e.g.World Federation Of Acupuncturists Society conference in Kyoto and Brisbane, Pacific Symposium in San Diego twice, Rothenberg Konference, Germany, Danish Kongress, Vancouver Conference)


The sages did not treat those who were already ill but treated those who were not yet ill.  They did not try to put in order what was already in disorder but tried to prevent disorder from arising in the first place.  Treating disease after it has arisen is like starting to dig a well when one is already thirsty, or only starting to cast weapons once the battle has begun.  Would those also not be too late?

The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic of Medicine from 2nd century BCE