Centrepoint Acupuncture, Roger Thompson, Acupuncture Townsville, Chinese medicine Townsville

The Power of the Pulse


Feeling the pulses before commencing acupuncture treatment is like shining a torch at night on the path you wish to follow. Not only does it illuminate the direction you need to travel, but also highlights possible obstacles that may litter the path,

For example it can help to differentiate between whether a headache is caused by an excess or deficiency of circulation to the head, or if a digestive upset is due to involvement of the liver rather than just an issue related to the stomach.

Where there are multiple possible causes to a condition, feeling the pulses and interpreting their feedback helps to steer the treatment to a successful conclusion. Not all headaches or migraines are treated the same, nor are menstrual pains, digestive upsets or joint pains.

Being trained to feel the pulses and take on board what they have to offer allows the cause of these issues to be discerned. Once the cause is addressed the symptoms begin to look after themselves.

Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) also explains the link between the emotions and the organs. If the pulse of a particular organ is demonstrating imbalance this can open the door to a deeper understanding of the patient. An example of this was a person who presented with persistent lung problems that appeared without any obvious external cause or past history.

As the emotion of sadness is related to the lungs I asked her if that could be a probable cause, a factor in her life. She then told me of a situation which explained her lung issues. She had become close to her partner’s father who was ill. Some time later she was estranged from her partner who did not inform her of his father’s subsequent death and funeral. It was after discovering what had happened that her lung problems started.

Once I was able to explain the effect of grieving and sadness on the lung energy, she was more able to reconcile her emotional state and regain better lung health.

Pulse interpretation followed by investigation through the framework of TCM facilitated this result. Even if I’m sure of what’s going on, I’ll still want to feel the pulses as they are an invaluable tool in the pursuit of good treatment.


Reflections In The Mirror Of Time

Centrepoint Acupuncture, Roger Thompson, Acupuncture Townsville, Chinese medicine Townsville


Our time is precious and can never be reclaimed or regained. Time wasted is a misery, spent wisely it’s a marvel. In the words of William Penn,

” Time is what we want most, but….what we use worst ”

Having spent my fair share of sitting in waiting rooms as my appointment time slips off into the distant past, I wondered why this occurs and how it can be remedied.

In the context of my acupuncture clinic I view the patient as the sum of many parts. Time, in relation to the clinic, can be viewed likewise.

The divisions are as follows :

Our appointments – divisions of time.

Clocks – our measurement of time

Focus – our use of time

Action – our movement through time

A practitioner whose appointments run on time shows respect for those who make the appointments. To run on time, also needs awareness of it’s passage and response to the divisions. To focus in the appointment we need to keep our eye on the intention of the visit. Whilst being sociable is desireable, cutting to the chase has to underpin interaction between therapist and patient. Action in the clinic, from tongue and pulse diagnosis to needle insertion, or any other treatment, is the final piece of the puzzle. This part is most dependent on all that has gone before, by spending enough time to understand what is the best course of action. Sometimes this can only become apparent by allowing the consultation to unfold.

All of the above is just a breakdown of the precursors to the organic unfolding that occurs during a consultation. By having an understanding of these structures, it allows latitude when dealing with the complexities of human suffering and the many methods of alleviating it.

If you wonder why I would write this, relect on the words of John F Kennedy…

” We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch ”


It’s Not Rude To Show Me Your Tongue

Centrepoint Acupuncture, Roger Thompson, Acupuncture Townsville, Chinese medicine Townsville

Observing the tongue and feeling the pulse are cornerstones of diagnosis in Chinese medicine. Many of us were told as kids that it was rude to poke tongues. In the clinical context it can be a great help in determining the cause of an ailment.

Asking a patient to show me their tongue elicits a range of responses from immediate confession of foods just eaten to childlike defiance or inquiry as to what can be interpreted from such examination.

The colour and shape of the tongue body plus the colour consistency and distribution of the tongue coating reveal much about the state of someone’s health.

In his book Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine, Giovanni Macioca explains this method of diagnosis has been detailed in China since 403 BC and refined and expanded ever since (1997).

The advantages of tongue diagnosis over pulse taking are numerous. Firstly, the tongue body colour almost always reflects the true condition of the patient, as it and the tongue coating are relatively unaffected by short-term events or recent changes, such as a disturbing experience or vigorous exercise just before the consultation.

The tongue can be a useful gauge for monitoring improvement or decline of a patient’s condition; the tongue body colour more useful in chronic ( long-term ) conditions and the coating more useful in acute ( short-term ) conditions.

The correspondence of different areas of the tongue body to different organs is a subject of fairly general agreement.

Tongue diagnosis is relatively objective compared to pulse as distinguishing a certain colour is easier than the quality of a pulse.

Compared to pulse diagnosis,tongue diagnosis is easy to learn. It’s limitation compared to pulse reading is it’s lack of precision in differentiation of presenting signs and symptoms. Only by combining both tongue and pule taking can the practitioner have access to the full picture of a patient’s health.

Finally, please don’t clean or brush your tongue before a consultation as you’ll be destroying the vital indicators needed to make a complete diagnosis.



Chinese Burns Are A Thing




Did your older siblings,neighbours or schoolyard bullies ever grab your arm and give you a Chinese burn ? You know,when they grab your limb and twist their hands in opposite directions to give the feeling of skin burning whilst turning it a red colour.

Even though this may have felt like torture at the time,your oppressors were actually using a legitimate Chinese massage technique – albiet in an extreme form.

When used with some lubrication,or lightly employed over clothing,the Chinese burn is  very effective in releasing and invigorating tired and sore arms.From hairdressers to carpenters,painters to typists,this move gives quick and easy relief.In conjunction with colourful sounding moves like rubbing,pinching scraping and rolling, it forms the group of highly effective techniques that make up Chinese massage.

Painless Needle Insertion


Much is said about the use of special needles ( usually superfine ) to allow painless insertion during acupuncture treatment.This approach however,ignores a crucial factor…the need for practitioner skill.To use a motoring analogy,only a good driver will get good lap times at the racetrack – in any car.

Over the course of 30+ years of practice,one of the main causes of painful insertion I’ve noted is patient tiredness.In this case the insertions have an increased tendency to be sharp,and so I vary my technique to allow for this.

Learning on the job is an integral part of being a successful acupuncturist,and the lessons learned from treating myself have been invaluable;way beyond my original training.I am my harshest critic,so any technical deficiencies encountered are forensically dealt with.

Through this process,I’ve developed strategies that encompass communication and co-operation with each patient that ultimately lead to their empowerment.Thus,even though there may be occasional sharpness,the treatment isn’t painful.

Good “till The Last Drop

Centrepoint Acupuncture, Roger Thompson, Acupuncture Townsville, Chinese medicine Townsville


How often have you felt a change in the way you’re being massaged, towards or at the end of the treatment as the oil is being wiped off ?  It’s like the atmosphere changes from a caring, rhythmic ” conversation ” to a detached business like interaction.You can often feel the withdrawal of the healing space and sense that the therapist is already focused on the next job at hand.

I have felt this numerous times as a recipient of massage over many years.

As a masseur my main goal is to make the special connection that I build with each client last, until I leave the room.In the same way that you gently put down a baby that you’ve nursed to sleep, my intention is to provide you with a soft landing to ease the transition from the massage space, back to the ” real ” world.

Ode to Acupuncture

A – cupuncture, the Ancient Wisdom,

Still in demand these modern days.

C  – HI, invisible, precious energy,

That may be blocked or has gone astray.

U – nder Roger’s needle-artistry, patients submit trustingly to their magic.

To miss out on such natural potency really would be tragic…

P – ain is a fear

That can turn some folk off,

U – ntil you’ve actually tried it, however,

who are you to scoff????

N – eedles, oh so dainty,

So fine and so neat.

C – HI cannot resist them

and so swiftly admit defeat.

T – ranquil and relaxed patients wait

While the needles do their stuff

U – niversal energies deem

When enough is just enough

R – oger’s the resident Practitioner,

To give the artist a name

E – nriching and enhancing energy flow

is his path’s rewarding game.


Roger’s Approach

Together with each client, I aim to find out the cause of their ailment or discomfort and the intent of their visit to me. These issues are then addressed as meaningfully as our time together will allow. Each treatment is approached as a journey of discovery. Thus, I tend to spend more time with clients than less, as this often allows information to surface that a brief consultation would not allow.

Acupuncture is extremely flexible in its application to the many and varied body and personality types. For this reason, I prefer it over all of the modalities available in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The training I have undertaken in various needle techniques gives me great confidence in the efficacy of the treatment. Further, as a result of giving myself acupuncture for more than 30 years, I know exactly what my technique is like. This has allowed me to perfect painless insertion and afforded a high degree of empathy for my clients.

Chinese Herbs, Massage, Cupping and Gua Sha all have their place in my clinic. Yet, for me as a professional Chinese Medical Practitioner, Acupuncture remains my speciality.

Roger Thompson

What is Gua Sha?

Gua means to scrape, sha is the redness that follows. It is an ancient therapeutic practice, said to come from the Stone Age in China.


The Guasha tool: the black item in the front.


Sha is the accumulation of blood and heat in the subcutaneous levels of the body. Gua Sha draws the Sha to the skin surface appearing as red spots on the skin (where it is released into the atmosphere.

It is often recommended as the first treatment to give as once the sha is moved, the client usually feels more comfortable and able to move more freely.

The Gua Sha tool is generally a slice of water buffalo horn, made with rounded edge. A lubricant is applied to the skin to facilitate smooth passage over the areas to be treated. The sha markings on the skin generally fade after several days and in some cases after a week.  Due to cosmetic considerations, gua sha would not be done if the client planned to wear certain clothing that would not cover the marks.

Informed consent is always gained before Gua Sha treatment.

Gua Sha is contraindicated in the following instances.

  • People who are weak, fatigued, and those who have just finished exercise
  • During pregnancy
  • Soon after surgery
  • People with heart disease
  • People suffering from any infectious disease
  • Within one hour before or after eating
  • Over cuts, burns, skin irregularities and diseases that may cause bleeding
  • Over warts, moles and tissue irregularities.

After Gua Sha, clients are advised not to have a shower or bath within 1 hour and cold showers should be avoided for 24hours after treatment.

In practice, Gua Sha has been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of plantar fasciitis when combined with acupuncture. It can also assist in the treatment of:

  • neck pain
  • waist and lower back pain
  • calf cramp
  • ankle pain

What to expect on your first visit

If it’s your first time coming to the Centrepoint Acupuncture Clinic, here are a few things to expect on your visit.

  • We are located at 88 Palmerston Street, Gulliver. Palmerston is a busy road and there should be plenty of parking on the side of the street.
  • You will see the sign to the right of the property with the fence. Please enter through the gate on the right-hand side and walk up the pathway to Centrepoint Acupuncture Clinic Entrancethe waiting room.
  • Removing your shoes before entering is appreciated. Refraining from smoking on the property is also very much appreciated.
  • If Roger is not there to greet you, he will be with another client but he won’t be too far away. Please relax in the waiting room. A lot of our regulars comment on the tranquility of the space.
  • Roger will get you to complete a new patient form to start the conversation about where you’re at with your health. Please be honest and open with your responses to maximise Roger’s understanding of your health.
  • Please allow around an hour for the first consultation. This allows plenty of time for Roger to listen to your health concerns and advise on a good remedy.
  • Come to the clinic with an open mind and ready to take thoughtful everyday actions to improve your well-being. Roger is very willing to be of assistance.
  • Please note that the clinic has terms and conditions of scheduling an appointment. You can read more about them here.