Up a discreet set of stairs by the El Alamein Fountain in Potts Point is a room with soft music and a row of about 20 beds, their occupants lying serenely with their eyes closed. I am ushered past them towards a free bed and handed a form to fill in.

I’m at Woke Yoga, where The Acupuncture Collective has just started offering treatments every Tuesday (it’s got three other outlets). I’m here to alleviate my insomnia with acupuncture, a centuries-old traditional Chinese medicine practice that uses very fine needles inserted into meridian points in the body. Each point in the meridian system, through which energy (known as “qi” in Chinese medicine) flows, is associated with particular physiological systems and internal organs. I’m told my sleeplessness is connected to my liver and an imbalance of the qi around it.

My therapist examines my tongue and takes my pulse in my wrists and ankles before it’s time for the needles, a series of hair-thin pins she inserts down my legs and in my forehead, ears and neck.

It’s not painful: the most I feel is a gentle prick akin to tweezing eyebrows. I’m then covered in a soft blanket and left to marinate for close to an hour, during which time I first feel a pleasant warming sensation before I enter into a deep state of relaxation (okay, I fall asleep).

When I’m woken up at the conclusion of the treatment I’m infused with an inordinate sense of calm and feel more than a little spacey. I float rather than walk home and that night I enjoy six hours of restorative sleep compared to my meagre average of three.

“Acupuncture works on all the elements: body, mind and soul,” says Acupuncture Collective founder Martine Aharonson. “We see a lot of people who are over stimulated, so we turn off the switch, lower the nervous system and stabilise the flow of qi.”

Sessions treat a wide range of physical and psychological conditions, including pain (such as neck and back pain and sports injuries), headaches, digestive complaints, women’s health issues and anxiety.

“It’s not a one-size fits all model: each treatment is customised to the individual and that’s why it works so well,” says Aharonson, who set up Acupuncture Collective in 2012, and who has more than 20 years’ experience as an acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist. There are five other practitioners in the collective.

The business model – being able to treat up to 20 people at the one time – allows the Acupuncture Collective to set its prices at just $25 per visit, with clinics at Potts Point, Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach.

“When you’re in a lot of pain, you’ll do anything and pay anything to feel better. But we can provide cost-effective individual treatments because we are seeing multiple patients per hour,” says Aharonson.

Treatments are on a drop-in basis, although bookings are required for Yin and Pins, the popular fusion of yin yoga and needles the Acupuncture Collective runs in its regular clinics and other pop-up locations throughout the inner east and inner west. The first half of the class is devoted to yoga and then it’s pin time to bring deep rest and restoration.

My blissful sleep following my session lasted one night, so I decide to return the following week. I experience the same results – double my usual quota of sleep – and decide that at $25 a session, I can make it a regular part of my week.

“Acupuncture works best when you can schedule a course of several treatments,” says Aharonson. “Our communal approach is about making it easier for you to make a regular commitment to your healing.”

Acupuncture Collective

Woke Yoga Potts Point
Level 2, 18/20 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point

Hours:
Tue 1pm–7pm
(from January it will be until 8pm)

Loft & Earth
70 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction

Hours:
Wed 10am–7pm

The Well Bondi
78 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
(from January it will be at Dharmashala Yoga Bondi, 108 Brighton Boulevard, North Bondi)

Hours:
Thu 10am–7pm

Loft & Earth
70 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction

Hours:
Sat 9am–5pm

acupuncturecollective.com.au