Acupuncture is a Respected Form of Pain Management
Linda Gibbons, a licensed acupuncturist and board member for the Acupuncture Association of Colorado, says having needles inserted in the skin to relieve pain doesn’t make sense to most Americans at first. However, Gibbons, who is also on faculty at the Colorado School of Chinese Medicine, says this form of eastern medicine is quickly becoming a more accepted and respected form of pain and stress relief.
Q: How can acupuncture provide pain relief?
A: research shows acupuncture stimulates the brain to release endorphins, which are pain-relieving hormones. Acupuncture also stimulates the brain to release
blood constriction near the needled area, which promote healing, and the flow of fresh blood and nutrients to the area. From a Chinese medicine perspective, acupuncture balances the Qi (energy) of the body by releasing constraint, promoting energy flow, and balancing the organ systems.
Q: How did you get interested in acupuncture?
A: I had health issues and found that acupuncture and Chinese medicine were what helped me heal.
Q: Who is your typical client? What type of pain relief are they seeking?
A: I am a generalist, in that I treat everything from acute illnesses, such as cold and flu, to chronic pain and internal conditions, such as: digestive, neurological, or hormonal imbalances. I use herbal medicine with most of my patients. About 60% of my patients I treat for pain, and the rest for internal conditions. I treat those age 10 to 90 years old.
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: Acupuncture is very safe. Acupuncturists have 3-4 years of training and most states require licensing. The most common adverse side effect from acupuncture is bruising.
Q: What should you look for when trying to find a good acupuncturist?
A: Most states regulate acupuncture, so look for a licensed acupuncturist. I would recommend you ask an acupuncturist about their training and if they went to an accredited acupuncture school and if so how many hours of training they had.
Q: What should you expect during an acupuncturist visit?
A: The first time I do a thorough health intake, followed by a treatment. Depending on the practitioner, needles are retained anywhere from fifteen to 45 minutes.
Q: How can you prepare for a visit? What should you wear, etc?
A: you should dress comfortably and wear loose clothing. You should be well hydrated and have eaten enough prior to the visit so your blood sugar level is stable.
Q: What is the typical expense?
A: Treatment costs also vary by practitioner. At the low end, costs may range from $20-$45 for ear or group (community) acupuncture. Typically a treatment costs between $60-$80 for an hour, plus herbs if prescribed. More insurance plans are covering acupuncture now, so check your plan for coverage.
Q: How often would you expect to be treated?
A: Like massage, chiropractic or physical therapy, acupuncture is a therapy. Initially you may be treated 1-3 times per week depending on your complaint and pain level. As progress is made treatments can be spread out. Initially, a course of 6-10 treatments is common.
Q: How can our readers get in touch with you?
A: Linda Gibbons, L.Ac.,