Boulder Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one modality of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. The specific points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of 2,000 years.

How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture promotes the flow of “qi”, or life force in the body. There are distinct channels that run through the body carrying qi, following the pathways of nerves and blood vessels. Acupuncture works to keep these channels clear, and to keep the qi flowing smoothly. Where qi binds in the body, discomfort and disease may enter. The Chinese have an ancient belief that where there is pain, there is no free flow, and where there is free flow, there is no pain.

The desired outcome of Acupuncture is to allow the body to find balance, and promote the free flow of qi.

Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very fine needles, typically no thicker than a human hair. The insertion of these needles is usually painless. The needles might elicit a feeling of heaviness, an ache, warmth or a feeling of the qi moving through the channels. Many people find acupuncture to be quite relaxing, and many fall asleep during the treatment.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments depends upon the severity and duration of your complaint. For acute symptoms, one treatment may suffice, while chronic or degenerative conditions may take 5-10 or even more treatments to see progress. Acupuncture works in harmony with your body, and the complete alleviation of persistent symptoms can take more time.

Is there anything I should know about before I try acupuncture?
Do not come to your treatment hungry, excessively fatigued, or dehydrated. Wear loose clothing. Avoid treatment while taking immune blocking medications, or while in treatment for cancer.

What can I expect after a treatment?
Patients often feel a difference in their discomforts after only one treatment. This relief can last or some discomfort may return. With consecutive treatment, the idea is to alleviate these discomforts all together.

What can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture can treat a wide assortment of health issues and diseases. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture is appropriate in the treatment of the following:


  • Colds and flu
  • Bronchitis
  • Hepatitis

Internal Medicine:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Asthma
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Ulcers
  • Colitis
  • Indigestion
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes

Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat Disorders:

  • Ringing of ears
  • Earaches
  • Poor eyesight
  • Dizziness
  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throat
  • Hay fever

Dermatological Disorders:

  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Herpes

Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders:

  • Arthritis
  • Neuralgia
  • Sciatica
  • Back pain
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Stiff neck
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sprains

Uro-Genital and Reproductive Disorders:

  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Vaginitis
  • Irregular menses or cramping
  • Morning sickness
  • Pre and post-natal care

Mental and Emotional Disorders:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder)


What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine is one of the world’s oldest, continually practiced medicine. It has a written history that dates back 2,500 years, while the actual practice is thought to be far older.

How are Chinese Herbs prescribed?
Chinese herbs are prescribed by a practitioner based on an individualized pattern and disease diagnosis. The patient will receive a custom written prescription designed to treat both the individual symptoms, while also addressing the patient’s underlying constitutional pattern.

What are herbal prescriptions made up of?
Chinese herbs consist of many natural substances, from bark, flowers, roots, leaves, twigs and stems. Occasionally herbal prescriptions may include ingredients from animals or minerals.

How are Chinese herbs taken?
Chinese herbs are typically decocted by the patient, and made into a tea. This means the herbs are boiled for 35-45 minutes, strained, and drunk 2-3 times per day. However, there are also pills, tinctures, and powdered extracts for those unable or non-desirous to make the herbal teas. The decoctions made by the patient are the strongest and most effective way to ingest herbal prescriptions. The custom formula also allows the practitioner maximum flexibility in writing prescriptions for individual patients. This way, the patient can take modified formulas daily if conditions are rapidly changing.

Do Chinese Herbs have side effects?
Not often. If the formula is properly prescribed, there should be no adverse side effects. Most of the medicinals in Chinese Materia Medica have very low toxicity, especially when compared to most western pharmaceuticals. If a patient experiences any discomfort while taking the herbal prescription, they should inform their practitioner, and cease taking the formula immediately. The practitioner will then modify their formula to alleviate the side effects.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine good for?
Chinese Herbal Medicine treats the full range of disease. Chinese Herbal Medicine can treat a wide span of maladies, as each and every formula is made custom to address the patient’s chief symptoms and underlying constitutional problems. Chinese Medicine can treat acute diseases such as colds, flu’s, and musculoskeletal injuries and pain as well as chronic diseases such as allergies, gynecological disorders, viral diseases, degenerative diseases, post-surgery, or chronic pain.

Can pregnant women take Chinese herbs?
Yes, if prescribed by an experienced professional practitioner. This modality of medicine has been prescribed to pregnant women for over 2,000 years.

Can children take Chinese herbs?
Yes. Pediatrics is a specialty within Chinese Medicine. There are specially prepared pediatric medicines in pill, powders and liquid forms. Chinese herbs can treat discomfort from colic, teething, earache, diarrhea, cough and fever in babies and small children.