I have used acupuncture before with temporary success but could never afford to continue with therapy more than one or two months because the cost was $90-$120 each session. Caroline talked to me about my goals for the session and placed the needles. No pain with the needles and I could decide how long to be there (you just signal her when your done or tell in advance if you need to go at a certain time). It was thorough like other more expensive sessions and the room is comfortable-you sit in a reclining chair-like a LazyBoy.
Healing in community
The atmosphere at Left Hand is peaceful, comfortable, and healing. I felt my treatment was enhanced by the quiet and mindful way of of Dennis Weigel, as well as by the energy of intentional healing of those around who were also receiving treatments.
A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step...
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is very safe. Only disposable needles are used and discarded properly in sharps containers. Needles are never re-used on patients. Every precaution is taken by the practitioner to ensure the safety and privacy of every patient.
What sort of training do acupuncturists have?
The majority of states in this country require acupuncture practitioners to have a Master’s degree from an accredited Acupuncture institution with a minimum of 3,000 hours of training, which includes clinical rotations, various biomedical courses, physical exam and case management. In addition, acupuncture practitioners are required to be nationally board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). A state license to practice acupuncture and herbal medicine is also required by most states, including Colorado.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture is a gentle therapy. Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture uses very fine, flexible, stainless steel needles. The treatment should not be painful, however, many patients do feel a sensation from the needles. Some patients describe the feeling as warming or achy, while others may feel an energetic sensation that travels through different areas of the body. After treatment, patients generally feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Acupuncture vs Dry Needling
Acupuncture is a therapy performed by an individual who has had over 1000 hours of supervised practice inserting needles. Dry needling is a therapy performed by Physical Therapists who at minimum receive 46 hours of supervised practice of inserting needles. PTs target "trigger points" in muscles and use aggressive manipulation to get these muscles to release. Most patients describe this process as very painful. Acupuncturists use channel theory, distal and auricular points, constitutional diagnosis and "ah shi points" to correct tightness, pain and tingling in the body. PTs are amazing practitioners, but in my opinion, they need a lot more training before they are allowed to insert needles into their patients. I feel patient safety is at risk with so little training. Unfortunately, the laws and scopes of practice in Colorado don't support my views.
What should I expect during my first treatment?
Patients who have not already completed their paperwork early should arrive for their first appointment 20 minutes early. All new patient forms can be found here.
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. Pant and shirts that can be rolled up to the knees and elbows are preferred.
Make sure you have eaten before acupuncture. Acupuncture on an empty stomach can lead to dizziness and nausea. Don’t overeat or consume greasy heavy foods, but get a decent meal at least 1-2 hours before your treatment. Please allot 60-90 minutes for your visit. This includes time for an initial intake and a full acupuncture treatment.
The initial exam takes longer than other treatments because we want to take the time to get to know you as an individual and how your body works. We will discuss your diet, lifestyle, and medical conditions. We will also take your pulse and examine your tongue. Pulse taking and examination of the tongue are two methods used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to confirm your diagnosis.
Then you will lay back, relax, and get your first treatment. Insertion of the needles is usually painless. Some patients feel a small prick. Normal sensations during the insertion of acupuncture needles include heaviness, dullness, achiness and tingling. Sometimes the patient doesn’t even know the needles are there.
Side effects are rare but may include the following symptoms: light-headedness, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising, residual muscle aching. Any of these should last only a very short time. It is helpful to take a short nap after acupuncture.
During the initial intake we will discuss a course of treatment for your condition. Acute problems will generally take 4-6 visits to resolve. Chronic conditions may take 6-12 visits. It’s important to remember that everyone is an individual and heals at different rates.
How soon will I feel better?
Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after 1 to 3 days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment. OR, relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. It is important to recognize that we are all individuals. Individual response to treatment varies. We see many patients that flit from healer to healer, diet to diet, and supplement to supplement in search of an instant cure to their problems. It’s important that you give whatever modality you choose a chance to work. Don’t just try it once or twice and then quit. If you’ve spent years suffering with chronic pain or disease, it’s unreasonable to think it will go away in the blink or an eye. Give the medicine time.
Why the name "Left Hand"?
Well first of all, one of the founders of Left Hand Community Acupuncture was a lefty.
Second, because of the importance of the left hand. The Japanese style of Kototama Inochi is one of ways Caroline practices acupuncture. In this style, the left hand is considered more important that the right hand. The right hand is used to insert the acupuncture needle. However, it is the left hand that feels the Qi of the patient rising to meet the needle. It also makes the connection between the acupuncturist and the person receiving treatment. More...
More information about acupuncture and how it works from Andy Wegman's free e-book "Why did you put that needle there?".