Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine is the world’s oldest, continuously practiced medicine. With a written history dating back 2,500 years, the actual practice is thought to be far older. Chinese Medicine is a complete system of medicine consisting of thorough intake and examination, disease diagnosis, pattern discrimination, treatment principles and treatment strategies. Treatments are multi-tiered and include the practice of acupuncture and the prescribing of herbs.
How should I schedule my appointments?
If a time of day works best for your appointments, we encourage you to schedule several visits in advance to hold your ideal appointment times. If you need to cancel appointments, please give advance notice so that we may provide that time for other patients. We ask that you reschedule promptly so that a long absence does not interrupt the rhythm of your care. Appointments canceled with less than 24 hours notice are subject to a $25 cancellation fee.
How long do the appointments last?

The first appointment includes two parts consisting of an initial intake and a treatment. The initial intake is a comprehensive interview to determine a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The subsequent treatment is the first step in implementing that diagnosis and strategy. Plan on 90 minutes for the first appointment and 45 to 60 minutes for follow-up visits. 

Will I have to undress for my treatment?
Usually, undressing is unnecessary, as this style of acupuncture utilizes points on the hands/forearms/ elbows and feet/lower legs/knees. You may prefer to bring shorts or loose pants that come above your knees comfortably and short-sleeved shirts or sleeves that roll above your elbow comfortably. Local points are sometimes used on the shoulders, back, abdomen, hips and buttocks. For these treatments draping and gowns are used to protect privacy.
Do you have any recommendations for before and after my visits?
We recommend having a meal a couple of hours before your visit or at least a snack on the way to the clinic. We also suggest refraining from intense physical activity, sex, alcohol or caffeine for 4 hours after each visit.
Why are Chinese herbs part of my treatment?

Chinese herbs combine synergistically with acupuncture and have been safely used for over 2,500 years to accelerate the healing process. Balance Point Health prescribes herbs from companies offering the highest quality ingredients. All the products are subject to stringent testing and are FDA and GMP-compliant. Like acupuncture, herbs work best when taken consistently at the recommended dose. Any recommended dietary supplements are based on modern research. You may also find other brands and can purchase your herbs and supplements wherever you choose.

What are Chinese herbs, and how are they prescribed?

Chinese herbs come in various forms including raw herbs, granulated herbs and
ready-made pills and tablets. Practitioners prescribe herbal formulas based on an
individualized pattern differentiation and disease diagnosis. The patient receives a
custom written prescription designed to treat the individual symptoms, while also
addressing the patient’s underlying constitutional pattern.

What's in an herbal prescription, and how is it consumed?

Chinese herbs contain many natural substances, such as bark, flowers, roots, leaves, twigs and stems. Occasionally herbal prescriptions may include ingredients from the animal and mineral kingdoms. Herbal formulas are typically decocted by the patient and made into tea. This involves boiling herbs for 45-60 minutes, straining and consuming them several times daily. Powdered extracts and pills are options for those unable to make herbal teas. The custom formula also allows the maximum practitioner flexibility in writing prescriptions for individual patients. This way, the patient can take modified formulas daily if conditions rapidly change.

Why take Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine treats a vast range of diseases. Herbal decoctions can address a variety of disorders because every formula is custom-made to target the patient’s chief symptoms and underlying constitutional problems. Chinese medicine can treat acute diseases such as colds, flu, musculoskeletal injuries and pain, and chronic illness, including allergies, gynecological disorders, viral infections, degenerative diseases and post-surgical or chronic pain.
How does acupuncture work as a system of medical care?

In this system of medicine, each treatment builds on the previous one. Optimal results are achieved when a patient follows the suggested treatment plan. Please understand that acupuncture is a therapeutic process, not a magic cure. In China, a course of treatment consists of 10 visits, typically occurring 10 days in a row. While this frequency may not apply in the United States, the idea of 10 sessions as a round of treatment does. Committing to an initial 10 visits is recommended, and we will evaluate how you respond after the sixth treatment. Patients who drop out of care before having a chance to receive the benefits acupuncture can offer usually are not highly satisfied. Continue with your prescribed treatment plan, and you’ll find yourself a new level of health. Ultimately your degree of commitment will determine your success.

Scientific research is attempting to understand the mechanism of acupuncture. At this point, researchers can measure activity in specific various body systems when an acupuncture needle is inserted:

1) Increase in peripheral blood flow
2) increase in the neural pain threshold
3) release of neurochemicals similar to endorphins
4) increase in T-cells and other immune constituents
5) increased activity at nerve “gates.” Thermal PET scans also show activity in the regions of the brain responsible for “pain” messages.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are fine and solid, typically no thicker than human hair. The insertion of these needles is usually painless. However, Qi elicits a very tangible sensation in the body. So, the needles might produce a feeling of heaviness, warmth, an ache, or the sensation of Qi itself moving throughout the channels. Many people find acupuncture quite relaxing and often fall asleep during the treatment.

Are the needles used more than once?

Balance Point Health complies with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Colorado Department of Health, including the proper cleaning and sterilization of instruments and the sanitation of acupuncture offices. Only single-use, disposable, factory-sterilized needles are utilized.

How should I prepare for the first appointment?

Please download the New Patient Intake form and allow yourself enough time to fill it out at your convenience. This form is 5 pages long and quite thorough. Please bring this form to your first appointment in addition to arriving 15 minutes early to sign administrative paperwork.

How many appointments will I need?

For most conditions, it’s recommended to have 2-3 acupuncture treatments per week for 2-4 weeks to reduce symptoms, followed by several weekly treatments to prevent relapse. If this schedule is not possible, you should receive at least one weekly treatment. However, please understand that this could prolong treatment. Acute conditions may resolve within 6-10 treatments. It is not unusual for long-term, chronic conditions to require 20 or more treatments.

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