Frequently Asked Questions

What can acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can treat a wide variety of conditions. The World Health Organization has recognized that the following conditions can be effectively treated with acupuncture:
  • Addictions
  • Allergies
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Cold and flu
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Eczema
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Indigestion
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Low back and neck pain
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Sinusitis
What can I expect from my first visit to a practitioner of Chinese Medicine?
Your first visit will generally be one hour long. After filling out the required paperwork, your practitioner will ask you about your chief complaint and then ask you a series of questions about each bodily system. These questions help the practitioner get a basic idea about your constitution and any imbalances that might be underlying your chief complaint. After this initial intake is complete, the practitioner will take your pulse, look at your tongue and make a Chinese medical diagnosis. Based upon this diagnosis, your practitioner will then choose which modalities are most appropriate for treating your complaint. Usually this involves acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Return visits are generally 45 minutes to one hour long.
What does acupuncture feel like?
The needles used in acupuncture are extremely fine, and insertion of the needle through the skin produces very little sensation. Once the needle is through the outer layer of skin, you should feel a heavy or distending sensation at the acupuncture point. Sometimes this feeling radiates along the corresponding channel, producing sensation that is distal to the point being needled. Obtaining this "heavy" sensation at each point is called getting the "qi" at the point. In order for acupuncture to be most effective, qi must be obtained at every point that is needled.
Are acupuncture needles reused?
No. Only single-use, disposable, stainless steel acupuncture needles are used in each acupuncture treatment.
How many treatments will it take to see results?
This varies, depending on your condition and how long you have been experiencing it. Some musculoskeletal conditions that are relatively recent respond in just a few treatments. Other conditions that have manifested over many years will take longer to effectively treat. Combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal medicine generally produces positive results more quickly.
Do you accept health insurance?
We are currently contracted with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and United. We will bill these health insurance companies for services provided if it has been predetermined that you have acupuncture benefits in your plan. If benefits have not been verified before your visit, you will be required to pay the full amount at the time of service. We do not bill other insurance companies directly, but we can provide you with the appropriate paperwork for you to submit a claim for reimbursement.
Do you accept auto injury and worker’s compensation patients?
Yes. Both types of patients are accepted. In order for us to bill worker’s compensation in Colorado, we need a written script from your medical provider for acupuncture.
My chiropractor, medical doctor and/or doctor of osteopathy says that s/he can perform acupuncture. Tell me more about this.
Unfortunately MD's and D.O.'s may practice acupuncture without any specialized training in the state of Colorado. Chiropractors must be certified with 100 hours of theory and clinic, plus an affidavit of 25 cases in order to practice acupuncture. Considering that the study of Chinese medicine is a lifelong endeavor, the lenient Colorado laws regulating the practice of acupuncture do a great disservice to the profession. Those who perform acupuncture without studying the theory and technique behind the practice are limited in their skills and their outcomes are at best marginal. Practitioners of Chinese medicine spend 3-4 years studying in a Master's level program before being able to sit for NCCAOM board exams and obtaining their acupuncture licenses. If you are going to pursue Chinese medicine as a treatment modality, do yourself a favor and go to a practitioner who is trained exclusively in Chinese medicine.
Why should I chose Yampa Valley Acupuncture for my treatment?
Kelley McDaneld, L.Ac. has been in private practice for over 8 years. She is straightforward and thorough and takes time to listen to every patient. Kelley's background in western science and her experience practicing Chinese medicine in a hospital setting give her a unique perspective on health and disease. She maintains an open mind and believes there is an appropriate time and place to utilize both Chinese and Western medicine.
My physical therapist says s/he can perform dry needling. Why not just opt for dry needling instead of acupuncture?
Dry needling is a very controversial subject amongst practitioners of Chinese medicine, and rightfully so. Dry needling involves physical therapists inserting acupuncture needles into trigger points, or painful points on the body, and manipulating the needles for therapeutic effect. This is no different than an acupuncturist inserting needles into trigger points, also known as “a shi” points in Chinese medical literature. In fact, trigger points are really acupuncture points and have been described as such in ancient Chinese medical texts by Sun Si-Miao, a famous Chinese physician.

Physical therapists who perform dry needling are only required to have a minimum of 46 hours of in-person training. Compare that to an acupuncturist who is required to have 3-4 years of training to obtain a license to practice and you see how questions arise regarding the safety and efficacy of physical therapists performing such a technique. A few states are realizing the danger of this inadequate training and are barring physical therapists from performing dry needling. Unfortunately Colorado has yet to ban this practice. For your physical safety, only allow an acupuncturist to insert acupuncture needles into your body. Not only will an acupuncturist be able to treat painful trigger points, s/he will also determine a full Chinese medical diagnosis and base treatment and point selection on that diagnosis.

Please see this link for more information: NCASI Brochure (PDF)
Steamboat Springs, CO
970.819.6738
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