Frequently Asked Questions
Chinese Medicine FAQs
If you have never experienced some of the alternative treatments that we have to offer you might have a few questions. We would be happy to explain further if you don’t find what you need in the list below. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.
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:
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.
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.
No. Only single-use, disposable, stainless steel acupuncture needles are used in each acupuncture treatment.
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.
Not everyone who receives acupuncture needs Chinese herbs as well. In some cases, herbs alone can be an effective single treatment modality. However, in many cases, taking herbs in conjunction with your acupuncture treatments can greatly speed healing time and bring about greater healing than needles alone could accomplish, especially if the problem is an internal one. Your individual TCM diagnosis will guide us in preparing the correct herbal formula for you. The duration of therapy, as well as results you can expect to see, will be discussed in detail.
We are currently contracted with Blue Cross / Blue Shield and Cofinity. We will bill these health insurance companies for services provided. We do not bill other health insurance companies directly, but we can provide you with the appropriate paperwork for you to submit a claim for reimbursement.
If you have health insurance with Cofinity or Blue Cross, you are responsible for paying a $25 copayment at the time of service. If your annual deductible has not been met, you are responsible for paying the full price of a treatment. If this is the case, we will submit a claim to your insurance company showing that you have paid full price for a treatment, and this will go towards your annual deductible.
Yes. Both types of patients are accepted. In order for us to bill worker’s compensation in Colorado, we need a written referral from a medical doctor for acupuncture.
Yes. Senior citizens and students both are eligible for reduced rates for all services, the cost of herbs is not included. We also provide $25 treatments every Tuesday at the Ah Haa clinic from 4:30 to 7 pm.
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.
It is best to be well hydrated and have food in your stomach. You should not be overly exhausted or intoxicated. Wear comfortable, loose clothing when possible, and avoid brushing your tongue (if you do so) for a day or two prior to your appointment, as we will look at your tongue coat for diagnostic purposes.
Herbal Medicine FAQs
The Herbalist in Oriental Medicine in the United States will be listed as a DOM, a Lac is a Licensed Acupuncturists who has not passed the national herbal examination. Safety first when it comes to herbal medicine, make sure your practitioner is licensed to prescribe herbs in the state where they practice.
Traditional Chinese Herbalism has evolved over thousands of years and continues to do so today with the introduction of new viruses and illness. Herbal medicine is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is one of the oldest and most popular forms of health care.
The term “Herbal Medicine”refers to the use of a plant’s bark, berries, flowers, leaves, seeds or roots for medicinal purposes. Herbs are often suggested as dietary supplements, to treat disease or to build and strengthen the body. It is a true art to know which of the hundreds of formulas and herbs to use for each condition and how to safely combine them for the most effective treatment.
Studies of herbs and their medicinal properties were prominent in the ancient civilizations of China, Egypt, Greece, Tibet, Persia and India. In some cultures, herbal knowledge was said to have been handed down from the gods. Much of this knowledge is still used today and has been proven effective in modern clinical testing.
An estimated three-quarters of the world’s population, especially those in developing countries, rely on herbal medicine. Almost a quarter of all modern prescription drugs, including aspirin, are derived from plant sources. There is also a strong tradition of Western herb use in the United States where patients are seeking more natural sources of medicine.
Many internal conditions benefit from the use of Chinese herbs in conjunction with acupuncture. These herbal remedies are formulated based on your specific diagnosis and can often significantly speed up healing time. Single Chinese herbs have individual medicinal properties, but they assume different properties when combined with other herbs, this is called an herb formula. Each formula is modified for the specific needs of the patient during a particular stage of illness. As the condition changes and improves, the herbal prescription will be modified until the desired health outcome is achieved. Compared to many Western pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese herbs are relatively inexpensive and safe to use with few, if any, side effects.
How do TCM practitioners use formulations?
TCM practitioners most often use two or more substances in Chinese medicinal formulations to create a balanced, synergistic effect that reflects the holistic nature of the diagnosis.
Although there are literally thousands of traditional herbal formulas for just about every condition imaginable, a formula is almost always modified by the TCM practitioner to suit the subtle nuances of the condition and constitution of the patient, making each formulation highly individualized.
Chinese herbal medicines treat the underlying causes of illness rather than individual symptoms. LuvLight’s herbalist apply a holistic approach to the use of herbs to address physical, emotional and spiritual issues. Once a patient’s specific needs are reviewed, a formula is individually created to stimulate the body’s natural healing powers. While most over-the-counter herbal products can only address physical ailments with standardized, pre-formulated dosing, our herbal practitioners are educated to design custom-made formulas for each individual. No two formulas are alike. This focus on individualization puts the patient’s specific needs in the forefront, and just as importantly, takes into consideration any possible interactions with prescribed medications.
Types of Herbal Formulas
There are two ways we dispense Chinese herbal formulas. The patient and practitioner decide together which form is best. Below are the available forms an herbal formula can take:
Our dispensary carries granulated herbs, which are highly concentrated powdered extracts. Granulated formulas are custom-made for each patient just like loose herb formulas. To prepare, patients mix the granules with hot water and drink as a tea. Granules are popular because of their ease of preparation and their portability when traveling.
Our dispensary stocks many commonly used formulas in tablet, capsule, and pill form. We purchase high-quality prepared formulas from GMP certified Chinese herbal companies. Prepared herbs cannot be modified for the individual patient, but are popular because of their convenience.
Chinese Herbal Medicines Address:
1 Digestive Issues
4 Joint Pain
6 Muscle Spasms
1 Pain Management
2 Pre & Post Surgery
4 Women’s Health
5 Men’s Health
6 And much more…
We have two Medical Herbalists at LuvLight, Jane Del Piero – Master Herbalist, trained in Western and Chinese Herbs and Jay Holt – Chinese Herbal Medicine. Both have degree level qualifications in herbal medicine and have been in practice for 9 years.
Medical Herbalists use Pure Herbal Extracts
Medical Herbalists are able to treat adults and children for all of the health complaints you might take to your GP, using plant medicines. These medicines are surprisingly convenient to take and are prescribed following a one-hour consultation during which a thorough health analysis is done in order get a full understanding of your presenting condition.
Thorough Consultation to get to the Root of the Problem
Following consultation your diagnosis will be discussed and an individual herbal prescription written for you, which can then dispensed from our well stocked, on-site dispensary the same day. Your progress is then monitored at subsequent follow-up appointments, which are usually 2 –4 weeks apart, depending on your case. Part of your herbal treatment also includes treatment of lingering health complaints that you may have suffered from for years. The herbal medicine approach is truly holistic and in this regard other ailments are often also treated as the patient’s system is brought back into balance. This means that as well as improving the initial problem you came about, you can expect to see improvements in your overall health and wellbeing.