Community Acupuncture: Affordable Treatment for Seniors in Boulder

Boulder Acupuncture and Herbs is the only community acupuncture clinic in Boulder to specialize in treating seniors. We offer convenient, low-cost acupuncture appointments three afternoons a week in our clinic at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community. This clinic, which is open to the public, helps us reach our mission of making acupuncture accessible to older adults in Boulder County.

Curious about whether community acupuncture is a good choice for your condition? Let’s explore the benefits of this unique style of treatment.

How does community acupuncture work?

Community acupuncture is conducted in a group setting with multiple patients receiving treatment at the same time.

community acupuncture chair
Recliner in our community acupuncture clinic

Like conventional acupuncture treatments, community acupuncture sessions start with the acupuncturist asking about your health condition. After this initial intake, you will receive treatment while relaxing in a recliner chair. Once you are comfortable and settled, the acupuncturist moves to the next client. Patients are never left alone in the treatment room and are encouraged to ask for assistance at any time, including being covered with extra blankets. Twenty to thirty minutes later, we will remove your needles and send you on your blissful way.

One of the more convenient aspects of community acupuncture is that patients do not need to disrobe. Most of our clients simply remove their shoes and socks and lift their pant legs to their knees. Clients typically receive acupuncture needles in the lower legs and arms, as well as the scalp and ears. This style of acupuncture is particularly helpful for patients who are in wheelchairs, as it does away with the need to transfer to a massage table.

One question that comes up for potential patients is whether community acupuncture is less effective than a private session. Typically, the answer is no. Why is that? The efficacy of this style of treatment lies in the acupuncture meridian system.

How are community acupuncture treatments different from private acupuncture?

Community acupuncture makes creative use of the remarkable network of communication in the body known as the meridian system. Invisible to the eye, the meridian system crisscrosses the body in a web of energetic connections linking organs, muscles, sinews, and bones.

Acupuncture taps into this intricate system to affect change all over the body. By inserting acupuncture needles in key locations along the meridians, we impact symptoms anywhere on the pathway of that energy channel. For example, we can treat back pain through needles in the hands and headaches with acupuncture in the feet and calves.

The flexibility of the meridian system is what makes community acupuncture so effective. In reality, all acupuncture treatments use the meridian system to create change in the body. Yet because group acupuncture sessions focus on points on the arms, legs, and head, these treatments simply access this network via alternative pathways.

A few conditions we regularly treat in our community clinic include:

  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Low appetite
  • Colds, flus, and low immunity
  • Neuropathy
  • Knee, back, neck, and shoulder pain

Is there ever a time when community acupuncture is not a good fit? Yes. Let’s look at a few instances when private treatment is the way to go.

When do I need private treatment?

Although we love community acupuncture, some patients benefit more by booking private sessions with our acupuncturist.

Clients who wish to share very sensitive information may choose to be seen solo. Although we make every effort to help you maintain your privacy, the community acupuncture clinic is certainly a group environment. If you have concerns about privacy, please call our office ahead of time, and we may be able to discuss important aspects of your health history over the phone. This applies to patients being treated for anxiety, depression, or trauma, and those being seen for reproductive health.

Patients with advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may find the community acupuncture setting overwhelming. Clients with cognitive difficulties are usually more content in a private, one-on-one treatment with our acupuncturist. In some instances, patients with memory impairment may be accompanied in the community clinic by a caregiver who can assist the acupuncturist in keeping the patient comfortable and oriented during the treatment.

In some situations, our acupuncturist will recommend that you be seen privately to adequately address your health condition. Some forms of hip pain, shoulder pain, and low back pain may require local needling of those affected areas, which is difficult to conduct in a chair. Our goal is to help you feel better as quickly as possible while being mindful of your out-of-pocket expenses.

When in doubt, ask our acupuncturist about which treatment option is the best for your specific condition.

Community acupuncture builds community

Community acupuncture was developed to offer acupuncture to people who might not otherwise be able to afford this exceptionally effective form of treatment. At Boulder Acupuncture and Herbs, we are committed to including seniors in this mission.

Group acupuncture offers patients, caregivers, and families the opportunity to receive treatment at the same time. With notice, we can often schedule treatments back-to-back for patients and caregivers. This benefit alone can save caregivers hours in transportation and waiting room time, not to mention the added bonus of simultaneously receiving a personal acupuncture treatment.

The shared healing environment of the community acupuncture clinic is encouraging, supportive, and inclusive—all qualities that contribute to good health. Although patients are encouraged to rest quietly during treatment, a noticeable sense of camaraderie develops in the quiet of the clinic as multiple patients experience acupuncture. Patients report feeling energized by this collective sense of wellbeing. As you might imagine, our acupuncturist loves it, too.

Booking your community acupuncture treatment

Community acupuncture treatments are scheduled in advance by calling (720) 668-6638. Appointments are available three afternoons a week:

  • Monday 3:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday 3:30-6 p.m.
  • Thursday 1:30-4:30 p.m.

The cost of treatment is $35 for the first visit and $25 for follow-up sessions. Our clinic takes cash, check, and credit cards.

Accessibility, affordability, and quality care make our community clinic an ideal choice for seniors and their caregivers. If you have never tried this modern form of acupuncture, we encourage you to book a session. You may be pleasantly surprised by how convenient, effective, and uplifting community acupuncture can be.

Good health for all!

Acupuncture for Anxiety? Absolutely.

holdingleavesWith the holidays on the horizon and the arrival of shorter, colder days, many patients are experiencing an increase in stress and anxiety. Acupuncture is one of the best tools I know of to manage this discomfort. In fact, I love helping patients with stress and anxiety so much that I am introducing a new, targeted treatment program designed specifically to help you feel relaxed, right away.

My interest in treating anxiety began during my first year of acupuncture training as the stress of school began to rise. It wasn’t until I told a Western medical nurse practitioner about episodes of chest constriction and lightheadedness that I discovered I was having an acute anxious response.

“Are you under a lot of stress?” she asked me.

At the time my husband was finishing his graduate thesis and neither of us had a job. I was less than one quarter of the way through school and already feeling overwhelmed.

The nurse took my hands in hers and said, “That is a lot of stress. I want you to know that feeling panicked is a natural response to that much stress.”

Oh. I didn’t realize I was under that much stress. But she was right. I was under incredible pressure to accomplish my goals and keep my life together. I knew I needed a body-mind solution. That’s why I chose acupuncture.

Acupuncture offers a full-spectrum healthcare option for body, mind, and spirit.

What I love about this unique approach to working with anxiety is that it is not limited to impacting the way we think; it always involves the body, without question.

What does working with me look like? First, I start by asking questions about your experience, including what initiates your symptoms and how you feel during anxious episodes. Many anxiety sufferers experience muscle tension, abdominal discomfort, heart palpitations, and nervous exhaustion along with their anxiety symptoms, which naturally add to the feeling of stress.

I then come up with a treatment plan that helps your body recognize relaxation as a safe space. It disrupts the sympathetic nervous system response—the “fight or flight” mechanism—and switches the body into parasympathetic mode, the “rest and digest” function.

Over time your body and mind will sink into deeper states of rest and relaxation through acupuncture.

The key to integrating this profound benefit of treatment comes by creating links between the relaxed state of treatment and simple practices you can use outside of the clinic. These may include acupressure, breathing exercises, and creative self-expression, which offer relief between sessions and extend the benefits of our time together.

My goal is to help you see relaxation as your natural state and provide tools for working with your symptoms in the midst of everyday life. You really are capable of feeling grounded, connected, and centered, even in the presence of triggers.

Anxiety is a complex condition, but it is not unmanageable. Acupuncture can help.