As an advocate of natural remedies, I’m always searching for alternative therapies to treat ailments and prevent illness. That’s why, facing a transition period in life (moving from outside Detroit to Colorado) and needing to “clear my head,” I recently looked into acupuncture at the recommendation of a friend. I’ve never had a fear of needles, but not knowing what to expect, I felt a bit apprehensive at the thought of tiny, sharp objects all over my body. However, because I’m a believer in “don’t knock it ‘til you try it,” I made an appointment with Allie Dodge, “Acupuncturist Extraordinaire,” to see if she couldn’t help me move forward into this new chapter of my life.
Allie Dodge, a graduate of The Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture (ITEA), recently began her acupuncture practice in Boulder, Colorado. A believer in treating the whole being—body, mind and spirit—Allie is trained in Classical Five-Element Acupuncture [CF-EA], an ancient, distinctive and powerful form of healing based on the healing principles of nature. CF-EA looks to the East’s five elements—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, thought to be inherent in all living beings—to determine where an imbalance lies within an individual and to develop a unique approach to help you achieve your best possible health. Through ongoing treatment, energy is rebalanced and harmony is restored on all levels, promoting the body’s natural ability to heal itself from within. CF-EA aims to help you regain an overall sense of well-being and vitality, build your inner strength and resiliency, gain clarity, decrease stress, and enhance the quality of your life.
Sounds good, right? Well, seeing is believing.
After meeting with Allie the first time, I knew I had come to the right place. Now don’t get me wrong, I still had my apprehensions, but just being in the treatment room I felt more calm and balanced than when I arrived. Although everyone responds to treatment in their own way, Allie personalizes and creates individual treatments for each patient based upon the results of an hour and a half consultation of health-oriented questions, including your main complaint or reason for seeking acupuncture treatment, medical history, body systems and lifestyle. The initial consultation also consists of a physical exam, which is used in conjunction with your health history, environment and acupuncture goals to develop a unique and comprehensive treatment plan.
Once the initial consultation is complete, treatment begins. But what exactly does treatment consist of, and what does it do?
Acupuncture is based on the principle that health and well-being are maintained by a balanced flow of energy, or Qi (often spelled Chi, pronounced chee) that flows throughout the body in pathways called meridians. Meridians are like rivers flowing inside the body, and as rivers transport water, meridians bring energy, or Qi, to nourish every cell in the body. When the flow of Qi is disrupted, disease and illness often occur. Through diagnosis techniques, acupuncturists assess the condition of a person’s Qi, and through treatment attempt to restore the amount, quality and balance of Qi in the meridians. In doing so, acupuncturists optimize a person’s energy and encourage the body to heal itself from disease and maintain health and well-being.
The best thing about acupuncture is that it can help just about anyone. You can benefit from acupuncture treatment without necessarily having a specific illness. Instead, you may have a general awareness that you don’t feel well, or could somehow feel better. Acupuncture can help where other treatments have been unsuccessful and is safe to use in conjunction with other forms of treatment. Acupuncture has been effective in treating a variety of conditions, including disorders of the body, such as headaches, arthritis, digestive and menstrual disorders, fatigue and allergies, and injuries; disorders of the mind (Allie’s specialized focus), such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, addictions, stress and lack of clarity; and disorders of the spirit, such as hopelessness, joylessness, insecurity, lack of self-worth or self-esteem.
Although we all experience acupuncture in our own way, my response to the first treatment—a basic “cleansing” of negative energy—was almost immediate. You know the calm, relaxed feeling you experience after a yoga class or a massage? That’s what I felt like when I left my first treatment with Allie. I found such clarity and peace of mind that I scheduled another appointment so Allie could target more specific “energy blocks.” At the second appointment, Allie supplemented the acupuncture needling with an herb called Artemesia Latiflora or Chinese Mugwart (commonly known as “moxa”), which is known for its healing, warming, revitalzing, and invigorating properties. In addition to encouraging the flow of energy prior to needling, the herb filled the room with a sweet, woodsy scent that further calmed and relaxed my racing mind.
What also offered a sense of calm is the fact that Allie never left the room during treatment. While acupuncture is about the body healing itself, Allie was always present, monitoring my energy flow through Chinese pulse measurements. Knowing that Allie was by my side the entire time should anything go wrong, or if I should have any questions, made me feel comfortable with the fact that tiny needles were being inserted into various points in my body. Also, Allie explained what she was doing through every step of the treatment process, which provided a sense of trust and credibility in her knowledge.
In addition to her professionalism and healing abilities, Allie’s intentions for health and wellness extend beyond her own acupuncture practice, Allie Dodge Acupuncture. Each week Allie dedicates time towards community wellness efforts that include working at the Thornton Community Senior Center, providing acupuncture services to the elderly to help improve sleep and relieve pain, stress, and tension. Also, Allie is currently undergoing a Hospice training program that will qualify her to practice healing acupuncture treatments to individuals in the last stages of life.
Because Allie is devoted to helping people in all stages of life achieve the best possible health, she plans to use acupuncture and alternative healing in conjunction with educational programs focusing on nutrition, sustainable farming, exercise and yoga to create a natural health and lifestyle center. This future center will act as a retreat for the local community, and will be available to those of all ages and socioeconomic levels, because Allie believes that all individuals are entitled to achieve their best health possible, and should not be limited based on age or demographics.
As you can see, Allie Dodge is devoted to helping those around her. Not only have I experienced relief and a clear state of mind in the midst of my life transition, but Allie has opened my eyes to the many benefits of acupuncture and made me a firm believer in the power of energy flow, and what balancing energy throughout the body can do!
I recommend you schedule an appointment and see for yourself. Unsure? Allie offers a short, complimentary phone consultation prior to your first visit to answer questions you might have about Classical Five-Element Acupuncture and your particular health concerns.
Allie Dodge Acupuncture: “Creating balance, harmony and wellness by providing compassionate and individualized care.”
Photo credits: Allie Dodge, Robin Hamilton
- Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), State of Colorado
- Diplomat in Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac.), National Certification Commission for Acupuncture
and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
- Masters of Acupuncture (M.Ac.), The Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture (ITEA)
in Louisville, Colorado. Click here for elevision interview.
- Bachelors of Art (B.A.) in Psychology, University of Michigan