Most people experience significant pain at some time in their lives – whether from an injury, illness, or an unknown cause. Pain is a warning signal, an alarm that goes off when your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong and out of balance.

What can you do? No one should have to live with pain, but which treatment is right for you? Often times, people suffering from pain take medication to dull the pain. Taking medication is understandable when pain is constant and unbearable. It may be helpful to dull the symptoms for a short period of time, but it will not get at the root of the problem and correct it. It is like hitting the snooze button on an alarm. Unless the cause of the pain is treated, your body will keep sounding the alarm and reminding you that something is wrong. Eventually, the pain may get worse or become chronic. It is also possible for the medications to cause unwanted side effects and further compromise your health.

Surgery may be another option. At times, this approach may make sense, but it could be both expensive and risky, and there is no guarantee that it will be effective.

Acupuncture is a time-tested, safe, effective, natural and drug-free way to eliminate pain. Unlike other methods of handling pain, there are no side effects. Well known and leading national and international organizations acknowledge the benefits of acupuncture in treating and eliminating pain due to a wide range of causes.

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An acupuncturist’s approach to pain

Acupuncture practitioners recognize that there is a vital energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”), circulating within the body. Qi flows through a series of pathways called meridians. Meridians are like rivers within your body. Wherever a river flows, it brings with it water that provides nourishment and life to the land, plants and people around it. Likewise, meridians transport life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, tissue, muscle, organ and gland in the body. From a Western point of view, our nervous system, circulatory system, and lymph system serve these purposes as well. Thus, you can think of the meridians as a combination of these systems.

It is important for Qi to flow freely throughout the body. Think of water flowing through a garden hose. A blocked hose will not provide an adequate supply of water to a plant. Eventually, the plant will be unable to thrive, grow, and blossom.

Similarly, a blockage in the flow of Qi anywhere in the body will inhibit the amount of nourishment that reaches the cells, tissues, muscles, organs and glands. Under normal circumstances, your body can easily return to good health and vitality. If the disruption of Qi is prolonged or excessive, or if your body is in a weakened state, the flow of Qi becomes restricted and a variety of symptoms, including pain, may arise.

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Many things can cause Qi to become blocked:

  • Poor diet
  • Physical trauma
  • Emotional trauma
  • Inherited weakness of Qi
  • Chemical, physical, or emotional stress

What does acupuncture do? By inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points, an acupuncturist is able to break up blockages that have hampered the smooth flow of Qi. Once this is done, Qi can travel freely throughout the body, promoting pain-free health, well-being and vitality.

Not only can acupuncture treat signs and symptoms of pain and discomfort, it can also get to the root of the problem. When the initial cause of the pain is corrected, your body can begin to heal of deeper levels. Your acupuncturist may also suggest adjunct therapies to enhance treatment and speed healing, such as massage, stretching, yoga, herbal supplements and dietary changes.

Shelby’s knowledge of the body and her authentic desire to help clients become healthy is phenomenal. She successfully treated my TMJ condition and rid me of pain along with various other symptoms. I cannot say enough good about Shelby and her services. It was my first experience with acupuncture and I did not know what to expect. She immediately put me at ease. Improvement was realized during each session. I highly recommend Shelby and this type of healing modality.

Shelby has been such a godsend for me! I deal with an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic pain/joint deterioration. After waiting months to see a rheumatologist, the doctor spent five minutes with me and told me that my only option for treatment was taking medications that destroy my immune system. The list of side-effects were lengthy and brutal, so I decided to seek out alternative treatments. My first visit with Shelby lasted TWO HOURS- and boy, no stone went unturned when Shelby delved into my physical history…she truly listened and explained her thoughts on the underlying conditions that likely led to my autoimmune issues- all which make real sense, I might add! It is such an amazing feeling to get care that doesn’t feel rushed or impersonal…and each visit, Shelby spends time listening to what’s going on and adjusting her care accordingly. There’s no doubt that Shelby cares about you. I am getting some much needed relief, along with education on how to combat my disorder naturally. I can’t say enough positive things about Shelby and her skill- she’s the real deal.


For the past several months, I have begun weekly acupuncture sessions at Common Ground Wellness / Louisville Acupuncture. I met the owner, Shelby VanCleve through my real estate business, and I decided to visit her for shoulder pain relief. What I discovered was a form of relaxation and meditation I have never before experienced, not even through my yoga. I highly recommend this venerable form of ancient Chinese healing and wellness. Shelby VanCleve is a caring, compassionate and professional healer. I highly recommend her.