Refuge Acupuncture

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Elevate Your Healthcare
Through Acupuncture

We believe that your body has everything it needs to heal itself for long term growth- you are enough as you are.

Every patient is special and different, so every treatment is customized to your needs so you can feel comfortable and at home in your body. We use Traditional Chinese Medicine to uncover the root cause of imbalance and help to direct your energy back into smooth, flowing alignment.

A woman looking downwards, holding a bough of flowers against her face

Refuge Acupuncture: Your Path to Wellness Through Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese practice of stimulating the body’s energy, or qi, to promote healing. Through the insertion of very fine needles into the skin, acupuncture influences the immune system, nervous system, tissues, glands and organs of the body. It is a minimally invasive technique with a growing body of modern research behind it to support the claims that Chinese medicine practitioners have been saying for thousands of years.

Many people experience some anxiety when it comes to acupuncture, believing that there will be pain involved with the insertion of the needles. However, correctly performed acupuncture results in little to no discomfort. Single-use needles are a standard practice, so there is no risk of contamination from another patient. At Refuge Acupuncture in Denver, CO, we are devoted to your health and comfort. Our practices are designed to make you feel completely safe and at ease before treatment even begins.

Whether you are seeking acupuncture for migraines, pain management, anxiety, sciatica, or other health concerns in the Denver area, Refuge Acupuncture welcomes you.

Two mannequins on which acupuncture points are indicated
A smiling woman with her legs crossed in a yoga pose

What Benefits Does Acupuncture Provide?

Acupuncture is used for a wide variety of physical and mental health complaints. Here are some common conditions that have been successfully treated with acupuncture:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Hypertension
  • Acupuncture for anxiety and depression
  • Immune support
  • Stress
  • Acupuncture for fertility
  • Acupuncture for migraines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • PMS and menstrual cramps
  • Chemotherapy, nausea, and vomiting

These conditions and many more can be treated through acupuncture; sciatica, chemical dependencies, skin conditions, and other common ailments included. 

While not often thought of for treating sciatica, acupuncture has demonstrated success in controlling the inflammation and injury causing sciatica pain that western medicine is also noticing. With acupuncture, sciatica pain, even sciatica due to pregnancy, can be relieved.

It is our belief at Refuge Acupuncture that by realigning your energy through our treatments, your body is free to begin healing itself. By working with the body’s natural systems through acupuncture, anxiety, sciatica, migraines, and more can be managed. We want to give our acupuncture patients in the Denver highlands area the best possible chance to get off of or stay off of pharmaceutical medications, avoid surgery, and experience a better quality of life through pain reduction. 

How Does Acupuncture Work?

In the traditional Chinese understanding of acupuncture, there are pathways flowing through your body called meridians. Your energy, life force, or qi (pronounced chee) follows along these meridians. When that energy becomes out of balance, blocked, or otherwise disrupted, illness results. By placing fine needles into specific points along these pathways, they re-direct the flow of chi, causing your energy to become re-balanced.

This properly aligned qi then allows the body to heal mentally, emotionally, and physically. That’s why with acupuncture, anxiety, migraines, pain, digestive issues, and much more can all be treated.

From a Western medical understanding, it is believed that the placement of the needles stimulates nerves and muscles, causing a painkiller effect in the body. While Western medicine still can’t really explain why acupuncture works, extensive studies have demonstrated its effectiveness for many conditions, especially for pain relief, and is generally regarded as safe.

A close up of a hand placing acupuncture pins on someone
A refuge acupuncturist placing pins on a patient's earlobe

Refuge: Your Preferred Choice for
Acupuncture in Lower Highlands, Denver

Refuge Acupuncture in Denver holds light for healing that ignites personal transformation. Elevate your healthcare through acupuncture and herbs in a private, warm, and safe environment with our healers who have 35 years in practice.

We believe that your body has everything it needs to heal itself for long term growth – you are enough as you are. Every patient is special and different, so every treatment is customized to your needs so you can feel comfortable and at home in your body. We use the Traditional Chinese Medicine tools of acupuncture and herbal medicine to uncover the root cause of imbalance and help to direct your energy back into smooth, flowing alignment.

Refuge Acupuncture’s licensed acupuncturists are experienced in therapy for all different types of conditions. We have a special interest in acupuncture for anxiety and mental health, acupuncture for migraines, and acupuncture for digestive health. We serve the Denver, CO area, bringing hope and wellness to our patients.

Acupuncture Services

In addition to your acupuncture therapy, your licensed acupuncturist may also recommend and perform these related services that are included as part of your treatment.

Gua Sha Facial

Gua Sha is a treatment that involves scraping a flat massage tool across the skin to promote circulation and activate stuck or stagnant energy. It stimulates the soft tissues of your skin and reduces inflammation, relaxes muscles, and improves tissue drainage. This specialized type of massage may be recommended by your acupuncturist if they feel it is right for your specific conditions.

Gua Sha is often performed alongside acupuncture for anxiety, chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, insomnia, and migraines among other complaints. Facial Gua Sha is associated with tighter, smoother skin, reduction of fine lines, puffiness and wrinkles, and generally clearer skin. The massage techniques used on the face are gentle and do not leave behind any redness.

A flat stone being scraped against a patient's face during a gua sha facial.
A patient with seven seven glass cups placed on her back.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a unique treatment that uses negative pressure to address a wide array of health issues. Cupping pulls tissue instead of compressing it (as you experience in massage) using glass, silicone, bamboo or earthenware cups. Traditionally, a flammable substance is burned in the cups, then the warm cups are inverted and placed on the back. The cooling cup creates a vacuum, pulling the skin and tissue away from the body. Modern therapies employ a rubber pump to create the negative pressure instead of heat.

Cupping therapy is a powerful way to treat stubborn conditions as it stimulates the lymphatic system in a way that other therapies cannot. This makes it an excellent method for toxin removal. Cupping is frequently used in combination with acupuncture for migraines, anxiety and depression, to treat inflammation, arthritis, skin problems, high blood pressure, allergies, and varicose veins.


Moxibustion is a practice performed by acupuncturists to amplify the flow of qi and blood. In a moxibustion treatment, a cone or stick made of the herb mugwort, called a moxa, is burned close to specific meridians or acupuncture points. Mugwort, with its distinct, pungent odor, permeates and stimulates the meridians.

Expectant mothers in or near Denver may be interested in moxibustion at Refuge Acupuncture as it has been used to turn breech babies head-down. Moxibustion improves blood circulation in the pelvic region has long been an effective treatment for women experiencing heavy bleeding and cramps during menstruation.

The meridian-warming effects of moxibustion can also be used to improve blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. Moxibustion is regularly used with acupuncture for migraines, to treat various digestive disorders, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and chemotherapy related nausea. 

Four sticks of herbs placed on the back of a patient during moxibustion treatment

Your Acupuncture Investment

Your investment at Refuge is simple to understand and inclusive of all modalities (e.g. cupping, moxibustion,
gua sha) needed to heal the whole human.

First time patient intake
and treatment


Follow up acupuncture


Inquire with us for packages and subscriptions.

We recommend adding on an Herb Consultation for your Chinese Traditional Medicine customized herbal blend(s) for $60. We also perform facial acupuncture. Learn more about how you can experience rejuvenation and enhance your natural beauty with facial acupuncture here

Your First Treatment

No matter why you’re seeking acupuncture in the Denver highlands area, Refuge is here for you. Whether you need acupuncture for fertility, acupuncture for sciatica, migraines, or other chronic pain, our licensed practitioners can guide you. For sufferers of any number of physical or mental complaints including depression and anxiety, acupuncture at Refuge offers hope.

Refuge Acupuncture looks forward to being part of your healing through acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment. Refuge is ready to help you move forward into a healthier, more productive life. Let us help you feel heavenly.

A lit candle is placed next to seven acupuncture pins
Acupuncture Deep Dive

The Highways of Acupuncture: The Meridians

If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture and how it works as a holistic form of medicine before visiting our Denver clinic, exploring the meridians is the best place to start. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, meridians function as the body’s energy channels, the pathways along which the life force called qi flows. Each meridian is associated with an organ. An acupuncturist places fine needles in specific points along these passages to unblock or remove blockages of qi and restore natural health, wellness and balance to the whole system.

Meridians are non-physical, meaning you can’t see them like veins, arteries, or even nerves. They are also assigned either yin or yang energy. Yin energy is cold, dark, slow, and passive. Yang energy is hot, light, fast, and active. Overall, your yin and yang should be in balance for optimal wellness, quality system function, and overall good health.

It’s very important to understand where the meridians are and their function because acupuncture involves inserting needles in specific points along their lines. These points have names that usually combine a term for the part of the body with an identifier that tells you which meridian they’re on. For example, KI-2 is a point along the kidney meridian called ran gu. These points are also used for acupressure and massage.

At our clinic, Denver area patients experience quality acupuncture therapy for more vibrant health and wellness. Our licensed practitioners are highly skilled in Chinese Traditional Medicine, and deliver exceptional natural, holistic health treatments to our patients. Visit our Denver Clinic and see for yourself.

There are 12 primary meridians and then some smaller ones that relate to those as well as the limbs. These energy pathways crisscross your body like a fine mesh, covering every part of you from your head to your toes. Here you’ll find a brief explanation of the 12 major meridians, the two major extraordinary vessels, and the six minor extraordinary vessels that our acupuncturists work with when treating patients at our Denver location.

12 Major Meridians

Lung Meridian (LU) (Yin)

The lung meridian begins at the top of your shoulder and travels down your arm to the tip of the thumb on either side of your body. It’s closely connected with the respiratory system as well as working with the heart meridian. It also helps to regulate skin and sweat function. Since it’s closely linked to the immune system, you can use this meridian to treat a variety of respiratory wellness problems including colds and flus along with allergies. There are 11 points along the lung meridian.

Heart Meridian (HT) (Yin)

The heart meridian starts close to your armpit and along the inner part of each arm, ending at the tip of your little finger. The heart meridian impacts the function of all the other meridians in that if there is an imbalance or blockage, the others will feel the ill effects. It’s closely tied to a person’s emotional and mental health, blood circulation, and internal temperature function. There are nine points along the heart meridian.

Stomach Meridian (ST) (Yang)

This lengthy meridian starts under the eye, alongside the nose and moves down to the jawline, then up the skull. It then runs down the side of the spine to the sternum, through the side of the ribcage, back to the spine and down to the bottom of the pelvis. From there, it travels down the leg, through the foot bones and to the tip of toes. Working closely with the spleen meridian, the stomach meridian transports energy and balances issues like anxiety and mental clarity. There are 45 points along the Stomach Meridian.

Spleen Meridian (SP) (Yin)

The Spleen meridian begins in your side ribs, shoots up to the arm pit, then runs down your chest and abdomen touching on your stomach and intestines, then moves straight down the leg, ending in your big toe. The spleen meridian is associated with muscle function, critical thinking, and memory as well as issues with blood circulation wellness. There are 21 points along the Spleen Meridian.

Triple Warmer Meridian (TW) (Yang)

The Triple Warmer meridian Begins at the edge of your eyebrow, travels on the skill around the top of the ear down to the lobe, down the neck, then across the shoulder and down the arm where it ends in the tip of your ring finger. It’s also sometimes referred to as the Triple Burner, Triple Heater, or the Triple Energizer. Divided into three parts (upper, middle, and lower) the Triple Warmer Meridian controls intake of air and nourishment, digestion, and waste elimination. It also controls metabolism function. There are 23 points along the Triple Warmer Meridian.

Large Intestine Meridian (LI) (Yang)

The large intestine meridian has on end at the tip of your little finger, travels up the arm, around the shoulder and up the neck to just above your lip, then stops just below your nose. Large Intestine Meridian imbalances and improper function are associated with constipation and other digestive issues, depression, and anxiety. There are 20 points along the Large Intestine Meridian.

Small Intestine Meridian (SI) (Yang)

The small intestine meridian starts at the tip of your little finger and goes up the back of the arm. It moves across your upper back in a bit of a zig-zag pattern before moving up the side of the neck to your cheek, then ends before your ear. The Small Intestine Meridian is responsible for digestion, but also works along with the heart meridian. Imbalances here can result in abdominal pain, cognitive impairment and restless dissatisfaction. It is closely associated with the pituitary gland and the endocrine system function. There are 19 points along the small intestine meridian.

Bladder Meridian (BL) (Yang)

The bladder meridian spans the entire length of the body. It starts at the inner part of your eye, then up across the top and back of the skull before separating into two branches that run down your back and all the way down your leg into your pinkie toe. While the Bladder Meridian is used to help treat urinary function problems, it is also useful for back pain, eye health, headaches, and emotional conditions relating to fear. There are 67 points along the bladder meridian.

Gall Bladder Meridian (GB) (Yang)

The gall bladder meridian starts at the outer part of the eye and back and forth around the ear and top and side of the skill before moving down to your neck. From there, it moves in a back-and-forth pattern down the torso, then runs down the outside of the leg where it ends in the tip of your fourth toe. Many ear, hearing, migraine, vertigo and nausea, and face complaints are treated using the gall bladder meridian. Emotional and cognitive wellness issues including courage and judgment are related to the lack of proper function of the gall bladder meridian. There are 44 points along the gall bladder meridian.

Kidney Meridian (KI) (Yin)

The kidney meridian begins in the middle of the bottom of your foot near the pad of your big toe. It loops around the inside of the foot and runs in a circle around your ankle joint before running straight up the inside of your leg into the center of the pelvis. From there it moves up the center of the abdomen and up the side of the breast bone before coming to an end above your clavicle. Kidney meridian work is often performed for female and male organ and reproductive function problems, abdominal pain, and digestive elimination issues as well as memory and cognitive function complaints. There are 27 points along the kidney meridian.

Pericardium Meridian (PC) (Yin)

While not an organ, the pericardium is a thin membrane that surrounds your heart. The pericardium meridian and the triple warmer meridian work closely together. The pericardium meridian begins below your armpit then follows your arm along down to the tip of your middle finger. Chest and stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, seizures, arm pain and some mental health issues can be addressed using the pericardium meridian. There are nine points along this meridian.

Liver Meridian (LV) (Yin)

The liver meridian begins in your big toe, runs along the top of the foot and up the inner side of the leg, then sweeps around to the rib cage on the opposite side where it ends below the nipple area. Imbalances in the liver meridian can contribute to problems with the urine, uterine bleeding, knee and thigh issues, and abdominal complications, among others. Hypertension, physical tension and anger are also associated with blockages or lack of function along this meridian. There are 14 points along this meridian.

The Two Major Extraordinary Vessels

Here is an explanation of the major extraordinary vessels used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. At our Denver clinic, our high-quality, licensed acupuncturists may use these vessels to provide you with the best route to greater health and wellness in the most holistic way.

The Conception Vessel (CV) (Yin)

The conception vessel starts at the bottom of your pelvis and rises in a straight line up the front of the torso, around the chin and ends at your lower lip. The conception vessel circulates qi and influences reproduction and sexual drive. It heavily influences the wellness and function of the sex organs, urination, and digestive issues. There are 24 points along the conception vessel meridian.

The Governing Vessel (GV) (Yang)

The governing vessel begins at the bottom of your pelvis, moves straight up the spine and around the top of your head. It comes down through the center of your face and ends at the top of your upper lip, right above where the conception vessel ends. This vessel also affects reproductive function and menstrual concerns, as well as diarrhea, lower back pain and stiffness, epilepsy, memory and anxiety, and some breathing issues. There are 27 (some schools of thought say 28) points along the governing vessel.

The Six Minor Extraordinary Vessels

Here is an explanation of the minor extraordinary vessels used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. When you visit our Denver clinic, our quality, licensed acupuncturists may choose these vessels as the best therapy for your conditions on your path to holistic wellness and a higher quality of life.

The Penetrating Vessel (PV) (Yang)

The penetrating vessel starts on either side of your inner eye then travels around each side of the nose, around the mouth, and down the neck. From there it splits back into two lines running down each side of the chest, then down the center of the abdomen, then down each leg and into the feet. There are 26 points along the penetrating vessel, but they belong to other meridians; they simply fall along the path of the penetrating vessel. Conception vessel, kidney, stomach, and bladder meridian points are included.

The Girdling Vessel (GV) (Yang)

The girdling vessel starts at the tip of your right hip and travels up to connect around your waist on that side. Like the other six minor extraordinary vessels, it contains the acupuncture points of other meridians. This vessel contains just three points, all belonging to the gall bladder meridian.

The Yin Linking Vessel (YLV) (Yin)

The yin linking vessel starts in your throat and travels down your sides, through the pelvis, ending mid-calf. There are 7 points along the yin linking vessel belonging to the kidney, spleen, conception vessel, and lung meridians.

The Yang Linking Vessel (YLV) (Yang)

The yang linking vessel starts at the base of your skull and travels around the top of your head, around the side of the eye and down your neck. It continues on down the spine and all the way to your ankle. There are 16 points along the yang linking vessel including points from the bladder, gall bladder, small intestine, triple warmer, governing vessel, and stomach meridians.

The Yin Motility Vessel (YMV) (Yin)

The yin motility vessel begins at the inner corner of your eye, down your neck and down your side. It ends half way down the bottom of your foot. There are four points along the yin motility vessel; three from the kidney meridian and one from the bladder meridian.

The Yang Motility Vessel (YMV) (Yang)

The yang motility vessel begins at the base of the skull and travels around the top of your head through your face, to your shoulder, then down your side and leg. It ends in the heel. There are twelve points along this yang motility vessel; they belong to the bladder, stomach, gall bladder, small intestine, and liver meridians.

Your Healing Path at Refuge

Meridians used in acupuncture in denverAcupuncture therapy requires a deep understanding of the human condition, its function, and what it needs to be effective. We serve the greater Denver community with a hope of robust health and wellness using these traditional, natural and holistic practices. While this was just a brief introduction to the 12 meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is a good way to get started learning about acupuncture. Our quality, licensed acupuncturists at our Denver clinic will be happy to answer any of your questions and explain more about the meridians before your treatment as one of our new patients.

We strive to provide the best and highest quality Traditional Chinese Medicine to the Denver community. Come visit our clinic – your best health and wellness awaits.