THORNTON. CO-- In a small room at the Thornton Senior Center the lights were low and music played softly. Randi Savage worked quickly and efficiently placing fine hair-like needles in specific points in a client's ears.
"This is called the five needle protocol," Savage told CBS4.
The protocol promotes relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system.
"When the first needle goes in it helps a person relax … on a really deep level," Savage added.
The needles and the protocol are part of the acupuncture clinic at Thornton's Senior Citizens Center. The city hosts the clinics as part of their health screenings and any resident is welcome to take part.
"This is just a great service that we can offer our older adults," said Lisa Ranalli, City of Thornton Senior Citizen Program Manager.
Thelma Pfannenstiel goes regularly for pain relief.
"Sometimes it works immediately, I mean I can tell the difference in my feet," Pfannenstiel said.
Her feet are in constant pain because of neuropathy. She says they feel like they're on fire. She wasn't getting much relief before she tried acupuncture, but a few extra needles between her toes and in her hands helps ease the pain.
"Any style of acupuncture is really about balancing of energy in the body," Savage explained.
The clinic setting also balances the cost. Savage can treat dozens of people at one time allowing her to offer price breaks for the service. The clinics run from 9:30 a.m. to noon every other Friday at the Senior Citizens Center in Thornton. A community clinic setting like this can make this ancient therapy more accessible to everyone.