Launch of acupuncture services addresses wellbeing of older adults, health care providers and caregivers UofL Trager Institute launches acupuncture services at Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic in partnership with Louisville-based AcuBalance

    UofL Trager Institute’s Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic
    UofL Trager Institute’s Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The UofL Trager Institute now offers comprehensive acupuncture services at its Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic. These new acupuncture services are offered in partnership with AcuBalance Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine.

    “The UofL Trager Institute is thrilled to offer this new acupuncture set of services to our community,” said Anna Faul, Ph.D., executive director of the UofL Trager Institute. “These new services available at our Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic are part of a broader effort to provide a one-stop shop of comprehensive services that support long-term wellbeing.”

    Acupuncture is the anchor of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that involves the placement of fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body to heal disease, restore balance and promote health. AcuBalance providers say the services offered at the UofL Trager Institute can help address a wide range of both neuromusculoskeletal and internal/mental-emotional ailments including:

    • acute and chronic pain
    • arthritis
    • fibromyalgia
    • addiction and recovery
    • autoimmune issues
    • cardiovascular health
    • indigestion and digestive health
    • cognition and brain health
    • reproductive and sexual health
    • hormone and thyroid health

    These services are known as integrative treatments because they are to be used in conjunction with a primary care physician.

    Colby Helton and Andrea Helton, AcuBalance providers offering services at the UofL Trager Institute, are fully licensed to practice acupuncture and TCM in Kentucky, having passed four National Board Exams through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The providers have completed a four-year master’s degree in acupuncture and TCM that included over 3000 hours of didactic education as well as 1000-hour clinical residency programs. Colby Helton holds a doctorate in TCM, which required an additional 1200 hours of didactic education, including additional training in gerontological acupuncture, clinical experience and a doctoral capstone project.

    “We are elated to offer acupuncture services in partnership with the UofL Trager Institute at the Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic,” Colby Helton said. “We bring a unique approach to our acupuncture and body therapies as we have extensive training specifically in providing acupuncture to older adults. Our services also will be a great resource for individuals needing pain management support and those looking for anxiety and stress relief. Utilizing an integrative approach and in collaboration with primary care, we can help patients with nearly any condition, from chronic pain and inflammatory conditions to hormonal and emotional imbalances.”

    In addition to offering integrative services designed to help individuals achieve optimal health as they age, the new acupuncture services at the UofL Trager Institute may provide anxiety and stress relief specifically related to COVID-19.

    “Over the past few months, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in anxiety, depression and stress among health care providers and caregivers, especially our frontline and long-term care workers. Without proper self-care, health care workers face a burnout like we’ve never seen before, which can turn into varying degrees of psychological crises and PTSD,” Colby Helton said. “Integrative therapies like acupuncture help offer significant relief and reprieve by addressing the biological, mental and emotional components of stress and burnout. Specifically, we work to increase parasympathetic tone and reduce stress reactivity, which can balance the mood, sleep cycles, energy, cognition, digestion, cardiovascular health and even immunity. Essentially, we can help our fellow health care workers navigate the COVID landscape with a bit more ease and grace.”

    Acupuncture services are available to any member of the community, with appointments available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1– 6 p.m. To make an appointment, visit the UofL Trager Institute website, or call 502-588-4340. Services are provided on a private payment structure.

    To provide more information about acupuncture services and the providers, the service will be part of the weekly COVID information session on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. via Zoom. The providers will discuss the health benefits of acupuncture in general as well as specific benefits for older adults and persons experiencing elevated levels of COVID-19 related stress.


    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.