Outpatient Clinic & Surgical Services

Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

Valerie Stallbaumer, LAc, MSOMValerie Stalbaumer

Specialty: Acupuncture - procedure used in or adapted from Chinese medical practice where fine needles are inserted in specific body areas for therapeutic purposes, for example, to relieve pain or produce regional anesthesia.

Certified by: National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Joined Story Medical team in: 2000

Affiliated with: Story Medical Clinic - Natural Health, Ames, Iowa

Education & Accomplishments: Stallbaumer graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine with a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine in 1997. She also earned a B.S. degree in biology and chemistry from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and received a Masters Degree at the University of Oregon in 1985 in biology, chemistry, and education.

Please visit the Story Medical Clinic - Natural Health site
for hours, location and appointment information.

Common Procedures:

  • Acupuncture
  • Oriental Medicine
  • Nutritional & Lifestyle Consultation

Additional Information

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works on the energy of your body. Health problems are caused by energy being out of balance. If you have pain, it can be due to energy being stuck, deficient, or in excess.  Many events in people’s lives can affect the quality of their energy - accidents, emotional stress, poor diet, and more.  The needles seem to activate your body's natural methods of healing. Good health is where the energy is balanced and flowing smoothly.

Does it hurt?

The needles are thin, sterile, stainless steel wires. They are not hollow like hypodermic needles and do not contain medication. Most people say they usually do not feel the needles. At worst, the insertion of an acupuncture needle may feel like a mosquito bite.

Will it fix my problem?

The World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health have both indicated that many types of health problems can be helped with acupuncture.  For example: arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, back or neck pain, knee or elbow pain, other joint pains, muscle aches, injuries, tooth pain, sprains, headaches, and fibromyalgia.

Other conditions that can be helped include: hypertension, insomnia, nausea, depression, addictions, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric reflux, immune system problems, allergies, stress, constipation, menopause, menstrual problems, and infertility.

Acupuncture is used all over the world for a variety of health problems.  It also can be used as a preventive health care practice.  Many people get regular treatments.

What is a treatment like?

The first visit lasts more than an hour.  The practitioner will ask questions about your health history.  It is good to bring a list of medications you take and information on any past surgeries or injuries.  Pulses are felt on both wrists.  The tongue is viewed for shape and color.  Then a diagnosis is determined.  Disposable, sterile needles are inserted just under the skin and left for about 20-30 minutes.  Most people feel relaxed and sleepy during a treatment.  

Follow-up treatments last about one hour.  Sometimes other techniques may be used such as cupping, electro-stimulation, gua sha, or moxibustion.  All are painless.

You should drink extra water after a treatment to help cleanse the body.  It is best to wait at least an hour or two after a treatment before resuming any energy demanding activities such as aerobic exercise.

The number of treatments required to correct your problem will depend on how long you have had the problem, as well as your general health.  Some people do well with only three to four treatments; others may require 10-12 treatments or more. 

What does it cost?

The initial visit, which includes health history intake, diagnosis, and treatment, costs $90. Follow up treatments cost $60. If four follow-up treatments are paid for all at once in advance, the cost is $55.00 per treatment ($220 for the set of four visits).

Considering that acupuncture often can reduce the need for prescription pain relievers and other medication, can eliminate the need for surgery or speed post-surgery recovery, and can help restore good health, it is a very cost-effective health option. 

Payment is due at the time of treatment. A physician’s referral is not needed. Some insurance programs cover acupuncture treatment. Please check with your insurance company before making an appointment to ask if services by a licensed acupuncturist are covered by your plan. 

What is oriental medicine?

This health care practice has been used for more than 3,000 years.  It looks at the cause of problems and works to bring the body back to good health.  It is a holistic approach that works on the mind, body, and spirit.  Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, herbs, massage, exercise, and diet advice - all methods that lead to a balanced lifestyle. 

Practitioners are trained for three to four years in accredited colleges and complete an internship program.  They must pass a national exam and be licensed by the state.