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Acupuncture practitioner happy to be helping people in Craig

Tim Trumble poses for a portrait in his office at Natural Health Care Center in Craig. Trumble, an acupuncturist and herbalist, visits Craig Mondays and Wednesdays to work at the center.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Since September, Moffat County has enjoyed the local services of a practitioner of Chinese medicine.

Tim Trumble, an acupuncturist and herbalist based in Steamboat Springs has been operating two days a week out of the Natural Health Care Center on the east side of town.

“There isn’t a lot around that does what I do, and there are folks in this town that are kind of libertarian in their views and maybe don’t trust or aren’t interested in Western medicine,” Trumble said. “So they come to me.”



Trumble, who’s been practicing in Steamboat going on 18 years, joined up with Natural Health Care Center last fall and has enjoyed helping people get healthier in this part of the Yampa Valley.

“People come in and tell me what’s going on,” he said. “This is a chiropractic center, so most people come to chiropractic with pain, and most people then come to me for pain.”



Trumble said when he starts with an individual, he takes as in-depth a survey of the patient’s health history as he can, working to understand what might be “amiss” with them.

“Chinese medicine, we consider the flow of the chi in the blood — or relative lack of it — balance between organ systems, Yin and Yang, and we factor it all in,” he said. “We’ve studied hundreds of acupuncture points, and based about what I know about the person and the energy system, we use needles, heat, cupping, liniments, some physical therapy can be involved.”

It may sound a little out there to folks who are more used to Western medicine, but Trumble is willing to make his case.

“The Chinese medical system evolved organically,” he said. “There’s never been a break; it’s a lineage of understanding deeper and deeper the human physiology. It’s body, mind and spirit, and all three can be involved in healing and in pathology. We try to find what is amiss in the energy system and, through our methods, we can help.”

There are numerous indicators Trumble said his training — which focused primarily on Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, but incorporated a Japanese approach to the same discipline — and experience have prepared him to look for when assessing a patient.

“We take pulses in three and three positions,” he said. “We look at the reflecting energy coming from the systems. We look at the tongue — the color of the tongue, the shape of the tongue, its coat, they tell me things. All that is put together and gives me a heads up on what’s not flowing correctly.”

Then, Trumble said, the treatment continues.

“Acupuncture needles access points on the meridians,” Trumble said. “If it’s pain in your belly, it could be digestion, or if it’s lower, maybe your uro-genital system. Higher it could be heart or lungs. In all cases, we’re trying to reestablish balance. We want to find the blueprint you came here with before you were — not sick, I don’t want to say that, there are lots of reasons and conditions — but not quite as you were.”

What does he say, after all that, to skeptics?

“I say it works on skeptics too,” Trumble said with a belly laugh for punctuation.

The truth is his experience has been good, or he wouldn’t still be doing this. Introduced to acupuncture while studying martial arts in Japan, the former professional in the field of construction has seen the practice he’s spent years mastering work wonders.

“So many people leave my office saying, ‘I’m a believer,’” Trumble said. “When you align the energy of the body with my skillset, the doctor inside goes to work and fixes things. That’s the truth.”

It’s a passion as much as it is a discipline for Trumble.

“It makes me happy,” he said. “I’ll admit it’s an ego trip to show people something so simple can be so profound. Seeing people get better is where it’s at. That’s what gets me going.”


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