What We Do



Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of healing which is focused on correcting imbalances of energy – or “chi” (qi) – in the body. For over 2500 years, acupuncture has been used to treat and prevent symptoms and diseases as well as promote overall good health.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Qi flows in channels – or Meridians – like a river system throughout the body. Each major organ is associated with its own Meridian which in turn are connected to all the other organs, muscles, bones and joints. Disruptions of the flow of healthy Qi patterns are caused by our everyday environment as well as injury, trauma, unhealthy lifestyle choices and disease.

Acupuncture needles stimulate pressure points on or under the skin, releasing the stifled energy (qi). The qi then travels along the meridians throughout the body, restoring balance among all the other organs and tissues in the body.

An acupuncture treatment is relatively painless. It is relaxing and in most cases no blood is drawn at the insertion points of the needles. At Thrive Acupuncture, the treatment environment is very important and believe that only in complete relaxed state can healing and change take place. Often a patient will drift off during an appointment and awaken refreshed and rejuvenated.

Alan and Nic at Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness are passionate about their patient’s well-being and have helped so many men, women, and children heal and lead healthy, balanced lives.

The main objectives of Acupuncture:

  1. Relieve pain and other various symptoms
  2. Strengthen and support the immune system
  3. Balance and integrate the functions of the organs so they work together harmoniously rather than in isolation

Chinese Herbs & Herbology

How do Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture work together?

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs work hand-in-hand because they work on the same foundation of of Chinese medical diagnosis. Chinese herbs have been used safely and medically in Eastern medicine for over 2,000 years. They have minimal side effects and when carefully combined and balanced by a certified herbologist, such as Nic Krueger, not only treat the main concerns of our patients, but also addresses secondary problems.

Chinese herbs range from “Food Herbs”, which are eaten as part of a healthy diet for nutritional support and preventative maintenance, to “Medicinal Herbs” which are formulated and combined specifically to each person’s body constitution, environment and symptoms.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs work synergistically to energetically reprogram and rebalance the body’s systems and functions.

Cupping Therapy

What Is Cupping?

Using suction, areas of skin is gently drawn into the “cup” over the targeted area of treatment. The vacuum can be generated by either heating or cooling of the air in the cup. In some cases, a mechanical pump. A single treatment can result multiple cups placed on the body in the treatment areas. The cups are left between 10 to 20 minutes.

The vacuum suction promotes increased circulation and draws stagnant fluids to the surface of the skin; away from the injury. It creates space for the muscles and body to repair itself with healthy circulation and nutrients.

“Cupping marks” can be a side affect of the cupping treatment – made well-known by the Olympic swim team and Michael Phelps in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.


Cupping marks on the back of Michael Phelps
at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics
(Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)


What Is Qigong?

Qigong (can also be spelled Ch’i Kung) – pronounced “chee – gong” is a Chinese healing and energy medicine system. It includes breathing techniques, gentle yoga-like movements and meditation to cleanse, strengthen and circulate “qi” – or “chi” energy throughout the body.

Alan Suhr implements the qigong practice into his acupuncture treatments. He also teaches Qigong classes locally in Rapid City. Think of a class similar to a yoga class.



What Is Moxa (or Moxibustion)?

The word “moxa” or “moxibustion” is a Japanese word meaning “burning herb”.

This modality uses a Chinese herb called mugwort. It is heated and used with Acupuncture needles to provide treatment.
Moxa sticks can be used on their own to stimulate an acupuncture point or can be used on a point where an acupuncture needle has been inserted. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi at the treatment points.

Mugwort has been used alongside acupuncture for over 3 thousand years. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health.


Gua Sha

What Is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique that helps break up the stagnation of blood flow in the areas of pain in the body. A smooth-edged instrument is used to apply short or long strokes in the pain areas or on the back parallel to the spine.

While gua sha is most commonly used to treat pain, it can also be used to treat conditions such as, asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, fever, heatstroke, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains, and muscle spasms.

Is Acupuncture Right For You?

Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness is committed to helping you achieve your most balanced life using various treatment modalities individualized to your personal needs. We want to make holistic alternative healthcare accessible to everyone in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

We provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere with personalized and professional care developed with each of our clients. Practitioners Alan Suhr and Dylan Brandenburg are both state and nationally certified Acupuncturists.

We use only small gauge, disposable needles to re-establish the balance of energy in the body. The needles are inserted at points in the body that correspond to energy pathways. This stimulation helps to restore the normal balance and flow of ‘Qi’ or ‘Chi’ – your life force.

Alan Suhr is a certified Master of Qi Gong. Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness often pairs Chinese herbal medicine with Acupuncture to address the full range of our patients’ symptoms. Other modalities we practice include cupping, gua sha, and moxa.