Dr. Christine Welsh, DO
Family Physicians of Western Colorado
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Christine met and eventually married her high school sweetheart. When Christine was in medical residency the couple took an anniversary trip from Erie, Pennsylvania to Colorado and fell in love with the state. Later, a colleague suggested his hometown of Grand Junction, and it ended up being the exact match for their outdoor-loving lifestyle. Dr. Christine Welsh has been practicing medicine at Family Physicians of Western Colorado ever since and says both the career move and community have been a perfect fit for the past eight years.
Before moving to Colorado and while still in med school, Christine trained rigorously for iron-man triathlons and began experiencing a lot of hip pain. One of the sports medicine doctors she worked with was certified in medical acupuncture and offered to treat her pain. “It was miraculous for me,” says Christine. “One treatment and my hip pain was totally gone. I actually finished my race over an hour sooner than I anticipated! It worked so well for me that I knew it was a tool I wanted to offer my patients in the future.” Getting medically certified in acupuncture added a time crunch to her third year of residency but Christine had two excellent professional mentors and was able to finish all the necessary training.
Dr. Welsh uses acupuncture as “one tool in the toolbox” to help in the treatment of chronic back and neck pain, anxiety, depression, infertility, chronic fatigue, perimenopause, migraine management, insomnia, stress relief, and sports-related injuries. While it’s certainly not her only treatment option, she does utilize acupuncture for about 30% of her cases, with one afternoon a week devoted entirely to acupuncture patients. “It’s a broader scope than I anticipated when I started,” she comments, adding that, “it’s nice to offer something for pain besides medication and is especially helpful for people who don’t tolerate the side-effects of medication well.”
Thankfully, acupuncture is gradually becoming a more widely accepted therapy within Western medicine, embraced as part of an integrative approach to pain management and overall wellness. A few insurance plans now cover acupuncture, such as Medicare which covers acupuncture for chronic low back pain. Welsh points out that this can be a great solution for the older population dealing with chronic pain but not strong enough to undergo surgery. She fondly recalls one patient, age 85 who came to her as his last resort for chronic low back pain. “He was thrilled! Acupuncture was miraculous for him. It really reinforced for me why I do what I do,” celebrates Dr. Welsh.
Acupuncture can help make sense of a mid-life hormone scenario, where hormones such as estrogen and progesterone need to be brought into balance. Welsh has also found recent success treating lingering COVID-19 symptoms such as brain fog and dizziness. By using peripheral body points she is able to increase stability and balance.
In addition to acupuncture, Dr. Welsh practices osteopathic manipulation. This in conjunction with acupuncture contributes to her strong background in sports medicine. She sees athletes of all ages and supports their desire to remain active. She values taking time to truly know her patients.
When talking about her clinic, Family Physicians of Western Colorado, Dr. Welsh says, “I love the people I work with. I’m thankful for my great assistant and all of the partners in my practice. We all live similar lifestyles where we try to balance work with living a lot of our free time outside. It just feels like a great family to be part of.”
After the Welsh’s move to Grand Junction, they joined a meet-up club: an outdoors adventure group specializing in hiking and canyoneering. Through it, the Welsh’s met new people, formed a sense of community, and discovered new healthy activities. Dr. Welsh now encourages patients who are new to the area to do the same, noting that something we all recognized during the recent COVID lock-down was how important it is to engage socially with others with similar interests. She wisely suggests that building activity into our lifestyle enables us to stay fit both physically and mentally and helps us be more patient for our kids and model for them the importance of being active. “We live in a beautiful place so we might as well enjoy it!”
Dr. Welsh is accepting new patients. Call 970.245.1220 to schedule an appointment or visit www.pcpgj.com to learn more about her practice.