In 2007, a group of licensed acupuncturists in Maryland took a course given by Acupuncturists without Borders, a program that teaches acupuncturists how to set up and deliver programs for treating those who have experienced trauma, crisis and disaster. Several practitioners met and developed an independent program dedicated to serving veterans, active military, reservists and their families using community style ear acupuncture. This is a safe, simple and powerful protocol that “resets” the nervous system to bring about healing and calm.
We started our project on Veterans day of 2007 at the VFW in Owings Mills, Maryland, a suburb just outside of Baltimore. Our mission has been to honor our nation’s armed forces by offering our services free of charge as a way of giving back for all they have done for us and our country. Participating acupuncturists have had training in the NADA protocol, (National Acupuncture Detox Association). We administer group treatments consisting of 5 needles inserted into each ear of the clients while they are sitting comfortably in zero gravity chairs. Each participant receives the same treatment which is intended to relieve stress-related symptoms, including anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability, pain, hyper vigilance, flashbacks and mental fogginess. We have treated a wide range of veterans and their family members, largely from conflicts in the following regions: Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq. An average of 12-18 participants attend on a weekly basis with 2 acupuncturists on duty.
All of our supplies have been donated. We are extremely grateful to Lhasa OMS for their continued support of providing us with the needles we use in the clinic. Many of the same clients have been coming consistently and have received enormous benefits such as improved sleep, alleviation of anxiety, pain relief, emotional stability, less PTSD symptoms, etc. Our program has been very successful, and on Veterans Day of 2017, we celebrated our tenth anniversary.
Alison Hartman, L.Ac.
Acupuncture for Veterans