Acupuncture for Veterans
One of my passions is treating veterans. There are veterans in my family and I’m in awe of their bravery, while also knowing the hardships they face. Many come home with physical injuries, but many more come home with psychological and emotional injuries. Many people know that acupuncture can heal physical trauma, but not everyone knows that it can also help with the health of mind, heart, and spirit.
Acupuncture was once considered fringy, but, after seeing incredible benefits over the years, it is now more widely accepted and is helping many in need. For example, “acupuncture is currently being provided at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. for returning veterans experiencing combat stress and trauma. The military is also using acupuncture on the battlefield to help relieve pain.” As someone who believes in the power of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, it is great to know that this powerful system of medicine is helping so many of our heroes.
Combat Stress + PTSD
Wounded Warrior Project defines Combat Stress as “a normal reaction to the abnormal conditions of a combat environment. Symptoms can be, but are not limited to, fatigue, loss of concentration, and decreased reaction time.” Does this sound like you or a loved one? Serving in the military is often highly stressful, and it makes sense that we need support to deal with that stress.
Did you know that 1 in 3 service members live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? This can manifest as trouble sleeping, relaxing, connecting with loved ones, flashbacks, chronic stress and tension, or just a feeling of never coming back home to who you truly are. There is no reason to suffer from unaddressed PTSD – we are here to help and support you, no matter what you’re experiencing or have gone through.
Benefits of Acupuncture: Chronic Pain, Nervous System Regulation + More
Inner Ocean Center for Healing is different than your average healthcare provider: rather than treating symptoms with antidepressants, sleep medications, or pain relievers, we treat the whole person. We dig deep to find the roots of the symptoms and bring the system into greater harmony and ease. Various symptoms can seem completely unrelated, but, from a Chinese medical perspective, may have one underlying cause. Treat the cause, and often the symptoms heal on their own.
Yes, acupuncture is quite effective in treating chronic pain: “According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a number of studies suggest that acupuncture works particularly well on chronic pain such as back and neck pain; osteoarthritis/knee pain; and headache. It often reduces the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines.”
But, perhaps even more importantly, acupuncture is beneficial in regulating the nervous system: “New evidence demonstrates acupuncture activates specific regions of the brain for the treatment of specific diseases. Investigators from the Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department of Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine also find that acupuncture regulates neurotransmitters as a mechanism to modulate autonomic nervous system responses.” People often leave my office feeling relaxed, like the charge has drained out of them, giving them more access to positive states and normal physiological functions like digestion and sleep.
Can I Use My VA Benefits?
Yes! At Inner Ocean, we have VA-approved healthcare providers. Here is the process for working with us:
- Talk to your VA primary care physician about your symptoms and that you believe Acupuncture can help
- Ask them for a referral to see Mindi Counts, LAc, or John Winternitz, LAc, (both should appear on their list of approved providers)
- The VA will authorize you for treatment + call our office with your authorization number
- Once we have this number, you can make an appointment through our website
- Boulder County Veterans Services
- University of Colorado Veteran + Military Affairs
- Boulder Veterans Affairs
- VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
- VA Denver Regional Office
- University of Denver Veterans Services
- Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs
- Institute of Taoist Education + Acupuncture Veterans Clinic