Why the VA should hire Acupuncturists

Last week on The Brian Leher Show, he interviewed Paul Rieckhoff of Iraqi and Afganistan Veterans of America.  It was a powerful and moving discussion about taking care of our veterans as they come back from their experiences overseas.

It got me thinking about how the VA should hire licensed acupuncturist to help these men and women recover mentally and physically.  I volunteer with an organization called CRREW which offers low cost acupuncture in the University Settlement in NYC.  It began in order to help victims of 9/11.

We only volunteer one evening a week, but it had powerful effects on the community. This needs to be expanded to make a real difference.

What Types of Diseases does Acupuncture Treat?

Licensed acupuncture are good at treating all types of health problems, and we are inexpensive at that.  It would be revolutionary for the VA to hire acupuncturists across the country.  This would help people to reduce pain, improve rehabilitation, and mental health.

Ear Acupuncture Model
Ear Acupuncture Model

1. A recent study showed that acupuncture can help in the treatment of PTSD.  Incorporating auricular (ear) acupuncture is extremely low cost and effective, and can help a lot of people at the same time in a group treatment.

2. Acupuncture is widely used for chronic pain.  Veterans often have chronic pain which is poorly controlled with medications or which can leads to addictions of medications.  Acupuncture is safe and non-addictive.

3. Best of all, acupuncture is affordable.  We do not use expensive tests or equipment, it really only costs the salary of the acupuncturist and the needles.

Let’s start thinking about public health and provide acupuncture for our Veterans who are returning home.

Follow Up: After years of looking into drug free methods to reduce pain the VA has been hiring acupuncturist to treat this very important population.  Although, I do not think acupuncturists are located at every VA location, it is slowly starting to become the norm to help these very important women and men who have tirelessly served our country.

Photo: Pelikanol

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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