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Treating Combat Vets with PTSD

AOM-earCertain acupuncture protocols have proved to be very effective in reducing the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans. Because of this, the NUHS Whole Health Center - Lombard now offers acupuncture treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD.

There are more veterans surviving battlefield injuries due to improvements in traumatic injury care, and more veterans who have been through more tours of duty during these conflicts. Acupuncture offers veterans help in healing psychological and physical trauma so that they can transition back into a more peaceful and satisfying life.

Vets visiting the NUHS clinic receive auricular acupuncture (using points in the ear) using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol. This system uses small pellets or needles in the following points:

  • Shen Men (Spirit Gate): used to calm the mind and ease pain;
  • Sympathetic Point: used to balance autonomic nervous system and the "fight or flight" response;
  • Kidney Point: strengthens the body's energy, immune system and controls fear and anxiety;
  • Liver Point: controls anger and has a detox effect on alcohol and drug abuse;
  • Lung Point: controls grief and strengthens and detoxifies lungs.

Additionally, the NUHS clinic gives vets instruction in Tai Chi and Qi Gong movement therapy for deep relaxation and a way to deal with stress. Veterans with chronic pain from injuries are given "take-home therapy" in the form of acupressure micro-points they can stimulate for quick pain relief, as well as eye-movement therapy they can use at home to re-program traumatic memories.

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