Acupuncture Collaboration with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines
By Joe C. Chang, MAOM, Dipl. OM, LAc
These past several months have been a true testament of passionate people who want to help soldiers. Previously, I've talked about studies that have shown clear cost in dollars of treating our returning veterans, as well as the value of using solid evidence-based research to treat them.
Below, I've given just a few highlights of how integrating complementary and alternative therapies are helping heal our soldiers as they return from war.
All of the representatives from the U.S. Army agreed while there is no single treatment program that has been proven to provide exactly what our service members need, everyone agreed that an integrative, holistic approach will enable our soldiers to heal from their trauma and provide the best service to our warriors that they deserve.
Advocates for an intensive PTSD program at the U.S. Army were convinced that the traditional methods of treating PTSD are not always long enough in duration, intense enough or comprehensive enough. The Traditional treatment programs are modeled after those utilized for survivors of civilian traumas and not for Soldiers who will be asked not only to face their traumas, but to redeploy into the same environment multiple times. Therefore, a PTSD treatment program that incorporates the integration of medical massage, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, marital/family therapy as well as reiki with standard treatment protocols of cognitive-behavioral therapy, cathartic psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy may turn out to be the most effective in addressing all aspects of PTSD.
Our veterans deserve the best possible health care. Complementary and alternative therapies, including acupuncture, will play an integral role in that.
Editor's Note: The representatives from the Navy came to visit the Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program to learn about it and see how similar programs might be implemented at Navy military treatment facilities.
"The views expressed in this article (book, etc.) are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Marines, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations herein are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marines, and the U.S. Navy."
Joe C. Chang has worked as an acupuncturist at two integrative PTSD programs for the military. Additionally, he has worked as a volunteer acupuncturist with the Austin Veterans and Family Advocacy Council in their Veterans Team Recovery Integrated Immersion Program.