By Toni Eatros, MS, Dipl Ac, AP
If you or a loved one is a veteran of the United States military you might be missing out on a very important benefit, acupuncture. Our veterans deserve to be taken care of for the service they’ve rendered us all, and so to better support the veterans in your life, be sure that they know that they can request acupuncture treatment with no out of pocket cost.
Military members endure a lifestyle unlike any other, and, in kind, can be affected by a unique set of health and wellness issues. Acupuncture can be a great way to address these issues. I am fortunate enough to treat these selfless people every week in my office, and it gives me great joy to be able to give back in this way. When I talk to our veterans, I realize that many do not know exactly how beneficial acupuncture can be to their health and well-being. The best part is these benefits are 100% paid for by the Veteran’s Administration.
Acupuncture Effectively Treats:
• Chronic Pain: Unfortunately, the majority of veterans that I see in my office are living with various levels of chronic pain. 60% of veterans are dealing with some level of chronic pain. More than half of all veterans’ post-deployment health visits are to address lingering pain in their backs, necks, knees or shoulders. About 100,000 veterans of the Gulf War have reported chronic muscle pain. Acupuncture can be very effective in reducing or eliminating this chronic pain, which greatly enhances quality of life.
• Amputations and Phantom Limb Pain: Phantom limb pain is a real thing and can be maddening for those experiencing it. There is a technique in acupuncture that can be very helpful in reducing the discomfort of phantom limb pain.
• Opiate Withdrawal: For some, opiates have keeping their pain at a tolerable level for years or decades. However, with the crackdown on opiate prescriptions, our veterans are no longer able to access the substances and are greatly suffering. They are suffering from the increase in pain and from opiate withdrawal. Acupuncture can be helpful on both fronts. It can reduce pain levels and help stabilize the brain and nervous system while detoxing from these powerful drugs.
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): TBI, often brought on by an explosive blast, a blow or jolt to the head, disrupts brain function and has been called the signature wound of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Common effects of TBIs include cognitive issues such as shorter attention span, language disabilities, and an inability to process information. Vets can also suffer from lack of motivation, irritability, anxiety and depression, headaches, memory loss and PTSD.
• Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD.
• Anxiety: Anxiety problems are common and uncomfortable. Almost one-third of adults will experience some form of distressing anxiety at some point in their lifetime, that number is higher in veterans.
• Depression: The signs and symptoms of depression may be hard to notice at first, so it’s important to be aware of your thoughts, moods, and behaviors and note if they start to change. Common signs of depression may include: Feeling sad or hopeless, losing interest in or not getting pleasure from most of your daily activities, gaining or losing weight, sleeping too much or not enough almost every day, feeling tired or as if you have no energy almost every day, and/or eating more or less than usual almost every day.
• Non-specific set of symptoms: Usually caused by adrenal fatigue, many veterans experience a non-specific set of symptoms that includes fatigue, pain, sleep disorders, memory and concentration issues. Acupuncture can be very helpful in resolving these issues.
Our military veterans have seen it all, and have been exposed to it all—harsh chemicals, unproven vaccinations, nonstop stress, explosive blasts, and so much more. These hardships take their toll on the body and mind over time—even for the toughest of warriors.
Finally, the attorney general has recognized the value of acupuncture for our nation’s veterans. If you have VA benefits, contact your primary care physician at the VA and request a referral for acupuncture. Although, treatment is effective for all of the health concerns listed above, most referrals are given for pain conditions. Once the referral is received, TriWest Healthcare Alliance will schedule your first appointment and they will pay for 100% of all approved visits. When they ask who you want to see, request Toni Eatros, Acupuncture Physician at Acupuncture and Natural Health Solutions. For more information about acupuncture and our practice, please visit our website at www.AcupunctureSolutionsOnline.com. We look forward to meeting you and thanking you in person for your service.
2355 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, Suite 146
Naples, FL 34109