dreamstime_997491-e1330712141857Since 2009, Dr. Sniezek, along with Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), have been engaged in a project to treat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families with free community acupuncture. Guided by the experience gained by AWB in New Orleans and the pilot veterans clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico which started in October of 2006, this project is developing in cities around the country. We believe that the DC Military Acupuncture Clinic (DC-MAC) is the first of its kind in DC. Our intention is to help in the recovery process from the enormous impact of war, thereby helping veterans as well as their families, communities, the country, and the world by intervening in the cycle of trauma.

We are currently working on making community acupuncture part of the standard of care in the immediate aftermath of disasters, alongside traditional medical interventions. In the future, AWB will be developing programs in communities to respond to disasters and to facilitate training of local health promoters in basic Chinese Medicine techniques.

Members of AWB are committed to treating all who have been affected by disaster and conflict including survivors, first responders, emergency personnel and other care providers. The community model for treatment allows those treated to experience relief together from stress and trauma. According to an AWB acupuncturist, “When the whole group feels calm and quiet, hope, determination and resiliency rises powerfully within it”.

The community acupuncture method that we use is well-suited to conditions faced in a disaster or after traumatic events. We can set up our treatments almost anywhere and we can immediately treat large groups of people. (AWB)

Treatments last from 30-45 minutes with people receiving treatment while sitting in a chair fully clothed. Under the NADA protocol needles go on the ears. The treatments are effective for helping people facing enormous stress, anger, frustration, depression, fatigue and other emotional and physical pain.

The therapeutic effects happen quickly and can last a long time. These simple acupuncture treatments can have a transformative effect without requiring the traumatized client to talk.

Done in groups, community acupuncture can help break the isolation often felt after traumatic events. Even those who resist traditional treatment for Acute Stress Disorder are often willing to receive acupuncture. Treatments support rebuilding strength and resiliency, essential for the recovery process. Acupuncture treatments have a calming effect and help those struggling with anger, hostility and frustration.

Our treatments are free and available to all who need them. We are committed to helping the primary survivors of traumatic events, as well as emergency responders, relief workers and others affected by the emergency. The actual cost of these treatments is extremely low compared to other forms of treatment.

The District of Columbia Military Acupuncture Clinic (DC-MAC) is available to military personnel that have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are interested in acupuncture treatment. The clinic hours are on Wednesday from 10 am – 12 N. For more information or to make an appointment, please call our office at 202-296-3555.

Here is an article written by Dr. Sniezek about his Community-Based Wounded Warrior Sustainability Initiative model. Dr. Sniezek’s CBWSI article.

Dr. Sniezek is a member of Acupuncturists Without Borders.