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”I would like to inform the Vet around this area about the great free service that I and others are receiving at the acupuncture at riverside. I have received weekly treatments for depression of which has let me stop taking my antidepressant pills. Also have had my left index finger treated for pain with very good results.”
“It is nice to have this help from someone who really cares and performs this service. “
“This area should really be thankful for this service for the vets.”
Thank you

“I started treatment with Ellen after having my first flashback. PTSD has affected my life for forty years. The only relief has been antidepressants and counseling, which are good, but fall short of mental well-being. The flash back devastated me. But since starting treatments with Ellen the symptoms of PTSD are diminishing. I thank God for the opportunity to start acupuncture. I don’t remember having this kind of calmness.”


When I first started coming in I had issues dealing with past memories jumping into my mind and become emotionally involved with these past memories (flashbacks) to the point of being uncomfortable. After a few treatments I began to realize that these were only past memories of events that were dead and gone. They only existed in my memories and why should I waste any energy reliving them when it would be so much healthier to just forget them and move on with my life. The treatments seem to be cumulative and the reoccurring issues that I deal with seem to be easier to deal with each session.


To Whom It May Concern:

“The treatment I have been getting through Riverside Acupuncture has been very positive. My sleep had improved which is a huge relief. The depression I’ve had from combat in Viet Nam has been constant. These treatments have been a big relief. These results are well received by this vet. I would highly recommend these treatments to any vet.”

April 16, 2007

My name is Raul and I’d like to let you know how acupuncture has benefited me. First a little about myself, I served two tours in combat in Vietnam from 1968-1970. I suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’m 100% disabled because of PTSD. My symptomology from PTSD is wide in range. I have high anxiety, easily angered. I have a hard time sleeping with nightmares and flashbacks and I’m always mind-racing. I had a hard time relaxing.

I was introduced to acupuncture from another combat friend of mine. The organization is Acupuncturists Without Borders. I’ve been receiving treatment once a week for about the last two and half months now.

I believe that because of the acupuncture treatments I have become calmer and my anxiety level has drastically come down. I’m able to sleep more restfully and longer and without nightmares or flashbacks. My mind-racing is definitely not as bad. I now feel that I can sit and kickback and relax without feeling anxious. I attribute my changes to the acupuncture treatments I’ve received. I can say that acupuncture works. It does for me. Thanks!

From Portland, ME Vets Clinic:

I got chatting with the ZZ-Top guys (all those guys from Lewiston) last night after the clinic. They asked me to please let everybody know how much they appreciate this service. "Basically we have all lived through hell and this clinic is making a huge difference for us" - and his wife agreed that there is a big difference in her husband now! Another said that after the first clinic they all went to dinner and someone told a joke, "for the first time in many years I laughed out loud. A real belly laugh. That's when I thought maybe these needles were doing something after all!" And they all agreed that the clinic is making huge differences in their lives.

Stories from Ellen Leonard, Leader of Grants Pass, OR Veterans Clinic:

I've been in acupuncture for eight years, and I have found it to be wonderfully gratifying to be able to affect patients' physical and emotional pain. But nothing I have done in those years compares to the satisfaction I experience every week treating my vets for their post combat stress.

When these men and women first started coming, (all Vietnam era soldiers) they were guarded at best, some obviously still traumatized, some quite disheveled and wanting to be alone in a treatment room rather than with the others. As the weeks passed, I saw a beautiful transformation in every one of them. Their appearance improved, the loners started joining the others, quietly at first and then finally participating fully. I tried to make it a quiet, relaxing experience for them, but this group would have none of it. They are boisterous, energetic, they share their experiences and humor, and some have since been able to participate in other forms of emotional healing, fully recalling war experiences that until now were fully repressed. The energy freed from repressing the memory is now expressing in joy rather than depression. I continue to see profound change in every one of them.

Testimonials from the Portland Veterans Acupuncture Clinic, Portland, Maine

Veterans Day November 11, 2008 Portland Veterans’ Acupuncture Clinic

At PVAC, we held our usual Tuesday night clinic. After everyone had their treatments, the vets and family members congregated in the hallway, where the acupuncturists had set up a table of homemade goodies in honor of Veterans Day. Members of both teams of acupuncturists showed up to honor the vets in this social time.
I asked a few of the participants what they would like me to pass along to seminar participants in future AWB trainings, and, if they couldn’t think of anything along those lines, what are they getting out of coming to PVAC.
Here’s what they said:

Vietnam Vet

The first vet I spoke to after the Vets Day treatment said, he thought it would be good for me to tell prospective vets acuclinic operators that vets ought to be told what to expect from treatment: that some people have immediate positive results, and others experience a “gradual glide”. He mentioned experiencing “dopey” feelings, and stated that he now realizes that it’s going to take a long time to get through his stuff. In the beginning, he quit taking his antidepressants, and just crashed after 2 – 3 sessions. Almost quit. But didn’t. He said acupuncture has not been a magic bullet for him, but he sleeps better, one night each week, especially. He is less anxious. Calmer. Better able to cope with day to day stuff. He said he has heard some people say it’s just a placebo effect and he says, who cares what it is? “It just feels so good to come in after all these years to know someone cares. He described how he and another fellow in particular never sit with their back to the door of any space they are in. But here, it feels so good to sit anywhere in the circle, because they know that we have their backs.

Family of Active Duty

I spoke to a couple (middle aged) who said neither was a vet, but they were children of vets, and they have two kids who are currently in active duty, one a marine, and the other in the Coast Guard. At present, on child is in Iraq. They said right now, whenever the doorbell rings is really scary to them. Stressful. I asked why they are coming to the clinic. She said, “It brings a calm on me. I last a whole week.” He said, “I get three to four good nights sleep.”

Wife of Vietnam Vet

She comes to the clinic with her husband. It’s a “date night”. It’s good time together. She gets “an overarching sense of calm”. After the treatment, they go out and get something to eat or pick up a pizza. Treatment “takes the edge off of sometimes testy expeditions together.” Husband is an angry driver, and the drive in is sometimes very tense. Clinic time is not weighted. There is no stress associated with it. It’s a way to be supportive of him, but it is helpful to her, too.

Husband - the Vietnam Vet

He is sleeping a lot better. He backed off his sleeping meds, then missed a couple of weeks in the clinic, and had to start back up on sleeping meds again. Was referred to clinic by the Vets Center. Has been coming for a while. Has a problem with anger – but can’t remember when was angry last. Sleeps better; feels calm; don’t need as much medication to feel normal. Seems happier (in spite of the fact that several family members have died in recent past, and today their dog died.)


Have wanted to work with vets for years. Working in this clinic manifests a deep meditation vision she had years ago of herself and her work.


Referred to clinic by one-on-one therapist, for problems with anger, anxiety, and PTSD. It’s been about a month. Didn’t know what to expect. Was just sitting there, and suddenly calm zoned him out. Anxiety has really come down. Looks forward to Tuesday night. Still feels angry, but doesn’t get as mad, and his anger doesn’t last as long.

Quotes from Veterans Pilot Project Albuquerque, New Mexico


From a male Vietnam Army combat veteran:

“It has helped me a great deal. I would recommend it to anyone, especially to help a person with PTSD or other physical or mental problems. Thanks a lot. Freddie Lopes
He circled that the treatments helped with: mental clarity, headaches, anxiety, depression, anger, helps me cope with day-to-day life. Circled Extremely effective, Definitely come again and recommend to others.

From another male Vietnam Army combat veteran:

“I haven’t been here in a few weeks and boy did I need the treatment. Thank you so very much.” He circled it helped with: mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, sleeping problems, bad dreams, headaches, anxiety, depression, anger, helps me be calmer, helps me cope day-to-day life better(this is the entire list on the form). Circled Extremely Effective, Definitely would come again and recommend to others.

From the wife of an Air Force veteran:

“Three years ago I received an electrical shock that caused brain injury from disrupted cerebral circulation (Spec Scan). This was similar to an older, less serious injury from husband’s time overseas (i.e. microwaves & radiation), causing loss of balance and nervous cognitive difficulties. This week we were able to get movement and tissue release so that I can do exercises for proprioception. The first healing of that injury also came through acupuncture and (it enabled me to stay in school.) Many veterans and their family members have been exposed, not only to chemicals (e.g. agent orange), but also EMF and Radioactivity. It is extremely difficult to treat the results of these exposures, but you technique works very well. I would be pleased to support you in any way helpful with medical or other documentation.” Gail Hanscom
She circled that treatments helped with: Mental clarity, headaches and anger. Circled Extremely effective, Definitely would come again and recommend to others.


From a wife of a Vietnam Army combat veteran:

“Having a venue in which veterans and their family members can receive treatment is beneficial. This is recognizing the fact that PTSD affects the whole family system. The relief of stress and anxiety is noticeable. I’m appreciative of this service.”
She circled it helped with anxiety and to be calmer. Circled Extremely effective, Definitely would come again and recommend to others.
She also told me on this night that she told her VA Women’s PTSD group about our service and will be emailing the group our advertising/information flyer. She said that the VA doesn’t offer many services to family members and they feel isolated as a result and this is why she is so happy with our service.

From a male Vietnam Army combat veteran:

“My treatment on Mondays is something I look forward to. It helps in making me calmer throughout the week.” Same as above :circled all, etc.

From a male Vietnam Marine combat veteran:

“It helps with my smoking.”

"You have heard about our soldiers returning from Iraq suffering from post-traumatic syndrome. Our soldiers from other wars such as World War II, Korea and Vietnam also suffered from the same illness but it was called different names.

There is an organization of practicing acupuncture specialists who want to use acupuncture to help these men returning from war.

This group is attempting to raise money to match a grant to use acupuncture in the treatment of these soldiers. I have participated and believe it can help. I fully support the efforts of this organization."

"There were two gentlemen in the clinic at the same time who had been coming on a regular basis. Neither had spoken to me or each other on previous occasions. After acupuncture one gentleman began telling me what had been bothering him for so many years (Vietnam Veteran) and then the other joined in the discussion who is also a Vietnam Veteran. It was a sad discussion about vivid flash backs, guilt for surviving, etc."

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