Acupuncture popular with veterans

Second location added in Durango

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - DURANGO - 03/07/13 - Nancy VanDover, left, administers acupuncture to Patricia O'Kane Ey on Thursday evening at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031. The Durango Acupuncture Alliance has been offering free acupuncture every week to veterans and their immediate families since September of last year, according to member Sydney Cooley. Enlargephoto

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - DURANGO - 03/07/13 - Nancy VanDover, left, administers acupuncture to Patricia O'Kane Ey on Thursday evening at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031. The Durango Acupuncture Alliance has been offering free acupuncture every week to veterans and their immediate families since September of last year, according to member Sydney Cooley.

Members of the Durango Acupuncture Alliance, who started offering free service to military veteran on Thursday in September, have added another day to their schedule in Durango.

There has been such response that a satellite office was opened in Pagosa Springs two weeks ago, said Vanessa Morgan, one of the alliance coordinators. She’s been an acupuncturist for 20 years, the last five in Durango.

In Durango starting March 11, the volunteers will accept veterans from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday at 472 East Third Ave. On Thursday, they will work from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031 Hall.

The East Third Avenue address houses the clinic for Morgan and another acupuncturist, Sydney Cooley.

“We see five to 10 veterans a week at the VFW hall,” Cooley said. “The second location and different hours provide a convenience for patients.”

Treatment consists of placing five disposable, stainless-steel needles at strategic points in each ear. The approach was developed by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association as an alternative to electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture also is available to spouses of veterans. Although service is free, a donation is appreciated.

About a dozen area acupuncturists take turns providing service.

Ongoing pressure from post-traumatic stress disorder, which many veterans suffer, causes the autonomic nervous system, which governs visceral functions mostly at the subconscious level, to remain in the “on” position, Morgan said.

“Acupuncture resets the system,” Morgan said.

Gerald Hickam, a Vietnam-era veteran, stopped by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031 on Thursday evening to take advantage of a weekly program by the Durango Acupuncture Alliance offering free acupuncture to veterans and immediate family. Sydney Cooley, back, is one of the group’s volunteers. Enlargephoto

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Gerald Hickam, a Vietnam-era veteran, stopped by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031 on Thursday evening to take advantage of a weekly program by the Durango Acupuncture Alliance offering free acupuncture to veterans and immediate family. Sydney Cooley, back, is one of the group’s volunteers.

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