In an effort to prevent the situation many of our veterans faced following Vietnam, the VA has made wonderful progress in helping our military personnel re-acclimate to their lives before war. Yet in some areas, the services are spectacular, while in others it is sub-par or non-existent. This is why folks like the ones below are a wonderful boon to our soldiers, especially those returning home with PTSD.
Acupuncturists serving the troops
May 4, 2008
Margaret Gargarian respects the fact that her son's high school in Belmont has a community service requirement. "I think it should be part of life," she said.
To do her part, Gargarian - an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who has training in acupuncture - recently joined an offshoot of Acupuncturists Without Borders.
Gargarian and licensed acupuncturists Margaret Ryding, Bill Kellar, and Patricia Burkhart, all of Arlington, offer free, weekly acupuncture treatments for US military personnel who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gargarian said she believes alternative therapies are valuable because they offer another tool to cure or manage health problems.
Benefits of acupuncture, she said, may include reduced anxiety and irritability; improved sleep, energy, and mental clarity; and the alleviation of flashbacks and nightmares.
Although a client may feel a "quick pinch" as the thin acupuncture needles are inserted,
Gargarian said the treatment is relaxing. Sessions typical last a half hour.
"Every time we treat someone," she said, "it makes us feel good, too."