Maine Acupuncturists

Help in Haiti

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               According to Helen Aylward, R.N., L.A.C., of Southern Maine Acupuncture in Portland, Maine, the Portland Veterans’ Acupuncture Clinic is associated with Acupuncturists Without Borders.  She said , “We are sending acupuncturists from Maine over to Haiti to treat people for post traumatic stress disorder.  It is an awesome opportunity to help those in need and we feel honored to not only help our Veterans but now also to be able to lend comfort to the People of Haiti.”

What Is The Portland Veterans’ Acupuncture Clinic?

A group of licensed acupuncturists in Portland are providing a free acupuncture clinic to war veterans suffering from combat fatigue and other associated health issues. This free, weekly clinic is also available to family members of veterans who desire the healing benefits of acupuncture.

The clinic is held every Tuesday night (beginning May 27, 2008), from 6-8 p.m. at the Williston West Church in the Fellowship Hall at 32 Thomas Street Portland, Maine 04102. To allow for maximum relaxation and security during the treatment, participants need to be signed in by 6:30.

The phone number for the Portland Veterans’ Acupuncture Clinic is 1-800-871-9012.

For veterans who live farther up the coast, there is another acupuncture clinic in Rockland a tRed Bird Acupuncture, 328 Maine Street #302.  Hours are from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays and 11 a.m. to noon on Thursdays.

The Portland Veterans’  Acupuncture Clinic is supported entirely by donations.  Contributions can be sent to: PVAC P.O. Box 9715 #140, Portland, Maine 04104-5015.

The web site for the clinic is:

The website for Acupuncturists Without Borders is:

To read an August 4, 2008, article in The Portland Press Herald, which was written by Meredith Goad about the Portland Veterans’ Acupuncture Clinic, go to:

The Treatment

Portland Veterans’ Acupuncture Clinic (PVAC) is a community-style acupuncture clinic. This means that people are treated in a quiet, group setting, sitting fully clothed in a circle. Very fine, sterile, single use needles are inserted just under the skin in 5 specific areas of both ears (please see NADA Protocol below). Individuals sit quietly and rest with the needles in their ears for 30-40 minutes. Needles are then removed and the treatment is over.  [Acupressure techniques are available for those who don’t wish to be treated with needles.]

The treatment setting is peaceful. The group is made up of people in similar circumstances: a circle of buddies/comrades, spouses and children. The circle is a mini-community of people with similar experiences. Words are not needed here to feel the connectedness. 

Read more news about PVAC. Click here


NADA Protocol
In the 1970’s, Dr. Michael Smith began using auricular (ear) acupuncture for alcohol and drug addiction. In 1985, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) was formed. Since then, the NADA Protocol has spread all over the world via clinician training. On their website (, NADA reports that patients in their programs evidence improved retention, a more optimistic and cooperative attitude, and reductions in cravings, anxiety, sleep disturbances and need for pharmaceuticals. Since 9/11, acupuncturists have expanded the use of the NADA Protocol to treat recovery workers in disaster settings (e.g. Ground Zero, New Orleans after Katrina, San Diego after the recent wildfires). First responders and displaced citizens treated in the field reported less insomnia and fewer nightmares, reduced irritability and anger, increased mental clarity and ability to focus on tasks (to find out more about these programs please see

Acupuncture is part of a 5,000-year-old system of medicine that originated in China. It is used to treat chronic and acute pain as well as many illnesses. Traditionally, acupuncture was used as a preventive medicine to keep people well with improved health overall and stronger immune systems. It continues to serve these functions today. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with any therapy or prescription medication(s) a client may be receiving, and acupuncture may enhance the effectiveness of these other therapies.

Advantages of Community Style Acupuncture
Acupuncture in a group setting has some particular advantages:

  1. Broad Spectrum - Acupuncture addresses physical, mental and emotional conditions simultaneously. Acupuncture often enhances the effectiveness of other modalities. Patients who receive acupuncture treatment may require smaller doses of pharmaceuticals as their systems begin to work more efficiently.

  2. Immediate Results - Acupuncture offers immediate results that include deep relaxation, reduced anxiety and a sense of wellbeing. Many people report these feelings stay with them for several days after a treatment.

  3. Simple and Accessible - No long paperwork or complicated equipment is needed. Patients do not have to talk about symptoms at all. The results are still the same! 

  4. Safe - There are no side effects or contraindications for acupuncture. It is non-addictive. The needles used are sterile and used only once per point, then discarded in the proper biohazard containers. The technique involves little to no pain.

  5. Professional - The clinic is staffed with National Board Certified, Maine Licensed and malpractice-insured acupuncturists who have experience with the NADA protocol.

  6. Cost Effective - Because treatments are done in groups, many people can be treated at once. The supplies needed are basic and inexpensive. The clinic is supported by donations and is run at no cost to the veterans and their family members.

Contact Us
Please feel free to contact if you have any further questions, would like to make a donation, or would like to volunteer for the clinic. All of us involved with the Veterans’ Clinic feel it is one way to help heal the pain of our nation at this time.

The article which appears below about acupuncturists helping in Haiti is posted on this website with permission from Mina Larson of NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).