The Benefits of Medical Acupuncture for Veterans
Steve Adubato and Dr. Joseph Helms, Founder and President, Acus Foundation, discuss the benefits of medical acupuncture, specifically on active duty members and veterans.
"We're pleased to welcome Doctor Joseph Helms, Founder and President of an organization called the Acus Foundation. Good to see you Doctor. Thank you very much. Acus stands for? Acus is Latin for "needle" and therefore it's part of the, you know, the beginning of acupuncture. And I've been bringing medical acupuncture into the US Military over the last ten years. That's what the foundation is all about? That's what the foundation is all about. Why into the military? Why into the military? Because the military needs it. We started this... we were invited by the Air Force to start an acupuncture training program during the Iraq-Afghanistan period, when there were many damaged soldiers coming back. After 9/11? After 9/11, and, you know... And continuing? Right? ...the consequences of 9/11. And there were a lot of damage to military service members, that they came back, both with physical, as well as psychological, psychospiritual damage, and weren't being handled in as comprehensive a way as was... What are they dealing with Doctor? They're dealing with physical pain, the traumas of explosions. They're dealing with psychological pain from the trauma of seeing buddies blown up by IEDs. They're dealing with psychospiritual angst of having their lives turned around and not ever being able to find what they left, as well as, you know, the more garden variety problems of respiratory problems from the sand and the wind, sleep problems from night missions, fatigue - profound fatigue - from never finding a safe place to rest while they're... You... you know, acupuncture... and I... only because I've tried, multiple... Mm hmm. ...times for something I'm sure a lot less, migraines, and it has been very helpful to me. but more importantly, to the veterans who are struggling dealing with a whole range of very complex physical, emotional, psychological issues. How does acupuncture help them? Acupuncture addresses the problems... both the problems that are presenting, such as the headache, but also the problems behind the problems. These are much more severe headaches that you're talking about? Right. Is the... are the headaches coming from stress, are the headaches coming from sleep disturbances, are the headaches coming from bad memories intruding into their... I was just gonna say nightmares? I mean, they're... Exactly. ...horrific? Continuous? So with the acupuncture, we try to address, not just the symptoms, but the drivers behind the symptoms. And while it's not a panacea, it doesn't cure everything, it's a very safe and often effective technique that doesn't bring with it the complications of addiction or drug dependency. What does opioid...? I read that what you and your colleagues are doing at the Acus Foundation helps with respect to the opioid addiction crisis. How? It does not treat the addiction itself. What we do is train the..."