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Acupuncture and the US Military

Acupuncture and the US Military

Throughout November, veterans and active duty military receive $10 acupuncture at our clinic. It’s our way of saying Thank You! For details and other specials click here

A physician assistant performs battlefield acupuncture on a civilian contractor at Combat Outpost Champkani, Afghanistan, in 2013. The physician assistant program enables enlisted soldiers to earn a commission and a master’s degree. (Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton/Army)

The US military is using acupuncture to treat American soldiers, with results that are being described as “off the charts.” If the idea of the military and acupuncture worlds coming together sounds likely an unlikely pairing, think back to the early historic roots of acupuncture. It seem acupuncture itself was created during times of war more than 2,000 years ago in China; here’s more on the archaeological evidence of acupuncture.

In the Middle East

At Camp Leatherneck, an enormous military base in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Commander Keith Stuessi (a US Naval doctor) used Battlefield Acupuncture Techniques to heal soldiers with concussions so they could return more quickly to active duty. Stuessi treated patients with acupuncture, at the specialist Concussion Restoration Care Center at Camp Leatherneck, and described the results as “phenomenal.” After one treatment, patients often slept through the night and headaches were greatly reduced in intensity. Sleep is the primary treatment for acute concussion symptoms. More…

Battlefield Acupuncture

Colonel Niemtzow, Air Force physician and researcher

What is Battlefield Acupuncture? Colonel Niemtzow, an Air Force physician and researcher, developed and named the battlefield acupuncture technique in 2001. He said he realized its possible military value and the events of the World Trade Center influenced him to name it battlefield acupuncture. Colonel Niemtzow has trained thousands of his military counterparts in using acupuncture. Battlefield Acupuncture focuses on locations on the ear that he said have been known for hundreds of years as effective areas for pain control. The ear is also practical because it can be readily accessed whether on the battlefield or in a hospital bed. More from the Department of Defense on Dr Niemtzow at work.

Here at Home

In addition to treating concussions, both the US Army and the Veterans Administration are providing acupuncture to soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Order (PTSD). Between 30% and 50% or returning soldiers are expected to show signs of PTSD. So far, about 16 programs across the various branches of the military for active-duty troops with PTSD exist or are in the works, offering acupuncture and other alternative treatments along with counseling, said Jerry Wesch, a clinical psychologist at one of the nation’s biggest programs, at Fort Hood in Killeen. More…

Both the US Army & Veteran’s Administration-funded programs employ acupuncturists now to provide care to military employees.  Learn about the program at Fort Bliss.

DoD Funds Acupuncture Research

The connection between the military and acupuncture worlds extends beyond direct patient care. In 2013, the New England School of Acupuncture completed a three year study on acupuncture for Gulf War veterans. (Dale and I are both graduates of NESA.) The Department of Defense provided a grant in excess of $1.2 million to fund this first-of-its-kind clinical trial: The Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Gulf War Illness (GWI). GWI is a complex syndrome characterized by many symptoms, including fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, dizziness, memory problems, indigestion, skin problems, shortness of breath, and mood disorders. More than 100,000 of the 700,000 Gulf War veterans to date have reported GWI symptoms.

Here’s an article in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes that describes the various programs and their impact on patient care and soldiers in our military. Providing acupuncture to US military personnel near and far can provide relief and help them return to duty.

More work

The Department of Defense Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) aims to improve deployment-related health care. DHCC seeks to improve military health care delivery systems from a disease management model to a more effective and efficient population-based collaborative model of care through health systems research, program implementation support at military treatment facilities (MTFs), and program evaluation services. Check out the DHCCs research on acupuncture.

The Samuel Institute works to inform military researchers, clinicians and policy makers about the evidence base for acupuncture use, identify research gaps, and to work with military leaders to integrate acupuncture into care paradigms in a variety of military environments.

The US Army. Check out the homepage of The US Army on Reducing the Use of Pain Killers in Our Military Personnel

Struggling with PTSD? The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has people available 24/7 to speak with you and help you find help. One online resource to explore is the PTSD information center at the Help Guide.

Clinic Hours

Monday: 2PM – 8PM

Tuesday: 2PM – 8PM

Wednesday:  2PM – 8PM

Thursday: 2PM – 8PM

Friday: 10AM – 4PM

Saturday: 9AM – 2PM

Walk-Ins Often Possible.
Appointments Recommended.



Seminole Heights Community Acupuncture, our staff, and volunteers are members of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture. POCA is a co-operative run and fueled by co-op members who believe that acupuncture should be available to people: learn more about that here.

We see acupuncture changing lives every day. It’s simple, safe and effective, as well as the most widely used medicine in the world! Last year POCA clinics, about 200 of them in all, gave more than 1 million treatments. Our goal is to make that number 50 million treatments by the year 2020.

We support the Community Acupuncture movement with our POCA membership and our volunteer hours.

We know that acupuncture can change the world, and would love for you to join us in The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged!

Interested? Help spread access to acupuncture by learning more about POCA.  Click here to join online.  Or drop by Seminole Heights Community Acupuncture to talk with us more about our favorite co-operative, POCA!

Spring Allergies

Spring Allergies

Spring AllergiesSpring is here: new beginnings, fresh starts, and spring allergies. For the next six to eight weeks, our blooming trees — oak, cypress and bayberry — created enough pollen in 2002 to put Tampa at the top of the list of the worst towns for bad spring allergies.

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation things have improved for Tampa’s spring allergy sufferers since then. Here in Tampa we’ve got 11 species of oak alone spewing billions of pollen particles into the air, covering our vehicles, and sneaking into our houses. Park your car under an oak tree for any amout of time during pollen season and you will find it covered with a familiar greenish-yellow pollen.

If you’re one of the people who suffer from seasonal allergies, this time of year can become a blur of runny noses, sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and coughing. Allergic symptoms like these, along with inflammation and swelling of nasal passages, may turn into sinus infections, asthma, ear aches, and upper respiratory infections. Many people don’t know that seasonal allergies also can worsen depression, digestive issues, and joint pain.

Rather than temporarily alleviating these symptoms the way allergy medications do, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treat the root cause of the symptoms and over time help your body reduce future allergy symptoms.

Two distinct theories on allergies

From a biomedical perspective, when plants release their pollen, some people’s immune systems overreact, turn on their attack responses, including the release of histamine which causes inflammation and muscle constriction. Problem is there’s no invader and our bodies are confusing our own cells with “the attacker,” unleashing a storm of immune reactions including extra cellular fluid leaking, swelling, dilated vessels, increased blood flow and draining.

In acupuncture theory, seasonal allergies are not isolated to the histamine response. Rather, they are seen as a general disruption of a person’s self protection mechanisms.

Instead of accepting the overreactive immune response and suppressing it with antihistamines, acupuncturists ask, why is this person’s immunity compromised? And what can we do to bring it back to balance?

How does acupuncture treat allergies?

In acupuncture theory, a person who develops allergy symptoms after being outside is often treated for something we in Acupuncture Land call “Wind.” In Chinese medicine our traditional diagnosis often sounds like a weather report. Wind as a source for disease is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms, itching, and changeability.

An untreated Wind condition over time can lead to other conditions that involve symptoms linked to Heat or Dampness. To modern eyes Heat and Dampness in our nose looks a lot like a sinus infection– think yellow discharge, swelling, and pain.

Regular acupuncture treatments optimize immune function and can often prevent future infections. And if you need more support, Chinese herbal treatments can reinforce the effects of acupuncture.

Seasonal allergies are something many people have come to accept as an inevitable part of springtime, a trade off of sorts for the warm weather. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Chinese medicine can relieve and prevent seasonal allergies, without negative side effects. So go out and celebrate spring, no strings—or Kleenex—attached.

Allergy Tips


Thanks to Arizona acupuncturist Britta Van Dun for inspiration from her article Allergies Have Sprung.
Discounts … About $10 Monthly Specials

Discounts … About $10 Monthly Specials

Discounts Unlimited $10 Acupuncture Sessions All Month! Each month we offer discounts on acupuncture. We focus on folks with specific jobs and occupations, or various groups of people. These special folks are invited to unlimited $10 treatments throughout the month. We pick a theme and usually it makes sense like our offering discounts to retail… . . .

Monthly 2-for-1 SPECIALS

Monthly 2-for-1 SPECIALS

2-for-1: A Special Day for the Two of You! Each month we will host a special day when you can bring someone with you and only pay for one session. We call it “Two-for-Tuesdays” and it’s 2-for-1 Acupuncture! This is a great way to share the community experience of Community Acupuncture.   HOW DOES IT… . . .

Breathe to Reduce Stress

Breathe to Reduce Stress

Stress Busters! When life gets chaotic, and it invariably does, how do you cope? One convenient, effective (and free!) option is controlled breathing. Paying attention to your breath invokes the relaxation response, which can reduce stress, ease anxiety and promote clear thinking as well as slow down your heart rate and lower blood pressure. Making… . . .

Buy Nothing Day 2016

Buy Nothing Day 2016

Buy Nothing Day unshop… unspend… unwind with FREE ACUPUNCTURE!   Buy Nothing Day Friday, November 25, 2016 10am – 1pm Call to reserve your chair!! (813) 237-8920 The day after Thanksgiving, known to big box retailers and the fat cats who profit from them as Black Friday, has been re-branded as Buy Nothing Day. It is… . . .

Nap Packs: Two Package Deals

Nap Packs: Two Package Deals

Acupuncture Packages Available Saturday, Nov 26 to Friday, Dec 16, 2016 at the Clinic Discount cards… We’ve got ’em! We offer 2! kinds of Nap Pack Specials: the Nap Pass and our new 3-Pack. Both help you get more acupuncture. Some folks use the special rate as a chance to see what more frequent acupuncture will… . . .

Acupuncture and the US Military

Acupuncture and the US Military

Throughout November, veterans and active duty military receive $10 acupuncture at our clinic. It’s our way of saying Thank You! For details and other specials click here The US military is using acupuncture to treat American soldiers, with results that are being described as “off the charts.” If the idea of the military and acupuncture… . . .

7 Acupuncture Tips for a Healthy Fall

7 Acupuncture Tips for a Healthy Fall

Fall is here! New seasons are an opportunity to realign with our body’s natural rhythms. Fall’s shorter days and cooler temperatures can help encourage the transition. From an acupuncture perspective, autumn is about refinement. A time to pare down, to let go of excesses we gave ourselves in summer, and focus on what’s necessary for winter.  Even here… . . .

Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Insomnia! Difficulty sleeping is one of the most common things we hear about. In fact, it’s one of the most common issues that brings people to acupuncture! Want some tips to ease your night and even learn pressure points you can use to ease *your* kind of sleep problems? Check out this great article with advice… . . .



  A zine is an independently or self-published booklet, often hand-made & affordably-priced. Often devoted to specific and unconventional topics. Our zines focus on community & health, because that’s what *we’re* about!  Because they don’t have any sort of corporate backing, zines are very rugged, opinionated, individualized, and much more charismatic than larger, more popular… . . .

Friday, April 7, 2017: The clinic will be closed for the day
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