News Headlines Article

At VA, exploring alternative therapies for chronic pain and other ailments
The Washington Post

The acupuncturist in his glow-in-the-dark yellow Crocs gently leaned over the burly and bearded Army Special Operations officer, who was stretched across a bed in the “zen den” of the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center.

The air was sweet with eucalyptus and peppermint aromatherapy. The lighting was warm, fluttering with the golden hue of battery-operated candles. A funky Indian elephant batik hung on the wall. The retired lieutenant colonel, who had been injured in a combat plane crash, inhaled and exhaled as the doctor pressed needles into his knees.

Like hundreds of veterans from across the country who have come to this VA hospital for treatment of chronic pain, panic attacks, traumatic injuries and other ailments, he said he was so fed up with taking heavy-duty painkillers that he was willing to try anything.