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VA Boston Healthcare System

 

Acupuncture Therapy for Veteran Pain

Man holding hand to temple

Acupuncture therapy often relieves pain symptoms in our Veterans

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

 VA Boston Healthcare System is now offering acupuncture therapy two days a week at the Jamaica Plain campus.

“We believe that acupuncture will bring a well-studied and well tolerated treatment of chronic pain disorders to VA Boston that expands our Veteran’s access to complementary medicine. Acupuncture will be a valuable component in the multidisciplinary approach to treat pain,” said Dr. Kay Leissner, Chief of Anesthesiology at VA Boston Healthcare System.  “Our Veterans have been asking for acupuncture for a long time and we are proud to be the first VA to have been able to employ an acupuncturist.  Mr. John Coville has an outstanding record of using acupuncture to treat chronic pain and we are extremely pleased that he is part of our pain clinic.”

Acupuncture therapy involves inserting very fine needles at a variety of points in the body, and has been shown to be effective in treating symptoms resulting from a wide range of conditions. It has long been known to activate endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers.  Acupuncture may be effective for patients who suffer from:

Pain associated with an injury or illness

Nausea and vomiting after an operation

Nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy

Knee pain from osteoarthritis

Low back pain

Depression or other mental health concerns

Substance dependency

This therapy will be administered by acupuncturist John Coville, who has been practicing for 18 years.  He attended the New England School of Acupuncture where he received his certificate in 1995. Since September 2000 he has also served as Assistant Professor and Clinical Supervisor for the New England School of Acupuncture, Newton, MA where he still currently teaches and supervises students and acupuncture clinics.  John has done work on several research projects; one of these projects is entitled “The Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Gulf War Illness” and is being sponsored through the New England School of Acupuncture and the Department of Defense.
 
VA Boston’s acupuncture clinic will focus on the treatment of pain in Veterans.  “I believe in effectiveness of treating pain by acupuncture with no side effects. Acupuncture will lessen the needs for pain medication for a select group of patients,” said Mr. Coville.  “I will work together with other members of the pain medicine team to increase the patient’s access to this exciting new treatment option.”

The acupuncture clinic will be held weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  If you are a Veteran who is interested in learning more about acupuncture therapy please contact your Primary Care Physician for additional information.

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