The Treatment
Portland Veteransí 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 donít 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 connected to those around you.

NADA Protocol
In the 1970ís, 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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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

  • 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 Veteransí Clinic feel it is one way to help heal the pain of our nation at this time.




Copyright © Portland Veterans' Acupuncture Clinic
Created by
GlaceGrafix, LLC