Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Battlefield Acupuncture

Since our lives are constantly in motion energetically, change is a constant element of our existence.

Since our lives are constantly in motion energetically, change is a constant element of our existence. As dynamic as that energy is, it is not random or haphazard in nature—the shifts in energy that are constantly taking place are the result of our choices. The formulation of intention, a change in perspective, or the creation of a goal can transform our lives in blink of an eye. We think positive thoughts and the world becomes a brighter place. Or we decide who we want to be and become that person. With each passing moment, we are given innumerable opportunities to create change using nothing more than our awareness. 

In the span of a single second, our lives can change immeasurably because energy moves at a pace more rapid than anything we can consciously fathom. Though we may not at first be sensitive to the vibrational shifts taking place, our choices are ultimately at the heart of these transformations. We can typically recognize the consequences of key decisions because we anticipated the resultant energetic shifts. But many, if not most, of the choices we make each day are a product of instantaneous reactions, and these still have a significant impact on the energy of our existence. It is for this reason that we should learn to wield what control we can over these shifts. If we bear in mind that all we think and all we do will shape the existence we know, we can deliberately direct the energetic motion of our lives. 

Each day, you make an infinite array of decisions that cause energy shifts in the world around you. In many cases, these transitions are almost imperceptible, while in others the change that takes place is palpable not only to you but also to those in your sphere of influence. Your awareness of the immediate energetic consequences of your thoughts and actions can guide you as you endeavor to make the most of the autonomy that defines you as an individual. The myriad choices you make from moment to moment, however inconsequential they may seem, represent your personal power, which sanctions you to transform the energetic tide of your existence with nothing more than your will. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New England School of Acupuncture Receives U.S. Department of Defense Grant Funding Is First to Examine Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Treatment of Gulf War Illness

In the first treatment trial ever performed to research the effectiveness of acupuncture on GWI, NESA's researchers will study how acupuncture affects sufferers of this complex syndrome, which is 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 report chronic multi-symptom illnesses which persist for years after seeking treatment.  "Many veterans have received treatment directed towards their symptoms, but reports from five- and 10-year follow-ups show that symptoms remain, including some which are severe and disabling," says Lisa Conboy MA, MS, ScD, Co-director of the Research Department and Chair of the Biomedical Department at NESA, and Principal Investigator for NESA's upcoming clinical trial.  Conboy continues, "Clearly, an effective treatment for these conditions could be of great benefit to those suffering from Gulf War Illness."
The trial's participants will include 120 veterans from the Boston/New England area suffering from GWI.  They will be treated by licensed acupuncturists, who have a master's degree in acupuncture, and who have at least five years of clinical experience as well as extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms of GWI. 
Veterans will receive care directed specifically to their most distressing symptom.  Although the specific etiology of GWI is unknown, previous research suggests that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of many of the symptoms of GWI.  Acupuncture is already commonly used in the West and  preliminary evidence from clinical research supports its use for many of the symptoms associated with this syndrome including fatigue and depression.  Acupuncture has also demonstrated efficacy for a variety of painful musculoskeletal disorders, and as a treatment for both acute and chronic pain after amputation in military contexts.  Further, there is evidence that acupuncture treatments may affect important mechanisms of healing such as stress mediation.
"NESA is excited to have the opportunity to research the effectiveness of acupuncture on Gulf War Illness and hopefully provide veterans with a validated treatment option for GWI and much needed relief," comments Katherine Tallman, President of the New England School of Acupuncture.  "Research has demonstrated that acupuncture is effective in treating fatigue, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and pain-many of the key symptoms of GWI­.  Since each acupuncture treatment is customized to address an individual's most distressing symptoms, it is particularly well-suited for treating the myriad of symptoms included in a GWI diagnosis."
The cause of GWI is unknown, and the symptoms cannot be explained by routine physical and laboratory examinations.  Ongoing investigations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), suggest that the symptoms reflect a range of injuries to the nervous system.  Researchers hypothesize that the factors leading to these injuries are not specific to the Persian Gulf region, and that veterans and active duty personnel of the current wars in Iraq and are being exposed to similar stressors and will benefit from an investigation of GWI and its treatment.