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Pacific College Providing Free Acupuncture to Heal Trauma for Survivors of Superstorm Sandy

New York, NY –

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine is providing free community acupuncture treatments for stress relief at the college throughout November, beginning tomorrow, Friday, 11/9/12, from 2:30-6:00pm at 915 Broadway at 21st Street, 5th floor (additional dates/times list follows).

Julie Cho, one of many Pacific College alumni active in relief efforts in Rockaway, Red Hook, Manhattan, and several locations in New Jersey, reports that the acupuncture is helping with stress relief.  One acupuncture recipient, after his treatment, wrote, "After several days without heat or electricity from hurricane Sandy and several friends whose homes were flooded under 7 feet of water, my heart was heavy with grief and burden. When I saw AWB [Acupuncturists Without Borders], my heart leapt and I felt tears of joy - the […] treatment was an oasis in the desert of darkness, desperation and traumas we were feeling. I sat down next to a friend who is a fellow PTSD survivor from before and immediately we laughed with relief knowing things would get better."

A community wide disaster can traumatize most everyone in the community, even those who have not experienced direct losses.  According to Acupuncturists Without Borders Executive Director Diana Fried, “When people are traumatized they have may have difficulty sleeping, eating well, communicating, and managing their regular lives, and may feel extremely anxious, irritable, or sad. The profound trauma experience keeps us from beginning to rebuild as effectively as we otherwise could. Although counseling and talk therapy are important, healing methods like acupuncture serve a unique complementary role in addressing the physiological trauma response which becomes locked in the body. Community-style acupuncture treatments allow large numbers of people to heal together in a group setting that doesn’t require them to talk about their experience, but just allows them to relax and regain some semblance of normalcy in their body, with a technique that is fast, low-cost, low-tech, and easy to set up.”

Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat traumatized populations in the days and months following the 9/11 attacks, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans, Iowa floods, wildfires in California, the Haiti earthquakes, and shootings in Colorado, among other traumatic events, and acupuncture is now being used in all branches of the U.S. military as well as by veterans.  “Because it is non-narcotic, inexpensive, safe, effective, and doesn’t require the clients to talk about their feelings at at a time when verbalizing may be difficult, acupuncture is becoming more and more popular as a treatment,” according to Malcolm Youngren, Campus Director at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the largest college of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the U.S.  He comments, “we are proud to support our alumni working with national and local acupuncture relief groups like AWB and CRREW throughout the Tri-State area, providing a unique and desperately needed kind of relief to the survivors of Superstorm Sandy”.

Additional dates for free community acupuncture at the college are as follows, with more to be scheduled:

Thursday, November 15 (9:30-11:30am)

Friday, November 16 (6:30-8:30pm)

Tuesday, November 20  (1:30-3:30pm)

Tuesday, November 27 (1:30-3:30pm)

Thursday, November 29 (9:30-11:30pm)

Friday, November 30 (6:30-8:30pm)

For more information about free acupuncture relief events at the college or throughout the Tri-State area, or for assistance getting acupuncture assistance to hurricane relief related locations or organizations, contact Cynthia Neipris, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s Director of Outreach, who is coordinating the college’s Hurricane Sandy acupuncture relief efforts.

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