What To Expect
You will be invited to join the circle of chairs and be given an alcohol swab to wipe both your ears. A Maine-licensed acupuncturist will insert five very thin, sterile, single-use needles just under the skin at specific points in both ears. After everyone has needles in their ears, the lights will be dimmed and we will play soft, calming music. It's likely that you will start to feel noticeably eased and relaxed once the needles have been in for a few minutes. Some people even fall asleep during these treatments.

The needles will be left in for 30 to 40 minutes, then removed by one of the acupuncturist volunteers. Sometimes, rarely, a point may bleed and the practitioner will help care for that, also. The treatment is then over.

We strive to create a safe and peaceful setting. The group is made up of veterans, active duty personnel and their spouses and children - people who have shared similar circumstances and can relate through that common experience. It becomes a mini-community where words are not needed to feel connected to those around you. One of the benefits of community-style acupuncture can be felt as a subtle shift in the shared "vibe" of the room as treatment progresses and the stress level of the whole group is eased.

Following treatment, participants may feel some of these favorable effects:

• improved mental clarity, focus, concentration and memory
• increased energy and enhanced performance
• improved sleep and reduction in nightmares
• decreased stress, anxiety, irritability and depression
• ease in hyper-vigilance and reduction in flashbacks
• decrease in acute and chronic pain
The Augusta Veterans Acupuncture Clinic (AVAC) is a community-style acupuncture clinic. This means that people are treated in a group, sitting in a circle of chairs, fully clothed. We use the ear acupuncture protocol developed by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (please see "What We Do").

On your first visit you will be given a Welcome Sheet to help you orient to the clinic. The acupuncturists and staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We will have a model ear available on which you can see where the five needles will be inserted. You will be asked to read a Consent Form for receiving acupuncture and to sign in for the evening clinic.
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