LOCAL PHYSICIAN ACUPUNCTURIST TEACHES MILITARY PHYSICIANS AND MEDICS TO TREAT PAIN ON BATTLEFIELD

January 2, 2012

Physicians and medics of the US Navy, Marines, and Army come to Dr. Douglass Powell and his colleagues to learn how to ease pain both on and behind the front lines of Afghanistan and other warring countries. “Unlike pain medications, acupuncture has no side effects such as long-lasting drowsiness,” says Dr. Powell, a board-certified gynecologist who teaches acupuncture at Helms Medical Institute in Berkeley, California. “My colleagues and I are also developing protocols for rapid rest and recreation after a mission for soldiers who need to go back into battle as quickly as possible. These other protocols are designed to treat traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder on a long-term basis.”

Dr. Powell and his colleagues believe that limiting pain on the battlefield by acupuncture will also limit posttraumatic stress disorder, a condition in which psychiatric and medication treatments are successful in only one third of cases. “Our preliminary results show a much higher success rate without the side effects of psychiatric medications,” says Dr. Powell.

Off the battlefield, Helms Medical Institute instructors are also participating in a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view the brain’s response to pain. “If we induce pain in the body, certain parts of the brain will light up on the MRI, indicating that the brain has responded,” says Dr. Powell. “Then, if we induce pain the same way but also do body acupuncture, these same parts of the brain do not light up, indicating that the actual pain felt has been reduced.”

Dr. Powell ‘s acupuncture practice is the culmination of a lifelong interest in Eastern philosophy and practices. “The Chinese literature on acupuncture dates back 3000 years,” Dr. Powell says. “It’s poetic in its application, like the old school Chinese teaching that was versed in rhyme. While in China I saw students commit the acupuncture points and their locations to memory by learning verse after verse that rhymed.

Dr. Powell’s wife Catherine, a nurse practitioner in gynecology for many years, practices Reiki, zero balancing, and body work. ”Catherine is a nice complement to my acupuncture practice, as some patients prefer a woman,” says Dr. Powell. “Her patients have similar outcomes to my own.”

When discussing acupuncture with patients, Dr. Powell, like other physicians, conducts a physical examination and history. “I can relate Western medical impressions to the reasons why patients are not finding relief from pain or headache after traditional medical treatments,” says Dr. Powell. “I find that about 85% of patients are good candidates for acupuncture.”

According to Dr. Powell, only acupuncture-trained physicians or non-physicians who complete four years of postgraduate training may administer acupuncture in New York State. Dr. Powell and other local acupuncturists are beginning a walk-in acupuncture clinic at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse. “That’s been in the works for about a year,” he says.

To read or learn more about the various services Healing Meridians provides, please click the links under Techniques above. Most importantly, Dr. Powell and Catherine will work with you to understand the benefits and customize a personal wellness program with you. By combining several types of therapies that are most comfortable to you, Dr. Powell and Catherine will help you to restore your spirit, mind, and body to feel balanced, comfortable, and relieve symptoms you may be experiencing.

Dr. Powell and Catherine have two beautiful offices in Central New York: a Healing Center in Skaneateles on Fennell Street, and an additional location within Dr. Powell's Medical Office in Liverpool. Patients are welcome to visit the office that is most convenient.

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Catherine Powell

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