Alternative Medicine Heals Wounds of War for Veterans 

The wages of war can take a toll on military veterans – both physically and emotionally. Some local vets are turning to alternative medicine to ease the pain.In this solemn peace, the sacrifice of service is slowing healing for veterans like Susan Walker.”This helps. This does more in a one hour clinic per week than all the pills that they can stuff down you.”Marie Arnberg, a licensed acupuncturist, says, “It’s energy medicine. Or that’s how I like to put it. Every practitioner may have their own spin on it but it’s energy medicine that doesn’t distinguish between mind and body.”Acupuncture has long been used to help the body heal by tapping into a person’s energy. Recently licensed acupuncturists Tom Jamieson, Marie Arnberg and Ashleigh Hart started offering the treatment in Bangor to veterans and their families, for free. Jamieson says, “When veterans go through either physical trauma or emotional trauma, they manipulate their chi in order to do what they need to do and it gets stuck. What we do is help the body relax and that chi to flow again.”That’s made a difference for Gene Nardi, who struggles with a sore knee. But it’s the mental relief that’s surprised him. “For me, it’s more of a relaxation type. I feel that I’m not quite as uptight.”Veteran Edward Leonard says, “I don’t get so upset, in a way, because I’m more relaxed. Because when you dwell on the pain, it’s hard to be relaxed.”When it comes to helping these veterans, that feeling of ease flows both ways.Hart says, “I know they have given so much, so much of their life and after serving. My life is just a little better to know that I gave someone a few minutes of tranquility and a little better health.”The free acupuncture treatments are every Thursday evening at Grace United Methodist Church in Bangor. They’re also available to active duty military and their immediate family. For more information, log on to