By Rebecca Gannon (WICHITA, Kan.)
The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes two treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: counseling, and medication.
A Wichita woman proposes a third solution: she says her acupuncture can help people with PTSD.
When you think of post- traumatic stress, you probably don't think of feet.
But it's one of the first places Dr. Lori Jones looks. This English-born acupuncturist says it may look odd - but she nestles needles into specific points on the body. She says that promotes healing.
"We're not only physical beings," she explained, "We have our minds and we have our emotions, and when you put the needle in, you can affect those."
Dr. Jones says she can treat mental and emotional issues -- from attention deficit to autism, to post-traumatic stress disorder.
"The incredible thing with using acupuncture is that we have - and certainly my experience is - 97% of any client who comes to me with PTSD gets better within a few weeks. That's a pretty phenomenal statement."
She says ally is one of those clients.
"I was actually shot 8 times, in my back and in my arms," the woman said, quite calmly. Her only physical sign of that robbery last summer is this sling on her arm. But she constantly worries about who is on the other side of her door.
"It's basically a huge nightmare, is what it is," she said. "And it's just something you have to work through, and that's what I'm doing right now."
But she says the needles go deeper than her skin. "It just works," she shrugged. "I can't tell you how, I just know."
In another room, Willow Leenders deals with another invisible pain. She still feels the leg she lost to cancer 37 years ago.
It used to ache daily, but after five years of monthly acupuncture, she says it's almost a memory.
"Many people take a drug daily for the rest of their lives," said Willow as she sat with two pins in her remaining leg. "This is one treatment once a month."
Both women thank Dr. Jones - and her precisely placed needles.
So far, no insurance in Kansas covers acupuncture, though Blue Cross Blue Shield says it may offer discounts on certain alternative medicines.
The Kansas Board of Healing Arts says it does oversee acupuncture, but does not license it.