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Acupuncture and Recovery from 911 attacks

August 5, 2001 I graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Manhattan, now called the Pacific College of Health Sciences. While going to school for my masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine and working full time, commuting to Manhattan from West Chester, PA. I regularly received acupuncture to help me manage stress. As an intern I treated people with acupuncture to help them manage stress and recover from trauma. After graduation I took a much- needed vacation and came home to begin the process of becoming licensed and developing my acupuncture practice. I was on an emotional high!

Then came September 11. Our world changed. We all experienced the trauma and stress of that day in our own way, but I think it is safe to say, that we all experienced something on the continuum between mild stress and life changing trauma.

I was proud to know that many of the alumni of Pacific College treated first responders and survivors of the 911 attacks.

When 225 survivors of the twin towers were surveyed to discover what had been most helpful in their recovery they said acupuncture was the most helpful, followed by massage, yoga and EMDR, in that order.

As a licensed practitioner I have treated countless patients who are recovering from trauma and day-to-day stress of all kinds and have seen the immediate benefits people can experience. In the 20 years since my graduation many studies show good evidence of how helpful acupuncture can be. Below are a few examples.

Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation

Acupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder- a randomized controlled pilot trial

Acupuncture for posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Conceptual, Clinical and biological Data Support further Research


We encourage those of you who are feeling stress to consider acupuncture as a healthy tool to help you heal. There are many of us out there who would be honored to help you.

Margaret Sheehan, LOM

Margaret has been involved in holistic health since 1983, first as a massage therapist, tai chi and qi gong instructor. She was clinical director of the Alternative Medicine Network of the Jefferson Health System, Mainline 1995-1997. In 2001 she graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Manhattan, with a Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine Degree. She has taught university classes and workshops. She was cofounder of Chester County Herbs and Acupuncture in 2001, which became Oriental Medicine of West Chester in 2016. Her goal is to see Oriental Medicine care take its place in the healing and health care community of West Chester.

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