Many veterans returning home from deployment experience pain, PTSD, anxiety, and other physical and mental health ailments. The good news: Acupuncture can help.

Acupuncture has many benefits, and can greatly improve quality of life. Best of all, it comes without the negative and potentially dangerous side effects of drug-based treatments. The Journal of General Internal Medicine found that veterans receiving treatments for pain that were non-drug-based had a ‘significantly lower’ risk of:

  • Alcohol or drug disorders
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Self-inflicted injury
  • Accidental poisoning with opioids, related narcotics, barbiturates or sedatives

Between the opioid crisis and the powerful benefits of acupuncture, this non-drug-based option is seen as a reasonable and necessary adjunct treatment for pain management. Veterans have access to acupuncture care via Optum.

Kimberly Netling (NPI1649865619) is an in-network provider with Optum VA Community Care Network (CCN). Any veteran that has authorization for acupuncture can receive treatments that are completely covered at our facility.  

Top Ways Veterans Can Benefit from Acupuncture


Research has found that acupuncture can affect the autonomic nervous system, the prefrontal and limbic brain structures, and neurotransmitters, making it able to address symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. One study with Veterans noted significant improvements in physiological responses less start reactions. Other research found that acupuncture helped improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep issues in patients with PTSD. 


One of the top reasons veterans turn to acupuncture is for pain management. In fact, as many as 85% of chronic pain patients have found relief from acupuncture. Acupuncture works to address pain by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killing hormones. Research has found acupuncture to be beneficial for many types of chronic pain, including back pain, peripheral neuropathy, knee pain, headaches, and more.

Insomnia/Sleep Issues

Acupuncture works to improve insomnia and sleep issues by balancing the production of melatonin, serotonin, and endorphins, which impact sleep as well as mood, tension, and pain. Research has found that roughly 90% of people treated with acupuncture for insomnia experienced significant relief. Improvements included falling asleep faster, sleeping through the night without interruption, and an average of 3 hours more sleep per night.  

How Does the OPTUM VA Community Care Network Work?

  1. First, Veteran seeks care from the VA.
  2. The VA then determines, based on eligibility criteria, that the veteran should receive care from a Community Care Network (CCN) provider.
  3. VA will call the CCN provider to schedule an acupuncture appointment with the necessary medical documentations.
  4. Veteran receives acupuncture from the CCN provider. 

Is Acupuncture Right for You? When Should You Request Acupuncture?

  1. Are you a Veteran who needs help dealing with pain issues?
  2. Are you a Veteran who wants alternatives to medications and/or adjunct care to medications?
  3. Are you a Veteran who has attempted other modalities e.g. physical therapy, medications, etc.?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you may be an ideal candidate for services through the Community Care Network. 

How Can a Veteran Gain Access to Community Care Network (CCN)?

  1. The Veteran needs a service that is not available at a VA medical facility.
  2. The wait time at a VA facility is more than 20 days for primary and mental health care, or 28 days for specialty care.
  3. It is in the veteran’s best medical interest to receive care from a CCN provider, as determined by the VA provider.
  4. A Full service VA medical facility is not available in the area where the veteran lives.
  5. Care cannot be delivered at a VA medical facility that is within a 30 minute drive for primary care, or a 60 minute drive for specialty care.

Interested in additional information on how Veterans can benefit from Acupuncture Treatment in Vero Beach, Florida?