American Chiropractic Association - veterans
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The ACA blog provides readers with information to help them advance their knowledge, achieve their professional goals and strive for excellence, while also creating a greater sense of community among chiropractors nationwide through online engagement and information-sharing with their colleagues.

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My VA Experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a complex condition influencing behaviors, thoughts and mood. With opioid issues coming to light, there has been more emphasis and research into multi-faceted, biopsychosocial models to treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of talk-therapy treatment that focuses on addressing and removing the negative impacts chronic pain has on thoughts and functions. The Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) has implemented a national initiative to disseminate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain throughout the Veterans Health Administration to make this treatment widely available to veterans.

Author: Jamie Zeman
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Opening the Door to Integrated Health Care: A Chiropractic Internship Spotlight

While preparing for graduation, many chiropractic students are carefully considering the next steps in their career. No matter your goals, clinical experience is the key to finding a great job, according to Logan University student Kaelyn Mead. As an intern in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Chiropractic Services Program in Bethesda, Maryland, she is one of several chiropractic students immersed in the clinical care of members of the military and veterans, learning firsthand how integrated care enhances not only patient outcomes, but also the providers who serve them.

Author: Sienna Shoup
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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Techniques as a Treatment for Healthcare Provider Burnout

Burnout syndrome has been defined as a three-dimensional syndrome characterized by exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency. It has also been described as the opposite to engagement, which is defined as energy, involvement and efficacy.  One aspect of inefficiency may be a sense of low personal accomplishment – an area often examined in studies on healthcare provider burnout. In her latest ACA Blogs post, VA resident Danielle Aslan, DC, explores how mindfulness-based stress reduction utilized in the VA for patients with chronic pain may also aid healthcare providers.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the VA Chiropractic Residency

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a chiropractic resident in the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system and look forward to going to work every day. From the first six months, I have grown in confidence in my clinical skills, experienced and learned from a variety of specialties, and have been encouraged to pursue scholarly and research activities. I often receive questions about the VA chiropractic residency, so I'm sharing the most frequently asked questions and answers based on my experience as a resident at VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

Author: Vivian Ly
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Know Thyself: Questions for Those Considering a VA Residency

I am often asked by other providers and veterans why I chose to continue my clinical and professional chiropractic education within the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. As the largest healthcare system in the U.S., opportunities for professional growth within the VA are endless. As a new practitioner, VA is a great place to expand your comfort zone, gain experience in integrative care, grow confidence in complex and chronic health conditions, and gain exposure to a variety of clinical settings, as well as didactic and research opportunities.

Author: Jamie Zeman
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VA’s Whole Health Model Signals Future of Chronic Pain Treatment

Chronic pain is the No. 1 cause of American adults seeking integrated care in this country. In 2016, an estimated 20.4 percent of U.S. adults (50 million) had chronic pain and 8 percent of U.S. adults (19.6 million) had high-impact chronic pain, with higher prevalence associated with advancing age. The Veterans Health Administration is taking a new approach to this not so new problem: a holistic view including both physical and emotional well-being. The Whole Health initiative focuses not on what is the matter with the patient, but rather what matters to the patient.

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Battlefield Acupuncture: A Non-pharmaceutical Pain Reduction Option

A VA chiropractic residency exposes participants to a wide range of treatments. In this blog post, resident Vivian Ly, DC, of the Connecticut VA discusses "battlefield acupuncture" or BFA. Air Force Colonel Richard Niemtzow introduced the BFA protocol in 2001 as a subset of auricular acupuncture. In 2013, $5.4 million was awarded to the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to teach BFA to healthcare providers in both the military and department of Veterans Affairs and assess it. Dr. Ly notes that BFA is easily learned and has been proposed to treat a variety of conditions that cause pain in active military members and veterans.

Author: Vivian Ly
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A New Cohort Joins the VA Chiropractic Residency Program

A new cohort of residents has joined the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system’s Chiropractic Residency Program this year. Three chiropractors participating in the program – Vivian Ly, DC, Danielle Aslan, DC, and Dr. Jamie Zeman, DC – will continue ACA’s blog series on the residency program over the next year, sharing their experiences as well as lessons learned working as part of an integrated hospital team.

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Communicating Chiropractic: An Algorithm to Answer Difficult Questions

Although the culture of health care is shifting and complementary and alternative options are being implemented in hospital and primary care settings, many allopathic practitioners are not necessarily familiar with chiropractic. My biggest take-away from being exposed to interprofessional collaboration on a day-to-day basis in the VA is the need for chiropractors to prepare answers to questions regarding what chiropractic care is, common conditions seen, neurophysiological effects of treatment, and the incidence of adverse events.

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Veterans Affairs Whole Health: A Holistic Approach to Care

Starting this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is launching its Whole Health System in each of the 18 Veterans Integrative Service Networks (VISN). This will be done via one flagship site in each VISN to assist veterans through self-empowerment, self-care, and clinical treatment. As part of my residency, I’ve been introduced to the program and have attended an orientation. The process of whole health can begin at any point the veteran chooses, though typically it’s initiated when they seek to establish care within VA. First, they will be connected with a health coach who will sit down and discuss what the patient desires with regard to his specific needs.  Subsequently, the veteran will fill out a patient health inventory, a tool that’s designed to get to the heart of what matters most to him.

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