Free Services for our Veterans

The Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine and Returning Veterans Project partner to provide free chiropractic care and massage therapy to area veterans

The new UWS center is now the largest provider of services to the non-profit

For many, Memorial Day signifies the start of summer. It’s a holiday that kicks off the season of BBQs, beach excursions, family reunions and camping trips. It’s a day off from work to be celebrated with friends and family next to a grill, with cold lemonade in hand. But for veterans and military families, the day has a more poignant significance. It’s a holiday to remember friends, family members, neighbors and fellow Americans who were lost during military service.

As people across the nation are ramping up to celebrate the holiday, University of Western States (UWS) is proud to announce a new alliance between The Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine (NWCLFM), a new center of excellence at UWS and the Portland-based non-profit Returning Veterans Project. Through the partnership, Portland-area, post 9/11 war-zone veterans are eligible to receive free chiropractic care and therapeutic massage at the university’s outpatient campus clinic. The NWCLFM, in conjunction with UWS, is providing up to 28 hours of free therapeutic services per week to veterans, making it the largest provider of health services in the Returning Veterans Project network.

“What this signifies is that many Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq War) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan war) veterans living with chronic pain, often due to the heavy equipment they had to carry for long hours, can now get services right away,” Belle Landau, executive director of Returning Vets Project said. “What we have found is that through services like massage and chiropractic care, vets get the help they need to get off their pain meds, stay in school, stay in their jobs, and hopefully become more open to counseling. These are life changing services that make family and work life easier for the people who served our country.”

Returning Veterans Project is one of the few veteran-centered health service providers that incorporates a holistic and integrative approach to treating the physical and mental scars of war. A number of studies support this method, showing that the biochemistry of a person after a massage demonstrates reduced cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine.* Reports also show the importance of healing through chiropractic care. A study conducted on active duty military who received chiropractic care, along with conventional medical care for low back pain, showed a 73 percent decrease in acute pain versus the 17 percent in veterans who only participated in conventional medical care.**

“I am so excited to team up with Returning Veterans Project. This provides UWS massage students an excellent opportunity to work on a population that can really benefit from massage. Not only will it provide help for the physical ailments associated with combat, but evidence also shows the value massage therapy has for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression,” Eric Polgar, director of the UWS massage therapy program said.

“Offering our service men and women free therapeutic services is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to a group that risked their lives for our country. I am so grateful to be a part of this opportunity and I know our students and the veterans will benefit from this partnership,” Dr. Stan Ewald, associate vice president of clinical internships and assessment added.

Appointments are available starting May 26.