Acupuncture treatment offered free for veterans

Dan McDonald

More than six decades after the conclusion of World War II, the horror still haunts Isadore Cutler.

Cutler, who served in the Army during the war, still has flashbacks of corpses floating in the tide at Omaha Beach, naked bodies piled in pits of a German concentration camp, and the time he was tasked with picking up body parts after the Battle of the Bulge.

"That's the one that bothers him the most," Phyllis, his wife of 63 years, said. "Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night."

Christine Lee hopes to help soothe such painful memories through the ancient Chinese healing practice of acupuncture.

Lee is one of a handful of local licensed acupuncturists to offer their services to veterans and their families for free every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Acupuncture is used to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body.

The treatment Lee uses, which has her poking small needles into different points of the ear, is meant to "balance your nervous system," and ideally results in relaxation.

"It's aimed to help with post-combat stress," said Lee. "It's powerful stuff."

Cutler had never experienced acupuncture before Saturday.

"You feel a small prick and that's it," said Cutler, a clump of needles stuck in his right ear.

Sam Frydman -- a 69-year-old Vietnam-era veteran who lives in Framingham part of the year -- hoped the practice would take the edge off his arthritic hands and knee.

"It seems to be one of the easiest ways of pain relief," he said.

Barry Key first had acupuncture when he was stationed with the Army in Korea earlier this decade. The treatment helped his ailing back.

"I could walk fine," said Key, who lives in Franklin. "It gets you nice and relaxed."

The Framingham Civic League donates the space for the free service.

Help to the armed services was written into the league's founding documents, said Ellen Sturgis, executive director for the organization.

She said it was rewarding "to be able to get back" to that principle.

MetroWest Daily News writer Dan McDonald can be reached at 508-626-4416 or