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Firefighters Get Free Acupuncture Through New Red Hook Program

 Friends of Firefighters is hosting a new weekly acupuncture program at their Van Brunt Street location.
Friends of Firefighters is hosting a new weekly acupuncture program at their Van Brunt Street location.
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Facebook/Friends of Firefighters

RED HOOK — Firefighters can try easing their aches and pains with acupuncture, thanks to a new service offered in Brooklyn.

The Van Brunt Street nonprofit Friends of Firefighters launched free acupuncture sessions on Wednesday for active and retired FDNY workers, plus their families.

Licensed practitioner Jessica Sowards said the weekly holistic medicine sessions may help ease the pain of injuries smoke-eaters receive on the job and increase their overall well-being.

“[Acupuncture] treats the whole person,” said Sowards, who has been practicing acupuncture for two years. “Not just the illness or imbalance.”

Acupuncture is among the world’s oldest healing practices and involves “penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electric stimulation,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

It can ease insomnia, anxiety, depression and migraines, said Sowards, 40, who encourages her clients to commit to at least six weeks for her work to be effective.

Many first-time acupuncture clients are afraid of needles, Sowards said, but the pins used are so thin they're painless.

“It’s often much more in the mind," she said.

To make an appointment for an acupuncture session at Friends of Firefighters, call (718) 643-0980. The one-hour sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.