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In one of the nation's most storied rivalries spanning more than a century, the Navy Midshipmen and the Army Black Knights have met on courts, fields, mats, and tracks and in pools more than 1,700 times. Though the fierce rivalry will always take priority among students, fan bases, media, and aliens debating whether to invade America by land or by sea, the Midshipmen have excelled against other competition, as well. The Naval Academy boasts NCAA Division II championships in women’s indoor track and women’s swimming, as well as 40 NCAA Division I individual championships, including 10 fencing champions, nine men’s gymnastics champions, and eight men’s swimming champions.

566 Brownson Rd
Annapolis,
MD
US

Acupuncture Needles: Hair-Thin Instruments of Healing

Although many fear hospital needles, those used in acupuncture are much less scary. Check out Groupon’s examination of acupuncture needles to ease any lingering aichmophobia.

Acupuncture generally doesn’t draw blood—a testament to the skill of professional acupuncturists but also to the special needles they use. Unlike the needles commonly feared by hospital-goers, acupuncture needles are thin enough to slip through the skin without breaking any blood vessels. Although most are roughly the thickness of a hair or a pixie’s wand, they come in several varieties for different treatment types: thinner needles provide less stimulation and are often used for children or the elderly; shorter needles treat the head and face; and longer needles (up to 5 inches long) target the thighs and other fleshy areas to reach points along the body’s theoretical energy pathways, known as meridians.

Filiform needles are the most common, comprising a stainless-steel wire sharpened at one end and wrapped at the other to form a handle. With a quick, skilled hand—or the aid of an insertion tube—practitioners insert the tip just beneath the skin’s surface, and although a small prickle may be felt, once the needles are in, the patient shouldn’t feel them at all. Today, most acupuncturists use disposable needles due to their safety and simplicity, but some may use reusable steel or even gold needles, sterilizing them between use in the same way doctors or guitarists do their instruments.

The practice of acupuncture stretches back more than 5,000 years, well before stainless steel was a household commodity. Archaeologists have dug up traces of the implements early healers used to get energy, or chi, flowing properly through the body: sharpened stones were a popular choice, as were delicate needles of bone.

12911 Woodmore Road
Bowie,
MD
US

For more than two decades, Alexandria Art and Framing's knowledgeable staffers have meticulously enveloped and conserved images with expert framing services that transform personal memorabilia into elegant artwork. Elegant rectangles line store walls in an array of shapes, colors, and styles—including gold frames with antique appearances and stained wood etched with ornate motifs. Alexandria Art and Framing's artisan picture enhancers put their passion into practice to beautify each image with mat boards, mouldings (from such brands as Larson-Juhl and Roma Moulding), and box frames, a specialty of the frame shop. From valuable baseball cards to blue ribbons from hot-dog-eating contests to poster-size family portraits, any piece of artwork can be skillfully encased before proudly displayed.

820 N Fairfax St
Alexandria,
VA
US

The story of Mental Health America is a story of hope and transformation. In the year 1900, a young man named Clifford W. Beers suffered an acute breakdown brought on by the death of his brother, and after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, was hospitalized in a private Connecticut mental institution. There, he faced degrading and inhumane abuses at the hands of the untrained staff. Over the next decade, Beers was confined in a number of hospitals, all in brutal conditions. Bruised—literally—but unbroken, Beers began to overcome his tribulations in 1908 with the publication of his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself. The next year, he founded the organization that would become Mental Health America. Perhaps the starkest symbol of Mental Health America's metamorphic character is the Mental Health Bell, a 300-pound carillon forged from the melted-down chains and shackles once commonplace in mental institutions.

Today, Mental Health America consists of a network of 240 affiliates working to address mental health conditions. The organization lives up to its mission of "promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders, and achieving victory over mental illness" through a number of programs, including health-care reform advocacy programs. Mental Health America has been combating mental health conditions and their associated stigmas for more than a century, and will continue to do so.

2000 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria,
VA
US

The Child and Family Network Centers provides free education and social services for preschool children, and job training for their families. The children it serves are considered at-risk due to limited English proficiency and low-income backgrounds. To fulfill the need for strong educational programs, CFNC operates a year-round preschool in 10 classrooms—with literacy and language support for bilingual children in 27 languages—to prepare them for kindergarten with their peers. These programs reach out to families in their own neighborhoods and supplement the students’ education with additional resources such as health services.

See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.

3701 Mount Vernon Ave
Alexandria,
VA
US

Arts Are For All Ages' aim is to bring classical music to people with restricted mobility and to help young musicians find outlets for their art. More than 28 young musicians performed for six senior communities during the inaugural season in 2009. Now, young musicians bring a variety of musical instruments and give live classical concerts on a regular basis for elderly neighbors who otherwise could not attend arts events.

6532 Birchleigh Way
Alexandria,
VA
US