Battlefield Acupuncture A new Approach to Chronic Pain
The U.S. Air Force is now running a pilot program training active-duty physicians in a style of acupuncture that will be incorporated into the practice of military medicine both in the clinic and in the battlefield.
Battlefield Acupuncture is an auricular (ear) acupuncture treatment developed by Dr. Richard Niemtzow, a full time acupuncture physician in the Air Force, while researching rapid pain relieving mechanisms that would enable a return to combat when the use of a lethargy producing narcotics could cancel a critical mission.
The treatment consists of placing 5 semi-permanent needles at specific points in each ear. These points stimulate the pain modulating centers of the brain. Cessation of pain can be achieved in minutes.
The needles are retained in the ears until they fall out themselves (2 to 4 days) or can be removed at any time if some discomfort develops. Pain relief can last hours to days depending upon the severity and chronicity of the pathology.
Since the points chosen target the pain processing centers of the central nervous system, this treatment can be effective for chronic pain anywhere in the body, with a quick response to pain in both simple and complex problems. In the military it has proven effective in alleviating pain from fractured ribs and back pain and has allowed the decreased use of narcotics for complex injuries. Recently, it has become a popular adjunct for pain treatment with cancer patients and is an effective treatment for resolving most migraine headaches.
This technique would be a wonderful addition to any PT treatment regime for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction/pain. The needles can be inserted prior to a therapy session to help alleviate the discomfort during and after the treatment. They can be retained for a few days after treatment to continue to decrease the sensation of pain. Pain anywhere in the body creates a sensory memory in the brain and central nervous system. The experience of pain becomes a habit in the sensory pathways. Thus the benefits are twofold: alleviating pain and re-patterning the nervous system. For more information regarding trying this protocol at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy, contact Paula Haberman, PT., L. Ac. Tel: 646-465-1637 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org