I find it so painful to see these men and women come back from war wounded physically and mentally and docs prescribe nothing but pills! We can help!
This was on today's NPR.org.
Military Pokes Holes In Acupuncture Skeptics' Theory
February 16, 2012
In a fluorescent-lit exam room, Col. Rochelle Wasserman sticks ballpoint-size pins in the ears of Sgt. Rick Remalia.
Remalia broke his back, hip and pelvis during a rollover caused by a pair of rocket-propelled grenades in Afghanistan. He still walks with a cane and suffers from mild traumatic brain injury. Pain is an everyday occurrence, which is where the needles come in.
"I've had a lot of treatment, and this is the first treatment that I've had where I've been like, OK, wow, I've actually seen a really big difference," he says.
'Let's Give It A Shot'
Army doctors have been told by the top brass to rethink their "pill for every ill" approach to treating pain. For the 47,000 troops who've been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of the new options include less tried and true methods, like massage and chiropractic treatments. The military hopes to win over skeptics, many of them in uniform.
Wasserman is the top doctor for the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky. To her own surprise, she's also now the unit's physician trained to do acupuncture.
"I actually had a demonstration of acupuncture on me, and I'm not a spring chicken," she says, "and it didn't make me 16 again, but it certainly did make me feel better than I had, so I figured, hey ... let's give it a shot with our soldiers here."
In recent years, military doctors have turned to acupuncture in special pain clinics and for troops in battle zones. Last year, the Army surgeon general began making the alternative treatments more widely available.