, which is acupuncture performed by a licensed physician trained at a conventional medical school, is being used increasingly for pain control
. Richard Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Acupuncture
, a peer-reviewed journal and the official journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, is at the forefront of these efforts in the military.
The technique developed by Dr. Niemtzow has been so successful that the Air Force will begin teaching “Battlefield Acupuncture” to physicians deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan in early 2009. “Battlefield Acupuncture” can relieve severe pain lasting several days.
Based on modern neurophysiological concepts, Niemtzow developed a variation of acupuncture that involves inserting very tiny semi-permanent needles into very specific acupoints in the skin on the ear to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This method can lessen the need for pain medications that may cause adverse or allergic reactions or addiction.