Battlefield Acupuncture

Basic patient information on Battlefield Acupuncture, a medical modality that promises to help patients with pain, mental health issues, and other problems.   

Where did it come from?

Acupuncture is a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been practiced for centuries. Battlefield acupuncture (BFA) is a variation of auricular acupuncture which was developed in the US Air Force by Dr. Richard Niemtzow. BFA includes dry needling and trigger point acupuncture which are used on other parts of the body outside the ear. Thousands of medical professionals have been trained in BFA.

What is it used for?[1]

  1. Musculoskeletal pain (muscles, bones, and joints)
  2. Migraine headaches
  3. Low back pain
  4. Sore throat
  5. Gallbladder pain
  6. Various other pain sites

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Mental Health – Context of Care and Recovery

Mental health is more than medications, therapies, counseling, patients, and doctors. It is about a milieu of family, friends, finances, faith, and a thousand other factors. Let’s look at them. 

Years ago a friend of mine was abandoned by her husband. She and her sons have remained in the church but now the boys are out of the house and she is alone. A couple of months ago I saw her in the hall and greeted her with a big hug. Her eyes lit up – it had been a long time since she had been touched. The Beatle’s Eleanor Rigby is not just a song, but a statement of an exploding problem throughout the world – people are lonely. Doug Saunders captured this problem in his book Arrival City in which he remarked on “the silent isolation of the middle class.” He wrote of new immigrants “no longer would they hear every word and movement around them; no longer was the air constantly vibrating with the parry and banter of the entire community.”[1] The only regular noise many people hear at home are the sounds of the television and the computer.

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Rehabilitation – Bringing Injured Bodies Back to Health

Everyone wants to be physically better than they are, but for most of us, getting back to a good baseline of health is the goal. In our increasingly out of shape and older population, rehabilitation is the best thing to do. 

Recently I introduced the three different general goals of fitness; rehabilitation, basic fitness and performance.  Today we will discuss the first of these goals…rehabilitation.  How many of us have been injured in the past?  Probably everyone over the age of five can remember a significant injury.   What do we normally do after the injury?  Most people wait until the pain and swelling resolve, assume it has healed, and go on about their normal activities, never thinking about the injured part of their body until it is hurt again.  Whether we are competitive or part time athletes, or just people who’ve had injuries and is not quite back to normal, everyone needs to know some basics about rehabilitation.

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