As an acupuncturist, one of the most common complaints that walks into my treatment room is that of pain, so I am really excited to have Battlefield Acupuncture as a technique for pain relief in my “tool box”.
I have found it very effective in the treatment of both long-term and recent onset pain – whether it’s back pain, head pain, dental pain or pain from varicose veins. Battlefield Acupuncture works for all types of pain.
THE HISTORY OF BATTLEFIELD ACUPUNCTURE
Battlefield Acupuncture was originally developed to treat pain in American Air Force pilots. Being unable to take medication while flying, these servicemen had the choice of either suffering their aches and pains, or not working so they could take medication. That is until Dr Niemtzow developed this ear acupuncture technique.
It has proved so effective in the relief of pain that many soldiers across the american forces have been trained in battlefield acupuncture so that they might treat each other if injured in action. It is literally being used on the battlefields in the middle east!
BATTLEFIELD ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES
The needles are specially developed gold plated, ear needles which are sterile and individually packaged. Why gold? Research has shown that gold is more strongly self stimulating and trials comparing different metal needle coatings have indicated that greater, and longer lasting pain relief is obtained when using gold.
The tiny protruding gold stud on the end of the needle can be covered with sticky plaster. When uncovered they look like tiny gold studded ear rings – so not unsightly.
THE TECHNIQUE OF BATTLEFIELD ACUPUNCTURE
A series of up to 5 points on the ears are used. After the patient has graded their pain out of 10 the first point is inserted and they activate the point by walking around. When asked to re- grade their pain they usually find it has begun to drop. Further points are inserted, one at a time in sequence and patients re-grade their pain out of 10 with each needle. I continue this process until their pain is down to a 2-0 out of 10. I should say this technique seems to be so effective I have never had to administer the full set of 5 points!
Patients leave with the needles in place and are able to go about their daily lives, usually more comfortably as a result of the pain relief provided by the needles. The needles stay in as long as they are comfortable and patients may return for further treatment 1 to 2 weeks later, depending on their individual needs. Over time pain relief is sustained after the needles are taken out.
So why is this so effective? Research carried out in Korea using MRI scans, has shown a reduction in the size of the active pain receptor areas in the brain, after the insertion of the needles. So it would appear that these ear points have the ability to block pain reception and over time maintain this reduction in size of pain reception areas in the brain. This corresponds with patients’ reported reductions in pain.