acupuncture in war akupunktur im krieg n.
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Acupuncture in war Akupunktur im Krieg

Acupuncture in war Akupunktur im Krieg

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Acupuncture in war Akupunktur im Krieg

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  1. Acupuncture in warAkupunktur im Krieg Kajsa Landgren, PhD, RN, acupuncturist Lund University, Sweden NADA Europe, Graz, 2013

  2. Acupuncture • The use of acupuncture is increasing in war zones and for soldiers having returned home (Akupunktur wird zunehmend in Kriegsgebieten und für Veteranen angewendet)

  3. Example: USA • 1.8 millions persons have served in Afganistan and Iraq (Lee et al 2011) • About 20% of veterans have a ”mild traumatic brain injury (Hirnverletzung)” or a posttraumatic stress-syndrom (PTSD) (Helms et al 2011) • = PTSD is a national problem

  4. PTSD • Symptoms can be headache, pain, anxiety, sleeping disorders, night mares and depression. Addiction is very common. (Symptome können Kopfschmerzen, Schmerzen, Angst, Schlafstörungen, Alpträume und Depressionen sein. Suchtproblematik ist sehr gewöhnlich) • High rate of suicide (Hohe Suizidrate)

  5. Many veterans need help • Medication for pain, anxiety and PTSD has limited effect and negative side effects, e.g addiction (Medikamente haben eine begrenzte Wirkung und viele Nebenwirkungen, z.B. Abhängigkeit) (Lee et al 2011) • There is an urge for effective, cheap and non-addictive treatments (Es gibt Bedarf für effektive, billige und nicht-abhängig machende Behandlungen) • The interest for CAM increases

  6. In the war zone • In the 80-ties: acupuncture was introduced in a small scale (Akupunktur wurde in einem kleinen Maßstab eingeführt) • In the 90-ties: acupuncture trainings for MD´s in the United States Air Force

  7. Two… … standardized ear acupuncture protocols to relieve pain (Schmerzen) and PTSD • ”Battle Field Acupuncture” (BFA) • ”Auricular Trauma Protocol” (ATP)

  8. BattleField Acupuncture, BFA • developed by R Niemtzow (MD and colonel) in 2002 • Aimed to achieve rapid pain relief (mit dem Ziel eine schnelle Schmerzlinderung zu erreichen) • gives 1-3 days of pain reduction (Belard & Pock 2011) • Easy to implement (Einfach zu implementieren)(Burns et al 2013)

  9. BFA • semi-permanent gold needles (ASP) are used in five points in the ear: Shen Men, Point Zero, Thalamus (pain), Cingulate Gyrus (emotions, aggression) and Omega 2

  10. ”Auricular Trauma Protocol” (ATP) • Aimed to treat psychiatric symptoms like PTSD • six standardised points: Shen Men, Point Zero, Master Cerebral, Hypothalamus, Amygdala and Hippocampus • ordinary needles, 30-120 minutes plus seeds (Samen? Perlen?)(Helms et al 2011) • Ear points above + body points LI4 + LR3 = “Koffmans cocktail”

  11. Why acupuncture? Relieves pain (lindert Schmerzen) Influences emotions and sleep (Beeinflusst Emotionen und Schlaf) Improves the immune system (Verbessert das Immunsystem) Balances internal imbalances (balanciert interne Ungleichgewichte) Few side effects (Wenige Nebenwirkungen) Non verbal

  12. Why ear acupuncture? can be distributed in Battalion Aid Stations, passenger terminals, tactical vehicles (taktische Fahrzeuge), trenches (Schützengraben) Well tolerated by patients Performed away from the injury (Wird entfernt von der Verletzung durchgeführt) No need to disrobe/expose body parts (Keine Notwendigkeit sich zu entkleiden / Körperteile zu exponieren)

  13. Whystandardizedearacupuncture, like NADA, BFA and APT? Fast to learn and to give, simple, cheap (Schnell zu lernen und zu geben, einfach, billig) Group treatment is possible (Gruppenbehandlung möglich) Easy to combine with seeds (Leicht zu kombinieren mit Samen) It works good enough (Es funktioniert gut genug)

  14. Why semi permanent needles? Easily carried in a pocket (Einfach in einer Tasche zu tragen) Inserted in seconds (Anwendbar innerhalb weninger Sekunden) “Needle Disposal Not Problematic” ("Nadel Entsorgung unproblematisch„) (according to/nachNiemtzow)

  15. Battlefield Implications:Auricular Acupuncture well suited for harsh environments

  16. Battlefield Implications:Rapid insertion and minimal prep time

  17. Battlefield Implications:Little On-Site Medical CareConducive to Self-Aid/Buddy CareEars Readily Accessible

  18. Battlefield Implications:Needles remain in place 1-3 days

  19. About acupuncture: • “It produces balance where balance doesn´t exist. • It produces strength where lives are very fragile.” • (Ana Oliveira, in the film “Points to change”)


  21. For volunteers • Acupuncturists without borders ( • Acupuncture without borders (

  22. Some research: Auricular Acupuncture in the Treatment of Acute Pain Syndromes (AATAPS)(Niemtzow et al) Aim: to conduct a scientifically rigorous investigation of auricular acupuncture for the treatment of acute pain in the emergency room setting at a military hospital using a clinical trial design.

  23. Study Design Randomized clinical trial of emergency room patients 100 Participants (N = 50 per group) Gold ASP needles were inserted in the ear at the Cingulate Gyrus and the Thalamus points bilaterally.

  24. RESULTS Participants in the acupuncture group experienced a 23% reduction in pain compared to the non-acupuncture group.

  25. Walter Reed Army Medical Center The Amputee Care Team has treated 600 traumatic amputees due to blast injuries from the current war in the Middle East This unique approach to pain management at the patient’s bedside has been extremely effective with many amputees who have not responded sufficiently to other traditional techniques

  26. More research • Acupuncture Gets Military Support For Gulf War Illness Treatment • Acupuncture and Its Role in Natural Cataclysmic Disasters and Armed Conflicts (Niemtzow, Medical Acupuncture, 2013) • Treating generalized anxiety disorder using complementary and alternative medicine. (Trial performed in an Army Medical Center, USA) (McPherson F, McGraw L, 2013)

  27. More: • ‘Battlefield Acupuncture’ eases pain during evacuation (Moving Acupuncture to the Frontline of Military Medical Care: A Feasibility Study. Medical Acupuncture. February 2013, 25(1): 48-54) • Encouraging evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of PTSD (Acupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials and prospective clinical trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013)