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J Holist Nurs. 2015 Nov 3. pii: 0898010115610050. [Epub ahead of print]

Exploring Self-Reported Benefits of Auricular Acupuncture Among Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Author information

  • 1Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • 2US Naval Hospital Okinawa.
  • 3Naval Medical Center San Diego.



Auricular acupuncture treatments are becoming increasingly available within military treatment facilities, resulting in an expansion of nonpharmacologic treatment options available to veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study aimed to explore the self-reported benefits of auricular acupuncture treatments for veterans living with PTSD.


A qualitative research methodology, thematic content analysis, was used to analyze data.


Seventeen active duty veterans with PTSD provided written comments to describe their experiences and perceptions after receiving a standardized auricular acupuncture regimen for a 3-week period as part of a pilot feasibility study.


A variety of symptoms experienced by veterans with PTSD were improved after receiving auricular acupuncture treatments. Additionally, veterans with PTSD were extremely receptive to auricular acupuncture treatments. Four themes emerged from the data: (1) improved sleep quality, (2) increased relaxation, (3) decreased pain, and (4) veterans liked/loved the auricular acupuncture treatments.


Veterans with PTSD reported numerous benefits following auricular acupuncture treatments. These treatments may facilitate healing and recovery for veterans with combat-related PTSD, although further investigations are warranted into the mechanisms of action for auricular acupuncture in this population.

© The Author(s) 2015.


Veterans; auricular acupuncture; posttraumatic stress disorder

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