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Mil Med. 2013 Aug;178(8):867-74. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00075.

Auricular acupuncture: a brief introduction for military providers.

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Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA 92134, USA.


Injured veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom often require long-term medical management for a variety of complex physical and mental health conditions. These conditions can be challenging to treat with conventional Western medicine practices alone. Recently, complementary and alternative medicine practices have been used within military settings, and have been well received by veterans. Auricular acupuncture is a practice that has provided veterans with a new approach to manage symptoms associated with a wide range of health conditions. This treatment has become an attractive treatment option because of its low cost, portability, minimal side effect profile, and ease of use in clinical and operational settings. Although formally trained Oriental medicine practitioners have historically performed these treatments, military health care providers are now receiving education and training to administer these treatments. This education and training allows military health care providers to expand their knowledge of acupuncture and provide this treatment to veterans across the continuum of care. The purpose of this article is to provide a fundamental description of auricular acupuncture and increase awareness of this treatment and its relevance to military settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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