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Med Acupunct. 2018 Oct 1;30(5):279-281. doi: 10.1089/acu.2018.1289. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

Can Battlefield Acupuncture Improve Colonoscopy Experience?

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Greenville Veterans Administration Health Care Center, Greenville, NC.
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.


Background: Currently, patients undergoing colonoscopy receive sedation, but pain management with acupuncture could be a safer alternative. Cases: This article describes 3 cases for which Battlefield Acupuncture was applied during colonoscopy to avoid using opioids for sedation. One case was a patient with a life-threating morphine allergy, and 2 other cases avoided sedation completely. Results: Pain was reduced in all 3 cases to allow completion of colonoscopies without sedation. In Case 2, the patient also gained relief of preexisting mild joint pain. Conclusions: More data are needed, so potentially more patients can indeed avoid morphine/benzodiazepam-based sedation by use of acupuncture to make colonoscopies safer and more pleasant.


Battlefield Acupuncture; auricular acupuncture; colonoscopy; sedation

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