GREEN BERET GENERAL says "be open to Acupuncture for pain
Lieutenant General David Fridovich former deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command says to “be open to acupuncture” – “when it comes to dealing with pain Western medicine doesent have all the answers” he said.
"Painkillers are good for two weeks to about six weeks. Then you have to come off of them," he said. "If not, part of your brain gets re-wired chemically. Well, I was on painkillers from May 2006 until February 2008." Years of physical activity, training, and deployments-including several hundred parachute jumps-left him unable to use his left leg due to acute neurological and skeletal damage. He was in command of Special Operations in the Pacific at the time. Experiencing severe, chronic back pain because of these work-related activities, he sought relief from prescribed medication, including the opioids Oxycontin and Roxicet.
I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I was just in pain," Fridovich said. "What you find out is, the more you use, the less they work. You get saturated."
For nearly five years, the Green Beret general quietly had been hooked on narcotics he has taken for chronic pain — a reflection of an addiction problem that is spreading across the military.
USA TODAY newspaper reported An internal Army investigation report revealed that 25% to 35% of about 10,000 soldiers assigned to special units for the wounded, ill or injured are addicted to or dependent on drugs, according to their nurses and case managers. Doctors in those care units told investigators they need training in other ways to manage pain besides only using narcotics.
Acupuncture Demonstrated at Georgia Military College.
Acupuncture demonstrated at Military College of Georgia. Haleigh Herring of the North Georgia College and State University newspaper “The Saint” reported a demonstration of Acupuncture was held Tuesday at the Library Technology Center. Haleigh said “The demonstration took place and I volunteered. I was a little nervous at first; but once it happened, I didn't even realize it was over. The experience was literally painless. The needles are extremely thin, so they barely pierce the skin. I highly recommend acupuncture to anyone who is stressed out or needs a way to relax”.
Fort Carson has an Acupuncture clinic in a new $72 million Soldier Family Care Center opened with Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, Fort Carson's commanding general attending.
MILITARY STEPPING UP USE OF ACUPUNCTURE
MILITARY: Acupuncture treats Concussions, Insomnia, Headaches, & PTSD
MILITARY ..Acupuncture for the treatment of concussions, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, and post traumatic stress syndrome gets increased use in the US military. In the most recent issue of Stars and Stripes, Dr. Stuessi (a Navy sports medicine physician who works in a special concussion restoration care center) notes, “I’ve found phenomenal, off-the-charts results doing acupuncture for sleep, for dizziness and headaches.” The US military has documented the usefulness of acupuncture since 1967 when an Army surgeon wrote an article on the efficaciousness of acupuncture in Military Medicine magazine. Since that time, doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington now recommend acupuncture for the treatment of physical pain due to injuries.
The Air Force runs a full time acupuncture clinic at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Col. Richard Niemtzow, an Air Force physician, first offered acupuncture in 1995 at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. Later, he founded the acupuncture clinic at Andrews in Maryland. In addition to clinical care for patients, they also train doctors to bring acupuncture therapy to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. The focus is on the treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Also, the Navy has an acupuncture training program for doctors at Camp Pendleton in California. Dr. (Maj.) Ronald White, director of pain services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, performs acupuncture in the US military and comments on its usefulness, “There’s no risk; it gives you benefit. Our goal — my end result — is function. If you come to me complaining that you can’t play with your kids, you can’t sleep at night, you can’t work, and six months later, I have you playing, sleeping and back to work….”
NAVY PSYCHIATRIST USES ACUPUNCTURE
NAVY PSYCHIATRIST USES ACUPUNCTURE
Navy psychiatrist Capt. Robert L. Koffman uses acupuncture to help veterans with healing of body and mind. Psychological wounds are a increasingly prevalent concern for doctors and their patients. Depression effects 20% of service members who have served in Iraq or Afgjanistan according to a study by Rand Corporation. Capt. Robert L. Koffman brought men and women to his hospital clinic in Afghanistan with the promise that Acupuncture would help them relax, release tension and sleep better. “Nobody sleeps in Afghanistan,” Koffman said. Once I relieved their physical aches and pains and helped them relax they would be able to discuss what was bothering them most. Capt.Koffman is now using Acupuncture at a new facility at National Naval Medical Center campus in Bethesda. The National Intrepid Center of Excellence, began using Acupuncture in October, and uses a new approach to treating psychologic and stress disorders, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.
“No one goes to war without being changed,” Koffman said. “War traumatizes everyone in different ways.”
BATTLEFIELD ACUPUNCTURE AFGHANISTAN
Battlefield Acupuncture treatment is being taught to many special operations soldiers in Afghanistan.
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Capt. Elsa Karman, a 7th Sustainment Brigade battle captain, walked into the medical clinic in Afghanistan for treatment of chronic back and neck pain with Ear Acupuncture one of the newest treatment techniques being used by the military.
A medical professional Lt. Col. Betty Garner, the Joint Combat Casualty Research Team deputy director and trained acupuncturist, visited the Special Troops Battalion, Task Force Resolute, medical clinic on Kandahar Airfield to conduct battlefield acupuncture for soldiers, Oct. 22.
The process of battlefield acupuncture was developed by Dr. Richard Niemtzow, a former Air Force medical practitioner, and is named for its ability to be performed with military helmets still on the patient. The technique is most commonly used to treat pain, but can also result in reduction in anxiety, stress and better sleep, said Lt. Col. Garner. “Battlefield acupuncture treatment is being taught to many special operations soldiers for its applications in combat and its ability to reduce pain immediately.”“While the treatment was being administered there were a few moments where I felt the pin prick of the needles going in,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Maurer, the Task Force Resolute surgeon, who got the treatment to help with pain in his left calf muscle. “I felt less pain in my leg and a feeling of euphoria immediately after the procedure was finished. ”Acupuncture pain management is desirable as a treatment as it can eliminate some of the need for pain medication. Battlefield Acupuncture can reduce pain with the same intensity as some narcotic drugs without the after effects. The procedure can also be administered quickly in combat situations. “Many soldiers don’t want to take pills for their pain anymore and the side effects of medication could take them out of the fight,” said Lt. Col. Garner. “Acupuncture is as effective as many on the prescription pain pills. ” Lt. Col. Garner will return periodically to the Resolute clinic treat new patients with Acupuncture. “I had a headache all the way up until the point Doctor Garner treated me with battlefield acupuncture, and now the headache is gone,” said Capt.Karman. “I am going to go back as often as I can to get this done.”
WOUNDED SOLDIER FINDS PAIN RELIEF WITH ACUPUNCTURE
Sgt. Rick Remalia has pain everyday. He broke his back, hip and pelvis in a rollover caused by an attack in Afghanistan. He still moves with a cane and has mild traumatic brain injury. "I've had a lot of treatment, and acupuncture is the first treatment where I've been like, OK, wow, I've actually seen a really big difference," he said. Col. Rochelle Wasserman is the head doctor for the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky, and the unit's physician and trained acupuncture practitioner. Military doctors have recently turned to acupuncture in special pain clinics and for troops in battle zones. Last year, the Army surgeon general began making the acupuncture treatments more widely available.
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan: The US military is applying an ancient Chinese healing technique to the main modern battlefield injury for American soldiers, with results that doctors here say are ''off the charts''.
''Battlefield acupuncture'', developed by air force physician, Colonel Richard Niemtzow, is helping heal soldiers with concussions.
Commander Keith Stuessi asks his patients to relax in his darkened chamber and then gently inserts hair-thin needles. He uses acupuncture to treat concussions, also known as mild brain trauma. ''I'm seeing incredible results,'' said Commander Stuessi. ''In my heart I think this will, become one of the standards of care.''
Homemade bombs called improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are the leading killer of coalition soldiers in the Afghan war. A concussion is caused by the pressure wave travelling through the brain, without anything necessarily hitting the head.
Some are knocked unconscious and ruptured eardrums are common. Even those who don't black out can have the same debilitating after-effects: dizziness, loss of balance, ringing in the ear, crushing insomnia, an aversion to light and a pounding headache. It typically takes two weeks to recover from the concussion, Commander Stuessi said.
Gunnery Sergeant Williams, 36, was 10 days in from a concussion he received in Musa Qala, in the north of Helmand, when he arrived in Commander Stuessi's office. Climbing down off a roof during a mission to set up a new patrol base, a soldier one metre in front of him stepped on an IED - and had to have both legs amputated below the knee.
Williams was knocked unconscious for about 10 seconds, and sustained a Grade III concussion, the most severe, but he was otherwise unhurt. Others realised something was wrong when he started talking nonsense, and he was airlifted to a hospital.
Commander Stuessi suggested he try acupuncture. ''I was willing to try anything to get back [to duty],'' Sergeant Williams said. ''That night, I slept for about 10 hours, and when I woke, the headache wasn't as severe.''
Sergeant Williams has had four sessions and is sleeping well. Sleep is the most important cure for concussion.
But Commander Stuessi isn't alone in using it in the US military. The navy alone has now trained about 50 doctors in acupuncture, he said. The air force, for instance, uses the technique to dampen the pain on the long flights for evacuating wounded soldiers back to the US.
Commander Stuessi thought it worked by adjusting the ''neural pathways'' in the body. ''It's like rewiring a computer; you're hitting certain nerves in the body. So instead of sending up a pain signal to the brain, they send up a signal saying everything's OK. It's almost like faking out the brain.''
The National Institutes of Health is examining acupuncture as a means of speeding recovery for soldiers. Last week in Washington, Defence Department personnel met researchers and members of the Institutes of Health's National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to discuss the military's continued exploration of acupuncture.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR CHRONIC PAIN IN MILITARY PERSONNEL In an effort to provide better pain care, the Army Surgeon General has directed the Army's hospitals to incorporate more alternative therapies,including ACUPUNCTURE, into patients' treatment plans. many patients report that regular acupuncture treatments help relieve some of their chronic pain. That means less reliance on strong and potentially addictive prescription painkillers like Vicoden and Dilauded. And that's important because the Army is reporting a significant spike in prescription abuse and dependence among troops. There's also a long waitlist for receiving treatments like acupuncture. Right now Madigan has three practitioners.
Under the Army Surgeon General's plan, these therapies will become part of a standard of care.