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….”