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Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA): New pain management process for the military

27 August 2017 | News

The premise behind the procedure is founded upon the idea that by applying a stimulus to five key points located in the ear, a number of stress, chronic pain and trauma conditions can be rapidly treated.

Singapore -  With the pressing need for more efficient and agile pain management practices for military service personnel, Dr. Richard C. Neimtzow of Andrews Air force base developed Battlefield Acupuncture, a technique designed to provide fast, non-pharmaceutical pain management in both clinical and also, per its name, battlefield scenarios. The premise behind the procedure is founded upon the idea that by applying a stimulus to five key points located in the ear, a number of stress, chronic pain and trauma conditions can be rapidly treated.

The key however in making this revolutionary technique even that much more effectual was its marriage with MPS (Microcurrent Point Stimulation). Dolphin Microstim is an FDA-approved "home-acupuncture" device that non-invasively applies a concentrated, non-invasive microcurrent stimulation to nerve or acupuncture points for the relief of chronic stress and pain.

Historically, acupuncture needles have been used with BFA protocol, but this requires specialized training and 30 minutes/patient to apply.  Recently published research (Med Acup 03-17) reported that the Dolphin Microstim device (Center for Pain & Stress Research, Ontario, Canada) -- produced superior pain & stress outcomes (63% vs 37% and 27% vs 3%) to traditional needles, in 85% less application time.

In this stress and pain study, each participant underwent MPS applied to Battlefield Acupuncture protocol for less than 5 minutes.  Upon completion, average pain for each recipient dropped 63%, physical Stress was reduced 27%, and stress hormone cortisol was reduced 14%.

Study concluded that MPS produced superior stress reduction to acupuncture and thus measurably improved pain relief. The implications of this type of technique for pain and stress reduction cannot be placed into words says Kelly Armstrong, lead researcher. "Recognizing this portable, non-invasive procedure had an application time of under 5 minutes per patient, these incredible improvements significant future role for both MPS applied to BFA in the real-time management of pain or stress related diseases inside or outside of the clinical setting."

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