Acupuncture helping reduce use of pain killers in Army


Acupuncture Acupuncture treatment is administered to a patient by the Physical Medicine and Integrative Health Services chief, at Fort Bliss, Texas.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 2, 2014) — Acupuncture and other forms of alternative and complementary medicine are helping reduce the use of opioids to block pain in Army patients, the service’s assistant surgeon general said.

Brig. Gen. Norvell V. Coots, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command and assistant surgeon general for force projection, testified Wednesday, at a hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about overmedication concerns.

In 2011, 26 percent of all service members were prescribed at least one type of opioid medication, Coots said. That number was brought down to 24 percent last year, Coots continued, partly due to the use of acupuncture, yoga and other alternatives to medication.

“It is a small difference, but…

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