The U.S. military has introduced acupuncture as a pain relief treatment for troops in an effort to fight opioid abuse, according to a report.
“The practice, which first originated in China about 8,000 years ago, provides immediate relief for acute and chronic pain, and, without the risk of addiction, can be used without any restrictions,” reported the Military Times. “One of the most popular forms used in the military has been dubbed ‘battlefield acupuncture,’ or BFA, because it’s simple to administer and easily transportable, according to Dr. Richard Niemtzow, who developed BFA in 2001. With BFA, service members can continue to participate, unimpaired, in work and life.”
The Military Times also added that, “Service members who use BFA can still fly aircraft, unlike those who use opiates.”
“They don’t have to wait hours for medications to take maximal effect or endure side effects, like drowsiness or allergic reactions, of common pain medications,” declared Air Force Col. Lynda Vu. “This allows personnel to go back to the fight with minimal impact to continuing mission operations.”
“This requires either training prior to deployment or having a trained instructor administer the provider BFA course in the deployed location,” she continued.
The Department of Justice in December created the role of “Opioid Tsar” to combat the opioid epidemic, which has resulted in overdose deaths overtaking breast cancer deaths in America.