Acupuncture Used in Military Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program

Posted by Jillian Kelble on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 @ 06:08 AM

The military seems to be leading the pack with the use of acupuncture in the treatment of psychosocial pain. To be more specific, the US Army has implemented several programs incorporating complementary and alternative medicine to treat symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). One of these programs happens to be right here in Texas at Ft. Hood. The program is titled Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program (WCSRP).

acupuncture in the military

The WCSRP is an eleven week program combining the use of traditional Western therapies with traditional Eastern approaches to treat soldiers with PTSD symptoms. Various methods of complementary medicine are offered, such as acupuncture, massage, reflexology, sound therapy, meditation, reiki/bio-energy therapies, as well as mind-body practices such as yoga and tai chi. The WCSRP is a time-intensive program, requiring soldiers to show up every day for the first three weeks, participate in group-counseling, as well as individual counseling, and determine an individualized treatment plan incorporating complementary treatment methods which then continues over the following eight weeks.

Due to the success of programs like the WCSRP, there is growing support to make complementary medicine a standard in psychosocial treatment programs.


The views expressed in article titled "Acupuncture Used in Military Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program" (January 2013 AOMA Blog) are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Marines, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations herein are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marines, and the U.S. Navy.

Learn more about Acupuncture  & Herbal Medicine

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture research, efficacy of acupuncture

Treating Stroke with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 @ 04:15 PM


A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is the rapid loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to lack of blood flow or a hemorrhage. Depending on the area of the brain that is affected patients may suffer from an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, an inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol,smoking, old age, previous stroke, and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor of stroke. It is the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. Stroke affects more than 700,000 individuals annually in the United States. About 500,000 of these are first attacks, and 200,000 are recurrent attacks.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used to prevent and treat the stroke patients.

Chinese medicine can be very helpful for preventing stroke and its associated risk factors. Acupuncture and herbs can help offset the systemic imbalances that contribute to stroke. These are issues such as long-term emotional and physical stress, being overworked, poor diet and dietary habits such as eating too fast, at odd hours, etc. and an overall lack of relaxation. Of course, the patient has to be willing to adapt their lifestyle, too.

On the rehabilitative side, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can improve muscular strength, muscle tone, speech disorder, and swallowing function. I usually choose points on Liver and Kidney channels since there are most commonly involved channels in stroke. However, different patients have their own characteristics. I will make a differential diagnosis for each stroke patient based on the stroke history and manifestation from tongue and pulse. In addition, I typically use scalp needles and attach mild electrical stimulation to the needles to speed-up the recovery.

As an acupuncturist and physician, I worked at the neurological center in China Sichuan State Hospital & Sichuan Provincial Academy of Medical Science for 13 years, where I treated 30-40 stroke patients daily in ICU and the regular wards.

A stroke patient came to see me in the AOMA clinic with his wife two weeks after the onset of the stroke. I could feel how stressed the couple was. The patient once was very happy with a positive attitude to his life. When he came into my office he was so depressed. He couldn’t walk, speak, or dress himself. After collecting all the medical history from him and his wife, I observed his tongue and felt his pulse. Then I gave a therapeutic plan for him. One month later, he already started walking and his fingers could grasp tightly. His life attitude completely changed. He is happy again after realizing that he can live normally under my care.

Sometimes, during the acupuncture treatment, I will give some Chinese herbs based on individual needs. For certain people the herbs can be very helpful in stroke recovery. I also give dietary recommendations to each patient to make sure the risk factors of stroke are under strict control and patient’s diet is balanced and healthy.

herbal programDr. Nelson Song Luo is a faculty member at AOMA and sees patients in the professional clinic.

Download Introduction to  Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, chinese herbalism, acupuncture research, efficacy of acupuncture, stroke

7 Tips for Preventing the Flu

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 01:22 PM

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

2. Rest.

When you are tired, your body is susceptible to illness. Stay home and rest when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. Rest is some of the best medicine around!

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Remind others to cover their mouth and nose, too.

prevent the flu4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands for 10 seconds will often help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

5.  Drink a lot of water. 

When colds and the flu are going around, one of your best defenses is to keep your body fully hydrated so that your respiratory tissues aren’t easily irritated.

6. Stay warm and cozy. 

Oriental medicine believes that wind invasions can weaken your body and make catching a cold more likely.  Cover your neck and chest, and keep your feet warm and dry.

7.  Try Chinese medicine. 

Treatments can help strengthen your body’s immune system.  Oriental medicine includes things such as acupuncture and Chinese herbs.


Tips compiled by Song Luo LAc, PhD, MD (China)


Learn more about Acupuncture  & Herbal Medicine

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, chinese herbalism, acupuncture research, efficacy of acupuncture

Chinese Herbs: Zheng Gu Shui

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Wed, Oct 03, 2012 @ 03:56 PM

Zheng Gu Shui (juhng goo shway) is a Chinese herbal liniment known for its analgesic properties. The Chinese word "zheng gu" means "bonesetting" and "shui" means water. So, Zheng Gu Shui means "bonesetting water" or liquid. This external analgesic is known to relieve blood stagnation, promote healing, and soothe pain. As the name suggests, this herbal remedy can help promote the healing of broken bones. If the skin is not broken, it can be applied topically to the area of injury to relieve pain until the bone is set at the hospital.

 Well known in many athletic and martial arts circles, this “miracle” balm can be used for all sorts of injuries, including those involving muscle and nerve pain.  The most common indications are traumatic injuries, bruises, and sprains. Many people have found Zheng Gu Shui helpful for all kinds of pain from carpal tunnel to arthritis.

The Chinese medical explanation of how it works is by dispelling blood stagnation, moving qi, opening the channels, and invigorating the blood which will help to relax tendons and muscles, and reduce swelling.

The herbal formulation contains mostly camphor and menthol. Other ingredients include: alcohol, polygonum cuspidatum, camphor wood, fragrant angelica, moghania, zedoary, san-qi ginseng, and water.

Chinese herbThe medicinal effects of the herbs are as follows:

Polygonum cusidatum rhizome (Bushy Knotweed): relieves pain, reduces inflammation, stops bleeding

Camphor Wood (Radix Crotonis crassifolii, Chinese Ji Gu Xiang): increases local circulation, relieves pain

Frangrant Angelica (Bai Zhi): anti-inflammatory, relieves pain, treats muscle spasms and cramps

Moghania (Yi Tiao Gen): relieves musculoskeletal pain, stiffness, and soreness

Zedoary rhizomeor curcuma (a different species than Turmeric): anti-inflammatory relieves pain (especially shoulder pain)

San-Qi Ginseng (Tian Qi): stops bleeding, reduces bruising, swelling, inflammation and pain, relieves trauma

The suggested use is to apply the ointment directly to the (external) area of pain 2-3 times a day or as needed. Wrap the area with gauze, as it may stain clothing. Wash hands thoroughly after applying. Do not use Zheng Gu Shui on open wounds. Do not use Zheng Gu Shui near an open flame as it is flammable.

Download Introduction to  Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine


Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, chinese herbalism, acupuncture research, chinese herbs

WHO Recognizes Acupuncture as an Effective Form of Treatment

Posted by Justine Meccio on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 04:26 PM

The World Health Organization (WHherbal medicine programO) serves as the authority for health and health care within the United Nations system and is leader on global health matters. In addition to playing a key role in medical research, establishing health care standards and policy, the WHO also monitors and assesses emerging trends in global health.


In 2003, the WHO published a review of clinical trials of acupuncture, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. As a result of this publication, the WHO recognizes 28 diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven to be an effective form of treatment. These include:

-Adverse Reactions to radiotherpy

and/or chemotherapy

-Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

-Biliary colic


-Dystentery, acute bacillary

-Dysmenorrhea, primary


-Facial pain



-Hypertension, essential

-Hypotension, primary

-Induction of labour

-Knee pain


-Low back pain

-Malposition of fetus

-Morning sickness

-Nausea and vomiting

-Neck pain

-Pain in dentistry

-Periarthritis of shoulder

-Postoperative pain

-Renal colic

-Rheumatoid arthritis




-Tennis elbow











The WHO also recognizes acupuncture’s therapeutic effects for over 55 diseases, symptoms, or conditions, but noted additional controlled trials are needed.


Acupuncture is a system of medical care that originated in China thousands of years ago which has since become widely used in health care systems throughout the world. During acupuncture treatment, thin needles are inserted into the patient’s body at specific points to treat disease, alleviate symptoms, or relieve pain. The application of needles can also be combined with moxibustion (the burning of particular herbs over the skin) to stimulate certain points.


One of the most well-known modalities within Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is often used by practitioners in conjunction with herbal medicine, dietary therapy, Asian bodywork therapies, and mind-body exercise to treat patients.

Introduction to Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture research, efficacy of acupuncture

Stay in touch

Get our blog in your inbox!

Subscribe below to receive instant, weekly, or monthly blog updates directly to your email inbox.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all