Acupuncture is one discipline from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the earliest source of acupuncture theory actually comes from the 2nd century BC. Since then, it has been constantly evolving.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the skin at strategic points. These points may be close to your problem or somewhere else on your body. The needles stimulate the central nervous system, releasing chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. The biochemical changes stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being. If you are unsure if you want to use needles, there are options for laser, point stimulator, or acupressure over the points.
In the United States, acupuncture has been increasingly embraced by practitioners and patients since New York Times columnist James Reston traveled to China for President Nixon’s 1971 visit. While in China, he suffered from an attack of appendicitis, and his appendix was removed in an emergency procedure. His post-surgical pain was treated successfully with acupuncture. His reporting of this in the NYT helped open the doors in this country to an exploration of Chinese treatments. More recently, athletes and celebrities have been those who are exposing acupuncture to Americans.
Battle Field Acupuncture is one of the more popular forms of acupuncture used in the military. Dr. Richard Niemtzow developed the technique in 2001 to provide immediate relief for pain, while allowing service members to continue to participate unimpaired in work and life. Service members who use BFA can still fly aircraft, unlike those who use opiates. This involves small needles inserted into the ear which have a central effect on the nervous system and the cingulate gyrus, an area of the brain that processes pain.
There are also many other points in the ear that these smaller needles can be used to stimulate. The basic idea of modern auricular (ear) acupuncture is that every part of the body has a corresponding reflex point in the ear.