Acupuncture helps sleep and can reduce pain levels in military veterans, according to American researchers. Forty-five veterans aged 18 to 65 experiencing insomnia and chronic pain, were randomised to receive either ear acupuncture or usual care. The study was undertaken at the largest American hospital outside the US, a military facility in Germany, with specialist insomnia and pain departments.
Both groups showed improvements in sleep, but that in the acupuncture group was significantly greater. Acupuncture was also associated with significantly greater reductions in pain levels, compared with usual care. The study authors state that ‘Acupuncture reduced pain and insomnia, compared to usual care. With the heightened focus on the opioid crisis in the United States today, this easy-to-administer protocol can be a treatment modality for military beneficiaries who have chronic pain and insomnia.’
(Auricular Acupuncture for Chronic Pain and Insomnia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Medical Acupuncture, 15 October 2018.)