Old practice, new practitioners

By  U.S. Army Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton, Task Force 3-101st Airborne Division PAO

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – 1st Lt. Robert Blume, the physician assistant for 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), inserts a thin gold needle through a U.S. civilian contractor’s ear during a battlefield acupuncture session on Combat Outpost Champkani, Afghanistan, Jan. 27, 2013. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that was brought into the military in 2001.(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton Task Force 3/101 Public Affairs)

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – 1st Lt. Robert Blume, the physician assistant for 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), performed battlefield acupuncture on a U.S. civilian contractor on Combat Outpost Champkani, Afghanistan, Jan. 27.

The patient had come to Blume complaining of massive back pain sustained from years of being enlisted in the military and had opted for acupuncture.

“Battlefield acupuncture is done so as to augment therapy for people who don’t want to take pills everyday,” says said Blume.

Two needles were inserted through both ears of the patient without flaw or complications and he was able to walk out with no complaints of back pain.

Battlefield acupuncture may be still in the beginning phases within the military but many service members are opting for the therapy over medication.

Posted on Regional Command East

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