• The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association is a nonprofit association that conducts training and provides public education about the use of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for addictions and mental disorders.
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Army PTSD Study On Track To Present Findings This Year

Findings from a study on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for PTSD among military personnel may be reported later this year, according to research officials at the US Army’s prestigious Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC.

According to the government web site www.clinicaltrials.gov initial report on the study, untreated PTSD “leads to decreased force readiness and increased health care utilization. Yet, service members with the disorder may be resistant to traditional treatments or find them undesirable because of side-effects, stigma, and long-term commitment.

“Acupuncture, which has few known side effects, holds promise as an effective treatment option for PTSD. Acupuncture has been shown to improve well-being and has been successfully used to treat stress, anxiety and pain conditions.”

Col. Charles C. Engel , principal investigator of the project, reports that data collection and primary statistical analysis have been completed and secondary analysis is currently underway. He says that the project intends to report data at upcoming professional conferences. These include the Force Health Protection conference in Albuquerque and the International Society for Trauma Stress Studies (ISTSS) in Chicago.

According to the web site, the project was intended to enroll up to 75 subjects, all active duty personnel. Researchers were to gauge the subjects’ PTSD status and response to treatment with the PTSD Checklist during a 12-week, randomized, waitlist-controlled trial. Participants were to receive an eight-session course of acupuncture treatment, and were to be evaluated throughout the study by way of clinical assessments and an independent assessing acupuncturist.

According to the study staff, all subjects were to receive a standardized protocol, based on Chinese medicine principles, for “clearing and calming” during the first four treatment sessions. During the fifth through eighth sessions, individualized treatments were to be given according to Chinese medicine diagnosis. All acupuncture services were to be performed by licensed acupuncturists who were graduates of the TAI Sophia Institute located in nearby Laurel, Maryland.

Marjorie Shovlin, a licensed acupuncturist in Washington, DC, was one of the acupuncturists providing treatment during the 18-month study period. She gave a presentation on the study methods and goals at the 18th annual NADA conference in May of last year.


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