Use of Acupuncture in the United States Military Healthcare System

February 8, 2018   |   Currents in Integrative Healthcare

The Military Healthcare System (MHS) shows increasing interest in acupuncture as an alternative to opioids for pain control. In a 2018 article in Med Acupunct, a total of 15,761 people received acupuncture in the MHS in FY 2014. Use of acupuncture was greater for Army service, white race, and senior enlisted rank overall, and for males ages 26-35 among active-duty and females ages 46-64 among nonactive-duty beneficiaries. A cumulative 76% of diagnoses were for musculoskeletal or nerve and system issues. Approximately 60% of patients received acupuncture from physicians, 16% from physical therapists or chiropractors, and 9.7% from physician extenders.

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