When most people think of first responders, they think of paramedics or combat medics or other medically-trained personnel doing CPR and other life-saving procedures in stressful situations.

They do not think of acupuncture.
A review article in Medical Acupuncture - since it is a review, it is collating other articles about acupuncture, rather than science or medicine - argues that first responders should be trained in integrative medicine approaches such as acupuncture, hypnosis and biofeedback to provide adjunctive treatment to help relieve patients' pain and stress. Maybe they could teach some yoga and the benefits of organic food during the next earthquake as well.

ichard Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Acupuncture, a retired Air Force Colonel, and current Director of the USAF Acupuncture Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Wayne Jonas, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Samueli Institute (Alexandria, VA); and coauthors from InsideSurgery, LLC (Wayne, PA) and Samueli Institute discuss their belief that such integrative health care approaches are suitable for use by emergency responders and rescuers that do not require extensive equipment, facilities, or supplies.

The paper clarifies that their opinions and assertions are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the United States Air Force Medical Corps, the Air Force at large, or the Department of Defense.

"These approaches are usually inexpensive and nontoxic, are inherently low-risk, do not require complicated delivery methods, and can be pushed far forward in disaster relief effort even when other resources cannot be delivered," state the authors. "Such approaches may provide significant and rapid relief for victims of disasters and wars, as well as for their caregivers."

Citation: Niemtzow Richard C., Marcucci Lisa, York Alexandra, Ives John A., Walter Joan, and Jonas Wayne B., 'The Roles of Acupuncture and Other Components of Integrative Medicine in Cataclysmic Natural Disasters and Military Conflicts', Medical Acupuncture. doi:10.1089/acu.2014.1063