clinician education — including clinical guidance and indications for use — and expanded coverage of complementary and integrative health approaches are essential for a comprehensive solution to reduce the reliance on opioids. The following paragraphs briefly describe complementary and integrative health approaches, which can be considered singularly or as part of a multimodal approach to the management of chronic and acute pain, depending on the patient and his or her medical conditions. This list is not inclusive or exhaustive but instead provides examples of common complementary and integrative health approaches.I joined the Marines in 2005 and was deployed to Afghanistan. In 2009, my team was hit by an IED. I was about 10 feet away and it launched me in the air. I sustained numerous shrapnel injuries. My right arm was ripped open down to my hand and I had some shrapnel in both of my legs and my left arm. Overall, I had 26 surgeries over 3 1/2 years in the hospital, where I started receiving alternative therapy. After I got out of being an inpatient, I told myself I was going to get offof all my meds and I did that. I watched too many fellow service members, comrades, turn into zombies just being pumped full of medications. It was not something that I wanted to do with my life. So I wanted to try something new. I tried acupuncture and it seemed to work very well. Recently I received a different type of therapy called digital medicine. I was having some pain in my foot. If my foot stays down for a long period of time, it gets swollen, and I have limited feeling from my left knee down to my foot. I went through a form of visual and audio therapy and somehow that triggered those nerves to kick back in. Within 15 minutes, I had regained feeling in my leg and foot. It was a 30-minute session. We did three sessions. That lasted for about a month. It’s not forever, but in my opinion it beats taking medications. I think a combination of acupuncture and digital medicine is, in a sense, the way of the future. That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s worked for me and it’s worked for many other people.CORY’SSTORYPATIENT TESTIMONIAL
2.6 COMPLEMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE HEALTH43PAIN MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE REPORTAcupunctureis a recognized form of therapy that has its origins in ancient Chinese medicine. It involves manipulating a system of meridians where “life energy” flows by inserting needles into identified acupuncture points. An estimated 3 million American adults receive acupuncture each year.310It is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed, experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles, and although there are risks as with any intervention, the risks are minimal. The therapeutic value of acupuncture in the treatment of various pain conditions, including osteoarthritis; migraine; and low-back, neck, and knee pain has growing evidence in the form of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.