Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma: A Descriptive Report

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This article, by  Ellen Silver Highfield, Puja Lama, Michael A. Grodin, Ted J. Kaptchuk, and Sondra S. Crosby, was published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, and is available for a fee through SpringerLink.

Refugees with trauma histories are a difficult medical population to treat. Acupuncture care has gained acceptance in many mainstream hospitals in the United States, but research on acupuncture and refugee populations is limited. Herein, we report our experiences with 50 refugees (total acupuncture treatments = 425) at a major tertiary teaching hospital. Patients often reported extreme trauma including physical torture, rape and witnessing the same in family members. Patients represented 13 different countries, with about half the patients being Somali. The primary complaint of all patients was pain (100%). Using the Wong-Baker Faces Pain scale, 56% patients reported pain decreases. Patient acceptance of acupuncture was high. We provide three case histories as illustrative examples. Further research is warranted.

Link is to abstract; full article is available for purchase.

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