Can acupuncture help treat Gulf War Syndrome?

WASHINGTON -- Lisa Conboy thinks she may have a cure for veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome: Stick needles in them.

Conboy, an instructor at Harvard Medical School Osher Research Center and co-director of research at the New England School of Acupuncture, is one of the coordinators of a new Army-funded study into the value of acupuncture in managing the headaches, muscle soreness and other pain associated with the controversial disorder. The group is currently seeking about 120 volunteers living in the Northeast for the study.

“We’ve seen some good results in individual cases,” she said. “But there hasn’t been work on a long study yet, to see how effective it can be.”

Acupuncture and alternative pain therapies aren’t unusual for the military. Last year, the Army’s Management Task Force recommended the practice – along with meditation and yoga – as possible options for soldiers who are not responding well to mainstream, pharmaceutical treatments.

Army officials will spend about $1 million on the three-year study, which includes weekly acupuncture treatments over a six-month span for the veterans involved.

For more information, or to sign up for the study, contact the school at 617-558-1788 x 269 or at CKrieger@nesa.edu.


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