Our Mission

Our mission at Acus Foundation (Latin for ‘needle’) is to educate military physicians in the science and art of medical acupuncture and facilitate its widespread integration into military health care.

We focus our training efforts on primary care providers because these are the professionals on the frontlines of medicine.

Patients in acute and chronic pain come to them first, and for this reason, they issue a higher number of opioid prescriptions than any other medical specialty.

Medical acupuncture offers primary care providers an alternative at the moment of prescription: they can treat their patient with acupuncture instead of painkillers.

Founder's Statement

Bio_IMG_JoeHelmsI founded Acus (Latin for ‘needle’) to transform military medicine by training military physicians in medical acupuncture. With this new skill, physicians provide additional help to service members, veterans, and their families. Too often we hear about the consequences of combat trauma: chronic pain, impaired mental focus, emotional numbness, social isolation, job loss, substance abuse, suicide. And too often these consequences are not adequately addressed by conventional medical treatments.

Since I became involved in military medicine in 2007,
 medical acupuncture has shown itself to be a valuable treatment to alleviate the physical and psychological 
symptoms of combat trauma. Acupuncture is the strongest and most scientific of the integrative medicine disciplines, and it improves patients’ conditions without side effects or addiction.

At Nellis Air Force Base, we have created a culture of Think Acupuncture First that makes acupuncture available at any appointment. We are also pursuing rigorous research studies to confirm the clinical, social, and financial benefits of a medical environment where acupuncture is a regular part of the service.

Over the next five to eight years, I envision medical acupuncture training and services gradually becoming institutionalized throughout the military and VA medical system. I ask you to join us in this exciting adventure, and, with your financial contributions, help Acus achieve its goal of transforming military medicine. Thank you.


2520 Milvia Street, Suite 204 | Berkeley, CA 94704 | 510.841.3250 © Acus Foundation