The mission of Acus Foundation is to educate military physicians in the science and art of medical acupuncture, and to facilitate its integration into conventional military care.

Our Story

We may look like a young organization on paper, but we are the most experienced team of physician teachers and practitioners of acupuncture in the United States.

Acus Founder and President Dr. Joseph Helms and our team of teacher-physicians have spent 38 years pioneering pedagogy and clinical research in medical acupuncture. We have created the gold standard of acupuncture training, and since 1978, we have trained 90% of the licensed physicians practicing acupuncture in this country.

In 2007, Dr. Helms was asked by the US Air Force to create an acupuncture protocol to relieve acute pain and post-traumatic stress. His team developed and tested an innovative, rapid-access, high-yield acupuncture treatment known as the auricular trauma protocol (ATP). Military physicians and medics now use ATP in battlefield aid stations, inside tactical vehicles, and rehabilitation centers worldwide.

Service members treated with ATP report relief from pain, anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, and insomnia, many of these hallmarks of post-traumatic stress. Between 2009-2012, the U.S. Department of Defense funded the training of 150 military physicians. Funding slowed in 2012 and stopped altogether in 2013. Acus Foundation was created to continue this important work.

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