We are the oldest and most experienced team of physicians teaching and practicing medical acupuncture in the United States. Since 1978, we have trained 90% of the licensed physicians practicing acupuncture in this country.

In 2007 the U.S. Air Force asked Acus Founder and President Dr. Joseph Helms to create an acupuncture protocol to relieve acute and chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. The result was the auricular trauma protocol, which military physicians and medics now rely on worldwide.

From 2008 to 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense funded the training of 120 military physicians. After federal funding for this project disappeared in 2013, Dr. Helms created the Acus Foundation, which is maintained through charitable contributions, to continue vital training and research in integrative medicine.

Helms and the Acus team teach medical practitioners how to address the physical and psychospiritual dimensions of trauma in both active-duty service members and veterans with the best combination of conventional Western medicine and acupuncture.

Acus has spent a decade refining specialized protocols to treat combat-related pain and stress. We have trained more than 150 military physicians since 2008. These doctors have gone on to treat over 20,000 patients with acupuncture.

What does acupuncture do for military personnel and veterans?

  • It replaces or reduces opioid prescriptions and offers effective pain management options to those who are at risk for addiction.
  • It eases acute, chronic, and phantom pain.
  • It can break the cycle of suicidal thoughts.

Acupuncture has given our warriors back their lives.



Acus-trained physicians report gratifying results using our military medical acupuncture practices. In their words:

“I have been practicing acupuncture for the last two years, and since starting, I have not initiated any patient on long-term opiate management for chronic pain and have weaned off all my patients on chronic opiates.”
– Resident Physician at FMR Clinic, Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital, Nellis AFB, Las Vegas

“Through the acupuncture training I have received, I was able to provide critical pain and emotional distress relieving therapy to hundreds of patients, allowing them to return to duty faster and with improved functionality.”
– Staff Physician, trained at Nellis, deployed to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia

“Since integrating medical acupuncture into my clinical practice, I have witnessed an unprecedented improvement to those suffering from chronic pain syndromes.”
– Nurse Practitioner, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, KY

“Acupuncture is gaining traction through word of mouth. Overall, I’m seeing an 80-90% success rate with my patients. It is always satisfying to see these patients’ jaws drop as they walk out feeling significantly better than when they arrived.”
– Chief of Medical Staff at U.S. Air Force field hospital in Kuwait

“I regularly see patients in clinic with pain or psychosomatic complaints, as well as behavioral issues that have benefited from acupuncture. When I offer acupuncture treatments to patients I have very positive responses from the majority of them.”
– Resident Physician at FMR Clinic, Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital, Nellis AFB, Las Vegas

“We could benefit across DoD and certainly on the operational medicine side of the house by having more physicians trained and kept competent in providing acupuncture. It has demonstrated in just a few short years remarkable results not only rehabbing wounded and ill soldiers, but also in providing preventative treatments along the way.”
– Physician, NBHC NAF Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland

“If we are going to be healers, and the military is going to use its physicians to their fullest capacity, this is the type of training that I fully believe we should be getting.”
– Psychiatrist, U.S. Marine Corps Base, Kaneohe, Hawaii

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