Battlefield acupuncture is an auricular protocol designed in 2001 by Dr Richard Niemtzow, a US air force Colonel, as a treatment for pain relief.
The protocol uses up to 5 points in each ear, though treatment may not include all depending on the pain reduction reported.
It was first used to treat pain patients, including wounded service personnel, in 2008 and reported significant results. Since then its popularity has grown and it is now being taught more widely to American armed forces as a cheap, easy and safe way of treating acute or chronic pain.
It has also gained in popularity further afield including the UK where this and other auricular acupuncture treatments are used as a stand alone microsystem or as an adjunct to traditional acupuncture.
Though I personally favour a treatment approach that addresses the underlying causes of illness, I am a big proponent of auricular therapy in the management of many symptoms, not just pain, and will often add it in to my standard treatment.
Amaro, J. (2009) Battlefield Acupuncture for the Clinical Practitioner. Acupuncture Today. 10(4)