In the first group of patients, the control group took over three times as much morphine milligram equivalent (MME) for pain following surgery than the patients who received acupuncture (56 MME versus 20.4 MME, to be exact). On top of that, those who received the acupuncture also reported much higher satisfaction scores about post-op pain in the day following the surgery, along with less pain and less anxiety.
Battlefield acupuncture appeared to lower the need for opioids in the second group as well. The control group took twice as many opioids in the 24 hours following the surgery. Similar to the first group, the patients who had the battlefield acupuncture also reported lower pain and higher post-op satisfaction than the control group.
Interestingly, 38% of the control group reported nausea and vomiting, compared to only 3% of those who’d had the battlefield acupuncture.