Ancient treatment outperforms morphine for pain control

I often report on the effectiveness of acupuncture for controlling pain. And now, a new study shows acupuncture dramatically outperforms even IV morphine for pain control! In fact, it was more effective, faster, and caused fewer adverse effects than IV morphine.

I’ll tell you all about those astounding findings in a moment. But first, let’s back up…

Last month, I reported on how the U.S. military is using acupuncture for pain relief despite modern mainstream medicine’s skepticism about this ancient practice.

The military doesn’t want to replace one problematic pain drug with just another drug (like the rest of mainstream medicine). Instead, it wants to offer natural approaches that get away from all the problems of drugs. And we should all seek to do the same.

Fortunately, we have many effective, non-drug approaches to treating pain. I go into detail about all of them in my online Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol. I also tell you about how to find practitioners who provide these safe and effective non-drug therapies. (You can learn more about this protocol or enroll today by clicking here .)

The new study on acupuncture appeared in the journal American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Emergency rooms doctors are also a bit like the military. They serve on the “front lines.” And they need fast and effective solutions — without always  having as much regard for the politics and economics of the crony capitalist mainstream medical system.

The comparison to the military extends to the working environments of many urgent care doctors in the modern “combat zones” of our crowded, dysfunctional urban areas.

I was in medical training in downtown Philadelphia, so I had plenty of opportunities to observe the situation first hand. The older resident physicians referred to the “Friday night knife and gun club,” when things really started to pick up in the ED on weekends. But it wasn’t just on weekends.

I remember when I started my externship in surgery during medical school, I went into the downtown hospital the first Monday morning in October. I drew that first night “on call.”

The senior resident asked whether I had remembered to bring my toothbrush —because that was all I was really going to need. (Like the contemporary character Jack Reacher, the ex-military policeman, of the popular novels by Lee Child.)

My first night in the ER was a memorable one, with a young woman who had been stabbed with an icepick. The pick penetrated all three internal spaces — the chest, abdomen and pericardium.

I didn’t even have time to make a personal phone call until the end of that month, Halloween night. But I was too tired to even answer the door for trick-or-treaters.

New study on acupuncture is all treat and no tricks

Researchers in Tunisia at the Bourgiba University Hospital (named after the former President) conducted the new study, which included 300 acute pain patients. The researchers divided the pain patients into two groups. The first group received up to 15 mg of IV morphine per day. The second group received acupuncture.

Across the board, acupuncture outperformed morphine.

In terms of pain scores, 92 percent of the acupuncture group experienced pain control compared to 78 percent of the morphine group.

In addition, the acupuncture group experienced faster pain relief, as measured every 5 minutes, over the course of one hour.

Finally, 57 percent of the morphine group experienced adverse effects. By comparison, just two percent in the acupuncture group experience adverse effects.

Even if acupuncture were only equally effective as drugs, there would be no point in giving drugs at all, considering the vastly superior safety profile of acupuncture. But acupuncture was more effective and faster than the IV drug, besides.

Of course, the new study was not done in the U.S., which “leads” the world in providing and prescribing opiate (narcotic) pain drugs. This practice has contributed to today’s overwhelming epidemic of pain drug problems. Most of the rest of the world is not so “lucky” when it comes to the availability and affordability of pain drugs (and other drugs).

And it gets worse…

Increasing mortality rates in U.S. linked to pain drugs

The U.S. opioid epidemic has substantially contributed to increased mortality rates for the white, working class over the past generation. Increasing death rates have never before been observed in any population anywhere in modern history. This disaster has stalled any overall improvements in mortality in the entire U.S. Plus, it’s cancelled out any other possible “improvements” in modern mainstream medicine.

For more than 20 years, the World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as a safe and effective therapy for the treatment of a wide variety medical conditions, including pain and discomfort.

But western mainstream medicine has an outdated paradigm of health and healing. Plus, it doesn’t understand acupuncture’s “mechanism of action.” In other words, they don’t understand “how” it works. So — they can’t accept it, even though it does work.

Clinical trial data supports its value for treating more than 100 different conditions. Plus, the government database for medical research studies shows nearly 7,000 published studies related to pain and acupuncture.

You don’t have to wait for the government — or for the crony capitalist healthcare system — to catch up to the modern science. (Let alone acupuncture’s 2,000-year history.)

You can also learn more about the science of acupuncture and how to find a licensed acupuncture practitioner near you in my new book with Sebhia Dibra Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain.

Plus, you can go to my website,, and search acupuncture for a full rundown of everything I’ve written about it here in the Daily Dispatch as well as in my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter.



“Acupuncture vs. intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED,” Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Nov;34(11):2112-2116