Military Notebook: Robins medics learn acupuncture

March 15, 2014 

An alternative treatment for pain relief called battlefield acupuncture may be coming to Robins Air Force Base.

According to a base news release, physicians and other health care professionals in the 78th Medical Group recently received training in the practice from Dr. Tom Piazza from Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Students in the daylong session received hands-on instruction by performing acupuncture on each other and volunteers seeking pain relief.

The procedure involves placing five small needles in the surface of the ear, which stay there for two to four days before falling out. The procedure is performed in minutes, and the results can be felt within seconds, according to the release.

“This was my first time, and I was completely skeptical,” said Staff Sgt. Tabitha Loomis, a medical technician who volunteered because of pain due to a dislocated collarbone. “I haven’t been this pain-free without medication for years. I’m a believer.”

Master Sgt. Michael Dougherty, also a medical technician, also believes in the treatment.

“We’re still working out the details,” he said. “The ultimate vision is that the clinic will soon have the ability to devote half a day each week for battlefield acupuncture.”

Not everyone is sold. According to The Journal of Internal Medicine, some studies are “encouraging,” but others suggest the benefits are mostly a placebo effect from the ritual of the needling. In other words, the needles could be placed anywhere with the same effect.

Technology symposium set for next week

About 2,500 people from around the country are expected to attend the 39th Annual Dixie Crow Symposium at the Museum of Aviation on March 23-27.

The event is put on by the Dixie Crow Chapter of the Association of Old Crows.

According to a news release, the event will highlight the work done at Robins related to electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The event will include more than 50 vendors of military technology who will set up booths in the Century of Flight Hangar. The technology show begins at 11 a.m. March 25.

At 8 a.m. on the same day, Brig. Gen. Derek Rydholm of the Air Force Reserve Command will deliver the keynote address at the kickoff meeting in the Robert Scott Theater.

Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for students.

Scott golf tournament set to tee off on April 11

Registrations are being accepted for the 9th annual Brig. Gen. Robert L. Scott Jr. Memorial Golf Scramble.

The tournament will be held April 11 at Healy Point Country Club in Macon, according to a news release. Proceeds benefit the Museum of Aviation.

Scott, author of “God is My Co-Pilot,” shot down 13 enemy planes over China during World War II. He was a longtime supporter of the museum. The tournament will be held the day before Scott’s birthday.

“We lost General Scott eight years ago, but he is still in our hearts and minds,” Pat Bartness, president of the Museum of Aviation Foundation, said in the release.

The scramble will have four-person teams. It will include a noon lunch at the clubhouse, greens fee, cart, range balls, a commemorative golf shirt and an evening birthday celebration buffet.

To register, call the Museum of Aviation Foundation at 923-6600.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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