Acupuncture for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in Veterans
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Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder affecting respiration during periods of sleep. It can affect both short-term as well as long-term health outcomes. It is present in growing numbers of the American population and has an increased prevalence in active duty military personnel and veterans. Although these patients often lack the common comorbidities for OSA such as poor cardio-respiratory fitness and increased body mass index (BMI), they often have additional markers of stress such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. This pattern of OSA combined with psychoemotional stress could benefit from acupuncture as a novel intervention. This article reviews two cases of OSA treated by acupuncture, including diagnosis, treatment and outcomes, and offers a theoretical framework for understanding the disorder from the perspective of traditional East Asian medicine.
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