UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Integrative Medicine


OBJECTIVE: We report on the safety of non-insertive acupuncture (NIA) in 54 newborns diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in a busy inner city hospital.

METHODS: For this case series, a retrospective chart review was conducted. Data on participant demographics, number of NIA treatments, provider referrals, and outcomes of interest (sleeping, feeding, and adverse events) were collected.

RESULTS: Of the 54 newborns receiving NIA, 86% were non-Hispanic White; 87% were on Medicaid, and gestational age ranged from 33.2 to 42.1 weeks. Out of 54 chart reviews, a total of 92 NIA sessions were documented ranging from 1 to 6 sessions per infant. Of the total number of treatments (n = 92), 73% were requested by a physician. Chart reviews reported restless infants calmed down during NIA, babies slept through or fell asleep immediately following NIA, and better feeding was noted following NIA. There were no adverse events noted in the medical records.

CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective chart review shows potential for the use of NIA as an adjunctive treatment in newborns with NAS symptoms during hospitalization. More research is necessary to study whether the incorporation of NIA can result in positive outcomes in newborns withdrawing from narcotics.


acupressure, acupuncture, neonatal abstinence syndrome, non-insertive acupuncture

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2012 GAHM LLC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial- No Derivative 3.0 License, which permits rights to copy, distribute and transmit the work for noncommercial purposes only, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Glob Adv Health Med. 2012 Sep;1(4):48-52. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2012.1.4.007. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Global advances in health and medicine


At the time of publication, Paula Gardiner was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.