A study by authors from the US Air Force has shown that battlefield auricular acupuncture (BFA) can reduce throat pain and decrease need for pain medication in patients with acute sore throat. BFA is a specific auricular acupuncture technique for acute pain, which involves placing semi-permanaent needles in five specific points on the ear: Cingulate Gyrus, Thalamus, Omega 2, Point Zero and Shenmen. In a pragmatic RCT, 54 patients received either standard treatment alone (STD) or standard treatment plus BFA. Patients receiving BFA reported lower pain scores and reported taking fewer cumulative doses of pain medication than the STD group. There was no difference in time missed from work between the BFA and STD groups.
Ear Acupuncture for Acute Sore Throat: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015 Nov-Dec;28(6):697-705.