A Message from our Founder….
Los Angeles, CA
Thank you for visiting the White Aspen Research Foundation. I started this nonprofit foundation to assist U.S. Military Veterans with pain-related conditions due to their service. I originally began my research as a result of the opioid crisis happening right at our front door. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in 2017. Secretary Thomas E. Price, M.D. outlined a 5-point plan to combat this crisis, and one of those points was to advance better practices for pain management.
As a doctor working in the clinic, I have seen, firsthand, the catastrophic effects of long-term opioid use. My research has revealed acupuncture as a safe and effective alternative route for pain relief. Always remember to consult your doctor before changing any course of treatment.
Acupuncture is an energy-based medicine that uses thin needles to move Qí, or our vital life force, throughout the body to facilitate healing. This ancient medicine takes a holistic point of view and treats the body as an organic whole. Neuro-Acupuncture, in particular, allows for the regeneration of neural pathways to alleviate painful symptoms, such as those from losing a limb.
One of the future goals of the White Aspen Research Foundation is to develop a Neuro-Acupuncture treatment protocol to replace the use of opioids in Military Veterans experiencing phantom limb pain, among other conditions.
I hope you will join us in our mission to further this ground-breaking medicine.
Dr. Danielle Burke, DAOM, MTOM, Dipl. OM, L.Ac, President
WARF Meeting January 22, 2022
Our mission, at the White Aspen Research Foundation, is to advance the reach of alternative medicine practice to address pain-related conditions experienced by our United States military service members. Our doctors intend to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western schools of thought through know-how, research, and doing. Please help us further this remarkable research by donating directly to our cause. We support our brave soldiers as they embark on their newfound journeys here, at home.
The White Aspen Research team will investigate the use of Neuro-Acupuncture for phantom limb pain in amputees. Other conditions treated with this specialized type of acupuncture include anxiety, depression, stroke, paralysis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Parkinson’s Disease, and migraine headaches.
Please help us further this remarkable research by donating to our foundation. Our current focus, phantom limb pain, is experienced by over 80% of amputees worldwide. This debilitating condition can last a lifetime if not property treated. The White Aspen Research team thanks you for your continued support in our mission to heal the world, one soul at a time.
What is Phantom Limb Pain??
Globally, more than one million limb amputations take place every year, with more than 80% of amputees experiencing phantom limb pain. Phantom limb pain (PLP) is the pain perceived by a region of the body that is no longer physically present. This pain has been described by sufferers as shooting, stabbing, boring, squeezing, throbbing, burning, twisting, or can feel like the phantom limb is being forced into an uncomfortable position. The pain is unique to each patient, can be continuous, and can be triggered by internal and external factors. The mechanisms of PLP have been categorized as psychogenic, or having a psychological cause rather than a physical one, pertaining to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) post-amputation, peripheral in relating to the stump and neuroma hyperactivity, related to the central nervous system with desensitization of the dorsal horn, and neurological accompanies by reorganization of the sensory and motor cortices, leading to maladaptive plasticity, the latter being the most cited theory to date.
Patients with both planned and traumatic amputations have reported instances of Phantom Limb Pain along with those having congenitally missing limbs. An estimated 2 million people are living with limb loss in the United States, and it is projected that this number will more than double by the year 2050.2
Currently, there is no recognized primary treatment protocol for Phantom Limb Pain, so a process of trial and error dictates the course of treatment. A review of 38 therapies concluded no decisions could be made for the first-line management of PLP.3 Phantom Limb Pain treatment failure rates have been recorded as high as 92% among amputees for up to 40 years after amputation.4 In a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, amputees with post-amputation pain reported a decrease in the intensity of post-amputation pain with the use of oral morphine, but was associated with a higher rate of side effects and relief only while using the medication.5 In addition, no improvements in self-reported levels of overall functional activity and pain-related interference in daily activities were reported.
What is Neuro-Acupuncture??
Neuro-Acupuncture is a modern acupuncture technique integrating traditional Eastern needling technique with Western medicine neuroscience and neuroanatomy.
Neuro-Acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Needle locations are coupled with the motor and sensory lines that correlate with anatomical structures of the body, i.e. missing limbs. One neuron is like an entire brain, and one neuron has the ability to be stimulated in such a way that it can regulate itself and create new neural pathways throughout the body system. One neuron also has the capability to regulate an entire cohort of neurons in the same manner; some excite, some inhibit. Acupuncture has the ability to excite places that are dormant and to sedate places that are overactive, which leads to relaxation of the nervous system. This relaxation allows for the nervous system to reinterpret a lossed function, such as the pain processing pathways of the brain due to limb loss. This reinterpretation, or neuroplasticity, awakens neurons and enables them to reconnect in an alternate pattern. These neurons have a harmonious relationship, or homeostasis, when all systems are balanced and running smoothly. Acupuncture has the ability to stabilize this condition with long-lasting results.
“Return To Life” is a documentary film which dives into the fascinating and promising world of Neuro-Acupuncture. This type of specialized needling assists patients with traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, muscular sclerosis, stroke, autism and many other challenging neurological conditions. Through personal, inspiring and heart-warming stories of patients who have benefited from Neuro-Acupuncture, the film explores the challenges and opportunities that come with bringing this miraculous treatment to those who need it most.
The White Aspen Research Foundation provides free and discounted treatments to first-responders, U.S. Military personnel, and those recovering from addiction. Our partnerships allow us to reach those whom need us most. If you or someone you know would like a consultation, please contact us.
This foundation will also be providing mentorship for students attending Oriental Medicine universities whom are enrolled in Doctoral and Master acupuncture programs. These students may earn preceptorship hours towards their degrees while assisting with our clinical research. Mentorships provide opportunities to gain a depth of knowledge or experience in areas of particular interest and can include clinical practice, research or teaching.
Please do your part to keep these programs alive by donating to our foundation. Your donation will go to funding our research, teaching this wonderful medicine, and strengthening our ability to heal the world, one soul at a time. We thank you for your continued support.
- Wilson N, Kariisa M, Seth P, Smith H 4th, Davis NL. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths – United States, 2017-2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(11):290-297. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6911a4
- Ziegler-Graham K, MacKenzie EJ, Ephraim PL, Travison TG, Brookmeyer R. Estimating the prevalence of limb loss in the United States: 2005 to 2050. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89(3):422-429. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2007.11.005
- Richardson C, Kulkarni J. A review of the management of phantom limb pain: challenges and solutions. J Pain Res. 2017;10:1861-1870. doi:10.2147/JPR.S124664
- Aldington D, Small C, Edwards D, et al. A survey of post-amputation pains in serving military personnel. J R Army Med Corps. 2014;160(1):38-41. doi:10.1136/jramc-2013-000069
- Wu CL, Agarwal S, Tella PK, et al. Morphine versus mexiletine for treatment of postamputation pain: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Anesthesiology. 2008;109(2):289-296. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31817f4523