If you google "acupuncture after surgery" tons of articles and studies come up. Research shows that getting acupuncture after surgery can help relieve postoperative pain. When you have less pain, you’re able to start moving around and get back to normal more quickly. In addition, less pain means fewer pain medications, many of which can cause nausea and vomiting.
In addition to experiencing less pain and nausea after surgery, studies showed a decrease in dizziness, urinary retention, and pruritus (itching). Some people find acupuncture before a surgical procedure to be helpful, too.
Why Get Pre- and Post-Op Acupuncture?
It Will Calm You
If you are feeling anxious about an upcoming surgery, schedule an acupuncture appointment about a week in advance. It will help calm your nerves and help you sleep better.
It Helps To Strengthen Your Immune System
Acupuncture has been shown to help boost white blood cell counts which help to protect the body against infection. This is especially helpful if the plan is to keep you in the hospital for a few days after your procedure.
It Decreases Postoperative Pain & Side Effects
Results from a study conducted at Duke University showed that an acupuncture treatment before surgery followed by acupuncture treatments after the surgery significantly reduced levels of postoperative pain as well as the use of painkillers after surgery.
More research, presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' meeting in 2005 showed that acupuncture reduced rates of postoperative nausea by 32%, pruritus by 25%, dizziness by 38%, and urinary retention by 71% compared with control groups.
It Can Reduce Cosmetic Scars
The use of acupuncture needles and moxibustion can help reduce the appearance of scars. After your surgical scar has begun to heal you can seek treatment for this.
It Can Reduce Internal Scarring
Acupuncture and moxibustion break up scar tissue, regardless of where it is on the body. By loosening up internal scar tissue, acupuncture can provide improved mobility and decrease pain.
It Helps You Recover Faster
Along with proper rest after your surgery, acupuncture can help you recover more quickly so that you can get back to doing the things you want to do.
Herbal Medicine After Surgery
In addition to acupuncture, herbal medicine can help speed up the recovery process, too. There are herbal formulas which improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and have anticoagulant effects to lessen the risk of blood clots. Your acupuncturist may prescribe one of these formulas at the time of your appointment. Just make sure to let them know of any medications you are already taking or have been prescribed.
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