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Acupuncture Assists Post-Operative Recovery, Studies Show

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

Acupuncture can significantly reduce surgical patients™ post-operative pain, and their need for powerful opioids to treat pain, according to new research from Duke University Medical Center that was published in October, 2007. 

Anesthesiologists from Duke University combed over data from over 15 randomized clinical trials from China, the United Stated and the United Kingdom to reach their conclusion. The results 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.
The most important outcome for the patient is the reduction of the side effects associated with opioids, said T.J. Gan, M.D., the Duke anesthesiologist who presented the study at the annual scientific conference of the American Society for Anesthesiology in San Francisco in October 2007. 

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.

Acupuncture is excellent for post-surgical side effects including:

  • Post-operative pain
  • Pruritis (itch or a sensation that makes a person want to scratch)
  • Dizziness
  • Incontinence
  • Upset stomach/nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling
  • Scar Tissue
  • Scarring
Avoiding Surgery with Acupuncture

If you have suffered an injury and want to avoid surgery, acupuncture can help. Acupuncture excels in the treatment of sports, work, auto accident rehabilitation, as well as post operative pain.  Usually an individualized treatment protocols that combines Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Exercises, Massage and Nutrition that maximizes your healing potential for a wide variety of injuries and pain syndromes.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating injuries occurring from sports, work or auto accidents and surgical interventions.,  In fact, any condition that is the result of trauma or overuse involving the musculoskeletal system and its soft tissues can be treated with acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a relatively inexpensive therapy that has virtually no side effects when practiced by trained professionals.  Trained acupuncturists that can assist with a quick recovery can be found online at www.Acufinder.com.

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Ask The Acupuncturist

Q: I have always had a problem when it comes to my gag reflex. As a kid I even had a problem wearing a mouth piece and going to the dentist. but it still has not gone away, even today if i go to the dentist it is very hard for me to allow anything in my mouth without gagging and eventually vomiting. I also have a problem when shirts are tight around my neck. Is there any hope in acupuncture?

A: There are some very simple acupuncture points that have been proven to calm down the gag reflex. Acupuncture point: Ren 24 The first point i... Read More