Most forms of acupuncture are considered invasive, despite the needles only barely penetrating the skin. Some forms of acupuncture are not invasive at all. Surgery, however, is most definitely invasive. Most try to avoid it. Yet, there are times when it is necessary. In those times, much preparation is required, as is sufficient recovery time. Continue reading to find out why acupuncture should play a role in both of these periods.
1. Acupuncture relieves stress & anxiety.
When your body is in fight-or-flight mode, it exhibits a high level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This affects the entire body. So, there is really no type of surgery that won’t be negatively impacted. Let your doctors and specialist focus on the matter at hand, while your acupuncturist can keep you calm and relaxed.
2. Acupuncture eases pain during & after surgery
It is true that some doctors, like dentists, have been known to use acupuncture instead of anesthesia for those who cannot tolerate anesthesia. This is not something we do here. However, for those who experience moderate, severe or extreme pain following a surgery, we welcome you to try acupuncture. It is of great concern to me that our nation is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Opioids are still the norm for postoperative pain control. Aside from their negative side effects, they can be dangerously addictive. Avoid these dangers by using acupuncture instead. I specialize in all forms of pain relief. Read here to learn about acupuncture and back pain relief.
3. Acupuncture reduces scarring & swelling.
Surgery leaves scars. There is no way around it. There is, however, a way to break up scar tissue, increase blood flow to the area and speed up your healing time. You guessed it: acupuncture. Another common side effect of surgery is swelling. The more swelling and the longer it lasts, the longer the healing will take. Acupuncture regulates proper fluid and energy flow. More importantly, it reduces inflammation which, in turn, makes the swelling go down.
4. Acupuncture boosts the immune system.
Perfectly healthy people probably don’t need surgery. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything in your power to keep the rest of you healthy while doctors prepare to perform surgery on the affected area. As a matter of fact, doctors don’t tend to perform surgery on patients who are ill or infected. Acupuncture is renowned for bringing balance to the immune system. Practitioners believe it is a lack of balance that causes many ailments to begin with. Make the most of this to prepare for your surgery. Please continue afterward as you will be all the more vulnerable following the procedure.
5. Acupuncture improves strength, range of motion & flexibility.
Certain surgeries require extremely long recovery periods. Inactivity and minimal use of muscles lead to atrophy. Atrophy leads to physical therapy, to which acupuncture is no stranger. I stimulate specific acupuncture points called motor points, located where your nerve fibers are. This causes muscles that have not been functioning properly, to reset. Other specialists you might see after surgery, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, often work in conjunction with acupuncturists. They might also recommend Massage Therapy.
6. Acupuncture regulates digestion & sleep.
Constipation is among the many side-effects of opioids. Unpleasant though it might be, the secret to much of your well-being lies in your digestive system. Waste must be flushed so that good, healthy gut bacteria can flourish. All that serotonin in your GI tract will not only keep you feeling good but leave your colon in good order as well. Acupuncture reverses any and all stagnation or back-up in these areas. If you find your sleep disrupted or disturbed, acupuncture is so renowned for its restful properties that many patients find it hard to leave a session without napping or nodding off. A little sleep goes a long way in terms of recovery.
There was a time when acupuncture was not even part of these discussions. That time is long gone. Today, acupuncture has taken its place in the arsenal of medical experts from both hemispheres. These men and women of medicine have come to understand that they owe it to their patients to make all effective options available before and after they have to undergo surgery. That includes acupuncture.
If you have any questions, please Contact Me. I’ll be happy to answer them.