The Effective Use Of Acupuncture For Pre And Post Operative Care

Did you know that if you are facing a surgical procedure in the near future, acupuncture can be of great benefit for pre and post-operartive care.

Having a surgical procedure can be a stressful and emotional event that brings up feelings of fear and anxiety. For most it is just the fear of the unknown and being "put under" with anesthesia. Others wonder about the process of recovery and rehabilitation and the effect that the procedure is going to have on their lives.

Scientific evidence has shown acupuncture indirectly stimulates the Central Nervous System (CNS) which encompasses the brain,spinal chord and related nerves. When an acupuncture needle is inserted into the body, it triggers a cascading affect of neurotransmitters in the brain. Among these are the body's own natural opiates called endorphins. Endorphins act as natural pain killers in the body. Various MRI scans have shown acupuncture to change brain chemistry in a way that is related to sensation and involuntary functions such as the endocrine system, circulation of blood, lymph, fluids. Interestingly, acupunctures affect on circulation actually helps the body deliver medications more effectively as well as helps the body rid itself of past drugs and toxins.

Perioperative acupuncture and related techniques are increasingly being sought out and practiced in conventional medical settings for use as preoperative sedation and as a way to reduce the amount of pain medications and to decrease postoperative pain.

Preoperative Sedation

Due to acupuncture's physiological and psychological effects on the body, it can be used to greatly reduce preoperative stress and anxiety and to trigger the release of the body's own natural opiates (endorphins) to enhance analgesia. With the release of endorphins, patients experience deep states of relaxation, calm and drowsiness. By reducing the need for strong anesthetics or opioids, the duration of recovery is enhanced and there is less nausea and vomiting after surgery. It is important to note that acupuncture does not provide a true anesthesia in any way. Rather, acupuncture produces analgesia and a sedation like effect.

Postoperative Pain Control and PONV

Acupuncture and related techniques have been found to be effective in pain control, enhancing and also reducing pain medication. And as noted above, one of the most common uses of and most investigated uses of acupuncture is its application for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). PONV can complicate and delay recovery time from surgery. Often, when opioids are administered, the bowel function is often impaired and the patient has a difficult time passing stool. Acupuncture normalizes the peristaltic rhythm of the bowel and restores harmony.

Postoperative Recovery

Postoperative acupuncture is useful in restoring balance and enhancing the body's immune system. After the invasive procedure, the immune system and the gut are weakened and leaves the body vulnerable to infection and other issues. It is well known that acupuncture and moxibustion accelerates the healing process by enhancing immune function, the production of blood compliments and the increase in circulation of blood, lymph and body fluids. It also restores harmony to the gastrointestinal tract as well.

Treatment of Scar and surrounding areas

After a surgical procedure, a scar is left on the landscape... When a wound is replaced by scar tissue, it is filled by dense, fibrous connective tissue. This tissue is not as elastic nor does it have the vascular support like other tissue. Not having the elasticity or the abundant circulation of blood as other areas of the body, it forms adhesions Over time, these adhesions can affect underlying organs and structure as well as inhibit flexibility and movement. Acupuncture and moxibustion can break up the scar tissue and restore circulation to the area.