It’s only natural to feel nervous before undergoing surgery. Even after you’ve found a highly recommended surgeon here in Southlake or Dallas, you can’t help but worry about how you’re going to feel once the surgery is all through. Everyone wants to get back to their normal routine as soon as possible. However, with some surgeries, postoperative pain is to be expected.

Acupuncture is well known to help with pain, and there’s research to show it can work just as well as conventional medications. Whether you’re recovering from surgery right now, or you have one scheduled in Southlake in the future, you might want to keep acupuncture in mind.

How One Journalist’s Experience with Postoperative Acupuncture Made Acupuncture Famous

Although acupuncture has been practiced in China for a few thousand years, it didn’t become famous in the US until 1971, when The New York Times published the article, “Now, About My Operation in Peking.” James Reston, the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who penned the article, needed to have his appendix removed while on a trip to China with his wife.

On the second night after the surgery, Reston was experiencing painful stomach pressure. His doctor used acupuncture to treat him. Reston wrote, “…there was a noticeable relaxation of the pressure and distension within an hour and no recurrence of the problem thereafter.”Americans have been curious to try acupuncture for themselves ever since.

What Medical Research Shows About Acupuncture for Postoperative Pain

In 2008, the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center published a meta-analysis based on fifteen different studies on acupuncture and postoperative pain.

Patients who were given acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, or acupressure as well as painkillers gave significantly lower postoperative pain scores than the patients who only received painkillers. The patients who received acupuncture also reported fewer side effects from the painkillers, which is good news for anyone considering using acupuncture as complementary treatment. On-Point’s licensed acupuncturist, Kalpesh L. Patel, has personally seen acupuncture patients find relief from the debilitating side effects associated with cancer treatment.

Six out of fifteen of the trials in this study focused on abdominal surgery, but there are studies that look at postoperative pain for other surgeries as well. The Bnai-Zion Medical Center in Israel published a study on treating postlaparoscopic surgery shoulder pain with acupuncture. Their study is unique in that every patient was given an examination based in Traditional Chinese Medicine for their symptoms.  Another study published in the January 2015 issue of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine found that acupuncture could help with postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty.

Most patients experience few or no side effects with acupuncture, so it doesn’t hurt to try it as a form of complementary medicine. If you’re planning ahead for your scheduled surgery in Southlake or had one recently, now might be a good time to touch base with our Southlake location. Licensed acupuncturist Kalpesh L. Patel will develop an individualized plan based on your overall health, your type of surgery, and your symptoms.