Acupuncture for Surgery
While acupuncture anesthesia has long been used in Asian societies, it is less common in the US. I personally have used acupuncture to supplement intravenous sedation techniques with good success. Acupuncture prior to surgery may decrease anxiety, provide relaxation, optimize your immune status and contribute to your overall health.
In 2008 Anesthesia & Analgesia published a study finding that an acupuncture point alleviated preoperative anxiety in children while a 2003 study conducted at Yale University showed that ear acupuncture significantly lowered the stress level of the mothers of children that were scheduled for surgery.
Benefits of acupuncture after surgery: Prevention and/or reduction in pain and decreased need for prescription narcotics; prevention and/or reduction of nausea and vomiting. Dr. Mingus was a principal investigator in studies to obtain FDA approval for the ReliefBand – a device to prevent and treat postoperative nausea (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-58271160.html).
Regulation of digestion: acupuncture treats bloating, gas, improves peristalsis to treat constipation and postoperative ileus. Acupuncture shortens recovery time, enabling the patient to return to normal daily activities faster. It can improve wound healing and decrease pain at the surgical site. Acupuncture can decrease the appearance of keloid and unsightly scar formation.