Surgical recovery can be challenging. Typically we feel woozy from the anesthesia, constipated from the pain medications, sore at the surgical sites, and exhausted from the procedure. Recovery can be complicated by having to return to family life or work relatively promptly after the surgery.
Acupuncture can help to rebalance the body in a number of ways after surgery, and you can receive acupuncture as soon as you can be driven to an acupuncture clinic and have the energy to receive a treatment. Acupuncture can be useful regardless of the type of surgery — it can be dental surgery, reproductive surgery (C-sections, tubes tied, hysterectomies, etc.), gastrointestinal surgery, orthopedic surgery, or other forms of surgery.
For some of us, anesthesia seems to linger in the system for a while, causing us to feel groggy and out of sorts. Acupuncture can support the liver in its natural detoxification function in order to help process out any lingering anesthetic.
Pain medications are renowned for slowing down digestion function resulting in constipation. For some people who must rely on pain medications for many days after surgery it may be days or even a week before a bowel movement is possible. Acupuncture helps with peristalsis, the movement of solids through the digestive system, and can help override the pain medications to get digestive function back on track. Acupuncture also helps to calm the nervous system which then allows more blood flow to return to the nervous system.
Local Pain Management
Even if laparoscopic, most surgeries involve some post-op pain. Acupuncturists can use needles either near the surgical site or in other areas of the body to reduce swelling and inflammation and decrease the sensation of pain. This is especially helpful if you are encouraged to exercise/walk after your surgery but are feeling too sore to do so.
Surgery can take a big toll on the body. Often we feel tired for days or weeks after surgery as our body copes with the healing. Acupuncture can be used to help increase your energy so that you can recover faster.
I recommend acupuncture as soon as feasible after surgery and generally recommend two or three sessions in the first few weeks after surgery to help support proper healing and rapid recovery. Here’s to your health!