Postoperative Acupuncture: Aiding Your Recovery

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Multiple studies have shown that getting acupuncture treatments before and after undergoing surgery can reduce pain due to the operation. Postoperative acupuncture can also cut down the amount of painkillers needed during recovery. However, using acupuncture to reduce pain and speed up recovery post-operation is not a new discovery. These results have actually been well-documented and substantiated again and again. Acupuncture has even been historically used to anesthetize patients during an operation.


Acupuncture can also help with issues like lowering the stress levels before and after the operation. It can also reduce the occurrence of scarring. Other than that, it can boost the body’s stamina and immunity before the operation. This limits the chance of succumbing to other illnesses afterwards. Of course, the treatment can help speed up recovery by inducing relaxation and improving blood circulation to promote faster healing.



How can postoperative acupuncture help with recovery?

There’s ultimately little difference to how acupuncture could help treat an ailment and how it could help heal surgery, which are basically injuries that the body has suffered. The body and, in particular, the energy flowing throughout the body’s meridians or energy pathways would look at these injuries and see blockages, barring the way to an effective flow in parts and throwing the entirety out of balance. Acupuncture seeks to unblock these passages and restore the energy flow by stimulating points that are interlinked to each other, and in so doing help relax the body, reduce the perception of pain, draw out inflammation, and help the injured parts knit together and renew itself.


You don’t have to look at the words “energy,” “points,” and “meridians” and take them in their literal sense. Specifically, meridians might as well be describing the blood vessels. The “energy” mentioned could be blood and the energy it actually does carry in each cell. The points, meanwhile, are actual concentrations of nerve endings near the skin’s surface. When ultra-thin acupuncture needles stimulate these points, it can activate certain responses. This can also induce the body to release chemicals that it needs not only to reduce pain but also to begin putting itself to rights.


Learn more about how acupuncture can help you manage pain.



Acupuncture can help keep patients calm before their surgery. Photo by Natalia Figueredo/


Acupuncture before, during, and after surgery

What do all these spell out for a patient who’s about to go under the knife? For one thing, they’d probably be highly anxious about it, and it could cause other symptoms to manifest that are quite outside of the ailment they need to have surgery for. Getting pre-operative acupuncture treatments could help them relax, first and foremost—getting their mind and spirit as prepared as they could be for what’s coming while also preparing their body for the trauma and the coming pain, because acupuncture helps the body release natural painkillers such as endorphins.


Even as soon as the surgery is over, postoperative acupuncture can already help the patient manage the pain through the same mechanism mentioned for pre-operative treatment. It could also possibly serve to boost and strengthen the body’s immunity. Because the body perceives it as a threat, the invasive procedure will have significantly weakened immune system. The reason that acupuncture perceives surgical injuries the same way it would an illness is because the body itself treats them as such.


Acupuncture doesn’t just help the body deal with pain and be less susceptible to other illnesses. It might also be able to help the body heal faster by correcting and improving the flow of energy (or blood and other elements needed for healing) throughout the pathways, strengthening the connections in the process. Helping to lessen the appearance of the resulting scar is yet another way to employ postoperative acupuncture. This might also go a long way in helping ease any psychological or emotional concerns on that regard.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

It may seem counterintuitive that having needles inserted all over one’s skin could help you deal with pain of any kind. However, acupuncture does display surprising results, and patients actually feel very little to no pain during treatments. Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic uses premium Japanese acupuncture needles that are thinner and longer than average. Thus, they can be quite effective though they’re unlikely to hurt. This is highly ideal especially for children and the elderly, but we use them for all our patients at no extra cost.


The clinic also has an Herbal Pharmacy that extensively houses various herbs, teas, powders, pills, and other health supplements. These can also work wonders for those who are going to have or have undergone surgery. For people living outside the Santa Barbara area, we can mail your prescribed herbal remedies after receiving a consultation with our owner and lead acupuncture practitioner, Tram Pham, L.Ac., via phone or video call. Kindly contact us to set an appointment by calling 805-563-0222 or emailing us at