It’s no secret that our country is currently facing an opioid epidemic, and among the most common ways opioid addictions begin is after being legally prescribed pain relief for painful conditions, as well as post-operative recovery.
While surgeries are undoubtedly painful and require rest and treatment to fully recover, more and more patients are turning to alternative therapies as opposed to filling pain killer prescriptions, or to at least lessen the amount of time they require them for.
Is it working?
HealthCMi reports the findings from a clinical trial performed by researchers out of the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The study followed the recovery of patients who received surgical treatment of intestinal cancer. These patients received both epidural morphine analgesia as well as acupuncture of the scalp and showed improvement in both the visual analog scale scores as well as the Bruggman comfort scale scores.
The article states that gastrointestinal functioning was also improved in those who received scalp acupuncture, for both bowel recovery time as well as anal exhaust time, which were both significantly decreased by many hours.
In layman’s terms, this study found, “that scalp acupuncture combined with epidural morphine analgesia into an integrated treatment protocol is more effective than epidural morphine analgesia as a standalone therapy. The researchers conclude that scalp acupuncture is safe and effective for the relief of postoperative intestinal cancer pain.”
This doesn’t really come as a surprise to us, though, as it has long been known and studied that acupuncture can both improve pain as well as gastrointestinal issues. My promoting steady movement of Chi, unblocking energy and restoring balance to the body, acupuncture can help to restore many imbalances – and the body is often incredibly imbalanced after invasive surgery.
While it’s of course important to speak with your surgeon regarding post-operative pain protocols and acceptable therapies, it’s always a great idea to consider all options and be a well-informed patient.
You have a say in your recovery, and often times there are ways to avoid overexposure to opiods.