New research has put another notch in the belt of acupuncture benefits. According to a study conducted at the department of surgery at the Bnai-Zion Medical Center in Israel, acupuncture was found effective at lowering pain after shoulder surgery.
The focus of the study was to integrate acupuncture into conventional post-surgical pain intervention while producing the most effective method to combat pain. A total of 25 patients received acupuncture during a 14-moth period, and pressure points were customized for each individual based on traditional Chinese medicine diagnostics.
The severity of shoulder pain, assessed with a Visual Analogue Scale from 0 to 10, was conducted prior to and two hours after acupuncture treatments. Typically after laparoscopic shoulder surgery, pain levels vary from 3 to 8, and lasts up to 72 hours after surgery. Doctors are still working on ways to lower discomfort, using current methods such as lying flat on the back with one's feet raised higher than the head and analgesic medications. However, these treatments have often proven unsatisfactory.
So, locating specific acupressure points, researchers conducted dispersing needling for half an hour, balancing needling for 20 minutes and tonifying needling for 15 to 18 minutes. The total number of needles ranger for four to eight per treatment session. Deqi sensations, or the feeling of grabbing or pulling felt by both the patient and practitioner, were elicited at acupuncture points and needle stimulation techniques.
The patients' average pain level before receiving acupuncture was 8.3. Yet two hours after treatment, pain decreased by up to 20 percent. Nearly every patient showed improvement after the needles were removed, further underlying the effectiveness of acupuncture in healing.
Researchers have tackled several main issues associated with merging acupuncture into the traditional post-surgical setting. By comparing patients who took analgesic medications and those who received only acupuncture, acupuncture was differentiated and deemed more effective than than previous pain reduction interventions.
While the research team favored individualized acupuncture point prescriptions based on differential diagnostics, they added that future investigation is needed to determine if the approach produces the most beneficial patient outcomes as well as easiest administrative integration. As they pointed out, this could be the beginning of incorporating the ancient medicine into modern-day practices.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture is both safe and effective, and no significant side effects occurred.
Ilchi Lee, a New York Times best-selling author, added that acupuncture can be a great outlet to lower pain for injuries that span beyond the shoulder, from backs to hands to elbows. Acupuncture has more than its fair share of healing purposes!