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Preparing for Surgery: How Acupuncture Can Help

Patients commonly experience pain, fatigue and nausea after surgery. Acupuncture is a great remedy for these types of symptoms, and even skimpy insurance plans may cover the treatment for such post-operative conditions. But not many people think of doing acupuncture before a surgical procedure. Surgeons often prescribe physical therapy to patients prior to arthroscopic musculoskeletal surgeries, or even full joint replacements. The idea is to prepare them for the best possible outcome by strengthening their muscles and reducing any inflammation so that the recovery and healing can happen more smoothly. Since acupuncture helps not only with pain management but also with inflammation reduction, immune system stimulation and blood circulation, it is an excellent preparatory therapy. Another reason it is helpful prior to surgery is because of its calming effect. Anticipating an upcoming operation can be a nerve-wracking experience that fills patients with dread. Even for a simple oral surgery, I typically schedule patients the day prior to procedure. They report feeling significantly less anxious after treatment, which is always a good thing!