Acupuncture for Post Surgical Pain

Studies indicate that acupuncture improves postoperative pain and nausea on the first day after surgery and reduces opioid use. Acupuncture as adjuvant therapy in treating postoperative pain is supported by research. At Integrative Acupuncture in Montpelier and Williston, Vermont we frequently work with surgeons, physical therapists and other providers to set patients up for success and healing. We are experienced with helping patients become more comfortable after surgeries of all types and provide effective and quality’s evidenced based care.

Western Medicine Treats Post Surgical Pain

When surgery is recommended, physicians provide pain reducing medications for the post operative period. Physical therapy is also recommended for patients often after surgery. Modern surgeons know about acupuncture’s results to reduce swelling and pain and recommend incorporating acupuncture into a treatment plan post operation. Months or years after surgery, pain may maintain. This chronic pain is often managed by strong medications, like opiates. Some patients develop an addiction to this pain medication.

Acupuncture Treats Post Surgical Pain

Just like acupuncture effectively treats pain in the back, shoulder and joints, it can reduce pain after surgery. Many people use acupuncture post surgery as soon as possible. In fact, acupuncture made its way to the U.S. when Mr. James Reston, reporter for the New York Times, went to China with president Nixon in 1971 to report on the opening of the gates to China and the new relationship with the west. Too bad for James, he suffered an acute attack of appendicitis and had surgery. Lucky for the future of acupuncture in the west, Mr. Reston suffered post surgical abdominal pain and reported it to his physicians in China. He was promptly treated with acupuncture and his post surgical pain was eliminated (read the whole story here.

At Integrative Acupuncture, we are experienced at managing your post operative pain, nausea and bowel movements. You can trust us to help you feel more comfortable and encourage healing. We have treated patients after major joint surgeries like knees, shoulders and hips. We can help women after cesarean sections. We have provided services in UVM Medical Center’s C.V.M.C. oncology department and treated patients post oncology surgery. We have helped women post gynecological surgeries including women trying to conceive. We have also assisted with pain post gender affirming surgery.

By reducing pain, we reduce the need for pain medication. We know the dangers of the addictive nature of opioids. Using acupuncture as part of a recovery plan allows many people to reduce their need for opiate pain killers. We can also help patients detox from pain medications and reduce the withdrawal symptoms. We have trained in drug and alcohol recovery centers to provide proven treatments to help patients eliminate opiates.

Let acupuncture complement your post surgical plan. We reduce swelling, reduce the need for pain medications, and speed up recovery times.


Wu MS, Chen KH, Chen IF, et al. The Efficacy of Acupuncture in Post-Operative Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2016;11(3):e0150367. Published 2016 Mar 9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150367


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