Discover the treatment that could make your surgery and recovery easier
If you’re going to have surgery, you may benefit from ear acupuncture—both before and after your operation. This is not just a finding reported by Chinese medical doctors and acupuncturists… it has been confirmed by various American studies published in medical journals! For example, a 2007 Duke University Medical Center study revealed that fewer painkilling drugs were needed by surgical patients when acupuncture was provided.
Fewer drugs… means fewer side effects.
The beauty is that it doesn’t matter what type of surgery you’re having. Ear acupuncture provides a stimulus to the nervous system and the immune system, which is critical to recovery. Surgery is traumatic to the body—even though it is intended to be helpful, and to reduce pain and illness. Acupuncture has been shown to help the body deal with stress, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, itching, incontinence, and pain after surgery.
Acupuncture can also be beneficial for dealing with post-surgical scar tissue. Depending on the type of surgery done, acupuncture needles can be placed around the incision area (a few weeks after surgery) to reduce keloid/scar formation.
Many of the physician acupuncturists in the United States are anesthesiologists. They have been instrumental in observing the benefits of pre and post-surgery acupuncture. I have had the great privilege of being trained in ear acupuncture by Dr. Nader Soliman, a Rockville, Maryland anesthesiologist. Dr. Soliman has served as president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, and has had considerable success with pre and post-surgical ear acupuncture. According to Dr. Soliman, ear acupuncture done after surgery decreases pain and swelling, helps absorb blood, improves healing, and decreases need for various medications.
One of the great advantages of the ear acupuncture specialty is the unique ability to treat points that directly correlate with the organ, tissue, or structure for which surgery is being performed.
In traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture done on the body, there is no anatomical point for each part of the body. For example, if you are having knee surgery, we would prior to the operation, insert a tiny, semi-permanent intra-dermal ear acupuncture needle in the knee zone of the ear. The needle can stay in place for several days before surgery and remain during recovery. Additional ear acupuncture could be performed to address pain.
Dr. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO
477 Viking Drive #170
Virginia Beach, ViA 23452
One study showed that ear (auricular) acupuncture applied to specific areas reduced the patients' need to take ibuprofen after arthroscopic knee surgery (1)
Another study concluded that stimulation of the ear at specific points significantly reduces the need for opioid painkillers and improved knee motion with patients having total knee replacement surgery! (2)
A study done in Germany provided further evidence that auricular acupuncture was effective for reducing the need for pain relief medicine after surgery. (3)
A study of ear acupuncture for post-hip surgery demonstrated that it was effective, too. (4)
The drug fentanyl is extremely dangerous, addictive, and sometimes deadly opioid. Fentanyl depresses central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory function. It is estimated to be 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin.
A 2006 study showed that ear acupuncture reduced the need for the dangerous opioid for hip surgery! (5)
A Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital study (2001) revealed that patients who received ear acupuncture with relaxation points reported significantly lower levels of anxiety after surgery compared with the control group.
They reported that ear acupuncture could be used for anxious patients who did not want to take drugs for anxiety before surgery. The researchers described ear acupuncture as easy to administer, inexpensive, and lacking side effects.(6)
I have performed pre/post surgery ear acupuncture for many years, for many different types of surgery, with great success. Patients have reported less need for pain medication, as well as faster rehabilitation times.
If you’re having surgery, make sure you let me know what you’re having done, so I can provide the appropriate ear acupuncture to support your speedy recovery.
1) Usichenko TI, Kuchling S, Witstruck T, et al. Auricular acupuncture for pain relief after ambulatory knee surgery: a randomized trial. CMAJ. 2007;176(2):179-183. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.060875
(2) Chang LH, Hsu CH, Jong GP, Ho S, Tsay SL, Lin KC. Auricular acupressure for managing postoperative pain and knee motion in patients with total knee replacement: a randomized sham control study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:528452. DOI: 10.1155/2012/528452
(3) Usichenko TI, et al. Auricular Acupuncture for Pain Relief after Ambulatory Knee Arthroscopy-A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Jun;2(2):185-189. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neh097
4) Usichenko TI, Dinse M, Hermsen M, Witstruck T, Pavlovic D, Lehmann C. Auricular acupuncture for pain relief after total hip arthroplasty - a randomized controlled study. Pain. 2005 Apr;114(3):320-327. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2004.08.021
5) Usichenko TI, Dinse M, Lysenyuk VP, Wendt M, Pavlovic D, Lehmann C. Auricular acupuncture reduces intraoperative fentanyl requirement during hip arthroplasty--a randomized double-blinded study. Acupunct Electrother Res. 2006;31(3-4):213-21 DOI: 10.3727/036012906815844265
6) Wang SM, Peloquin C, Kain ZN. The use of auricular acupuncture to reduce preoperative anxiety. Anesth Analg. 2001 Nov;93(5):1178-80, table of contents. DOI: 10.1097/00000539-200111000-00024
477 Viking Drive #170, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452, United States
The Liebell Clinic has office hours one Saturday each month for special evaluations. Times and dates are variable month-to-month.
Copyright © 2021 The Liebell Clinic - All Rights Reserved. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO. The information and statements contained in this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The content of this website is for informational purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Your reliance on any information provided by Dr. Liebell’s website, any referenced parties is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment, because of information contained in this website. This website expresses Dr. Liebell's health care views, and describes wellness-based, natural treatment methods, and must not be misconstrued as direct treatment advice—it is information only.