World Health Organaisation
WHO Acupuncture-Traumatic, Dentistry & Surgery-Dr.A.Ravindranathkennedy M.D(Acu)-View
Traumatic or postoperative pain
For traumas such as sprains, acupuncture is not only useful for relieving pain without the risk of drug dependence, but may also hasten recovery by improving local circulation . Acupuncture analgesia to relieve postoperative pain is well recognized and has been confirmed in controlled studies. The first successful operation under acupuncture analgesia was a tonsillectomy. This was, in fact, inspired by the success of acupuncture in relieving post-tonsillectomy pain. Post-tonsillectomy acupuncture was re-evaluated in a controlled study in 1990, which not only showed prompt alleviation of throat pain, but also reduction in salivation and promotion of healing in the operative wound.
Acupuncture has been widely used in dentistry. There are reports of randomized controlled trials on the analgesic effect of acupuncture for postoperative pain from various dental procedures, including tooth extraction, pulp devitalization, and acute apical periodontitis. According to a systematic review of papers on the use of acupuncture in dentistry published between 1966 and 1996, 11 out of 15 randomized controlled studies with blind controls, appropriate statistics and sufficient follow-up showed standard acupuncture to be more effective than a placebo or sham acupuncture. It was therefore concluded that acupuncture should be considered a reasonable alternative or supplement to current dental practice as an analgesic. Its use in the treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction was also supported in these studies.
In childbirth, acupuncture analgesia is useful for relieving labour pain and can significantly reduce the duration of labour. In the case of weakened uterine contractions, acupuncture increases the activity of the uterus. Episiotomy and subsequent suturing of the perineum can also be carried out with acupuncture analgesia. In addition, the avoidance of narcotics is advantageous for newborn infants.
Acupuncture analgesia has the following advantages in surgical operations. It is a very safe procedure compared with drug anaesthesia; no death has ever been reported from acupun cture analgesia. There is no adverse effect on physiological functions, whereas general anaes thesia often interferes with respiration and blood pressure, for example. There are fewer of the postoperative complications that sometimes occur after general anaesthesia, such as nausea, urinary retention, constipation, and respiratory infections. The patient remains conscious and able to talk with the medical team during the operation so that injury of the
facial and recurrent laryngeal nerve can be avoided. However, remaining conscious may be a disadvantage if the patient cannot tolerate the emotional stress of the procedure.
While the benefits of acupuncture analgesia are many, the disadvantages must also be considered. The use of acupuncture is more time-consuming and in many cases may fail to
bring about complete analgesia. It is often not suitable for abdominal surgery because suppression of visceral pain and muscle relaxation may be inadequate. It is not suitable in children because few children will tolerate the needling and keep still during major surgery. Also, the surgeon must be quick and deft, so that the operation can be finished before the patient develops tolerance to the needling.
In conclusion, acupuncture analgesia as an anaesthetic for surgical procedures is indicated in selected patients who show a good response to needling in the preoperative trial, particularly when they may be a poor surgical risk under conventional general anaesthesia. The use of adjuvant drugs to potentiate the effect of the acupuncture treatment is preferred. Acupuncture can also be used in combination with general anaesthesia to reduce the dosage of anaesthetic agents.
Acupuncture has been reported to be effective for treating acute bacillary dysentery. Its effect is comparable with that of conventional medicines such as furazolidone, but the use of acupuncture in the first line of defence against this disease is not practicable—daily performance of needling procedures is much more complicated than administering oral drug therapy. However, when no antidysenteric agent is available or the patient is allergic to antidysenteric agents, acupuncture may occasionally be used.
The results of research on the effects of acupuncture treatments that stimulate the immune system suggest that acupuncture may be of use in conjunction with other medical therapies for treating infections.
The effect of acupuncture on the immune system has been tested in hepatitis B virus carriers. In a comparative study, acupuncture–moxibustion is apparently superior to herbal medications in producing hepatitis B e core antibodies and reducing hepatitis B surface antigen. For epidemic haemorrhagic fever, compared with steroid and supportive treatments, moxibustion shortened the period of oliguria and promoted the reduction of kidney swelling.
Acupuncture may be useful in treating pertussis (whooping cough), by relieving cough as well as promoting a cure.
Article posted – Arun Acupuncture Clinic Founder and the Chief Consultant -Dr.A.Ravindranathkennedy M.D(Acu), Singampunari, Sivagangai District, Tamilnadu State, India-630502. E-Mail. firstname.lastname@example.org