Researchers within the department of anesthesia at Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang China recently conducted a study evaluating the effectiveness of an acupuncture "extra" point for post-operative pain. Researchers recruited 120 patients who were undergoing routine abdominal surgery and randomly divided them into an acupuncture group and a western medication group (Sufentanil).
Treatment for the acupuncture group utilized electro-acupuncture at the extra point neimadian. Patient responses were analyzed using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at 2 hours post-operative (then 4, 8, 16, 24 and 48h) for pain and the analgesic effect was measured by examining beta-endorphin levels.
Researchers found that the the VAS scores were lower and the analgesic effect was higher in the acupuncture group than in the medication group. As acupuncture is also safer than the western medicine, this study shows both benefits and safety advantages of acupuncture treatment for post-operative pain.
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