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Acupressure for Post Surgery Pain

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/08/2018

Having an injury that requires surgery is never fun. After the initial trauma of the injury, putting your body through the second trauma of surgery can leave you feeling like a real mess and in a lot of pain. If you've been a recent surgery patient and are looking for some new therapies to help ease your pain, then you'll want to try acupressure. By using acupressure, post-surgery pain will decrease and you will recover so much quicker.

So what is acupressure?

It is an easy and effective therapy that recent surgical patients can do in just a few moments at home.

In this article I will cover:


What is acupressure?

Sometimes called pressure acupuncture, acupressure is a tool used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is similar to acupuncture, which you may be familiar with. It is rooted in the same theories and works with the same pressure points that are used in acupuncture. And it can be used for similar conditions to bring about relief.

But it is not exactly the same as acupuncture. Where acupuncture uses needles to stimulate acupoints, acupressure uses manual pressure. With acupressure, you hold pressure to the acupressure point with your hands and gently massage it.

This needle-free alternative to acupuncture can be a great home remedy to try. It is non-invasive and you can do it yourself. It doesn't require going to an acupuncture office and it can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Acupressure points can be used for:

And that is just the start.

But today, we will talk about how this holistic medicine treatment can help previous surgery patients. And how you can use it yourself to decrease pain intensity and speed up recovery.


Why does it help with post-operative pain?

Acupressure, acupuncture, and related techniques can all be useful in recovering from injuries.

When you get hurt, you lose circulation and flow in the area. The lines of communication become broken. This includes the flow in the nervous system, lymphatic system, blood, and more. Acupressure helps heal by clearing blocks and increasing flow. It will promote blood flow and increase nervous system activity in the area where that is needed.

This can decrease inflammation, lower pain, shorten recovery time, and much more.

So if you are a recent surgery patient facing months of recovery time and pain? Give this simple alternative medicine treatment a try. It is a great tool for post-surgery pain management.

Doctors work on bandaged knee of a man recovering from knee surgery | acupressure post-surgery pain

The two sides of the body, connected

You might be wondering, how can I put pressure on the part of my body that is injured? It is already in pain, so won't that just add to the pain?

This is a great question. But the amazing thing about this treatment is that it can be done without ever touching the area in pain at all.

That is because there are circuits connecting both sides of our bodies at all times. Our nervous system connects the left and right sides of the body. It also connects the front to the back. This helps us to coordinate movements between both sides.

That circuit also allows us to do acupressure on the opposite side of the body from our injury. By working on the opposite side, we can promote healing on the side with the problem.

With acupressure, we locate the exact opposite mirror-image part of our body. And then we target treatment to that area instead of the hurt body part. This allows us to use it for pain control, anti-inflammatory effects, and so much more. And all without ever touching the injured spot.

Learn more about this here.

How to do acupressure for post-surgery pain relief

In the video above, I explain how to do this treatment. You can try it on yourself, or have a loved one help you do it.

Step 1.

First, you need to understand where in your body the surgery was done. With that in mind, go to the same place on the opposite side of your body. If you hurt the outside of your left knee, for example, go to the outside of your right knee.

Locate the mirror-image location of your hurt area, and place your hands there.

If you were hurt along your midline, then use back to front as the mirror. For example, you may have had surgery along your spinal cord on your back. If so, find the spot on your front belly across from that area.

Step 2.

It is now time to fine-tune and find out where exactly to press. How will you know when you've hit the perfect spot? You will notice that the area will feel very tender. You will likely even feel pain there, even though the injury is on the other side of your body.

Step 3.

Use your hands to massage the area for one minute. You don't have to press too hard. And you don't have to follow a pattern. Just massage and apply pressure for about a minute.

Repeat these steps once per day during your recovery and while you are still in pain.

A man holds his hands on his knee to do acupressure for pain relief


This integrative medicine approach can be a really helpful treatment to use during your recovery. You don't have to stop any other therapies or treatments. But acupressure can be the icing on the cake to speed things along that much quicker. And all without side effects. Who doesn't want to reduce pain and get rid of symptoms faster?

I know it sounds a little far-fetched that it can help reduce the pain that much, but I know it works. I've seen people find relief time and time again. Complementary medicine tools like this might be underused, but they are very powerful.

So try it out for yourself. And then share in the comments below!

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