301 S Bedford St., Madison WI

Surgery, acupuncture, and healing

Surgery, acupuncture, and healing

Surgery can be life-saving. It is also a shock to the body, the mind, and the spirit. In some instances, it is a significant trauma. Here are some stories of how acupuncture has worked with surgery.

Heart surgery

Someone needs to have cardiac surgery, a life-saving procedure, but after the surgery, there is pain. Western doctors relate this pain to scar tissue or adhesions. There is really nothing that they can do for it, because another surgery to ‘clean out’ the scar tissue will be another invitation for the body to create even more scar tissue. So, the patient is told they have to live with the pain, or maybe take strong pain medication.

The patient decides to try acupuncture for this chest pain so many years after open heart surgery. The chest scars are red and tender to gentle pressure.  Acupuncture is done to help clear the pain from the area. After just a few treatments, the scars have changed color – they are now paler, more like the surrounding skin. The tenderness is gone. The chest feels good.


A woman has needed to have a hysterectomy. The abdomen is painful and tender afterwards. Physical activity is difficult because of the pain. Here, acupuncture helps more than one issue. The physical pain starts to ease. There is great sadness that the patient experiences as she acknowledges her wish to have had children. This sadness is gently eased with the acknowledgement, with grieving, and with acupuncture. Here, both the physical and the emotional pain subside. Healing occurs on many levels.