Q. Hi,I have nerve damage to my Greater Auricular Nerve and Cranial nerve 5, after surgery to remove a whartins tumour on my right Parotid gland, I cannot take any appropriate medication due to bad side affects, can Acupuncture help me to relieve the pain.
A. Generally speaking, where pain arises from nerves damaged by surgery there are no straight answers about how successful acupuncture may be. In the treatment of phantom limb pain, for example, there are a number of studies such as
which seem to indicate that needling the opposite limb can make a great difference to the pain experienced. You describe damage rather than complete cutting, and that may be far less amenable to treatment.
From a Chinese medicine perspective the areas which are painful are understood within a framework of flows and patterns of energy across the body, and there is some possibility that a practitioner might be able to make sense of what you are feeling, and where, within this context. If so, there may be some possibility of reducing the amount of pain that you experience.
The best course of action, since each case is unique and different, is to visit a BAcC member local to you for an informal asessment of whether in your particular case there is a something which they feel they might be able to help. It might also be worth discussing with them what side effects you suffer when taking medications. Occasionally people use acupuncture for the nausea which some drugs induce, and the evidence for this us is now widely accepted in the west.