Sometimes, when you’re scared, overwhelmed, or simply in pain you might find yourself sitting in a passive mindset when it comes to interacting with medical professionals, getting tests done, having surgery, etc. You put a lot of faith in the fact that your doctors will lead you on the path to better health, and to an extent you should! You pay them a lot for their competence and expertise. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have an active role play in your own healthy and quick recovery. If your doctor is the consultant, you are still the boss of your own body.
How well your surgery goes is NOT just a matter of chance, nor does it rely solely on the skill of your doctor. You can do a lot to prepare your body (and mind, really) for the intensity of what it’s going to encounter, by setting up as many supports for yourself as you can. Many hospitals even offer free meditation CDs for patients, because the link between body and mind is so well documented at this point that a lot of alternative methods are being integrated into traditional, western medicine.
Your goal, if surgery cannot (or should not) be avoided is to approach the procedure from a place of empowerment. Take matters into your own hands! Surround yourself with positivity and support; your body will heal faster, better, and with fewer complications! See www.preemptivehealing.com for some interesting research.
Consider the following:
- Eat VERY cleanly starting a day or two before the procedure so that your body's resources are freed up from the job of trying to digest that steak or detox those chemicals and can pool together to work on your recovery. Ideally you would drink water, tea, or fresh juice (no sodas, no alcohol) and your diet would be full of fresh, natural foods (none of that processed garbage – it requires a lot of energy to digest). If your energy reserves are all available to be channeled into your own healing, you will notice less inflammation, more energy, improved healing time, and a better prognosis.
- Homeopathic remedies can help prepare your body for the trauma of being medicated, cut, etc. Take a few drops of Bach’s Rescue Remedy in your water starting the day before your procedure. It’s also a perfect antidote for emotional stress or nervousness… if you’ve got some butterflies in your stomach, take a few drops of Rescue Remedy right under your tongue. Another great remedy is Arnica, a.k.a. Arnica Montana, which works to minimize muscle and joint pain (it’s my go-to whenever I have soreness from exercising). Consult your doctor or alternative health specialist to make sure either of these remedies are appropriate for you. www.bachflower.com.
- Stretch your body, go to a yoga class, or find time to do something deeply relaxing (besides sleep, although that's important, too) before your procedure in order to release some body tension. It’s like getting an oil change and a tune-up right before trying to get your car to pass an emissions test… every little bit of help helps!
- Set several intentions of the procedure going remarkably well and surprisingly easy. Visualize the doctor being really impressed with how well your body responds to whatever has to be done, imagine that you're shocked by how little pain there is, how on their game the staff is, how peaceful you are, how every little need of yours gets met, etc. You are supported in more ways than you can even imagine! So let your mind create all of these possibilities so that your body can start getting on board!
- Utilize your healing repertoire to move out any uneasiness you can’t otherwise shake, any specific fears that you’re holding, or any physical symptoms you feel stuck in. Visualizations, reiki, theta healing, or tapping – do whatever your favorite alternative health practitioner has taught you to do. If you don’t know any mind-body healing techniques, no need to fret! There are several that are easy enough to learn (contact us if you’re interested). If tapping is your thing, do a round of tapping... Tap out the fears or negatives (it's going to hurt, it's going to be intense, I don’t have enough money to miss work, I’m going to need help with my recovery.....) then tap again with the positives (stuff from #5).
- Create a music list or two on your IPOD that have either soothing, comforting tunes or upbeat, inspiring ones. Then use them to help you relax, sleep, or stay in a positive mind-frame.
- Research the emotional roots of your physical symptoms. If you understand what some of the emotional ties are to whatever you’re having worked on, it can be very enlightening! If you’re having oral surgery, for example, you’re possibly ready to enter a new phase around decision-making because teeth represent choices and decisions. So if you choose to look at the surgery as a way of ushering in a new phase or approach to life-decisions, it can add an element of tangible hopefulness and optimism to the whole thing (i.e. my decision making process is more empowered, more proactive, more faithful, more balanced...). Stepping out of a victim-like, passive role and into an empowered, thankful place makes a huge difference.
- Pray or meditate and ask for your loved ones to as well. Volumes of research have emerged suggesting that our mind is a VERY powerful tool in physical healing. In various studies, patients who were prayed for (whether they knew they were being prayed for or not) showed huge improvements on a vast array of variables from better blood pressure to better moods. Check out the research conducted by Larry Dossey M.D. if you’re interested in more details. www.dosseydossey.com.