Tips for Surgery: The Mind
by Linda Mackenzie, C.H.T., Ph.D.(c)
Having surgery, whether elective or unexpected,
can be a traumatic experience but there are some natural things
that you can do on a mind level that may aid your healing process
and boost a better, positive outcome. Remember every body is different.
Select the ways and methods that feel right for you.
Do Deal With Your Doctor:
Do remember that YOU are responsible for your body.
No one knows your body better than you do. Your doctor is going
by generalities but every body is different so don't give away
your power to anyone. Take the responsibility of yourself. Here
are some tips on how you can work WITH your doctor:
- Before having surgery ask your doctor the right
questions: Why, How, What, When, Where; what
happens if I don't have surgery; are there other alternatives
other than surgery; what are the risks and benefits; what % of
these types of surgeries are successful; how long is the recovery
- Get at least one or two other medical opinions
prior to having surgery.
- Tell your doctor about the medications, herbs
and supplements you are taking. Most Western MDs are not familiar
with alternative therapies, including herbs, but that does not
mean they do not work.
- Consult with your doctor to see if you can have
less invasive laproscopic surgery for your procedure.
- Ask about the risks and effects of anesthesia.
- Ask questions and do not apologize for asking
questions. Remember you're paying the Doctor. He is working with
you as a partner, not as a Medical Deity or your boss. Make a
list of your questions prior, during and after each meeting with
your doctor so you don't forget them and ask them!
- Be persistent and use caring assertiveness.
- Participate as much as you can in your healing
Do Deal with Your Emotions
Learning that you are going to have or getting surgery comes with
its very own pack of emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness
and acceptance. Learning to cope and deal with this in positive
ways can help your healing process. You are what you think - so
for a positive outcome - THINK POSITIVE! Here are some of the
emotions you may have to deal with and some suggestions on how
to handle them:
- Denial or "Numbness": Look to balance
your mind and work on looking at the real picture until you work
your way into acceptance.
- Anger: acknowledge it, take an appropriate action
(e.g., Punch a pillow, go into a room by yourself and scream,
walk around the block, draw a picture) then let it go.
- Sadness- Let it out and cry, get support from
friends, loved ones or a support group, start and write a your
own healing journal, do artwork therapy, write a letter to yourself.
- Worry - is a useless emotion which accomplishes
nothing and eats up your time. Time in which you can be doing
something positive to help your healing process. When you get
a "worry" thought acknowledge that you have it and let
it go immediately.
- Change your emotions to positive ones like hope,
joy and happiness.
- Make your Environment Happy. Bring your favorite
personal pictures, paintings, music, flowers and plants, aromatherapy
fragrances with you to the hospital or even spruce up your room
- Avoid negative people and situations.
- Make a list of supportive people and groups in
your life and use the list!
Nice To Use: Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy Oil Activity that aid, help or restore
Rose, Lavender, Neroli, Bergamot, Chamomile Anxiety
Frankincense, Sandalwood Fear & Insecurity
Jasmine, Grapefruit, Neroli, Sage,
Ylang, Ylang Depression
Jasmine Lack of Confidence
Do Face Your Fears:
Once you get a clear picture from your doctor on what is going
to happen to you before, during and after your surgical procedure
you will have eliminated some of the fears. If other fears persist
as to outcome, possible death, etc. remember a couple of things:
- The only thing to fear is fear itself. You are
in God's hands and will be all right - no matter what. Even if
death occurs remember that it is not the end, but a transition.
There is life on the other side, so you really never die you pass
over to a better place. So reconcile with your fear of death.
- You create your reality with your thoughts. So
if you feel, know and trust that the outcome will be positive
and that you will heal - YOU WILL.
- Positive Energy resonates to a higher energetic
frequency than negative. Positive energy that can make you feel
good and help you face your fears can be activated by thought.
The higher frequencies correlate with the upper chakras (esoteric
electrical energy centers in the body) starting with the heart
chakra and up to the crown chakra. To activate these centers -BUZZ.
That's right just buzz like a bee. You will be surprised as to
how this works.
- Another helpful hint for fear is to BREATHE.
Breathe in through the nose slowly and deeply and then breathe
out with the mouth in a rhythmic pattern. This will immediately
lower your pulse and heart rate and get you centered. Physically
it activates the Vegas nerve which is the major quieting nerve
in the body. The Vegas nerve starts at the base of the brain and
branches out to the heart, lungs and intestinal track. By just
breathing deeply it automatically quiets your body and centers
- Remember fear is your friend, not an enemy. Society
teaches us that fear should be avoided but you can reprogram your
mind to make fear a friend. You can always learn something you
fear and once you learn it the fear usually doesn't come back.
- Remember there are 4 steps to managing fear and
turning it into a positive emotion:
1) Acknowledge your fear;
2) Feel how the fear is affecting your body;
3) Think about and determine what the best action is and
4) Do the action. Putting off the action delays releasing the
- Let go of your fear, ego, rigid goals, expectations,
negative attitudes and negative feelings and replace them with
to Living in the Moment, trust, hope, positive intention and attitudes
and positive feelings.
Nice To Use: Bach Flower Remedies
Bach Flower Remedy Activity that aid, help or restore
Rock Rose, Aspen, Cherry Plum Fear
Gentian, Cerato, Hornbeam Uncertainty
Crab Apple, Willow, Elm Despair
Rescue Remedy Stress
Do Deal with Stress
To help your healing process here are some helpful hints you can
use to deal with stress before, during and after surgery:
- Use the POWER of Positive thought and positive intention
- Practice Relaxation for Rejuvenation
- Use Visualization or Self-Hypnosis. You can visualize a time
when you were in perfect health and everything was going 100%
right in your life. Then anytime you are having a stressful time
go back to that place, visualize it and feel the joy and happiness.
- Listen to calming music
- Pamper yourself with a candlelit bath, etc.
- Use color therapy like soothing blues and greens.
- Take a 1 minute stress break. Close your eyes. Tell yourself
you are going to be stressed for 1 minute and at the end of 1
minute you will be stress free. It works!
- Look in the mirror and use Positive Self-Talk to describe the
outcome as you want it to be.
- Avoid using negative words like I can't, I won't, I shouldn't,
I couldn't. Replace them with I can, I will, etc.
- Live in the Now, not the past or the future
- Don't try to control things
- Feel, trust and know things will be all right and they will