and Glenda Cedarleaf
share reflections and recommendations on preparing for a healing surgery.
Are you or a loved one preparing for an upcoming surgery? As the time draws nearer, sometimes anxious thoughts can become overwhelming, leaving you feeling fearful and powerless. The good news is that studies have shown that using the power of the mind body connection can help you recover faster and have fewer side effects. Guided Imagery helps you focus on relaxation and healing so that you are better prepared to respond effectively to your procedure.
This primary purpose of this article is to help you feel calmer and more empowered as you prepare for your medical procedure. The more you practice this method the more effective it will be. Guided Imagery can help you achieve improved surgical outcomes; this includes less pain, fewer complications and even a faster recovery. Relaxation can help you lower your cortisol and adrenaline levels, leading to lower blood pressure and heart rate. The more you practice the better your results and the more relaxed you will be at the time of surgery.
Another equally important benefit is to clarify your desired outcome. You are having surgery for a reason and there is a desired outcome. Surgery is a transformative event. First you remove your material identifiers like your clothes or ring. Next you enter a sterile space.You give up control and put your life in the hands of others. You surrender your consciousness. When you awaken you will be changed; transformed.
Before you listen to a guided imagery audio, take a moment to picture the outcome you desire. Maybe less pain, greater mobility or a cure from illness. What do you want your life to be like after surgery?
How do you want to feel? By focusing on the outcome you desire you help direct the healing power of your mind.Do you want to be more relaxed?
Do you want to wake up in a more positive mood?
Do you want to give your mind and body suggestions for healing and reduced pain?
Or do you want to allow your surgery experience to bring you greater clarity in your desired outcomes?
Do you want a greater connection to healing and to your body?
Guided Imagery is endorsed and encouraged by Harvard trained Dr Andrew Weil, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. It is used across the country and the world in hospitals and many other settings for healing.
In a recent study, just 15 minutes of hypnosis an hour before surgery, significantly reduced patient's need for anesthesia. It also resulted in less post surgical pain and other side effects. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Sept. 5, 2007).
As you prepare for your procedure it is helpful to take some time to think about and then write a few positive healing statements about your procedures; words and phrases you want to be reminded of by your health care team during and just after your procedure.
What would you most want to be reminded of?
What do you need to be reassured of?
An example of a reassuring statement is "You are safe, Your body is healing" and "Following this procedure, your appetite will return and at the right time you will be hungry and thirsty."
Other helpful considerations include:
Make sure that whoever is your companion--truly knows your concerns so they can support you in expressing your needs and advocating on your behalf.
You may want to consider contacting a qualified guided imagery practitioner in advance of your procedure to schedule some sessions to address your specific issues. Hypnosis and guided imagery are very effective in treating phobias and reducing anxiety. Many guided imagery practitioners create customized audios that incorporate YOUR unique images and suggestions for healing.
Speak with your health care provider ahead of time and find out ways you can include Listening to your surgery audio just before your procedure, during and after.
Remember to bring your audio player and headphones with you to your procedure.
Give your health care providers the statements you would like them to say to you during and right after your procedure.
Continue to listen to relaxation and guided imagery audios after your procedure. In doing so, you are continuing to "download" your brain with positive messages and images, replacing "worry" imagery with guided imagery for healing. The more you can reduce your level of anxiety, the greater the chance of reduced pain as there is a direct connection between increased anxiety causing increased pain.
Remember the importance of your state of mind, your focus on healing and the positive effect of a relaxed body on the healing process. Bringing your mind and body to a state of calm can influence your body's healing ability. Just like athletes who prepare for their events with visualization, you too can use this powerful practice as you prepare mind, body and spirit for this important event in your life.
We wish you well now as you take this step in your own self care.
Glenda Cedarleaf is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Holistic Psychotherapist and Guided Imagery Practitioner. She creates pre made and customized hypnotic guided meditation audios for healing. Her CD "Healing Surgery takes you takes you through the whole process of preparing for, undergoing, waking up and recuperating from your procedure. "Healing Surgery" includes many of these kinds of suggestions as well as imagery to relax, and to create a safe space in which to focus your energy on your own healing and well being. It is currently being used at Ridgeview Medical Center by patients in the out patient surgery department, the Cardiac Catheter Lab and Emergency Department.
Noël Radcliffe M.D. is a pioneer in bringing consciousness and healing to mainstream clinical practice. A founding partner of Edina Sports Health & Wellness, one of the first privately owned clinics in the Minneapolis area to utilize a healing design. Here she promotes an integral approach to healing chronic illness and optimal personal wellness. A diplomat of the American Board of Holistic Medicine, Associate professor at University of Minnesota, and a certified Qigong instructor, she divides her time between clinical practice, and the promotion of a more holistic approach to health through her writings and consultations. Her goal is to broaden our understanding of how we heal on many levels and thereby awaken our natural healing abilities.
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Glenda Cedarleaf MSW LICSW is a Holistic Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist who loves helping others heal through the power of guided imagery.