Surgery requires a serious look at one’s physical, mental and emotional state. Once a decision is made, visiting an acupuncturist or naturopath would be greatly beneficial, and here is why. Your immune system helps you get through your surgery and will affect how well you recover after it. Your immune system is greatly influenced by your physical, mental and emotional state. Acupuncture before and after will help you stay calm and positive and will improve circulation in your body, bringing blood to the areas that need healing, increasing your appetite and helping to remove toxins from your system.
To keep calm and positive, invest in relaxation tapes that are specifically designed to help you get through the surgery. Listen to them for 10–20 minutes each day before and after surgery. Ask your family and friends to keep you in their thoughts and wrap you in a bubble of positive, warm thoughts—seeing you healthy, happy and active. As for nutrition, before surgery, decrease sugar and fried and heavy foods, eat lots of fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water. After surgery, continue the same and add extra fiber to help peristalsis that will be sluggish after general anesthesia. If you are interested in supplements, you need to contact your practitioner since the protocols depend on your individual needs and the type of surgery you will be having. And don’t forget exercise. If you are able to walk, cycle or swim, do so at least ½ hour each day before surgery.
In my practice, I have seen many people go through surgery and am amazed to see how some people are able to recover in a matter of days with a minimum of pain and medications, good appetite and easy bowel movement. I think the best is to hear directly from one of my patients who, within two years, went through two hip operations. She recovered beautifully after the first but felt that there was a possibility for improvement. She therefore prepared for it differently when approaching her second operation. Here is what she reported.
“Nancy’s tips for hip surgery and a great recovery: Four to six months before surgery cut out all refined sugar from your diet. Eat a diet filled with lots of fresh fruits and veggies and no fried foods…just simple, clean organic food (if possible). Drink lots of water. Two to three times during the week before surgery eat grass-fed organic meat/liver. After my first surgery I became anemic, so before the second surgery I did this and had no issue. Two days before the surgery, eat a diet of soft foods; I think this is helpful with the recovery of bowel regularity. I also ate lots of fresh raspberries after my second surgery to help move my bowels since the anesthesia causes them to shut down, and waiting for them to wake up is not much fun. I was back to normal two days after surgery. I also only ate fruits, veggies, sweet potatoes, seaweed salad and simply cooked protein while in the hospital. I actually cooked all my own food and every day my husband would bring it to me. I never ate an ounce of hospital food. I also recommend seeing your chiropractor and acupuncturist before surgery to have your body fully aligned and your energy well balanced when you go in for surgery. I truly feel it makes a big difference in your recovery.”
I would also add that Nancy used essential oils before and after surgery. Essential oils are used in many hospitals all over the world for disinfection and to help patients stay calm before and after surgery and to help reduce pain.
Please note: always consult with your doctor or surgeon before you start something new such as a diet, exercise or supplement program.
Mariola Strahlberg, a Monsey resident, is a licensed acupuncturist who founded Shining Mountain Children’s Center in March 2004. Subsequently, she opened Shining Mountain Center for Peaceful Childhood, Inc., a non-profit to provide scholarships to children who could otherwise not attend the program. She is also president of the Janusz Korczak Association of the USA.
By Mariola Strahlberg