Millions of surgeries take place across the country every day, all because people’s bodies reach a state where they can no longer function without some tinkering beneath the skin. Now, this short article will dive into a rather dramatic subject, but one that needs to be talked about seriously even though it is difficult to handle–death. As we all know, surgeries that focus on such areas as your heart are needed because there is something wrong that the body cannot repair on its own. So needless to say, when the surgery is over, patients may still face the possibility that the heart won’t get back to a healthy state.
I’m not here to report on gloomy statistics; instead, I want to inform you of a positive and interesting finding recently reported in the premier journal, The Lancet. In one study, patients about to undergo a difficult heart procedure were taught how to practice relaxed breathing, and they also received both soothing touch and soothing music therapy before going under the knife. Researchers found that this unique combination of stress relief and healing touch led to patients being 65% more likely to be alive six months after surgery than patients who didn’t receive the additional therapy.
What this means is that your body may recover more quickly by using these ultra-simple practices. It’s an early step toward this goal, but it’s one you should know about if you or anybody you love faces an upcoming surgery. The healing touch therapy occurred before surgery, with people trained in music, imagery, and touch therapy (also called MIT therapy) placing their hands in specific places on the patients’ bodies. The goal is to shift the patient’s natural energy around and promote healing even before the surgery happens. Although it sounds quirky, touch therapy is an ancient practice and it materializes in many forms these days including massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, and Reiki.
While they received healing touch, patients also chose what type of soothing music they wanted to hear. They also learned about guided imagery and deep breathing techniques that promote relaxation and a sense of calm. They were told to continue these during the surgery (they were awake). MIT succeeded in profoundly lowering emotional distress in patients before the surgery–and this is key, because stress can take a harmful toll on the body that could hamper recovery. Specifically, other research has shown that it can increase swelling throughout the body, making it hard for your heart to heal itself. Reducing anxiety and feeling cared for through the use of MIT is beneficial for any patient who is about to undergo surgery. After all, what’s more important than survival?