I experienced the benefits of a surgery coach first hand 10 years ago when a life threatening diagnosis came out of leftfield. I was stunned, scared and determined to “get it handled quickly” and get back to my “normal” life. However, it wasn’t that simple. The extent of the surgery would be influenced by family medical history yet I had given my word years earlier to stop the search for my birth mother. Fear and worry became constant companions as I juggled my options. For a while, I turned to an familiar coping strategy…blocking my feelings with work. Until reality knocked and I had to open the door to a hard truth. I had made a habit of placing things that were beneficial for me on the back burner. And along the way, I had become out of touch with my emotions, out of balance and a “perfectionist workaholic.”
Could I hit the pause button, find stillness and listen to my inner guidance? The diagnosis presented an opportunity for profound life changes.
I wasn’t sure where to begin until a work colleague gave me a book that changed my life: Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster: A Guide of Mind-Body Techniques by Peggy Huddleston. Based on hundreds of research studies, the book documents FIVE STEPS TO PREPARE FOR SURGERY by leveraging mind-body techniques. As a scientist, the clinical data was compelling. As a woman facing life-altering surgery, the patient experiences were inspiring. With Peggy Huddleston’s surgery coaching, I learned how to reduce anxiety and feel peaceful before surgery strengthening my immune system. Research also shows that Peggy Huddleston’s method reduces the use of pain medication after surgery and speeds healing.
My entire outlook shifted from victim to empowered patient with a plan. Once my surgeon and anesthesiologist understood the research and outcomes, they were enthusiastic partners.
I experienced 4+ benefits of having a surgery coach:
1. Reduced anxiety before surgery. Even the operating room nurses asked why I was calm and smiling.
2. Very little pain medication was needed.
3. Ability to sleep well prior to surgery as my entire body relaxed and my mind remained calm.
4. Healed well ahead of the surgeon’s time table.
And the most important benefit…a life-long practice of looking at wellness as an integrated journey, transforming mind-body-spirit. The experience propelled me to become trained and certified by Peggy Huddleston in offering Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster,™ workshops to help others. Based on my own experience and countless patients, I have no doubt our bodies respond to the contents of our thoughts.
Just last week, I was working with a woman who recently had major foot surgery. We had completed the surgery coaching session months earlier, as her surgery date kept being pushed back due to COVID. She continued listening to the relaxation recording daily and visualizing her specific healing statements. Instead of growing anxious with the delays, she experienced a deeper conviction that her body would heal quickly with no complications.
During her post-surgery visit, the surgeon expressed surprise that she would be out of her boot a full two weeks earlier than expected. The surgeon’s resident asked her secret. The patient enthusiastically responded that the Heal Faster workshop and her personal surgery coach made all the difference.
Whether a hip replacement, abdominal or heart surgery, the patient experiences’ continue to inspire. For some, it means getting back to work sooner. For others, it’s being able to play with their children, return to their favorite hobby, or walk and bike with more ease and comfort than they initially thought possible.
Take the first step towards unlocking the healing power within you. For additional information, you can schedule a complimentary discovery call here: https://calendly.com/chrisduffywentzel/discoverycall
Chris Duffy-Wentzel, M.Ed., MT(ASCP), ICF is an author, speaker and accredited Results coach specializing in career, relationships and wellbeing. Chris partners with local healers and practitioners curating Mind-Body-Spirit wellness journeys and retreats in the Sedona area.