Health Perks of Meditation Before and After Surgery

Most people would be bit taken back if their general surgeon in Ft. Myers talked to them about meditation. After all, mantras and inner peace may be far from your mind when preparing for or recovering from an operation. However, more and more general surgeons are promoting meditation to help ease stress and promote healing.

In fact, surgeons at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City now offer an optional program to all heart surgery patients that features yoga, meditation and massage to promote healing and calmness. Advocates of the program claim these tools help patients de-stress and focus on their mental and physical health before undergoing surgery and the practice often helps people during the recovery process.

Why Meditate?

Meditation has the ability to reduce stress and promote calmness, even during particularly trying situations. Stress wreaks havoc on the immune system, and whether you are approaching surgery or are in the recovery process after an operation, you need your immune system to remain strong if you want a speedy recovery.

One recent study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences found that mindfulness-based meditation has a slew of therapeutic benefits for physical and psychological health. This study looked at the psychological and physical health of older adults, and found that those who meditated experienced fewer bouts of loneliness and reduced chronic inflammation, a problem linked with heart disease, cancer, diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome.

Randomized trials at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center have also looked into the health benefits of meditation. Researchers there have found that those who engage in some sort of meditation are better able to cope with pain and experience less post-operative bleeding than those who don’t meditate.

Mediation has a complicated reputation in the United States. Some people view meditation as an alternative medicine, but more and more Western-oriented physicians are recommending the practice as a complement to existing medical treatment.

You don’t need to learn any special skills to start meditating. You can meditate wherever and whenever by closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and relaxing your mind. If you would like to participate in a meditation course, classes are available at the Kadampa Center in Ft. Myers.