Any surgery can cause stress, anxiety, and pain. From setting a broken bone to a root canal to open-heart surgery. In most cases, the fear isn’t warranted and after a few days, the emotional health of the patient is back to normal. Healing, getting stronger, and friends and family cheering you on does wonder for the mind and body.
With weight-loss surgery, however, patients may get double the dose of stress and anxiety. For example, after a patient has knee surgery, they probably don’t have a family member exclaim, “They took the easy way out.” Sounds pretty cruel, doesn’t it? But many times these are the kinds of comments bariatric patients have to deal with.
Others may have to make a decision when it comes to their friends. Gastric Sleeve, duodenal switch, and gastric bypass surgeries all require dedication to a new lifestyle. People they have known for decades may shun those changes, making it even harder to stay on a meal or workout plan.
That is a lot of unnecessary pressure, especially when a hospital stay is necessary. In the vast majority of cases, bariatric surgery is perfectly safe. There are very few side effects that keep patients from returning to their day-to-day activities. But the health journey is a long one, requiring positive spirits and much determination.
Meditation Before – And After Surgery
Studies showed that many patients were much better prepared, relaxed, and calm before surgery when meditation practices were followed. Although it’s suggested that guided meditation when first learning mind/body techniques is required, there are personal techniques that help with reducing stress. Many apps are available to help get started with a guided meditation.
Although meditation won’t make wounds heal any faster, guided imagery (such as CDs or downloaded sounds) and other integrative medicines have been used in some medical centers as a way to reduce anxiety before a medical procedure. Clearing the mind of “outside noise” goes a long way to focusing on the positives of weight-loss surgery.
But many of those stressors will still be around after the surgery. The meditative practices that helped so much before the procedure will do the same after. Not just to get through the physical changes, but emotional as well. For many patients, one of the hardest hurdles to clear comes in the first weeks or months after a procedure.
For those that are morbidly obese, an unhealthy lifestyle played a key part. Whether eating too much or exercising too little, an overall life change was needed. A compromised immune system, diabetes, and heart disease are just a few of the issues of the overweight.
Surgery is just one part of the puzzle. For starters, this means less food in the immediate future. If patients have been working on meditation techniques before the surgery, they should be able to shift gears towards their food intake. Once that happens, the body will follow.
In the days and weeks after a procedure, patients are limited to liquid and protein supplements. This can be excruciating for some, especially those that succumbed to eating when stressed, sad, or bored. By taking the time to meditate during those times, the urge to eat can be lessened.
As patients begin to eat less, the body begins to make hormonal changes, too. As the food intake lessens, the body begins to quickly adapt to less food. Hunger pangs are weaker, the desire to eat too much fades, and focusing on healthy foods becomes easier.
As they say, meditation is a way to bring the mind and body together. Patients can use this to their advantage. Walk around the block a few times a week, then double that amount. Just as your body adapts to less food, it will adapt to more activity.
With body and mind in agreement, it won’t take long for the soul to follow. Make no mistake: There will be difficult times ahead. So finding a confidant to lean on during the tough times when meditation doesn’t seem to be enough. There are several support groups online or even in your town to subscribe to.
By no means is weight loss surgery an easy way out of an unhealthy lifestyle. But WeightWise has devised a program that allows patients to set goals, meet those goals, and live a long, healthy life. We provide dietitians, exercise physiologists, and patient advocates that will outline – and support – the months that follow a procedure.
No weight-loss surgery is ever the same. That’s why we believe combining all aspects of the surgery (before, during, and after) under one roof is so important. To learn more about our program, watch our FREE online seminar, and then schedule a conversation with one of our surgeons. Once you visualize losing the weight, you can begin to make it happen.