In Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster, Peggy Huddleston talks about two studies that show how helpful visualization and positive thinking can be when healing after surgery (page 64):
Dr. Mary Jasnoski has shown that while relaxation enhanced immune defense against upper respiratory infections, adding visualization increased people’s immunity.
At the University of Texas, a study showed that patients? incisions healed faster when patients relaxed and visualize their recoveries from surgery. These findings were published by Carole Holdenlund, R.N.,ph.D. in Research in Nursing & Health in 1988.
In my experience, some preparation is required to take advantage of visualization and affirmation. When healing from a surgery, an illness or any physical problem, you must be willing to release old patterns of behavior in order to use the body and mind more efficiently to help your body heal. Your body has a natural ability to heal, but unskillful patterns of behavior and negative thinking can hinder the process. Destructive behavioral patterns use up processing power that could be used for healing. In order to pull your power back there are a few things you can do: practice compassion and forgiveness. Be willing to change your old behavior. Then, add positive thinking to empower the process.
Don’t just make a decision to use positive thinking to replace a negative one. Believe in the positive outcome, embody it, and feel like it is already happening. This week?s affirmation can help you get there. For example: Let’s say you had a surgery, you are in pain, your energy level is low and you are miserable. Stop and examine your thoughts and attitude. Listen to the words that you speak. Identify negative beliefs or old, unhelpful behaviors. Create new ones. Then, use this affirmation and experience it with all your senses (say it, write it, record it, listen to it) while visualizing yourself energized, healed, functioning, healthy and happy.