Each of the below deserve their own post, but for now I’ll just list the tools I used, so you can have a sense of what you might be game to put into your own bag of tricks.
- Cold Therapy
- Mind training visualizations: Peggy Huddleston’s Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster, and De-Discomfort and Surgical Support from Hemi-Sync
- Exercises for strength and stability (ideally starting months before surgery, and then resuming right after surgery with your PT exercises but then gradually resuming a varied exercise routine.)
- Essential oils for scar healing as well as for muscle tension, applied from a vial with a roll-on top.
- Medicated balm to massage into sore muscles.
- Getting support from a somatic practitioner and a chiropractor.
And playing a smaller, but still valuable role:
- Herbs to detox from anesthesia
- Supporting vitality with pre-biotics and pro-biotics.
- Vitamins to support tissue and bone healing.
- Closing your eyes and breathing deeply.
- Stretching (for me that started around week three)
- Gentle movement. (T’ai Chi, swimming, Self-Breema, etc).
Hugely helpful but also hugely expensive:
- Laser therapy, which is the only kind of heat you’ll be able to use for many weeks.
The general point is that you can set yourself up for success by having an array of tools at your disposal for supporting your healing and easing your discomfort. A robust bag of tricks will include not only ‘passive’ strategies like Rx and healing treatments, but also ‘active’ strategies like “restorative” exercise, visualization, self-massage with a balm, and actively relaxing & breathing.