Savor the Cold

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Even if you tend to be a person who prefers the hot chocolate afterwards and not so much being outside in winter, it’s different during these days after surgery. It must feel plain old wonderful to have cold therapy running on the affected part(s) of your body.  To savor your cold therapy more deeply, and get even more nourishment out of this activity, try one or more of the enhancements I describe below.

Got Real Gear?

If you haven’t already, read this post about cold therapy devices and combining cold with light compression. If you’re not enjoying your cold therapy, you may not be applying it correctly or have appropriate cold packs.

Get Settled

Figure out your arrangement for getting comfortable, finding the right spot(s) for your cold packs or pads, and a convenient way to track the time.  I recommend “Countdown: Simple Timer” for Apple devices.

And… let go into active rest

Now is a perfect time to practice active rest. Active rest is a state when you are not sleeping or dozing but not engaged in focused mental or physical activity either. It may feel unfamiliar. If you are using opiates or cannabis for pain management, it will not be so difficult, but you may drift off to sleep (which is also fine, though your timer will wake you). But if your mind is clear, then let your mind soften a bit.

Just enjoy the spaciousness of silence outside, and let it be a bit more silent inside you, as well. Lean back. Breathe. Observe three inhalations, and with each exhalation, let yourself lay a little heavier in the bed (or chair). Let the exhalations last for longer than the inhalations. Then let that go and just be.

You can add a soundtrack

Or you can add peaceful music or non-verbal Hemi-Sync recordings (they have ambient and classical recordings with the light trance-inducing hemi-sync sounds). Or any other kind of music that helps you relax deeply.

What about my Michael Chabon novel?

Now, if you are keen to keep proceeding with your novel or podcast, who I am to stand in your way?  But I suggest you try active rest a few times. But resist the impulse to browse the news, social apps and the broader internet (all ready sources of dopamine but likely also stress-inducing) rather make your cold therapy time into relaxation time.

Active Imagination

If you’re feeling unwanted tension, pain or inflammation at the moment, the deepest healing would come from actively visualizing coolth (the opposite of warmth, of course) spreading through wherever there is inflammation or soreness. Imagine it with a cooling color that fills up your [part of body] as you inhale, and let even more tension go with each exhalation.

You may enjoy gazing at this wintry scene.  Imagine you’re snowed in but have nowhere else you need to be…