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Just Relax

Emotional stress is known to negatively affect the body’s ability to heal after surgery as well as to decrease the overall health of the body. Results from a new study indicate heart surgery patients who learned breathing relaxation techniques and received soothing touch and music prior to their heart surgery were 65 percent less likely to die within the 6 months following surgery. Prior to surgery, people trained in "healing touch", putting their hands in specific places on patients' bodies, designed to shift energy around the body and promote healing. Patients also listened to their choice of soothing music, which included approximately 10 minutes of guided imagery. Additionally, they learned about deep breathing, which they were told to continue during the procedure, for which they were awake. In addition to an increased survival rate, these patients also experienced a profound decrease in emotional distress before their surgery.

Source: The Lancet, July 16, 2005.