Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care: School of Medicine: University of California, Irvine

Optimal Healing

Preparing for Surgery:
Mind Body Techniques for Surgery & Recovery

Emotionally, it is normal to experience a range of feelings about your upcoming surgery including high levels of anxiety. This online course will teach you several relaxation techniques that you can learn and practice to help you manage these feelings and stress. You can choose either one or more techniques to practice or you can choose to practice them all in preparation to your surgery.

Many people have used relaxation techniques to decrease their fear, anxiety, pain and discomfort that relates to surgery. "Mind Over Matter" is how these techniques work. We hope you find these techniques useful in easing your level of anxiety to promote healing, decrease pain and discomfort during your surgery. More importantly, you can adopt these relaxation techniques into your daily routines and not limit them to just the upcoming surgery.

There are many studies that have repeatedly shown that mind-body practices before medical procedures or surgery have a wide range of specific benefits including:

  • Less anxiety and distress
  • Less post-operative pain and discomfort
  • Reduced need for pain medication
  • Improved immune response
  • Less blood loss after surgery
  • Faster wound healing
  • Better sleep quality - so you get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer
  • More confidence in your ability to handle stress
  • Fewer post-surgery complications
  • Shortened hospital stays

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