Melina wasn’t feeling very good for about a week and thought that she had come down with some kind of stomach bug. She kept taking Gas-X and Pepto Bismal and other over the counter products and yet nothing seemed to be working. Melina’s symptoms were getting progressively worse by the day. She was in such horrible pain by the following Thursday that her husband rushed her to the emergency room. After a lengthy wait she was wheeled into the operating room where they performed emergency surgery to remove her appendix.
Melina felt very apprehensive going into surgery, fearing that she could possibly die on the operating table. She was greatly relieved afterwards that her appendix was out and that she was still alive and no longer in horrible pain.
Melina felt as though she had been traumatized afterwards saying “I wanted to close in on myself and not let anyone near me except my cats.” She was also experiencing a tremendous sense of fatigue which was also accompanied by numbness and pain.
The body and mind experiences varying degrees of shock any time it is subjected to some form of trauma. Surgery is, in many instances, the best option to address various health issues and yet it is also experienced as an invasive trauma by the body and mind. The body cannot fully process this trauma on its own. People often experience confusion and disorientation after surgery. I have on many occasions looked into people’s auras after surgery. In many instances the person who has undergone surgery appears to be dissociated from their physical body. This inability to be fully present in their body impairs their ability to function.
I noticed a very unusual quality during the healing session when I began to work in Melina’s abdomen. It felt as though this part of her body were in shock. There was a very inert or nonresponsive quality to the visceral organs. The visceral organs gradually became more responsive as we continued to work.
Invasive surgical procedures have a tendency to break down our boundaries and the defensive armor that enables us to contain the feelings and memories that we haven’t been able to process. Melina told me later on that feelings and memories associated with past sexual trauma began to surface during and after the session.
The prospect of undergoing surgery fills many of us with a sense of dread and anxiety. The more radical surgical procedures such as curative surgery that involve being cut open and having parts of our bodies cut out can be as devastating as the sickness. The overwhelming sense of violation experienced by some makes surgery’s potential to traumatize is comparable to that of assault, accidents and combat. In fact, reports of post-operative anxiety and depression are common. Patients who suffer a heart attack, cancer and other life threatening medical issues posing a threat to their physical survival that evoke feelings of horror and helplessness may develop PTSD. And that may precipitate the emergence of painful or traumatic memories and feelings from the past.
There are times when surgery is an absolute necessity. A ruptured appendix that is not surgically removed can lead to peritonitis. Left untreated, peritonitis can result in sepsis, a condition in which infection spreads rapidly into the blood and to other organs, resulting in multiple organ failure and death.
Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart structure that are present at birth. These defects involve the interior walls, the valves inside the heart and the arteries and veins carrying blood to and from the heart. Corrective surgery has saved the lives of many children born with congenital heart defects.
Coronary heart disease is the result of plaque buildup in the arteries, which blocks blood flow and leads to blockages. Arteries that were once smooth and elastic become narrow and rigid, thereby restricting blood flow to the heart. That starves the heart of oxygen and the vital nutrients it needs to pump properly. In some instances, a blood clot will totally block the blood supply to the heart muscle, causing heart attack. A blood clot blocking blood vessels to the brain may result in a stroke. Coronary bypass surgery replaces damaged arteries with blood vessels from other parts of the body such as the legs or arms, restoring blood flow to the heart muscles.
Stroke symptoms can vary depending on the type of stroke, where it occurs in the brain, and how severe it is. Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. An individual having a stroke, is more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs:
• Numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs, especially on one side
• Severe headache that comes on for no apparent reason
• Confusion or difficulty understanding other people
• Difficulty speaking
• Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
• Difficulty walking
A stroke or “brain attack” is a medical emergency. Every minute counts during a stroke. Call 911. An ambulance staffed with medical personnel can begin lifesaving treatment immediately.
Treating Ischemic Stroke
An ischemic stroke occurs if an artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot. Medication is used to break up blood clots in the arteries of the brain. Anticoagulants may also be prescribed to prevent blood clots from getting larger and to prevent new clots from forming.
Treating Hemorrhagic Stroke
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs if an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures. The first steps in treating a hemorrhagic stroke are to find the source of bleeding in the brain and then control it. Surgery may be needed to treat a hemorrhagic stroke.
The types of surgery used include aneurysm clipping, coil embolization, and arteriovenous malformation repair. Aneurysm clipping or coil embolization is performed if the stroke is caused by an aneurysm. Aneurysm clipping blocks off the aneurysm from the blood vessels in the brain. This surgery helps to prevent further leaking of blood from the aneurysm. It also can help prevent the aneurysm from bursting again. Coil embolization is a less complex procedure for treating an aneurysm. The surgeon will insert a tube called a catheter into an artery in the groin and then thread the tube to the site of the aneurysm. A tiny coil will then be pushed through the tube and into the aneurysm. The coil will cause a blood clot to form, which will block blood flow through the aneurysm and prevent it from bursting again.
Arteriovenous Malformation Repair
Arteriovenous Malformations are a tangle of faulty arteries and veins that can rupture in the brain. Surgery to the AVM may be recommended if it is determined to be the cause of the stroke. AVM repair helps prevent further bleeding in the brain. The AVM is often surgically removed. Substances may also be injected into the blood vessels of the AVM to block blood flow. Radiation may also be used to shrink the blood vessels of the AVM.
Mending broken bodies
Emergency surgery is often required to stop bleeding, close open wounds, set broken bones, treat head trauma, facial, abdominal, pelvic and various other injuries suffered as a result of automobile accidents.
One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. More than a third of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 75 and older. Poor diet, tobacco and exposure to sun, radiation, chemicals and other substances all contribute to the dramatic increase in the frequency of cancer.
In many instances surgically removing tumors is the most effective approach to cancer treatment, especially if the cancer is localized and hasn’t metastasized. Advances in modern Allopathic medicine have led to the development of newer specialized surgical techniques to eradicate or prevent the spread of various forms of cancer. Some of the new methods being used to remove or destroy cancer cells are blurring the line between what we commonly think of as surgery and other forms of treatment.
Laparoscopic surgery can safely and effectively be used in surgeries for cancers of the colon, rectum, liver, prostate, uterus, and kidney. It involves less cutting and less damage to healthy tissues. Laparoscopic surgery can help to reduce blood loss during surgery and pain afterward. It can also shorten hospital stays and allow people to heal faster.
Preventive or prophylactic surgery is done to remove body tissue that is likely to become cancerous, even though there are no signs of cancer at the time of the surgery. For example, pre-cancerous polyps may be removed from the colon during a colonoscopy.
Curative surgery is usually done when cancer is found in only one area or region of the body, and it is likely that all of the cancer can be removed. In this case, curative surgery can be the main treatment. Curative surgeries remove a sizable part of the organ where the cancer originated, and in some instances the entire organ itself. A certain amount of healthy tissue is removed along with the cancerous tissue to ensure that all cancerous cells are gone.
Laser surgery can be used to burn and destroy some cancers of the cervix, larynx, liver, lung, rectum and skin. Laser surgeries are generally less invasive, involving less cutting and trauma to the body. The laser can, in some instances, be directed inside a natural body opening without having to make an incision. The laser is then aimed directly at the tumor or cancerous cells in order to destroy them.
Cryosurgery is a technique involving the use of liquid nitrogen or argon gas to freeze and kill abnormal cells in pre-cancerous conditions such as those affecting the skin and cervix. It is also used to treat cancers of the liver, prostate and bone. Cryosurgery may be the best option for cancers that are considered inoperable and for patients who are not good candidates for conventional surgery due to age and other medical conditions. One of the greatest advantages of cryosurgery is that it kills cancerous cells while limiting damage to healthy tissues.
Cryosurgery is less invasive involving only a small incision or insertion of the cryoprobe through the skin. In some instances cryosurgery can be performed using only local anesthesia. It generally has fewer and milder side effects, requires shorter recovery time and is less expensive. Cryosurgery can be highly effective in treating cancers visible to physicians using imaging technology. It’s main drawback is that the microscopic cancers that are not visible to these technologies can be missed.
Curettage is a process of scraping the skin with a spoon shaped instrument to remove skin tissue. Electrosurgery utilizes High-frequency electrical current to destroy cancer with an electric current that runs through a metal instrument or needle. Electrosurgery is often done after curettage to control bleeding and destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Mohs micrographic surgery, also known as chemo surgery, is considered to be the most effective technique for removing Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the two most common skin cancers. Mohs surgery used to remove skin cancers by shaving off one thin layer at a time. A doctor looks at the tissue under a microscope after each layer is removed. The surgeon stops removing layers of tissue once all the cells look normal under the microscope.
Improving the quality of life
A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth resulting from the failure of the palatal shelves to come fully together from either side of the mouth and fuse during the first months of development as an embryo. Modern surgical techniques have made it possible to greatly improve the quality of life for children born with a cleft palate. Repairing the cleft palate improves a child’s ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe and create a more normal appearance and function.
Chronic pain in the knees, hips and other joints can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, get up from a chair, or carry on with other normal activities. Joint replacements can significantly relieve pain and increase mobility in the vast majority of people who get them.
Risks and complications
Despite the best of care, all surgical procedures have inherent risks of complications. Assessing these risks is an important part of patient counseling. Age, medical history and current condition all have to be taken into consideration. Surgical incisions are at times slow to heal and in some instances they do not fully heal. Other risks include fever, nausea and vomiting, wound infection, septicemia, blood loss resulting from hemorrhaging either during or after surgery, shock, clotting and pulmonary embolism and disfigurement.
Patients often assume that they can go right back to work after surgery. But the trauma to the physical body and the general anesthesia causes fatigue that can last for some time. Energy levels can take time to get back to normal. And in some instances a person’s energy level never fully comes back on its own.
Pain and other discomforts
Nearly everyone experiences aches, pains, bruising and soreness after surgery. The amount of pain one experiences often depends on the degree of invasiveness of the surgical procedure. One of the greatest advantages of the newer less invasive procedures such as laparoscopic surgery is that there is usually considerably less trauma to the body. The process of recovery is also much faster.
Partially collapsed lung
Patients sometimes complain that it hurts to breathe after surgery. A condition known as Atelectasis, a partial collapse of the lungs may occur after surgery when patients are not able to breathe in enough air to fill their lungs. Mucus normally cleared by breathing and coughing builds up in the lungs. That may lead to pneumonia, especially in older patients. Warning signs of atelectasis include shortness of breath and faster heartbeat.
Blood clots are far more likely to occur after surgery, especially orthopedic surgery. People that smoke, that are obese or immobilized are at greater risk for blood clots. Blood clots often form in the legs, but can migrate to the lungs where they can cause potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. Patients need to be attentive to potential warning signs such as swelling in the affected leg and calf pain. Shortness of breath and chest pain may be an indication that the clot has moved to the lungs.
Reactions to anesthesia
Anesthesia is derived from the Greek word anaisthēsía meaning ‘loss of sensation’. Anesthesia makes it possible to perform surgical procedures necessary for the health and wellbeing of the patient that would otherwise be too unbearably painful to endure. Without anesthesia the patient might go into shock and die. There are however a number of complications that result from surgical procedures and the use of anesthesia.
Common reactions and complications associated with anesthesia include headaches, pain, bleeding, dizziness, feeling faint, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, hematoma formation, nerve injury, infection and embolism.
Headaches may occur as a result of the anesthetic, the operation, dehydration and anxiety. Most headaches will subside within a few hours. Severe headaches are more likely to happen after a spinal or epidural anesthetic.
Confusion and disorientation
People that undergo surgery often complain that they don’t feel quite like themselves. They sometimes feel tired for weeks or months afterwards. Confusion, disorientation and memory loss are common reactions to surgery and anesthetic. These symptoms are usually temporary, but may sometimes be permanent.
Nausea and Vomiting
Patients undergoing surgery sometimes become nauseous and vomit. A condition known as aspiration pneumonitis can occur when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit is breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs. Vomit and other foreign substances aspirated into the lungs can cause inflammation and infection.
Patients undergoing surgery sometimes experience anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction involving the entire body in response to drugs or substances used for anesthesia or surgery. Tissues in different parts of the body release histamine and other substances. This may cause the airways to tighten and lead to other symptoms.
The use of anesthesia can sometimes cause ischemic necrosis, a condition that occurs when the organs and tissues fail to get adequate blood supply because of constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels. The lack of blood supply to a part of the body such as the heart, brain, skin or bowel can lead to tissue death in the affected area.
The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Drowning, choking, suffocating, cardiac arrest and complications resulting from surgery may prevent the brain from getting the oxygen it needs to function. Cerebral hypoxia is a condition that occurs when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain. The more complete the deprivation, the more severe the harm to the brain and the greater the consequences. Cerebral hypoxia can rapidly lead to severe brain damage or death.
The cells of the brain will start to die within a few minutes if they are deprived of oxygen. The disruption of the transmission of electrical impulses impedes the production of neurotransmitters, which regulate many physiological, cognitive and emotional processes. Patients who experience brain hypoxia may experience memory loss along with reduced physical mobility. It may also impair their ability to pay attention and make sound decisions.
High Blood Pressure, Heart Attack and Stroke
Stress, medication, pain and lack of exercise are stressors for the body that can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Patients typically wake up after surgery once the anesthesia passes out of the blood stream. Many anesthetics used in surgery are fat soluble, which means they are absorbed by the fat cells in the body. Residual anesthetic stored in the fat cells comes out over time and may cause us to feel sluggish or drowsy for weeks or months afterwards.
The period of time that anesthetics stay in the body greatly depends on the aesthetic used during surgery. Anesthetics that have a relatively short life are metabolized and removed by the body quickly while others stay around for a while. Propofol which is commonly used as an induction agent is longer lived in the body. Versed or Midazolam, a drug used before surgery or certain medical tests to make patients sleepy, drowsy, or relaxed has been detectable in urine up to ten days after a procedure in which it was used.
Nerves can be compressed, stretched, or severed by trauma or surgery. Symptoms of nerve damage may also be caused by surgery-induced inflammation. Symptoms of nerve damage include burning or stabbing pain, sensitivity to touch, numbness in the hands, feet or other parts of the body. The muscles in the arms or hands may fail to regain their previous strength.
Neurological deficits are functional abnormalities resulting from injury to the brain, spinal cord, muscles, or nerves resulting from surgery and other forms of physical trauma. Neurological deficits range temporary to permanent. Changes in the way that one experiences sensation include numbness, a decrease in sensation and unusual sensations. Patients may experience loss of muscle tone and control and involuntary movements such as tremors after surgery. The loss of coordination may interfere with one’s ability to perform complex movements. Patients may experience speech or language difficulties that impair their ability to write, comprehend written or spoken information or speak clearly. Changes in vision may include diminishment of one’s visual field, double vision and loss of vision.
The body creates scar tissue in its attempt to heal. The formation of scar tissue causes visible changes in one’s appearance. Scar tissue may cause pain in the area where the surgery occurred. Scar tissue can sometimes impact one’s range of motion if it develops in the tissue near joints. Scar tissue causes visible changes in the appearance of one’s skin. Scar tissue typically is thicker, pinker, redder or shinier than the rest of a person’s skin. The degree of scarring depends on the following factors: wound size, depth and location, a person’s age and skin characteristics, including skin color or pigmentation. Scar tissue on the skin’s surface often fades with time, but it rarely fully returns to normal.
Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that bind parts of the body’s tissue together that should remain separate. They often appear as thin sheets of tissue similar to plastic wrap or as thick fibrous bands. Adhesions will sometimes develop in response to surgery, infection, trauma or radiation as the body attempts to repair itself. The body’s repair cells cannot distinguish between one organ or part of the body and another. Scar tissue will sometimes form to connect the two surfaces when one organ undergoing repair comes into contact with another organ or part of the body.
Adhesions typically begin to form within the first few days after surgery, but they may not produce symptoms for months or even years. Adhesions can occur anywhere, but are most likely to develop within the stomach, the pelvis and the heart. Abdominal adhesions occur in the majority of patients who undergo abdominal and pelvic surgery.
The majority of adhesions are painless and do not cause complications. However, adhesions cause a large percentage of small bowel obstructions in adults. In extreme cases, the fibrous bands surrounding a segment of the intestine restrict motion making it difficult to pass food through the digestive system. The constriction of blood flow may result in tissue death.
Adhesions may form within the membranes surrounding the heart, and that may restrict heart function. Pelvic adhesions usually occur after surgery and can involve any organs within the pelvis, such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or bladder and are believed to lead to the development of chronic pelvic pain.
Indigenous healing traditions
We’re living in a society where we have been taught to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies. Consequently, many of us lack the understanding and resources needed to process our emotions and heal deep emotional wounds. Unpleasant emotions and other stresses that we fail to process often manifest within the body. A large percentage of the digestive, respiratory and other conditions that manifest in the body are stress related. In many instances these conditions could be resolved through noninvasive holistic healing modalities. And yet many opt to suffer the unnecessary physical and psychological trauma of undergoing invasive surgical procedures such as having portions of their colon removed.
Indigenous people in various parts of the world lived close to the land in harmony with the forces of nature. Indigenous healers of the Americas and other parts of the world such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not otherwise be possible. Some had the ability to close open wounds and extract tumors from the body. I’m fortunate to have trained with one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe.
The old Native American doctors were very pragmatic in that they encouraged their patients to utilize both modern allopathic and traditional indigenous medical approaches to facilitate healing. I have on numerous occasions intervened during medical emergencies. I also encourage anyone experiencing a medical emergency such as a heart attack or stroke to pick up the phone immediately and call 911. We need to make the best use of the healing resources that are available to us.
I’ve worked with a wide range of conditions over the years. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions facilitates a regenerative process within physical and subtle bodies. People with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have healed. Fibroids have in some instances dissolved. Cancers have also gone into remission.
The body – mind is not able to fully process the trauma experienced while undergoing surgery. It’s fairly common for people to experience varying degrees of numbing or deadening long afterwards. The resulting disconnect can prevent people from being as fully present in their bodies as they were prior to surgery.
Jenna was experiencing a great deal of difficulty after giving birth to her son via caesarian section. The incisional wound was healing poorly and she was also experiencing a great deal of fatigue and disorientation.
Jenna’s body healed as we began to work together. She regained her mental focus and became more present in her body. Jenna went on to complete her thesis and degree and in counselling psychology and has since built a practice as a psychotherapist.
Eda underwent surgery to correct the damage to her toes resulting from wearing high heeled shoes for many years. She expected to be off her feet for weeks afterwards. The healing sessions accelerated the healing process. Eda’s surgeon said that she healed much faster and better than expected.
Many of the people that have come to me after having gone through surgery were still experiencing pain, fatigue and a sense of disorientation. In many instances, the body’s innate healing power had become so compromised. Incisional wounds were healing slowly. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions would alleviate the physical pain and accelerate the healing of the wounds while cleansing the body of residual anesthetic and other toxins.
Surgery often causes significant damage to the subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura. The subtle bodies help to facilitate the functioning of the various organs and systems of the body. Damage to the subtle bodies impairs the functions of the organs and systems. Damage is repaired within the physical and subtle bodies during the individual healing sessions.
This presence also facilitates the processing of trauma the held in the body along with any feelings and memories that may have surface. Emotions are processed, the deep underlying wounds heal and issues are brought to resolution. Emotional vulnerability replaced with a sense of calm and wellbeing.
People who didn’t feel quite like themselves are able to regain their natural resilience and get back on track in their lives. Many have told me that the sessions helped them to become more fully present in their bodies and to regain their physical strength along with their mental clarity and ability to focus.
©Copyright 2014 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.
Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.