” Trust the energy that courses through you. Trust and then take surrender even deeper. Be the energy. Don’t push anything away. Follow each sensation back to its source in vastness and pure presence. Emerge so new so fresh that you don’t know who you are. Welcome in the season of monsoons. Be the bridge across the flooded river and the surging torrent underneath. Be unafraid of consummate wonder. Be the energy and blaze a trail across the clear night sky like lightning. Dare to be your own illumination.”
On Thursday April 28th I had surgery to repair the lining of my abdominal wall that was torn in three places (hernia repair). As we all know, taking time from the activities and flow of daily life is challenging for many reasons and learning to surrender is a lesson that many, myself included, must learn. For me, a doctor of Naturopathic medicine, this whole surgery has been a process of letting go. This injury was something that, despite my efforts, I could not heal naturally (although this leads into the debate of what natural actually is…). The meditation, Qigong, acupuncture, Bodytalk, yoga, and so on, helped me to manage over the years, but none of these modalities led to complete healing of the tears. For years I kept imaging that there was something I had not tried – and certainly there are many things I did not try – but in the end, a trip to the hospital, some surgery, and all of the pieces involved in such a trip, were the way my abdomen had closure.
People have been asking me if I used the conventional medicines – the anesthesia, antibiotics, painkillers, antiseptics. Hoping, I suppose, to hear that I did it all “naturally.” At my acupuncture appointment the day before the surgery I did think about the stories we have heard of Chinese docs conducting major surgeries with only acupuncture needles to block the pain. But thinking about it was as far as I wanted to go. And yes, I did use all of those medicines, with gratitude and awe – they are powerful. My main goal from the natural side of things has been to support my healing, help my body process the pharmaceuticals, and clean up any residual side effects. While I hope to be a beacon of natural healthcare in this world, I do believe that we have discovered all forms of medicine for a reason. And this is something I tell my patients daily. We must realize that anything can be a poison or a medicine – it all depends on the intent and on wise and prudent usage. We also cannot forget that everything in this world is formed from nature – even the ugly, toxic, and tragic parts. This said, there are forms of healing that promote deep, profound, lasting change, and there are forms that simply palliate, masking the true issue. Herbalist and wise woman Susan Weed talks about this quite a lot in her teachings – (see an earlier post I did on her). She speaks of Seven rivers of healing: “The First River: embrace emptiness, The Second River: investigate options, The Third River: restore energetic connections, The Fourth River: strengthen and feed health, The Fifth River: incite strong responses, The Sixth River: take pills, The Seventh River: destroy obstacles. The ordering of the Rivers is based on the frequency and severity of harm, including side effects. They are ordered by this thought: First, do no harm.” In my process I am choosing to use all of these rivers – including the last three. Personally, after years of processing the need for this surgery, I surrendered to the magic and mystery of all medicine.
Aside from this discussion of my process – I thought I would share with you all the protocol that I am using to support myself through this surgery. I hope that it might be of use for anyone else who might need to go down the fifth through seventh rivers. It is a comprehensive protocol to minimize damage, promote healing, and to help the body detoxify.
1. The weeks before surgery I made sure to eat a clean diet, take 2000 mg of fish oil daily and 100 billion cfus of probiotics daily, avoid alcohol, and drink Metabolic Detox Complete (a liver support vegan protein powder)
2. The morning of surgery take 1 dose of homeopathic Arnica 1M (high potency)
3. Take Arnica 1M as soon as possible after the surgery and every two – four hours for the next two days
4. Homeopathic Ledum 1M – for puncture wounds – I took two doses the day of surgery and two doses the day after
5. Homeopathic Ruta – 1M – for fibrous tissue healing – this might not have been completely necessary as Ruta is really for the tendo-osseous junction and there was no junction in the middle of my abdomen- but I figure it is great at convincing the body to heal connective tissue.
6. Topical Oxicell-SE from Apex Energetics – applied to the surgical site, Kidney 1, Kidney 27, and on the cervical lymph chains – a cream with glutathione – “the mother of all antioxidants”
7. Topical castor oil to the liver and abdomen – enhances detoxification
8. Scar Oil – formulated by Hill Botanical – Vit E, rosehip, chickweek, sea buckthorne, tamanu oil, helichrysum and niaouli essential oils – applied topically to the abdomen three times daily
9. UNDAs 1, 20, 243 (I would have preferred 258) – for liver detoxification of the pharmaceuticals and inflammatory compounds – and really to help every cell in the body detoxify
10. Probiotics – 100 CFUs mixed bacteria- daily to replenish the good bacteria in the gut
11. Fish oil – 2 grams daily to help modulate inflammatory cytokines
12. Metabolic Detox Powder – a great multivitamin and support for healing
13. Wobenzyme PS – enzymes that help reduce the inflammatory process
14. Ligaplex I and II from Standard Process – to help the body build strong connective tissue post surgery
…Whew. Combine all of that with meditation, Qigong, and rest and that is enough. So far the healing has been quite quick. I look forward to meeting with the surgeon to see what his assessment is…
One thing I am reminded of through this process is that when the obstacles are removed, the body has the powerful innate wisdom to heal; the wound closes, the swelling disappears, the pain minimizes. On a day to day basis it is easy to forget about the Vis/Qi/Prana that keeps us all alive. I am in gratitude for this unseen force that allows for healing – it is what guides me as a Naturopath, what fueled all of those amazing people who helped me at Bozeman Deaconess on Thursday, and what makes each day a bit easier during recovery.
Please realize that the protocol I used above was designed for my own unique health needs. It is a good general protocol for surgery but we are all individuals and require slightly different substances in the healing process. It is always best to consult with a professional.