Surgery Recovery: The Natural Healing Process

Pain after surgery is to be expected.

After all, surgery involves the destruction of tissue by cutting through the skin, connective tissue, muscle, organs, and sometimes the bone. To the body, surgery recovery involves inflammation, accompanied by heat, swelling (edema, fluid accumulation), pain, temporary difficulty to move the involved tissue or body part, and eventually by forming a scar to bridge the disruption in the tissue caused by the surgeon’s knife (scalpel).

During the inflammatory process, the body destroys compromised tissue, carries it out of the body via the blood and lymph with the help of white blood cells, and then rebuilds tissue.

Pain following surgery may arise from injury to nerves,  a prolonged healing process, complications arising from the surgery itself, infections of the surgical site, and scar tissue, as well as adhesions between two body structures or tissues.

Every surgery results in scar tissue.  How much depends on the type of surgery, how well it’s carried out, and the individual’s state of health prior to surgery, as well as a genetic predisposition to forming large or small scars.

Nutrition, regular moderate exercise, and plenty of sleep all support the natural healing process during surgery recovery. Nevertheless, scar tissue has formed and has changed the landscape of the connective tissue that envelops and creates space for every body structure down to the cellular level, including organs, muscles, blood and lymph vessels, and meridians (energy pathways of the body).

Surgery recovery is complicated by the body’s natural response to being attacked.

One thing the body does during surgery recovery is to form scars along the line of the incision.  However, due to the inflammatory process, nearby body tissues may become sticky and adhere to each other as well as to the one having been operated on.  Familiar examples are abdominal adhesions of the small or large intestines, affecting digestion and bowel movements, and pelvic adhesions between the reproductive structures such as the fallopian tubes and the uterus, potentially interfering with fertility.

Post surgery adhesions form after open heart surgery or a thoracotomy, between the visceral and parietal layers of pleura that contains the lungs, or the visceral and parietal layers of the membranous sac that contains the heart (pericardium).  Adhesions may cause breathing difficulty and pain with each intake of air.

Adhesions may also form between muscle fibers, groups of muscle fibers, or muscles after cutting through muscle tissue such as during a cesarean section, open abdominal surgery, rotator cuff repair, hip or knee joint replacement, and so forth.  These adhesions restrict individual muscle movement or interfere with coordinated firing of the individual muscle cells, thus reducing gross or fine motor skills.

Since an infection causes inflammation as well, adhesions may form anywhere in the body and remain even after the infection has cleared, which complicates surgery recovery.  Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is known for creating adhesions in the pelvis, potentially causing infertility by blocking the passage of the fertilized egg through the fallopian tubes to implant in the wall of the uterus.  Pelvic surgery to remove such adhesions often results in more adhesions.

Thus, adhesions are often present at the time of surgery, making this medical procedure more dangerous and unpredictable to perform.

Scars and post surgical adhesions are only two forms of connective tissue, as are fascia, ligaments, tendons, and even blood and bone.   The job of the connective tissue is to hold together all cells into tissues, and tissues into body structures such as organs, muscles, skin, blood and lymph vessels, nerves, and meridians (energy pathways of the body).  Furthermore, the connective tissue creates compartments for these structures, binds them together, and envelops them.  Blood and lymph vessels, nerves, and meridians are embedded in, and run through, this connective tissue.

Accidental trauma, surgery, infections, repetitive strain, and poor postural habits result in the distortion, thickening, and hardening of this connective tissue.  Thus the connective tissue may turn into a straight jacket, reducing the amount of space for the affected structure and inhibiting its normal function, be it moving blood, lymph, or nerve conduction, moving a limb, taking a breath, digesting food, and so forth.

Craniosacral therapy and energetic unwinding support surgery recovery.

Craniosacral therapy and energetic unwinding of the spine, joints & muscles are two very gentle forms of therapy that help the body during surgery recovery to reduce tension in the connective tissue caused by adhesions and scar tissue, or any other dynamics. Removal of these restrictions results in decreased pain, increased mobility, and improved blood, lymph, and energy flow  to promote and speed up the healing process.

Since post surgical adhesions often require additional surgeries to remove the adhesions, craniosacral therapy and energetic unwinding may be a way to avoid additional surgery.

Craniosacral therapy and energetic unwinding can be enjoyed any time post surgery, in the acute and chronic state.