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Recover Quickly From Surgery

By Valerie Girard, D.C.
with Michelle Gysan

(Reviewed by Ann Todhunter Brode, CST)

When you’re anticipating a surgery of any kind, knowing what to expect and what to do, before and afterwards, can make all the difference to your body and peace of mind. Recover Quickly is the perfect book to help you be pro-active and “body smart” as you go through this difficult time.

Recover Quickly begins with the essentials for getting ready. In addition to finding the right surgeon (what to ask for, look for, and expect), Dr. Girard introduces the concept of “pre-hab” and how important it is to prepare your body and mind for the best results. The book shares many helpful do’s and don’ts, statistics about, and helpful protocols to make sure you’re well-prepared. It makes sense that lifestyle and attitude have a lot to do with how you approach surgery and how quickly you recover. Yet, Dr. Girard, from her personal experience, 30 + years as a health profession, and extensive research, knows how and why diet, exercise, and attitude can make a huge difference.

Recover Quickly includes helpful suggestions such as: what to eat and drink, how to detox, what supplements and herbs to use, what treatments might be helpful (acupuncture/ acupressure, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, biofeedback, hypnosis, hydrotherapy), and the importance of sleep. And, she tells us why. It is reassuring to know that being conscious and following this book’s simple advice will increase the potential for less swelling, less pain, faster recovery, and lower risk of complications. It is empowering to know that there is a way to be pro-active and help the process at time of implied vulnerability.

Dr. Girard is well aware of the importance of how the emotions effect the body, stating: “Rather than ignore uncomfortable emotions, it is important to acknowledge your feelings to yourself and perhaps someone close who is close to you.” From decades of data, we now know how important the mental state is to the recovery process. Recover Quickly includes a Step by Step process for releasing negative emotions and thoughts as well as tips and strategies for staying positive (check out www.recoveringfromsurgeryquickly.com).

Undeniably, for many, the biggest issue in recovery is pain. Recover Quickly highlights the importance of mental preparation and strategies (including medications, traditional and non-traditional) for getting off pain medications as soon as possible. Who knew there were so many pain management options? Have you heard of TENS electrical impulses to block pain signals? Or, cold laser treatments? Or, and infratonic sound wave machine?

Or, Breath Therapy?. As Girard says: “One of the oldest and most natural forms of pain control is engaging in deep breathing.” And, I can add: “ One of the most powerful healers is the relaxed movement of your own breath.” In this genre, I do wish the book had emphasized the importance of comfort and support for pain control and healing. Making sure your body is positioned and “pillowed” adequately will improve your breathing, circulation, state of mind, and relaxation. Such a simple adjustment has a huge affect.

If you or anyone you know is having surgery, Recover Quickly is the state of the art handbook to answer the FAQs and outline a reliable, doable course. Referencing its wisdom will help you and your loved ones ensure the best possible preparation, attitude, and results. Thank you, Valerie, for holding our hand and guiding us with your expertise through such an important time!

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