Pausefully Magazine

the online magazine about life as a creative process


Lasik surgery & relaxation techniques

by Cordula Kashmeera Hunze


When we are tense, we do not feel good. It is unhealthy to be stressed out: it takes away energy. It is the same with sickness. When we are ill, we are not able to produce as well. This leads to the idea that relaxation would promote healing. Dr. Emil Chynn, a Lasik eye surgeon in New York City kindly offered me the possiblity of doing a study with his patients.

We wanted to find out whether people who had professional support during their procedure would have better healing results.

We set up a study that lasted two months. The patients had to answer a few questions: they had to rate their own level of anxiety and pain sensitivity. The questionnaire was given to everyone, so that we could compare the result at the end.

After a while, it became clear that we would not be able to get a scientifically valid answer to our quest: to do so, the study would have to go on for much longer. But we wanted to continue the work anyway. The work was simply good. It felt right. It made sense. The experience made it worthwhile to write an article about it.

The patients were so open to the procedure and happy to have someone with them in the operation room. They were glad to get support and that gave me a purpose to be there.

A lot of people go alone to the surgery and want to just get done with it. They do not want to drive themselves crazy worrying about it. But when the moment comes, when they have to lie under this huge machine, this can be a moment of doubt and fear.

I met the clients before they went in and talked to them. I started with hand massage, just to find a very simple way to relax them, without them having to take off their clothes or shoes.
I offered to go into the operation room with them and kept on working there. I worked with Sat Nam Rasayan (a technique where the healer moves into a neutral space and `opens the door` to this space by lightly touching the patient) during the procedure. I wanted to give the patients space to just take in the support that was right for them.
It felt right to be available, but not to force anything on them, given that the operation itself is intrusive.
Afterwards I went back to massaging their hands.

Of course, it was a little different for everyone. Some people were so confident that they did not seem to need this at all. But they were few. I have to say that I was impressed about how many people opened up and were willing to deal with their fear rather then ignoring it.

I highly recommend that everyone who is planning to do the surgery think about how they can be the most comfortable. Bring a friend that you trust to stay supportive. The surgery is very short, but the more you can keep the stress down, the better.

To find a massage therapist in a Lasik surgery office leaves the hope that the benefits of Eastern and Western medicine will more and more be combined.


Cordula Kashmeera Hunze is a Yoga teacher and a lifetime student of the healing arts. She practices massage as a ritual.



Resources: Demystifying mindfulness - From mindless to mindful - Mindful pause - Mindfulness exercises - Mindfulness exercises - Relational mindfulness - Relational mindfulness - 12 steps without god - Somatic psychotherapy - Proactive mindfulness quotes