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
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
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.