• Nikki Carr

The wonder that is Reflexology...post-op!

As a lot of you already know, I don't mind talking openly about some of my personal life experiences. We can all learn so much from each other, and why people believe that so many things are hush hush is beyond me...we are all human and we all have ailments or health issues that crop up from time to time (although understandably, some of them we'll never share!)


Having had 3 laparoscopies in the past, when I heard that I needed a fourth I naturally wasn't looking forward to it. Two things sprung to mind aside from the general soreness afterwards; firstly the shoulder pain and secondly recovery from the anaesthetic. Shoulder pain??? Yes, shoulder pain. When going in through the abdomen, the surgeons need to pump your tummy with gas to expand the area for clearer visibility. When the procedure is complete they try to remove as much gas as possible, but there's always a little left behind (I read somewhere that it can be up to 180ml, but don't quote me on that). This gas then has to escape from the body, however in it's plight to do so it can travel up into your shoulders, causing what can only be described as feeling like indigestion in your shoulders.  Now, if this happens (and it doesn't always), it can last around a week before the pain goes.  Reflexology really helped, but I will come back to that!


The other point I wanted to discuss was the anaesthetic itself. In the past it has taken a good 2-3 weeks to completely shift the post-anaesthetic feeling from my body and mind. I usually feel very groggy and sluggish and have felt a little down in the past come the second or third week. One thing I must make clear though is, that just because I've felt these things, doesn't mean that you will too...I'm merely sharing with you my most recent experience incorporating Reflexology into the recovery process. Why did I not do this before!!??

I came out of hospital on the Wednesday evening, and with my consultants full sign-off, had a Reflexology treatment booked for the Friday morning. Although I was still very much full of pain-killers and anaesthetic (and not very with it at all), all I had to do was lay and relax in the comfort of my own treatment room in Hook, in my beautifully comfortable Reflexology chair...not too difficult to do! I love having a Reflexology treatment at the best of times, but there was something so deeply calming and restorative about this particular treatment.  In the subsequent days, as it's not very easy treating your own feet at the best of times, let alone when you've got stitches in your tummy, I continued the treatment by working on my own hands.  Paying attention to the areas mostly affected by the operation and the gas dispersement, the pain and grogginess began to subside very quickly.  In fact, before the week was up, all the shoulder pain had gone, my tummy was only a little sore and I felt great in myself.  A little tired, but that's normal!!

What can I say...the only difference was that this time I followed the treatment with Reflexology on my feet and hands.  Reflexology works by promoting relaxation and self healing within the body, which in turn aids with a quicker recovery.  By working specific reflexes and pressure points on the feet and hands, the corresponding areas of the body had a natural healing 'boost'.  I was very keen to reduce the strong painkillers as quickly as possible and the Reflexology allowed me to do so.  It also appeared to 'flush' the anaesthetic out of my system quicker than without the Reflexology. 


Having been a Reflexologist for 18 years, I have no idea why I didn't do this before, post-op. What I do know is that I'd certainly do it again, although let's hope I won't need to!


As I mentioned before, please only take the above as my personal experience. I would absolutely recommend Reflexology during recovery, however I would always ask for sign-off from your medical consultant as there could be a reason why they would prefer you to hold off for a while.  If you would like to discuss the benefits of a Reflexology treatment with me then please do let me know.  My therapies include Foot Reflexology, Hand Reflexology, Facial Reflexology and other holistic therapies from my treatment room in Hook, Hampshire.  If it's a post-op treatment you are interested in then we could discuss a home visit, whilst you are unable to get around.


Nikki Carr MAR, Reflexology Practitioner in Foot & Hand Reflexology and Advanced Facial Reflexology, Hook Hampshire. T: 07775901137 E: nikki@holistichealing.rocks

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