Yoga and Multiple Procedure Back Surgery Pain – The Case of “S”
I had the pleasure of seeing S one day after multiple back surgery procedures. S has a history of back pain for the past 19 years since a serious car accident. Her pain was exacerbated by manual labor jobs and then taking a fall down the stairs. Lack of health insurance has kept her from being able to seek treatment until recently. Despite strong pain medications, S continues to have unrelenting back pain that is preventing her from participating fully in therapy. The physical therapist called the surgeon and requested an OT order for pain management using breathing and meditation. He agreed!
I saw S in her acute care hospital room. Her mother was present and using the bed next to the patient to rest. S's pain level was at a 7/10, despite having taken two strong pain medications only an hour before. We began with a body scan and proceeded to whole body breathing. I then led her through a guided meditation that involved these elements: Rising from the bed with ease and walking with ease on the guided journey, writing "I love" in the sand on the beach, along the names of all those she loves, beginning with herself, writing "I forgive" in the sand, along with the names of all those who have wronged her, beginning with herself, closing the door on any past events that are negatively affecting her currently, and opening the door to the future and creating the life she desires there.
After the session, S exclaimed, "Gosh I didn't feel my back for a while there." When I asked her about her pain level, she reported with surprise, "I don't have any pain right now." S's mother had fallen asleep during the session. S seemed just as happy that her mother was finding rest as she was about her own pain relief.
Once again, I am ever so humbled by the power of yoga, breathing, and the mind to heal.