Cardiovascular Surgery Healing Enhancement Program

The Cardiovascular Surgery Healing Enhancement Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota offers integrative medicine to people who are having heart (cardiovascular) surgery. Some program offerings are also available to family members.

Integrative medicine combines evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine with conventional medical care to address your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The program offers you access to several integrative therapies before, during and after your heart surgery to promote healing.

A team of trained staff members in the Cardiovascular Surgery Healing Enhancement Program coordinates with your cardiac medical team to provide you with integrative therapies. The team of specialists trained in integrative medicine, cardiovascular surgery, nursing and general surgery offers you personalized, integrated care.

Benefits

Integrative therapies may benefit you in many ways, including:

  • Decreasing your anxiety
  • Helping to reduce the amount of pain medication you need while recovering
  • Helping to speed your recovery and allow you to return sooner to regular activity
  • Helping you feel better physically and emotionally
  • Promoting better sleep
  • Promoting relaxation and reducing tension
  • Reducing your feelings of pain and nausea

Services offered

If you're having heart surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota and you're interested in integrative therapies, contact your nurse or another member of your medical team. Discuss these therapies with your medical team to determine which ones may benefit you. You may also request a referral from your doctor for outpatient care during your recovery after you leave the hospital. Complementary and integrative therapies and services offered — some of which are available to family members — include:

Research

Cardiovascular researchers actively study treatment and recovery options for people who need or have had heart surgery. In integrative medicine research, researchers study current and potential complementary, alternative and integrative therapies and their effects on people. Read more about research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program and the Cardiovascular Research Center.

Appointments

For more information about the Cardiovascular Surgery Healing Enhancement Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota, call the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at 507-284-3994 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

Related video

Heart Surgery Healing Enhancement Program

Need to relax? Take a break for meditation

Transcript

Need a few minutes to relax?

Get comfortable in your chair. Loosen any tight, uncomfortable clothing. Let your arms rest loosely at your side. Allow yourself a few moments to relax.

If your thoughts wander, just let them while gently moving your attention back to the relaxation. If you become anxious or uncomfortable, stop the relaxation by clicking on the pause button.

To begin, focus your eyes on the candle flame. Notice its simplicity and its beauty.

Take time to notice your breathing, gradually slowing down the rate of inhaling and exhaling as you become more comfortable.

Now relax and enjoy the feeling.

Close your mouth and relax your shoulders, releasing any tension that's built up.

Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Let the air you breathe in push your stomach out.

Hold your breath in as you slowly count to four.

Breathe out slowly through your mouth as you continue counting up to six.

Breathe in (three, four, five, six).

Hold (two, three, four).

Breathe out (three, four, five, six).

Breathe in (three, four, five, six).

Hold (two, three and four).

Breathe out (three, four, five, six).

Breathe in (three, four, five, six).

Hold (two, three, four).

Breathe out (three, four, five, six).

Breathe in (three, four, five, six).

Hold (two, three, four).

Breathe out (three, four, five, six).

Breathe in (three, four, five, six).

Hold (two, three, four).

Breathe out (three, four, five, six).

Continue breathing in (four, five, six).

Hold (two, three, four).

And out (three, four, five, six).

Remember, if stray thoughts enter your mind, gently return your attention to the relaxation.

Now, as you breathe out, silently and calmly repeat to yourself:

My breathing is smooth and rhythmic.

My breathing is smooth and rhythmic.

My breathing is easy and calm.

My breathing is easy and calm.

It feels very pleasant.

If you'd like, you may close your eyes now and focus on the music, or continue to look at the flame.

Continue to repeat to yourself:

My breathing is smooth and rhythmic.

My breathing is smooth and rhythmic.

I am peaceful and calm.

I am peaceful and calm.

Continue to take deep, rhythmic breaths. Let the tension fade away each time you breathe out. Let the music soothe you.

If you've closed your eyes, gently open them and gaze at the candle flame.

Return to your day peaceful, more focused and relaxed.

Yoga for stress management

Transcript

Yoga offers many potential health and stress-reducing benefits. This video introduces you to five basic yoga poses. It's easy to follow along and try the exercises, or just watch to get a sense of basic yoga. Let's get started.

Our 1st pose is the standing forward bend

Exhale and bend forward from your hip joints, not from your waist. As you fold forward, lengthen your torso and move deeper into the pose. Then inhale, and return to a standing position. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you repeat the exercise.

  • Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Lengthen your torso slightly when you inhale.
  • Deepen your forward bend when you exhale.
  • Touch your palms or fingertips to the floor. Or touch your palms to the backs of your ankles.
  • Hang your head forward to deepen the pose.
  • Keep your knees straight.
  • If you're injured, bend your knees.

Our 2nd pose is called warrior 1

To begin, stand squarely. Then take a step forward into a high lunge position. Keep your feet about hip-width apart. Pivot your back foot to a 45-degree angle from your heel. Your bending knee should be directly over your ankle, creating a right angle between your thigh and calf. You can adjust your feet to be comfortable. Inhale and move your arms over your head, palms facing each other.

Drop your shoulders down and back. Press your chest forward. To go deeper, touch your palms together and gaze up toward your thumbs. You should have a slight bend in your back. Hold for four to eight breaths. To release, bend your front knee and either step forward or, for more challenge, step back into the standing position while inhaling.

Next, we'll do neck rolls

This pose can be done seated or standing, front to back or side to side. Sit or stand comfortably with your eyes facing forward. First, exhale and touch your chin to your chest. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. You can deepen the pose with each breath. Don't pull your head down, rather, let gravity and your relaxed muscles do the job. Return your head to center while you inhale. Then, touch your ear to your shoulder. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Return your head to center and repeat on the other side. Again, return your head to center while you inhale.

Our 4th pose is the seated spinal twist

You can do this exercise on the floor or in a chair. This video shows the seated spinal twist while sitting on the floor.

Sit sideways. Keep your knees together and your ankles directly below them. Inhale and lift through the top of your chest to lengthen your core body. Then exhale and twist to the right, keeping your left buttock on or close to the floor. Lengthen your lower back and soften your belly. You can turn your head either way. Turn your head in the direction of the twist, or counter twist by turning your head the other way, over your shoulder and looking toward the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute, or three to six breaths on each side. Every time you inhale, lift through your chest. When you exhale, twist deeper and release while you exhale.

Our final pose is the cobra

It's easiest to do this pose on the floor, although you can adapt it to a sitting or standing position. This video shows the cobra pose on the floor. Lie stomach down. Stretch out your body. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug your elbows by your sides. Press your lower body into the floor, inhale and straighten your arms to lift your chest up. Go only as high as you can, while still pressing into the floor with your lower body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout your entire spine. Hold the pose 15 to 30 seconds. Breathe slowly. Then, release and return flat to the floor while you exhale.

The poses we demonstrated — standing forward bend, warrior one, neck rolls, seated spinal twist and cobra — can be done in any order.

Likewise, you can practice yoga at home, and you don't need any special equipment. If you have injuries or if you're concerned about exercising, consult with your health care provider before starting a yoga program.