Surgery

“Because of my work with Joanna, my surgery went great and when I woke up after the surgery, I felt better than I have after previous operations. I also felt a lot more confident right before the operation than I have before past surgeries.”     KAJ, High School student, Brookline MA.
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“Joanna was accommodating to my schedule (we were bicoastal). Joanna led me through the process with exquisite detail capturing my needs and language. She was encouraging and gained my commitment to help myself. I used almost no pain medications and was walking within 12 hours of a 7 1/2 hour cervical spine surgery.” …… “ X-rays revealed I need more surgery on Friday. The work Joanna and I did came into play again- in an even more significant way. Recovery from that surgery (3 1/2 hours) was like the first one and I was discharged on Sunday.” Jill Kulick, California
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“On the day of surgery I began to experience a bit of stress and anxiety in the hubbub of the pre-op room. I began listening to the CD to calm myself. I had listened to the entire CD when the nurse said that she needed to take my vitals. I have always suffered from “white coat syndrome” and would typically have a blood pressure ranging from 140-150 over 90-100 in a doctor’s office. My blood pressure was 116 over 65 and my pulse was 55.”
“When I was brought to my room I was extremely comfortable and to the surprise of my surgical team, experienced no pain. The nurses kept offering me pain medication which, I consistently refused.” (after prostate surgery)
“Upon my return home I was able to walk three miles that afternoon. I experienced exactly what I had visualized as my second visualization down to the specific sights, sounds, and smells that I had anticipated. I walked four miles the next day, five miles the next, and six miles the next. Each time I walked my visualization was my reality.” (after prostate surgery) Paul Brown, Bolton, MA
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If you need surgery, you need Joanna Stull. Her behavioral medicine work is superb. She’ll make sure you’re at ease and ready so you heal a lot faster than you thought was possible and without the pain you would have gone through if you hadn’t called her. Dr. Jim Manganiello Clinical Psychologist
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Two days before I was to have hand surgery I was told by the doctor’s assistant that this surgery was the most painful one the surgeon did for most patients. I have fibromyalgia and this was the last thing I needed to hear! I called Joanna right away and asked if she would do an emergency hypnotherapy session with me and she agreed to do this. I was so impressed with her careful, gentle explanations and guidance thru the session. Her calm and caring demeanor helped enormously to calm me. And the result? This surgery was the least painful of the several hand surgeries that I have had! I would highly recommended Joanna to anyone preparing to have surgery or seeking a healing modality. Her hypnosis skills are excellent! Sue Kennedy RN

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Two weeks before having both my hips replaced, I had my phone consultation with Joanna. With Joanna’s help, I was up and walking the day after surgery. And after two weeks I didn’t need anymore pain medication. The medical professionals overseeing my care were impressed that I was always “ahead of schedule.” Thank you Joanna for teaching me how to heal so quickly and get my life back.               Justin M. Somerville, MA

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Having a history of fainting (and near fainting!) associated to needle punctures or the sight of blood,  I was quite anxious when told that I needed athroscopic hip surgery to repair torn cartilage.  I knew I needed to do “something” so I could feel more in control of the anticipatory anxiety.  A nurse colleague and friend, Joanna Stull, recommended Peggy Huddleston’s book, Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster.  I read it a month before surgery and followed the suggested relaxation exercises.  Listening to the C.D., visualizing my healing and involving the anesthesiologist on the day of surgery helped me feel less anxious about the actual procedure.  I was pleasantly surprised and relieved that I didn’t stay in my head and obsess about it.  As a result,  I slept better.

One week before my scheduled surgery I reviewed the relaxation exercises during a one hour “coaching session” with Joanna.  By discussing any leftover concerns, stating my expectations and visualizing my recovery, I felt in much better control.    I felt a sense of peace and calm.  When friends and family asked me if I was “scared” or “worried” I had to honestly answer, “no.”

On the day of surgery I took my “emotional pulse” and, again, no evidence of anxiety.  Rather than focusing on the negative ”what ifs” of surgery, I looked forward to no more nagging hip pain that I had experienced for the last four months.  I could also imagine resuming my active lifestyle once my hip was healed.

Following surgery I was comfortable and did not experience significant pain.  I was discharged on a narcotic pain medication but did not need it.  I took a total of two Tylenols for mild discomfort.    While I was told I’d need to use crutches for two-three weeks, I was able to ditch them by day ten!  I was thrilled with my overall experience.

As a nurse and now former patient, I have recommended the book and the “coaching” assistance I received from Joanna Stull to many of my own patients and colleagues.  I will definitely utilize such a positive resource in  the future if faced with similar medical procedures that challenges my coping abilities. Linda LeSage, RN,MS,CS

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Joanna worked with me prior to my having hip surgery. The primary goals were to have positive result from surgery, quick healing and to not have anxiety before surgery. We worked together and Joanna prepared a personalized meditation exercise that I used 2x daily via iPod, with terrific results. Post surgery, I healed quickly and was able to become mobile ahead of the anticipated schedule. I highly recommend Joanna!”  L.H.

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My daughter and I have been helped tremendously by Joanna’s hypnotherapy skills.   Her professionalism and ability to “tune in” to each of us greatly enhanced the effectiveness of our sessions.  We both worked in person with Joanna but I also was aided by the audio files she created specifically for my needs.   My daughter’s fears of putting her head under the water and being in rooms with high bookcases were completely eliminated.  What I found most profound was her ability to calm herself in stressful situations by using breathing techniques and hand movements.  My experiences were related to medical procedures and pain management.   After my first two surgeries, a biopsy and an oophorectomy (ovariectomy), I required NO pain medication – not even over the counter medication such as Tylenol.  My third surgery was much more extensive – bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.  Ironically, the pain medication I received in the hospital was prescribed because of my arthritic knee.  (Due to the surgery, I was unable to take my fish oil which keeps my arthritis in check.   I neglected to inform Joanna of my knee condition.)  When I spoke to Joanna after my discharge from the hospital, she offered to create another audio file for me.  Again, a testimony to her professionalism and desire to go the extra mile to help me.  I listened to the file once or twice a day, and within about a week (and just shy of three weeks after surgery), I had completely eliminated the pain medication and was able to drive.  Again, I did not even require over the counter medication.  I have a few surgeries still to come and do so with a complete sense of peace knowing I have the ability to control (aka eliminate) the pain.   I know my positive post surgical quality of life was a result of Joanna’s tremendous teaching skills.  That is, teaching me how to perform hypnotherapy on myself.  Without reservation, I highly recommend her to all!  Ann Marie Huff, Abbey Huff, Waltham, MA