A new study is showing that people with bigger social networks experience less pain and anxiety before surgery.
"Our hope is to try to put a spotlight on this for surgeons," Dr.
Daniel B. Hinshaw told Reuters Health. The findings make it clear, he
explained, that surgeons should ask patients about their level of
social support, and anticipate that people with less support may fare
Massage therapy could actually help provide the human connection that isolated people need to feel better, Hinshaw noted. His study found that massage had a pain relieving effect equivalent to a 1 milligram dose of morphine.
Physicians who specialize in massage therapy can be found here.
If you anticipate needing surgery in the foreseeable future, might I suggest cultivating some hobbies that may lead to social interaction, such as: Bingo (Jens Lekman's promo for this activity below)
...roller skating, bridge, improv comedy (bring bottled water, you'll be movin'!), and book clubs.
Further tip: Be sure to bring baked goods as often as possible to these events.
Daniel B. Hinshaw, M.D., has clinical interests in the areas of surgical oncology, gastrointestinal surgery and palliative medicine. He practices in Ann Arbor, Michigan.