Gentleness in Surgery and Universal Medicine

by Eunice J Minford MA FRCS Ed, Antrim, N Ireland

One of the first teachings I received as a trainee surgeon many years ago, was to be gentle with the tissues when operating. As a medical student and junior doctor, I would hear bosses advise the more senior trainees to ‘be gentle’ or sometimes hear them being chastised for being too rough. It is well-recognised within surgery, that gentle handling of the tissues is important in the overall success of the operation and in minimising post-operative complications. It is one of the fundamental teachings in surgery.

It may just seem like ‘common sense’ to be gentle and have respect for the tissues and to minimise trauma in surgery but this is also supported by science with a reduction in the inflammatory response. So there is scientific support to show that being gentle and minimising tissue trauma is beneficial for the patient. But why should this gentleness be restricted to surgical operations?? If it is necessary to be gentle with a body when it is on the operating table, surely it would also make sense that we should be gentle with it off the operating table?? It’s unlikely that the beneficial effects of being gentle with the body are just confined to the time that body is undergoing an operation. It doesn’t make sense to think that it’s ok to be rough and aggressive with the body in one’s daily life and only when it’s having an operation does the surgeon need to be gentle with it. If gentleness is beneficial on the table, it is surely also beneficial off the table, as we go about our daily lives.

Of course, I had never quite thought of it like that until I came to Universal Medicine and the presentations of Serge Benhayon and learned about the importance of being gentle with ourselves and our bodies from an energetic perspective. This was a whole new area to me and one that I would have previously dismissed and derided. However, I have come to know and realise for myself the importance of being gentle in my daily life. Indeed, it is fair to say that even though I endeavoured to  handle tissues gently in surgery, outside of the operating theatre, I wasn’t very gentle with myself. I could be quite hard, tough, aggressive even – at times bull-dozing my way through life. Frustration and anger bubbled away, all too ready to be expressed.  I lived a hard lifestyle of long hours at work and at play. There was very little in the way of gentleness, tenderness or true care for myself.

Thanks to Serge Benhayon and  Universal Medicine, I now realise the importance of being gentle, tender and caring for myself – but not just for myself but for those around me as well.  I now realise, that how I live every day comes with me to the operating table. And so, even though I thought I was being gentle with the tissues inside the operating room, I was also bringing into it the hardness, the frustration, the anger etc  that I was also carrying. I now know that we are not isolated beings, but energetic beings, where we are all interconnected. So my state of being, my quality of being influences those around me, whether they are on an operating table or not. I now realise that we cannot compartmentalise sections of our life and do what I used to do – endeavour to be gentle with the tissues in the operating room but have no gentleness for myself outside of it. For in order to be truly gentle in the operating room, I need to be truly gentle outside of it as well, in how I live my  life on a daily basis.

This applies to all areas of life…..nothing and nowhere is left out. It means being gentle in all activities, all expressions, talking, walking, exercise, making love, even something as simple as closing a door or brushing one’s teeth. The more we build that gentleness in our daily activities, the more it is just our natural way of being, we don’t have to try to be gentle – we just are. In Serge Benhayon I have witnessed what it means to be truly gentle, truly tender and caring with one’s self, and the way that he lives his life in this way is inspiring.

So although I understood it was important to be gentle with the tissues in an operating theatre, it wasn’t until I came to Universal Medicine that I learned the importance of being gentle in all areas of my life and how that impacted not just myself, but all those around me. Through Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I gained a deeper understanding of why gentleness is important and how it helps to re-connect us back to our true state of being, which is love and stillness. For me, this continues to be a work in progress within what can be the stressful reality of the operating theatre. However, I am now much more aware of the things that ‘press my buttons’ or take me out of that gentle way of being and thus can take steps to come back to it more quickly.

How amazing would it be if this was part of medical training? To understand that in any interaction or operation we bring to the table, or the consultation, all that we live. To understand that we cannot just put on a white coat and think that will cover up any bits of ourselves or our behaviour we are perhaps less than happy with or which our patients would be less than happy with. From an energetic perspective there is no cover up, there is no hiding place – we bring all that we live to all that we do.

Eunice J Minford MA FRCS Ed
Consultant Surgeon
The Soulful Doctor

255 thoughts on “Gentleness in Surgery and Universal Medicine

  1. I agree Eunice, how we live every day comes with us wherever we go and impacts on everything we touch and those we interact with, highlighting the importance of taking responsibility and being gentle, caring and nurturing with ourselves so that we build a loving way of being and reflect this to others to inspire them to feel that they are able to make a similar choice.

  2. What Serge Benhayon teaches is applicable to every profession, and definitely doctors and surgeons. I would rather have a gentle surgeon than any other surgeon any day – surely the philosophy of gentleness is key when it comes to scalpels and our bodies – and it makes total sense that it’s essential for surgeons to look after themselves and their bodies not only for their own well-being but also so that they are able to commence surgery that last for hours and requires absolute precision and focus.

  3. Re-learning to be at-least-gentle is the most humbling experience and can be so normal and simple as we can all remember the way we were when as children the natural gentleness that was lived.

  4. Thank you Eunice, it’s very supportive to read about the necessity and impact of gentleness in surgery and the common sense expansion of gentleness into daily life. Personally I feel when my movements are rough, hard, rushed or jarring then it’s something my body has to recover from. I’ve also noticed with the support of Esoteric Yoga sessions that when my natural tenderness is in my movements, for example doing vacuuming, then the activity is not something I need to recover from but something that’s very healing to experience. We also tend to think about inflammation being remedied with diet and stress reduction, but we don’t factor in gentleness in how we move and treat ourselves.

  5. Working in the medical field I know that surgeons have a reputation for being very skilled in the operating theatre but not always great with the communication or people skills outside of theatre. But why the focus on being ‘gentle’ with the physical anatomy and tissues in theatre but not be gentle with the person or being that inhabits that body? This does not make sense and medicine in general could learn a lot from this blog.

  6. “It’s unlikely that the beneficial effects of being gentle with the body are just confined to the time that body is undergoing an operation.” I think you are onto something here 🙂

  7. ‘It is well-recognised within surgery, that gentle handling of the tissues is important in the overall success of the operation and in minimising post-operative complications. It is one of the fundamental teachings in surgery.’ I totally agree that this makes common sense and if we were all taught from an early age of the importance of gentleness as a whole it would become a natural part of our everyday livingness.

      1. I love that Andrew “to be gentle with ourselves and each other to avoid complications!”, it’s a great prescription!

  8. It is so true that ‘we bring all that we live to all that we do’ and committing to being gentle is thus reflected in every area of our lives.

  9. So powerful to share how we don’t have to try to be gentle – if we bring it into everything we do – then we just are. And then what an amazing gift that is brought to your patients. That you are naturally gentle with them every step of the way.

  10. Such truth cannot be ignored, for how we live is felt by others, we can try to ‘put on a happy face’ or to ‘treat another with respect’. But, ultimately how we hold ourselves and treat ourselves is also how we be with others, and while being gentle with another is definitely a huge step away from not being gentle, there is an innate inner part of ourselves that is constantly screaming for us to love another, without abandon, as this is our true nature.

  11. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to others to treat and hold ourselves with gentleness and care as a daily foundational way of living, if not, we accept far less than our true way of being and the full impact this has on everything around us.

  12. It is so true we cannot compartmentalize our life into sections and be one thing in one area without bringing in how we are in other areas of our life. We may like to think we can, but I find that totally exhausting and it leaves me feeling like a liar.

  13. Fascinating to read how surgeons are encouraged to be gentle with the patient’s tissues once being operated on. Gentleness in every day life supports me so much these days, and I notice how insensitive others can be ( which was myself once too ) when people bang doors and clatter pots and pans etc. Everything carries a vibration, so by being gentle with myself and other people and things, this feels less harming than in my old way of doing things.

    1. To observe the lack of gentleness that another is choosing is an interesting thing to feel, as the absolute shock to the body it is cannot be ignored or ever again doubted. And when we have thousands upon thousands of people choosing to live without gentleness, we can no longer be surprised by the huge amount of natural disasters our planet is experiencing.

  14. One life, I’m really coming to understand this now on a whole new level, that how I am in one area affects another, and that it’s not about performing at a particular standard in 1 area, if I’ve not been living that overall. This I would not understand without the on-going inspiration of Universal Medicine.

  15. “For in order to be truly gentle in the operating room, I need to be truly gentle outside of it as well, in how I live my life on a daily basis.” I noticed this the other day, whilst people might know it is important to be gentle with the tissues, it can totally get ignored because of the tension and anxiousness that is in the practitioner’s body. So it is super important to have a livingness, a lived experience, of this gentleness so we can’t but be gentle and tender when we do our job or come by other people in our days. We can’t hide how we are anyway as it is all felt even without touching each other and can be equally imposing in this way.

  16. ” if gentleness is beneficial on the table, it is surely also beneficial off the table, as we go about our daily lives.”
    This just makes practical sense, even when we meet people and they are gentle in their action and words we all benefit from this form of expression.

  17. There is no cover-up, no hiding from an energetic perspective, and this is something that really changes how we live … so as shared here, being gentle in a particular instance (surgery) but not in life doesn’t work in how we expect for in order to be truly gentle we need to live that everywhere, otherwise what we do is become less of how we naturally are, less gentle and more say, hard for example.

  18. If we were taught about the importance of being gentle with ourselves from young, I feel sure this would support our health and wellbeing and that of those around us. But having said that we can choose gentleness whatever our age and Eunice’s article is a great offering to us to take responsibility and become aware of the effects of our less than gentle ways.

  19. Being gentle with ourselves, brings in a responsibility to be aware of how we pick things up, get dressed, wash up, in fact all activities we do, and when we do our body starts to feel more gentle and not as tight as it does when we forget to be gentle.

  20. Eunice, this is a great reminder; ‘To understand that in any interaction or operation we bring to the table, or the consultation, all that we live.’ Often in society we think it is only how we are in that moment that counts, but reading this I can feel that it is our everyday livingness that’s important.

  21. ‘…we bring all that we live to all that we do’ Just by living our life responsibly, we make an enormous difference, changing harm for gentleness all around us.

  22. Having just come from a bodywork training course I realise how much we are supported by the gentle touch of another. The way they move and place the blanket over us, how they tenderly unwrinkle our clothes and make sure our clothes are not distracting in any way to our bodies, the way they place our arms and legs. The quality in which they first lay their hands on us. How they gracefully move around the massage table without bumping into it or being disruptive in any way. There is so much to appreciate here, and this goes for anything in life. The way we approach and carry out any activity can bring this sense of harmony.

    1. It’s a beautiful example of harmony Elaine, of how we can be making sure that our movements are not disruptive or imposing, and support those around us to be free to choose their own way. It also confirms how much healing we can bring to another by our tender and caring treatment well before the massage even begins.

  23. Because we don’t choose to see the ripple effects of everything we do, we can claim that certain situations don’t call for the same level of loving care as others, and then don’t bring our all to those things.

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