I had a hysterectomy when I was in my early 40s. My physician advised me to take six weeks off after this major surgery. I followed his instruction and made arrangements at work, as well as planned to have some at-home care from friends and neighbors. I am happy to report that due to meditation  and an essential oil, all of these preparations were unnecessary.
I went home from the hospital with prescription-strength Tylenol and Vicodin. I used a few doses of the Tylenol and none of the painkiller. Instead, I relied most heavily on an herbal preparation called oral arnica, which I took daily. By my third day home from the hospital, I was not only able to get up and down my stairs (which was supposed to take two weeks), I was in my backyard doing some gentle gardening! I felt so strong that it was really more challenging to stay sedentary than it was to walk or move freely. On my incision, I used a lotion containing a high concentration of tea tree oil.
Perhaps as important (if not more so) was my devotion to meditation. I have practiced Buddhism for several years, and am an active member at my local Zen center. I truly believe that the time I spent in peaceful contemplation healed me, and continues to renew me on a daily basis. I find the "hard" research that supports this really interesting, especially the reports on how people who meditate can actually change their brain chemistry.
I received very little resistance about my chosen healing methods, mostly because I chose to surround myself at that time with positive, supportive people. My gynecologist is also usually progressive, so I shared with him my entire health plan, which he endorsed. Perhaps because I have such an open-minded physician, I would never totally forsake conventional medicine for either meditation or herbal remedies. But thanks in large part to these complementary methods, I was ready to return to work after two weeks.