Transcription: ‘Hello, I’m Dr. BreeAnn Christiansen, holistic dentist at Brighton Dental in San Diego. Today, I come to you with a very interesting message, maybe not one you would expect, but I wanted to talk to you about how to relate going to the dentist to going to yoga.
The first thing I always took from yoga was the breathing. The breathing is very important because it’s what helps get you through your yoga class, it helps you get through each pose, it helps you transition into the next pose. Your breathing pretty much controls the whole class.
So I want you to think the next time you’re in our dental chair if you’re a little afraid or anxious, fearful of what you might experience, I want you to take deep breaths and I want you to breathe exactly into that feeling at that moment.
So when you’re anxious, breathe in to your increased heart rate and feel it go down, breathe into those knots in your stomach and feel them go away. Take deep breaths as much as you need.
I also want you to think about breathing into those areas that are tense when you’re maybe, let’s say, getting your shot to be numb. I want you to breathe into those areas that maybe feel uncomfortable to you and that increased oxygen supply into that area may make it a little bit more comfortable.
I also was thinking about how I started in yoga. I remember one of my friends telling me that downward-facing dog is supposed to be the resting position of the class. I thought, “This woman is out of her mind.” This is not a restful position. It strains me. It hurts me. And now, after a few years of practicing yoga, downward-facing dog is my resting position.
It’s where I catch my breath. It’s where I reorganize my thoughts for the class, I get back into the moment in downward facing dog. I’m able to let go of all those things that might be stressing me out.
So I want you to relate that to the first time you went to the dentist. Maybe you had a horrible experience or maybe you’re just feeling nervous because you didn’t know what to expect. But as you get to know us at Brighton Dental and get to know our team, you’ll learn that we want to work with you and we want to make you comfortable and we want to make this a safe experience for you.
You can see maybe the first time was really terrible like it was for me doing downward-facing dog, but then as I went along, I knew what to expect and I got better at it. That’s kind of how you can look at coming to the dentist.
A recent class I went to is what inspired me to make this connection even though I’m sure some of you think I’m crazy. But towards the end of the class, I was exhausted and we were in low plank. My arms were shaking, my legs were shaking and I was getting ready to put my knees down and relax and our instructor said, take this challenging moment to push yourself and think to yourself, “I’m becoming stronger right now. I’m pushing through this challenge to become a better person, a better version of myself.” I thought, “You know what? We can use that in every aspect of our life even in dentistry.”
So first, I wanted to find the discomfort in this sense is not pain because you shouldn’t feel pain with dental work (that’s why you’re numb). The discomfort is feeling uncomfortable with what’s going on or uneasy with what’s going to happen.
When you’re feeling that, I want you to think, “I’m going through this to improve my overall health, not just my dental health” because we are improving our overall health. You’re taking your health into your own hands and you’re doing what’s best for you.
And so I want you to think when you’re in those stressful moments, “I’m getting to a better version of myself. Even though I’m going through this challenge, it’s getting me to a better place.”
And finally, I feel like in life, we’re constantly living for the next thing, “Well, my life will be better when I get this promotion” or, “I’m working. It’s only Monday. I can’t wait for the weekend.” I know you think I’m crazy again, but I want you to think about not rushing, not wishing to be out of the moment.
So even when you’re in the dental chair, I know it’s tedious, it’s frustrating having your mouth open, it’s frustrating, all the water, but try to maintain being in that moment and it will help you get through the whole procedure. Before you know it, it’ll be over instead of you wishing the whole time that it’s coming to an end.
So I hope I made the connection for you. I hope you can come into our office and have a little piece of my knowing where it’s going. So that’s my talk about becoming a yogi in the dental chair. I look forward to seeing you soon.’
To book an appointment with Dr. BreeAnn at Brighton Dental San Diego, call (619) 640-5100