Yogis and holistic dentists have at least one thing in common. Each concentrates on the big picture at hand. For Yogis, this includes using stretches and breathing techniques to unveil the connection between the mental and the physical. In the same way, holistic dentistry seeks to connect oral conditions with the overall health of a patient’s body systems. Both practices seek to understand cause and effect relationships and recognize that the genuine change—be it mental or physical—requires more than mere reactionary quick fixes.
Comments by Dr. Ted Herrmann:
Yoga has split into several unique sects of ideologies over the years. Each has a common ancestry, however, having been born in ancient India. References to yoga poses and practice have been discovered on tapestries dated as early as 1700 BC. Despite its revolution into so many different styles, most yoga practice still has a common goal: to unite the mind and body as one.
The mind-body connection is at the root of yoga practice. Yogis, avid yoga practitioners, believe that uniting the mind and body is the key to overall spiritual wellness. In this way, yoga seeks to combine the tangible body with the mysterious and intangible mind.
Modern medicine supports this seemingly strange idea that our minds have a profound affect over our bodies. Researchers at the University of Illinois, for example, write of a link between high levels of stress and the immune system. Their research indicates that as physical stress increases, the ability of the immune system to function decreases (i). Mental stress, it seems, has the ability to affect physical change.
Holistic Dentistry: Mouth/ Body Connection
Holistic dentistry shares a common ground with yoga. Yoga sees the mind as an integral part of overall health, with mental problems being manifested through the body. By the same token, holistic dentistry sees the overall health of the patient as being intricately linked to both their mental and physical wellness. A stressed and anxiety-prone patient, for example, may exhibit stress fractures, poor diet, and a corresponding predisposition to tooth decay. While traditional dentists view a patient with these symptoms as an individual who needs a filling or two, holistic dentists see something different. They see a patient who needs help with stress management, eating well, and oral hygiene education.
Think ‘Holistic,’ and Achieve Overall Wellness
Of course, just because you enjoy yoga does not mean you will enjoy visiting a holistic dentist. There is a significant overlap in ideology, however, so you may want to consider it! At Assure a Smile, we refer to our approach to dentistry as people dentistry. The professionals at Assure a Smile are primarily concerned with the overall wellness of the patient, just as Yogis are concerned with the overall well being of their mental and physical bodies.
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