As dentistry has dipped into the sleep and airway disorder world, some dentists have found a new way to provide care for their patients. BUT, maybe it’s time for us to ask, “What’s in it for me?”
Although most of us, as dentists, can keep our finger on the pulse of our own health, we do not always act on our own health in the way we would want of our patients. In fact, we may even be more guilty of ignoring minor early symptoms or be in total denial about our own chronic conditions.
So let’s take a quick peek at the environment that we subject ourselves to that can have an epigenetic impact on our long term health…
Do you work in a profession that demands high levels of focus and perfection? Do you find yourself more sedentary than is healthy? Are you getting less than 10,000 steps per day? Do you work in a forward head posture position? Do you breathe through your mouth quite a bit because of your mask? Do you roll your shoulders forward and lean forward in a way that limits your diaphragmatic breathing? Do you feel the stress of staying on schedule, staying productive, cash flow, team management? Do you feel like you can’t take time away from the office for more than a 3-4 day time? (And you always couple that with continuing education so you can write it off?) Do you have anxiety about your work? Fear of the legal and business environment? Have you gained 5-10 pounds since you started college? Maybe 5 pounds every 4 years since you graduated? Do you have a hard time losing weight? Do you have a hard time sleeping straight through 7 hours or so? Do you wake up feeling less than fantastic and rested? Have your eating habits changed? Is your dietary intake on autopilot?
Dentistry can destroy our lives… OR we can take advantage of the control and knowledge we have as dentists to, no kidding, design our life, our lifestyle, and our long term health.
You probably know what to do. It’s probably not a pill for this or a quick workout for that. Is it time for you to rethink your routine?
Start like you would with your patients. Write out your history. Gather data. Have tests done. Put the big picture together. Ask yourself how you can reset, rebalance, and re-establish your physiology and metabolism. Learn more about your autonomic nervous system.
Then take charge. And prescribe for yourself a healthy life. Get more, better sleep. Connect with friends and family. Become friends with your patients. Spend more time moving your body. Eat with mindfulness and intention. Appreciate your day and honor your breathing. Increase any restricted range of motion. Relax, breathe and focus at work… stay in “the zone”