After a recent dental visit, I went to meet with a friend and I told him I just had lunch with my dentist on the deck of a nice restaurant with a view of San Francisco bay. “Lunch with your dentist!” he said surprised, “I imagine that must have been before your treatment not afterwards, or the food would be falling out of your mouth?” “No, after my treatment”, I replied, “in fact my dentist just did two fillings and a crown. I don’t get injections for dental work and I haven’t for about forty years, so my face wasn’t numb.”
It’s true, I haven’t taken injections, or other painkillers like nitrous oxide, during dental work since the 1970s and our conversation got me thinking about different ways to handle pain as an interesting subject to explore.
What was my motivation for avoiding numbing injections? ? It wasn’t really that I didn’t like needles or shots; I liked less the numb feeling and being uncomfortable for hours after dental work. Also, in my new lifestyle approach of natural living, I didn’t want any pharmaceutical drugs put into my body unless absolutely necessary. I still practice that approach many decades later.
So, briefly, here’s how I approach injection/drug-free dentistry. To begin with, I visualize any drilling, noise and vibration, as energy moving through the tooth and my whole body; I don’t resist and tighten. I let it go. The next challenge, or step, is how to apply this same approach to any nerve stimulation and perceived “pain.” I use a similar technique—I repeat and say to myself, “This is energy passing through my nerve,” I don’t call it “pain” and I don’t resist. “It’s just a moment,” I tell myself and it passes almost as quickly as I can identify it. Crazy? I don’t think so.
How is this any different than taking a natural approach to dealing with a headache for example? It’s easy just to think, “I have a headache and what can I take to make it go away?” That’s a typical Western Medicine approach. I have taught and lived a more integrative and natural approach. “Why do I have this headache? Am I stressed? Dehydrated? Is my neck out of alignment? Is it intestinal toxicity from bad food or drink?” Ideally, for any condition, it’s a higher level of medicine to figure out and address the underlying cause. This is one of the keys to my N.E.W. Medicine approach.
If this topic interests you, a more detailed article can be found in the August issue of Total Health Magazine online. In it, I explore this subject in greater detail, including more techniques for pain management – check it out here