Artists, musicians and other creative people have the ability to look at the world and see it through different eyes than maybe scientists or dentists would, and this is fascinating to me.
Take, for example, the speaker of a course I attended on myofascial release (or MFR). John F. Barnes, PT, has a guru-like presence. I was surrounded by about 100 physical, massage and occupational therapists in a hotel conference room, all dressed in gym shorts, yoga pants and T-shirts. It was a lot more relaxed than your typical AGD meeting is.
Barnes thinks that all physical and even emotional problems can be traced to “restrictions” in the connective tissue system of the body. The physical-therapy aspect of his program was reasonable, but it soon got into a metaphysical realm that left me feeling pretty uncomfortable. This is more than just lower back pain or a sore shoulder. I heard him say “restrictions” can all be worked out by applying light pressure on the affected parts of the body. I listened but was mainly interested in how it may apply to temporomandibular dysfunctions (TMD).
It was enlightening though to hear him ask the crowd members for their own experiences and to listen as several of the attendees started their story with, “My trouble started off when this dentist….” I kept my head down the whole weekend for fear of being found out.
But I did start to wonder about whether our treatments can be at times traumatic in an emotional sense. A lot of people certainly seem to think so.
If you’ve been keeping up with this series of holistic-themed blog posts from me, you’ll see that it has been my attempt to expose my dear readers to some of the alternative approaches to medical treatment that are out there. If my editor, Stacy, wasn’t getting so frustrated with trying to write headlines for these non-dental topics, I would go on about Reiki or “energy therapy” in psychology or chakra or yoga.
More than me droning on about it, what I’d like to learn is: Does anybody in dentistry use any of this stuff in their practices? How do you incorporate these modalities? To be honest, MFR is a viable approach to treating TMD, but I wouldn’t use it in place of traditional treatments.
Next time, I’ll talk about something relevant to teeth. Stay tuned.
Bruce M. Scarborough, DMD, FAGD