Sunday, March 25, 2018

How The Week Should Look

For many years, I've been trying to figure out why many of us feel so disconnected with time, and with the living physical world in which we exist.  Recently, it occurred to me that the week COULD be organized in a way that would correspond with the natural world, and with the natural cycles of development we observe in ourselves as living human beings.
I'm sure you are aware that the days of the week are not randomly named.  They are named after the seven visible "planets" or celestial bodies.

Monday = Moon's Day, ruler of emotion, mystery, and the deep
Tuesday = Tyr's Day, Norse God corresponding to Mars (Martes)
Wednesday = Odin's Day, Norse father God corresponding to Zeus or Jupiter.  However, as the Spanish word for this day is Miercoles, which signifies Mercury, there is some confusion here.  Odin does bear some similarities to Mercury, such as being the inventor of language in the form of the runes.
Thursday = Thor's Day, the Norse thunder God, also corresponding to Zeus or Jupiter
Friday = Freya's Day, Norse Goddess of love corresponding to Venus
Saturday = Saturn's Day, relating to Kronos, the Titan, the ring-pass-not or boundary, time, order, and schedules.  However, Saeter is the name of Loki, the Norse trickster God, possibly corresponding to Lucifer.  Interesting that this day is recognized as the Sabbath (day of rest), or seventh day
Sunday = Sun's Day, obvious correlation with Apollo and Christ, the light of life

But how does this help us as we cycle through each week?
Why would we start the week honoring the watery, subconscious energy of the moon??
Why, if Saturday is the day of rest, do we start the week on Monday?
Where does the number 7 come into the picture, and why?

So here is what I've concluded.

The seven days of the week are meant to correspond to the seven visible celestial orbs, as well as the seven major chakras in the physical body.  If we organize things this way, watch what happens:

Monday = Saturn's Day, the muladhara (root) chakra; dark red or even black; dense and durable, like lead; a day for grounding, and getting back into the weekly schedule and routine; building a foundation for the days ahead; focus on the legs and feet as the foundation of the body.

Tuesday = Mars' Day, the svadhisthana (sacral) chakra, red-to-orange, fluid and seeking movement like blood, associated with iron partly for this reason; a day for beginning to move from the foundation out into the week, exploring connections with others as we seek to expand and explore.

Wednesday = Jupiter's Day, the manipura (solar plexus) chakra (I know solar implies sun, but this is only because of its location...the energy of this day is most definitely Jupiterian!), connected with individual growth and development, and taking charge of one's own life and path, celebrating the personality with spontaneous creativity, playfulness, and joy.  The color of Wednesday is yellow.

Thursday = Venus' Day, the anahata (heart) chakra, the color green, the expression of love through actions and energy. This is a day of balance, as it lies exactly midway through the week (the entire week, not just the "work week"), expanding on the outward seeking of Tuesday, and deepening those connections with acts of kindness and gratitude.  When most people are looking forward to Happy Hour as the work week is drawing toward a close, the person celebrating in this way would be energized very differently, feeling an increase in vibration from the energy that has built through the week to this point! Incidentally, "anahata" is a sanskrit word meaning "unstuck."

Friday = Mercury's Day, the visshuda (throat) chakra, the color of turquoise to bright blue, associated with communication and creativity, a day of expressing oneself and one's TRUE VOICE out into the world!  Friday can also be a day to practice active listening, and work toward bringing ideas into physical expression through language.  As was stated earlier, Mercury (also known as Hermes) was the messenger and scribe of the Gods, and gave humanity the gift of language.  Friday is the day to celebrate this gift with zeal, integrity, and empathy.

Saturday = Sun's Day, the ajna (third eye) chakra, indigo in color, associated with vision and intellect and the deliberate activities of the mind, such as pattern recognition.  Inspiration can happen on this day as the pattens of the weekly activities settle into a more relaxed neurological soup.  This is a day to celebrate outside, the first day of the week when work is not the primary focus, but a day filled with energy and activity.  This is a day for pinics, celebrations, and festivals.

Sunday = Moon's Day, the sahasrara (thousand-petaled) chakra, violet in color, moving toward the invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, corresponding to the moon's mystery and association with the deep, and even it's connection with what many people call death.  This is a day for deep reflection, and the development of wisdom and mastery.  It is the end of a cycle, and when we fall into sleep on that Sunday night, we can look back at the growth that has occurred, and look forward with hope to the beginning of a new cycle.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

What IS Periodontal Disease, anyway?

Periodontal Disease is an inflammatory condition which allows invasive microorganisms to get inside your body through the crevices between your teeth and gums.  It is a breakdown of the boundary between you and the outside world, and without a strong boundary, any organized system will decay.  Back in the good old days, periodontal disease went by the onomatopoetic name pyorrhea.  In its advanced stages, it is characterized by puffy, red gums that bleed easily when touched, as well as loose teeth and bad breath.  In the early stages, however, it can be subtle, and difficult to detect.
Periodontal disease happens when we don't take care of our mouths.  It's really that simple.  Take a few minutes a couple times a day to ONLY pay attention to your gums and your teeth, cleaning them carefully, examining them in a mirror, brushing them gently yet thoroughly, flossing them meticulously, and feeling them with your tongue, and you will all but eliminate your risk of developing periodontal disease.  When you care for your teeth and gums like you love them, and appreciate them, and they will respond with health and vitality.  However, if you brush and floss as fast as you can while you think about stressful situations, or your upcoming work schedule, or the asshole who cut you off in traffic today, your mouth will likely act out as a child ignored by a parent.

Yes, there are some people who are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease, but a genetic disposition does not necessarily lead to the physical expression of a disease.  And yes, there are systemic conditions which seem circumstantially to influence the health of the gums, such as diabetes.  But it may be worth considering that periodontal disease is merely one of several localized expressions of the overall condition of the body.  Many a farmer will tell you that if you want to know if a horse is healthy, you look at the teeth.  What's going on in your mouth is an indicator.

There are only a few strains of bacteria that seem to thrive in high numbers in the presence of gum disease.  Many people think of these as "bad bacteria," but I prefer to honor and respect all living things, so my viewpoint is a bit different.  Like humans, I believe most bacteria exist peacefully, and their purpose is not to harm other living things, though there are a few exceptions who exhibit truly psychopathic behaviors.  The bacteria associated with periodontal disease are indeed always present in the living organism we call our body, albeit in small numbers, and I believe their role is to take out the trash.  When living tissue dies, they clean it up by consuming it and metabolizing it, feeding the constituent raw materials back to the body in a non-noxious form.  A perfectly balanced natural system.

When the body dies, these bacteria reproduce in high numbers, and begin the process of putrefaction and decay that follows the passing of life from the material body.  They also seem to thrive when there is stagnation, or lack of flow in the body, such as what happens when you don't floss between your teeth, or when pockets develop between the teeth and gums, or when the nerve inside a tooth dies, or when a person lies on their back for a week without rolling over.  These bacteria are merely responding appropriately to the lack of energy flow in an area of the body, and doing their necessary job of putrefaction and decay of apparently nonliving tissue.  I think it's safe to say that most of us would prefer to avoid this process while we're still alive.

So next time you feel like you want to skip the flossing and brushing because you're tired or busy, think about the message your sending to your teeth and gums, and microscopic companions.  Do you want to let them know that you no longer care about those body parts?  Should they begin the process of putrefaction and decay of your physical body while you are still occupying it?  Or would you rather spend some time, send some love, and pay some attention to those often neglected children?

If you decide you care enough about them to give them what they need, I guarantee they will reward you in multiples.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Your Face Will Get Stuck That Way!

Form Follows Function

"Girls, you know, if you make faces like that, and somebody slaps you on the back, 
you'll stay that way FOREVER!!"

If you grew up in the 80's of before, you've almost certainly heard this expression.  And most of us made faces, and grew up, and came to the belief that the expression was untrue, and just a fear-based threat used by overly controlling adults to coerce the children to behave in the desired way. 

But is it really untrue?  Have you ever driven down the road, and looked at the people driving toward you in the oncoming lane?  Have you ever looked at the face of a parent whose child is causing a scene in the grocery store?  A businessman on the phone with his boss?  A busy soccer mom racing through the grocery store at 2PM on a Sunday afternoon?  A grumpy grampa complaining about his hip surgeon?

 Look around, and notice the furrowed brows all around you.  And connect that with the commercials you'll see about BOTOX Cosmetic.  Observe the down-turned mouths all around when you find yourself among some of your fellow humans.  Notice the advertisements for Cialis.  Decide for yourself if people generally look happy, like they're having a good time doing what they are doing.

Does form follow function?  If your facial muscles get into patterns of movement over the days, months, and years of your time on this planet in that body, don't you think the bony skeletal structures underneath will change over time in response to these muscular movements and patterns?

Of course they will!  Bones are dynamic, "living" structures, constantly changing and remodeling as we move through this 3-D hologram we call reality.  You have little construction crews made up of cells called osteoblasts, and demolition crews of cells called osteoclasts.  These two opposing forces must operate in a state of balance, or homeostasis, if we are to continue walking, and running, and jumping, lifting things up and putting them down.  And these crews constantly work to create a FORM that is best suited to carry out the FUNCTIONs that YOU, either intentionally or accidentally, DECIDE to do. 

My point is...


So every day, WAKE UP, and notice where you are.  
Choose to be grateful for something.  

Find a way to shake off the effects of the "bad" shit that happens to all of us here in this realm.  
Make lemonade.  
Smell the roses.  
Chew your food mindfully.  

And when you realize you've gone back to sleep and there is another frown on your face, 
WAKE UP again.  

Because if you keep on making that face...


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Avoiding a root canal

Frequently patients will find my website, and come to my office, because they have been told they need a root canal or a crown, or both, and they just want to know if there are any alternatives. 
I've always been inclined to take challenges, especially when someone tells me something can't be done. 

Below is a picture of the tooth of a 77-year-old patient who was told this very thing.  She came to me because she would like to save this tooth, and she was told the only way to do so would require a root canal and a crown.  The other option she was given was extraction. 

Sure, this tooth looks pretty bad. There is decay well below the gumline, making this a truly "long tooth."  It would appear that there may also be decay approaching the nerve, which is presumably why a root canal was recommended.  This patient had no pain, and te x-ray did not show any sign of an infection.  In fact, the x-ray showed calcification of many of the nerve canals, which would make root canal therapy in this case potentially complicated and difficult. 

Now, if you wanna restore a tooth like this, you need the right tools and the right materials.  And you need to be able to clean out the debris so no decay is left behind!

Here the tooth is initially cleaned out using traditional instrumentation.  There is still a little bit of soft tooth structure left here, so I did a little bit more work, and then it was time to isolate.  Again, having the right tools available is key!

You can see this specialized matrix band is contoured and shaped to allow it to be submerged below the gumline, and to perfectly isolate the edge of the prepared tooth, which is clean and smooth and beautiful now.  Time to restore!

A bioactive material was used to restore this tooth to its natural form and function, and if I do say so myself, also restored the natural beauty of a lower bicuspid.  The bite was adjusted until it felt just right, and the patient left very happy that she was able to save this tooth, with a minimal amount of discomfort, for a fraction of the cost of a root canal and a crown.