Yup, the dentist chair!  I had my six month cleaning last night and was not looking forward to the appointment. Now, mind you, I really like my dentist and staff (Dr. Hoang at Unique Dental in Attleboro, MA) — probably the least painful dental experiences I’ve had in years.  However, I’m quite sensitive to sound and I’ve never really gotten past the sound — or feeling – the instruments make when in contact with my teeth. *Shudder* BUT, taking care of my teeth is just as important as taking care of the rest of me which meant I needed to calm down and somehow convince my shoulder and neck muscles that their location up by my ears wasn’t actually helpful.  So, as I sat in the chair prepared to endure the cleaning, it occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to apply some yogic breathing and meditation.   

I closed my eyes and started to focus on my breath, just the natural inhale and exhale, trying to not focus on the fact my mouth was stretched uncomfortably open. Once I felt my attention was fairly engaged with my breath, I moved my attention to all the tense muscles and actively began to send my breath into the places of resistance, and slowly, slowly, my muscles began to release their clenching death hold on my skeleton.  Next, I changed my hand position from a tight grip to a more gentle Buddha mudra.  I found myself relaxing and beginning to detach from the sounds and sensations that normally make me fight not to jump out of the chair.

All in all, I managed to find some detachment.  It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t 100%, BUT I found enough that the experience was easier than in the past and it gives me hope that the next time I find myself sitting in the dentist’s chair, I might reaching for detachment from the sounds and sensations of the dentist’s tools a little easier.

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