The saddest thing I’ve realized lately is how much the dental hygiene profession has normalized pain. What I mean by this is… practitioners who DO NOT experience pain in our profession seem to be the minority.
With all of the research I’ve done and people I’ve talked with, I’d say there is less than 5% of hygienists who don’t experience aches, pains or discomfort on a regular basis.
I was there, too–for a long time actually.
If we haven’t met yet, Hi–I’m Caitlin! I’ve been a dental hygienist for over ten years, and the first eight of those ten years I experienced pain in my body regularly. Whether it was neck/shoulder tension, carpal tunnel symptoms, low back pain, hip pain, or knee and ankle aches–I felt it all.
And now… no pain. Of course, I get aches and discomfort occasionally, but now I have the tools to manage them on a regular basis and the most important thing is–I take the time to manage it so that I do feel good!
Because we all know that when we don’t feel 100% in our body, we have less energy, motivation, and presence. When we lack those, we aren’t able to give our 110% efforts to our patients and the office, and ultimately, we end up depleted.
>> So let’s talk about how we can all start to feel better as a profession…
>> Let’s talk about what WORKS to decrease pain, discomfort, and aches.
>> Let’s talk about what works to increase strength + stability and decrease tension + tightness.
⇒ For me — Yoga Therapy ⇐
Here are THREE reasons why you need to try yoga therapy–
First, I want to share HOW I came to yoga therapy. It was a few years into working clinically in my dream office when I started to realize how much pain I was actually in. So like a lot of hygienists, I tried a few things–one being yoga. I went to my first hot yoga class and loved it as I started to find some relief.
The more I went, though, the more I started to realize that there had to be a different type of yoga that could help the bodies of people like me who do such small and specific movements…
This curiosity led me to a cross-country move from Boston to San Diego to pursue therapeutic yoga and start not only feeling better physically but help others do the same.
1,000 hours later, I became a Certified Yoga Therapist.
Fast forward three years, I currently still work as an RDH but also created my own yoga therapy business and specialize in pain, movement and stress management.
Through my own personal healing journey, I’ve discovered WHAT WORKS and what DOESN’T WORK to effectively and powerfully create massive shifts in the physical body that decrease pain and discomfort, create a deeper connection to the body, and reduce stress and tension.
So let’s dive in….
1.) STABILIZATION + STRENGTH
One of the main distinctions between yoga therapy & traditional yoga is that it is much more individualized. Traditional yoga helps us feel better but typically we shove our bodies into certain movements, whereas yoga therapy adapts the movements to our bodies which give us a greater benefit.
In yoga therapy, we use simple movements to create big results. The first result is increased strength and stabilization. This is SO IMPORTANT for proper posture.
Through the intentional movements of yoga therapy and the use of props, we’re able to build strength in the body for the specific areas of our body that become weak from sitting so much.
Integral core strength, back + neck strength and leg strength are all crucial for good posture and no pain.
2.) RELEASING TENSION + CREATING SPACE–
This sounds intuitive, right? Easier said than done though for us hygienists who use the same small muscles over and over again. It’s hard to find and get into the tight areas that when we don’t address, cause us pain.
Through slow, intentional movement linked with consistent breath pattern, we’re able to release tension, loosen muscles that become rigid, and decrease pain.
Without breath, there is no release.
Our breath is the command center for the body–when our breath is steady & calm, our nervous system moves from stress to relaxation.
This is the key to yoga therapy.
3.) AWARENESS OF ALIGNMENT, BODY MECHANICS + POSTURE–
One of the most important parts of yoga therapy, and my work specifically, isn’t just the stretching and the strengthening, it’s the importance of understanding our posture, alignment & movement patterns that are individualized.
For an example, if you’re right-side dominant, it’s likely that your right side is going to be tighter than the left–this simple discrepancy can cause pain due to the imbalance.
Through yoga therapy, we’re able to understand where our imbalances are, what muscles/areas are tight/overworked and which ones are tight/underworked.
This is crucial for proper posture, alignment & body mechanics–
This is crucial in the removal of pain.
As you can see, there are big distinctions between traditional yoga in classes and strategic, intentional yoga therapy practices for dental hygienists.
THIS IS WHY I CREATED FOUNDATION TO FREEDOM!
If you haven’t heard of F2F, it is a comprehensive, 3-month online yoga therapy program specifically for dental hygienists.
THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:
- 12 (weekly) therapeutic practices with a new area to focus on each week
- 3 (60-min) one-on-one sessions with me to address alignment, posture & mechanics
- 12 (weekly) mediation + breathing practices to reduce stress + anxiety
- 3 (monthly) live training on posture & alignment, stress management & easy self-care tips to create more balance and harmony in your life
- Private group for 24/7 support from myself & fellow RDHs, and a breakthrough workbook to stay on top of your goals & motivation.
THIS PROGRAM IS FOR YOU IF:
- You’re a dental hygienist
- You do/have experienced aches, pain or discomfort in your body
- You want to learn how to strengthen &/or stretch your body properly
- You’re looking for a preventative way to stay healthy & balanced
- You’re ready to put in a little bit to get a lot
THIS PROGRAM IS NOT FOR YOU IF:
- You expect a miracle or magic pill to fix you
- You’re going to sign up but not do the work
- You’re not a dental hygienist
- You’re negative and don’t like anything
If you want to learn more about this program and the epic offer that’s available for it right now, click the link below to learn more and save your spot!
If you have specific questions and want to see if you’re a good fit for the program, email me at:
I truly look forward to hearing from you and helping you transition from a life and career in pain/discomfort to one that is more expansive and balanced.
I’m living proof that it can happen for anyone.