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Welcome to
Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics! 

In Harmony Orthodontics - Dr. Catherine Murphy, DDS, MSD 

December’s topics:

  • Recycle Your Live or Artificial Christmas Tree 
  • Health Tip: Before Looking Forward, Look Backwards
  • An Unforgettable Year!
  • Making Breastfeeding Work in Your Daily Life

Recycle Your Live or Artificial Christmas Tree  

Here's how to recycle your tree!

  • Read Recycle By City’s article “2021 Christmas Tree Recycling.” I learned some new things! Plus there is a fun quiz about recycling!
  • Have a lake or pond nearby? Ask your town if you can help create habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures by placing your tree in the water. (Be sure all decorations are removed, of course!)
  • Enjoy the pine scent? Want to remember Christmas all year? Reuse those little gift bags! Place some green sprigs inside and freshen up closets and your whole house naturally.
  • Turn it into mulch. Pine needles can be used as a moisturizing mulch for your garden. Shred branches into heavier mulch.
  • Enjoy using a chainsaw or know someone who does? Turn your Christmas tree into firewood or take thin slices of the trunk to make natural coasters.
  • Contact the tree farm where you purchased the tree. Some will allow you to bring it back!
To recycle artificial trees:
Once you’re done with your fake tree or decide it’s time for a new one (maybe of a different size), here are some suggestions:
  • Find a new spot for the tree & encourage the kids in your life to decorate it any way they want! Let their imagination loose! Also a good place to hang ornaments they make throughout the season.  
  • Have a beloved pet? This is especially good if the tree a bit on smaller side, make it the tree for the family pet! Again, it’s an opportunity to decorate and express creativity.   
  • Contact a school, daycare, hospital or church to see if they need an extra tree, such as an Angel Tree.   
  • Take it to work! You can use it to liven things up at the office for those who are no longer working remotely.  
  • Take it outside! Use it on your front porch, back deck, in your garage, or she-shed.

Martha Stewart says that there is definitely a right way to get rid of artificial trees. Check out her article: How to Recycle, or Reuse, an Artificial Christmas Tree.

Health Tip
Before Looking Forward, Look Backwards

This has been a year one of unexpected transitions for all of us. We went from business as usual to quickly learning how to connect in various ways online, engage in e-learning, and work remotely.

In December, it’s easy to plan for the next year. However, pausing and finding things to be grateful for may help even though it may take some effort. So start small! Set a goal each day to pick one thing in 2020 that you’re grateful for.

The most difficult thing may be to just stop, sit down and reflect. Perhaps you’re grateful for making new traditions such as playing games with extended family members over Zoom. Perhaps it’s learning how to buy groceries online.

For me, I am grateful for being with my two young children. At times I was incredibly stressed but I learned how to better adapt as their mother which will help me in the future.

Reflect on 2020 with gratitude. Adjust your mindset a bit to focus on the positive things. For example, instead of complaining about the chore of washing dishes, turn it around. You don’t have to do the dishes. You get to do the dishes. Dirty dishes in the sink means there are loved ones in your home and food on the table.

Set a goal for 2021 to start a gratitude journal.
Here’s an insider secret: I write down every patient’s name and express my gratitude for the ability to positively impact his/her smile and health. This expression is the difference between my having a job and being able to fulfill my dream of helping people take control of their health.

What are you grateful for? Would love to hear from you!

Resources for further reading:
Giving thanks can make you happier.


An Unforgettable Year!
Newsletter Year in Review

So much happened at In Harmony Orthodontics in 2020! Check out all the good things:

The year started with my return from maternity leave.
(Well, technically I returned 12.23.19 but January was first full week due to the holidays!)

Began a new series on my daughter’s journey to resolution of her tongue tie! Thank you to all the guest contributors: Dr. Rachel Poulsen, Dr. Trish Hammett, Dr. Charlie Beck and Dr. Jenny Turner.

Celebrated Laura’s work anniversary. She’s SO incredible! Soon will be celebrating AGAIN! YAY!

Enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the Apollonia Dental Society, following up on my first lecture. I had the pleasure of having Stacy Lashenik and Tracy Biggs join me. EXTRA bonus, one of the patients, Melanie, asked about the presentation and volunteered to join in the event! It was AMAZING! 

Published three articles in the Northwest Indiana Times’ special feature, Innovations in Health Care.

You can read them here:
Innovative Planning for Better Oral Health

Orthodontist creates unique book club to treat 'whole patient'

Doing more than straightening teeth by treating the whole child

Unexpectedly met Roy O. at Panera Bread who told me about the gold dental work my grandfather placed between 1959 and 1961! Gold work: it’s simply the gold standard! It fits the tooth the most accurately, wears more like enamel (tooth structure) better than any other option, and personally, I think it’s beautiful! (Check out mine in my IG highlights, “Going for the Gold.” with Dr. Torie Cox )

Acted as presiding chair at the Chicago MidWinter Meeting. Met and introduced the talented and knowledgeable Drs. Lou Chmura and Steve Carstensen!

Prepared for Connections Book Club’s meeting with Maria Janik and reading the book, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies. Unfortunately, the meeting did not come to fruition. However, the insights gained from Maria’s YouTube content and the book were beneficial to the club. (We met as a group and discussed what we like best: how to communicate better to provide the best care possible to our patients!)

Enjoyed incredible meeting with myofunctional therapists Stacy Lashenik, Joy Lantz and Tracy Biggs, Oral Surgeon Dr. Robin Gallardi, and family dentist, Dr. Torie Cox. Hashed out our current insights on collaborative care for tongue ties over hash browns!

Continued to make steps toward being and promoting greener options! Started using FWD Floss and Blueland soap and cleaners.


Had the pleasure of presenting to the IUN’s Hygiene Class on Holistic Orthodontics. It was even more special because I was the final live, in-person presenter for the class for the remainder of the year.

Acted preventatively and proactively closed the office prior to the mandates.

Pivoted at the office and home. Learned new ways to communicate with patients while caring for my two kids. (My husband was declared an essential worker throughout the pandemic.) Most fun memories: sharing on social media that my son and I walked in the snow! It was invigorating! (Thank you Dr. Bob Newhalfen for your encouragement!)

Became bold enough to share my co-authored poem with Ashley Ludlow. (Part of the pivoting!) Following this, I stopped hesitating and started on my novel and children’s books!

Lots of Zoom, FaceTime, webinars! Continuing education (CE), patient check-ins, more CE!

Started my son on the myomunchee!

Dr. Jennifer Hobson discussed the importance of proper breathing in the December 2019 newsletter. Once the pandemic hit, it was even more important and she provided our readers with a free ebook. Visit or send an email to

Re-opened the office! Yay!

The book Breath was published! Now it’s one of my top recommended books!

New series started: Insights from an IBCLC by Diane Gora

New series started: Spotlight in Myo by Joy Lantz

New series started: Tooth Time Tip by Dr. Tammy Button

Short IG series Prevent-o-dontists with Dr. Tammy Button

Official beach clean up with Mermaid Straw.

Connections Book Club: 2020 style, we met outside! It was a gorgeous fall day. Discussed the book Danielle Collins' Face Yoga by Danielle Collins. Bre Grzych and I led the group through some of our favorite poses. Dr. Jamila Miller, Dr. Susan Royer, Stacy Lashenik, and I shared how following a few daily poses could positively impact one's face, health, and smile.

A few weeks later, Bre and I announced Take 3 for Me, a daily practice of self care in 3 minutes through the Facebook Group Connections Made in Harmony. 

Not on FB? NO worries, occasionally post on my IG account. Scan here or click here

The IUN Hygiene clinic asked me to fill in. It had been a while since working with the dental hygiene students. It was great! In fact, I will be returning next semester on a more regular basis!

First time presenting while wearing a mask! Presented for the IUN Assisting Class on National 02 Day (10.02)!

Collaborated with the awesome Krystal Quagliara, the Playful Trainer! She even signed my copy of her book

Trunk or Treat at Bridges Scoreboard! Thank you again to Kelly Hiestand for starting and maintaining this incredibly fun tradition. Passed out non-food treats in line with the Teal Pumpkin Project and in harmony with the mission to be more eco and health friendly. 

Was fortunate to find a new team member: Welcome Holly!

Started a series called Spotlight on Speech with Ann Marie Pasternock.

Started the Acupuncture and Dentistry series with Bre Grzych.


Since watching movies with my son, how I view things has changed! I mentioned to my son that Elsa and Anna snore and they would feel so much better in the morning if I was able to help them like I help him. Now he wants to know WHY they snore. He's makes me so proud!

Now I am preparing for 2021. Stay tuned! Exciting things are brewing!

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

Insights from an IBCLC
Keeping Abreast: Breastfeeding Awareness 2020
By Diane Gora, RN, IBCLC

Making Breastfeeding Work in Your Daily Life
In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, many mothers wonder how they will continue to breastfeed while returning to their usual routines. They express concerns about having enough milk and wonder if their baby will continue to nurse “all of the time.” If the recommendation is to exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months, moms begin to worry about how to accomplish such a feat! Learning the basic facts concerning milk production can give a mom more control over her breastfeeding experience, increase her satisfaction, and help her enjoy her time with her baby. 

What we know about milk production has increased dramatically since the days when I was a breastfeeding mother. Studies using the techniques from the field of topography were done by a team of researchers led by Dr. Peter Hartman. Through the methods used by this research team, physical changes in the breast and how much milk a breast can hold were determined. Ultrasound was used to observe internal breast changes that occur during a feeding. The results of this research identified two main dynamics at work in milk production:

1) the degree of breast fullness or how full your breasts are, and
2) breast storage capacity or how much milk your breasts hold at their fullest time during the day.
Degree of Breast Fullness, or Supply and Demand
Imagine that the inside of your breast has several containers and all of the containers are filled to the brim with milk. While these containers are so full there is no need to make more milk. There are no more containers to fill. So, because there is no demand, production slows down, way down. Translation: Full breasts make milk slower!
Now imagine that there is a demand for that milk and the containers are emptied. This creates a need and space to re-fill the containers with more milk. Translation: Drained breasts make more milk faster!
Sometimes a baby needs to adjust his mother’s milk production so he feeds more frequently and for longer periods of times. This behavior often leads to his mother thinking she doesn’t have enough milk which is not the case at all. By breastfeeding more frequently and for a little longer than his average, the baby takes a larger percentage of the available milk. This in turn drains the breast more thoroughly and creates a demand for more milk production. The milk the baby takes while draining the breast also has an increased fat content. The higher the fat content, the more satisfied the baby will be.
Nice to know: On average, a baby takes about 67% of the milk available leaving about 33% behind. Translation: Lactating breasts are never truly empty. Feeding more frequently and more times a day leads to increased and faster milk production!
Next month: Breast Storage Capacity.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy 2021. Stay safe and keep on breastfeeding!


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