Welcome to Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics!
In Harmony Orthodontics - Dr. Catherine Murphy, DDS, MSD
This month’s topics:
- A Changing World
- Adventures in Writing
- Connections Book Club
- Do your loved ones breathe through their mouths?
- Dental Hygiene students at IUN are awesome!
- Going Green
- Breastfeeding Solutions
- Guest Column: Dr. Charles Beck
A Changing World
Hello! How are you? There have been many changes over this last month, right? We are navigating uncharted territory with the challenges that COVID-19 has created.
I hope you and yours are healthy. To promote health and comfort, I made the decision on March 17, 2020 to close the office until guidelines show that it is advisable to return. I’ll be offering some virtual exams by appointment. Please reach out by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or to schedule an exam. I will respond within 24 hours.
Let’s stay connected!
I just created a private Facebook page for my current patients, their invited friends, and other holistic minded individuals. This private group is called Connections Made In Harmony. (Can join by visiting my FB page and clicking groups. There are two listed by the same name, they are connected groups)
My goal is to create a place where patients can connect with healthcare providers who may be partnering in their care. It’s informal and informational. You can ask general questions and get answers from our healthcare referral partners who may be collaborating in your care.
When you join the Connections Made in Harmony Facebook group, please post an introduction. You can also send a message to me with your contact details and I can add you.
I have invited my healthcare provider colleagues to join this group and encourage their patients to participate in the discussions. I welcome their feedback and help in furthering our mission to help inform and connect like-minded people.
Feel free to invite others to this group. It’s easier to navigate the whole range of holistic health when you have support and resources!
Adventures in Writing
I’ve been working on a book and developing my writing skills. During that process, a poem came to me and I thought I would share it with you. This past week I have worked on its revisions with my friend and songwriter, Ashley Ludlow. I hope you can relate to it and that it gives you some measure of peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Concern and Comfort Amid Covid
By Dr. Catherine Murphy and Ashley Ludlow
I have been shaken;
I’ve been disturbed.
Scrolling for answers;
some seem absurd.
Leaving me restless,
no clarity found.
With this novel virus
effects are profound.
Unsure about tomorrow,
Observing your sweet face,
except we’ll be at home;
feeling so drained,
bewildered and alone.
how do I explain
amidst worry, hurry, blurry,
This isn’t a staycation.
Quarantine across the nation.
Covid has its domination.
So much need for education.
Can you comprehend
the words that I say,
or is it truly ‘bout the snuggles
at the end of the day?
World still turning,
though it’s come to a halt.
Is God giving notice?
Is this my fault?
Amid the six feet distance,
learning joy is my subsistence.
I am practicing persistence.
Hope you know my love’s consistence.
It’s okay to say you’ve had enough.
So often in a hurry,
this time with you is precious too.
Your laughter breaks the worry.
Optimism can be found;
outpouring of assistance.
See the good, just look around,
giving without resistance.
Staying well is wealth.
Thanks to those providing care,
so grateful for our health;
for you I say a special prayer.
Take comfort in routine,
reflected by the weather.
Mother nature’s seeds will grow.
Not alone, in this together!
Connections Book Club
Although our guest speaker, Maria Janik, had to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances, many members continued to meet. Nearly three hours later, everyone left with an increased awareness of ways to work collaboratively. All members treat their patients with a holistic mindset and enjoy seeking different outlooks on common concerns.
To learn more, visit www.connectionsbookclub.org.
Dr. Trish Hammett Chiropractic Physician at New Life Family Chiropractic Center
Dr. Bob Newhalfen Chiropractic Physician at Motus Integrative Health
Dr.Catherine Murphy Orthodontist at In Harmony Orthodontics
Tracy Biggs MA, CCC-SLP, CLC Speech-Language Pathologist and Certified Lactation Consultant
Margaret Stoch, HS, CCC-SLP, Speech-language pathologist and orofacial myofunctional therapist at Advanced Speech Therapy
Stacy Lashenik Orofacial mycologist at NWI OMT
Dental Hygiene students at IUN are awesome!
Thanks to Professor Cinda Fife for inviting me to speak to her Dental Hygiene class at Indiana University Northwest (IUN). We discussed my holistic and collaborative approach to dentistry. I shared my unique viewpoint of crooked teeth being a symptom of another underlying cause. Braces are more than just straightening teeth. When treating patients with a holistic mindset, braces should be and can be more than just cosmetic.
The students impressed me with their interest and attention especially since immediately following my lecture they were scheduled to take an exam!
I appreciate IUN’s Hygiene Department for the opportunity to discuss airway-focused dentistry, tongue ties, and the need for collaborative care. The department is forward-thinking and helping students prepare for private practice.
If you’d like me to speak to your class, send an email to email@example.com.
Going Green at In Harmony Orthodontics
In our efforts to align with the philosophy and mission of Global Recycling Day, we’ve made some changes to do our part to recycle.
Did you know that in our office, toothbrushes are recyclable? Yup! We take every opportunity to recycle plastics. The whole toothbrush is placed into a bag and sent out for recycling. Look for the recycling container by the sink at your next visit!
We are on a mission to make the office greener! We now use hand soap and window cleaner from Blueland.
Their products reduce waste by concentrating the cleaning into a tablet. This reduces the manufacturing, packaging, and transportation needs. So far the response to the change has been very positive. Learn more at www.blueland.com.
Our efforts don't stop there. We promote Mermaid Straws which is a Valparaiso, IN based company that make more than just straws! I love their mission to decrease the amount of single use plastics. From reusable cups and bottles to straws they offer pretty alternatives to plastics. See their website at www.mermaidstraw.com.
We recommend CoCo Floss and/or FWD Floss. Both are environmentally friendly and do not contain PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances/Teflon). PFAS are called forever substances because they do not break down. Exposure has been linked to hormone imbalance, cancer, autoimmune disease, neurotoxicity, and infertility.
For more information, visit these links:
Global Recycling Day: www.globalrecyclingday.com
EPA on PFAS: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas
Coco floss: https://cocoflosspro.com/
FWD Floss: https://fwdfloss.com/
Breastfeeding Challenges & Solutions
In January, we began a new series on breastfeeding challenges and solutions. Continuing my open book about my own struggles to breastfeed and its affect on my career, I share with you my recent challenges and solutions with my daughter, Matilyn.
Why? Well, I understand that nursing is a mother’s choice and either way she needs support. Breastfeeding requires a support system along with a lot of patience and understanding. Breastfeeding also positively affects the growth and development of the child’s face.This positive impact may lessen the need for orthodontics in the future! (Yes, it seems like I’m trying to put myself out of a job.)
Despite having things set in place and getting my daughter to appointments upon her first day home, there was still a struggle to feed her. There were some definite improvements and I was very thankful for that! However, the birth process can take its toll on a baby as well as the mother. 😊
Thankfully I had already started osteopathic treatment with Dr. Charles Beck prior to delivery of my daughter. We also discussed an infant’s need for treatment. Here is what Dr. Beck has to say about it and why I took Matilyn to see him when she was two weeks old:
“Osteopathic treatment of the infant relieves strain related to the birth process and restriction related to positioning in the uterus during the third trimester. It also assists the baby in his or her transition to life outside of the womb. The birth process involves tremendous forces which are transmitted through the head and body of the infant. Research by Dr. Viola Frymann indicates that a high percentage of infants have significant strain or mechanical restriction of motion within the bones, membranes and fluids of the cranium. When strains are significant they may impair circulation, compress nerves, or create a situation of constant tension within the membranes and fascia.
The transition from life in the womb to life in the world is probably the most dramatic physical change we go through in life. An infant adapts to living with the full force of gravity rather than floating in fluid, and changes from receiving nutrients constantly through a natural “IV” to taking food by mouth and having to break it down through digestion. All this occurs after a sometimes eventful ride down the birth canal. Osteopathy helps by relieving structural strains and twists which tax the body’s resources, by improving circulation and fascial movement of the digestive system, and by releasing the compression of specific nerves which are needed to coordinate feeding and digestion.
If you choose to breastfeed, your baby’s latch onto your breast is a key to your child’s health. A poor latch can be due to impingement on the hypoglossal nerve (which can be due to birth trauma) or even a tongue that does not have enough range of motion (commonly called tongue tie). We can help with this diagnosis and can offer treatments as well.”
Dr. Charles Beck is our guest columnist for this month. I appreciate the time he took to write about his view on the team approach to health. His views support that conditions such as tongue ties, trouble nursing, and crooked teeth can all be connected and require collaborative care.
Why you need a dental TEAM.
By Dr. Charles Beck, D.O.
There are two axioms that seem to ring true when it comes to your mouth: “Rome was not built in a day” and “No man is an island.” I want to address the latter one first. As a healthcare practitioner, I have a scope of practice. That means there are things I can do and things I cant, legally.
I am an osteopath and here in the US that gives me an unlimited license to practice medicine. MDs and DOs share the same unlimited scope of practice. Every other type of health practitioner has a limited license. It doesn’t make anyone necessarily better or worse, but it can limit your exploration and discovery. For example, if your dentist was working on your teeth and then started to feel your feet to look for links between your teeth and feet, that would be beyond their scope of practice and could get them in some pretty serious trouble. Yet, that limit on the scope of practice also limits the connections any practitioner can make between what they are doing and what everyone else in healthcare is doing. It makes it hard to put things together as a whole and it can certainly make practitioners feel like they are an island trying to help their patients. And, it can make it super difficult as a patient to find someone to help you get well.
So how do we correct this problem and be better able to help our patients? We work together. More specifically, we get different disciplines within healthcare to work together. We create a TEAM. Your TEAM should have complementary people on it. And, no one on your TEAM needs to be the smartest or best in the world at what they do. They just need to know how to work together and be humble and get the job done for you (the patient).
Because this column is in dental practice newsletter, you must need a dentist on your team. Your dentist needs to recognize that he or she can’t do it alone and needs partners in the process.
When it comes to your teeth, they are, to quote another phrase, between a rock and a hard place. Your teeth exist in a balance between the inward pressing forces of your lips and face muscles and the outward pressing forces of your tongue. Where your teeth sit today is a window into those forces, and moving your teeth and getting them to stay that way without using a retainer involves understanding those forces well.
Enter the oromyofunctional therapist. These practitioners are trained to be able to test the tongue and facial muscles and figure out if they are working correctly or not. If there is something not quite right, they can work with you (the owner and operator of the tongue and face) and help to retrain it to function correctly. They are a valuable member of your TEAM.
You may also need an ENT. We know them commonly as an ear, nose, and throat doctor. The technical term is otorhinolaryngologist (which is Latin for ear, nose and throat). These doctors specialize in identifying health or disease in the mouth, nose, and ears. They can be vital in helping to correct airway issues (tongue or lip tie, for example) and can significantly assist your dentist in obtaining a good outcome in your case.
You need an osteopath on your TEAM. Since this is what I do, I am the most educated in this area. Osteopaths learn to feel the whole body from head to toe and can identify and treat the restrictions that keep you from being optimally healthy. (This includes your mouth and teeth!)
To help explain the TEAM approach, here’s a story from early in my career. I was in my first year in practice when a mother brought in her 15-year-old daughter and said that the dentist said she needed braces and asked if it was the right time for them to be put on. This was NOT something that we were taught how to examine in osteopathic school, so I had to think on my feet. I examined the patient’s vision and how it was affecting the body. I then examined the teeth and their effect, as well as the standing posture and its effect. Neither the eyes nor the teeth changed the body in a positive or negative way (so I reasoned in that moment that they were not big contributors and did not need work on that day). However, when the patient stood up, her body changed for the worse. Thus, with the additional information that I gathered, I reasoned that she needed some work on her feet/posture BEFORE getting braces (since the feet were having the biggest impact on her body). Within a month of treatment, the feet were no longer causing a big impact, but now her teeth were. We had resolved the foot issue and now her teeth needed help. She was off to the dentist to get her braces. She did great! This was my first introduction to working as a TEAM, and I didn’t even know it at the time.
Today, with a few more years under my belt, I am able to locate and treat a number of issues that help you not only find the right dentist and TEAM members for your case, but also guide them in their work with feedback about what is happening in your body. In a perfect world, at rest, every tissue in your body would be in a restful state and not trying to remain at full speed. If the cause of that is your teeth, then you need a TEAM approach.
I am going to make up a scenario where you bite down on a popcorn seed and have symptoms afterwards. From my perspective, that popcorn seed can rotate the tooth in its socket and cause a strain. It is pretty easily treated by an osteopath, but no one else on your TEAM is trained to even look for it. If you are not trained to even look for the cause, then you cannot come to an accurate diagnosis and you basically just guess at what is wrong. THIS is why you need a TEAM on your side.
I think of myself as the quarterback in your dental case. I know that I cannot do it all. I need help (potentially from many people). It is my job to pass the ball to the perfect person at the right time to advance your case to its completion.
This also brings me to the building of Rome axiom. If you have a tooth that fell out due to a fall, that’s an emergency and you probably should rush to see your dentist to try to save the tooth. But, if it is not an emergency, we have time. That time allows you to not only get opinions, but it allows the members of the TEAM to get on board and start to do their work together. The healthcare practitioners I listed are the foundation of the TEAM, but they may not be the only ones you need on your case. Remember, you are building a TEAM that is working together to give YOU the best outcome.
For more information, visit my website.
Charles Beck, D.O., F.A.A.O. graduated from the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2004. He was one of Pikeville’s first undergraduate fellows, staying an extra year in medical school to study osteopathic manipulation more in depth. Taught by Edward G. Stiles, D.O., F.A.A.O. during medical school, Charlie was given an excellent foundation for learning manipulative medicine. He is the first resident in osteopathic manipulation (called Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) in the history of Westview hospital and in Indiana.
Dr. Beck is a published author and researcher. He is proficiency certified in Cranial Osteopathy and a Fellow in the American Academy of Osteopathy. He continues to study and learn from numerous sources, applying that knowledge to his work and teaching. This new learning, along with a varied educational background that includes an engineering degree, technical theater experience, and teaching experience in computer software make his courses not only fun, but informative.
Dr. Beck founded Osteopathic Vision in 2007 after completing his residency and has been enjoying spreading his “vision” of how osteopathy can be practiced to his patients and colleagues.
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