01 May Marcie’s Mindfulness Moment | The Power of Touch
Like so many that have pursued careers in Dentistry, my passion grew from my own childhood experiences with my Dentist. Though many details of my youth are blurred, I can distinctly remember the smell of the dental office, the shiny new brush I would receive, the amazing gel fluoride foam tray, and especially the comfort I felt while in the presence of my dentist. Without fail, at every single visit, he had a ritual. He would gently pat my cheeks to welcome me in, chat with me, complete his exam, and follow up by tapping my nose—it felt like a “love tap”. This created a sense of comfort, trust, and a lighthearted bonding. As an adolescent, my family moved and subsequently had to establish a new relationship with a dentist. Again, a bond was created and admiration ensued by the way he put me at ease- his soft touch was gently on my right cheek before he started his exam. Fast forward 15 years to my clinical days, and my doctor would always greet his patient with a hand shake or hand clasp, and as he sat the patient back, would gently rest his hand on their right shoulder. You could almost feel their anxiety level decrease as they let out a relaxing breath. I’m not sure if human contact and its power is taught in Dental School, but my small sampling of experiences suggest that if it’s not, it might be a good idea!
This is the power of human touch and physical connection at work. Touch is one of our first senses to bloom in the womb, and studies have shown that it’s necessary for development and growth in our early years, and as we continue to evolve~ it helps to establish our mind-body connections. It’s been shown to decrease pulse rate, blood pressure & anxiety- and to increase the function of our immune systems & promoting healing, fostering trust, creating connection, establishing safety & security, and encouraging cooperation. Touch can inspire positive thinking, honesty, openness, and approachability.
In our fast paced, digital world, we often miss out on the benefits of daily touch- the high five from a co-worker, a welcoming handshake, a loving hug, a kudos-to-you pat on the back, or a comforting hand on the shoulder. We have our heads down in our phones and are constantly on the go preparing for our next task to complete and often miss opportunities for physical contact. In the coming weeks, I challenge you to set an intention to look for opportunities to deposit in other’s love banks via the power of touch. Let me know how it goes!
Dental Billing Tips and News for Pros; Edition #135