This week's blog is written by Lorraine Gambacourt, RDH, Presenter and Laser Trainer with rdhu!
Recognize the Signs…
Last week I was forced to slow down, which is something I absolutely have no patience for! I did something to my back while lifting one of my grandchildren. I am sure you have had a similar experience of bending, leaning or lifting something the wrong way…
Sitting, standing, and walking was challenging for several days. Note to self: Pay more attention to the “proper way to lift”, which has become increasingly more relevant in the last 5 years as I…urgh… get older…
After 36 years in this profession, my posture, or often lack of good posture, has been biting me in the butt (literally!) I have had more days off because of back related issues in the past five years, than I have for severe cold/flu/aches etc. in the past 36!
You may not be surprised to learn that the top reason for early retirement for dental practitioners is related to musculoskeletal disorders. So, if your goal is to have a long career, be sure to take care of you!
I thought I would impart some wisdom/suggestions that may help you avoid a similar fate. We must take care of both our physical and mental stresses in order to live happier, more fulfilling lives…
Here are a few things to consider:
· Ensure your instruments are sharp.
· Pay attention to your body position. Click here to access a great article sharing some basic ergonomic principles:
· Invest in loupes. High Quality Loupes! They provide you with better vision, which will help keep your posture more upright and avoid having to contort your body in order to see effectively.
· Whether working clinically or from a desk, make sure your chair is providing you with the proper lumbar support.
· Know your limitations. Maybe you are saying “yes” too often. Recognize the triggers and signs that you are over-extending yourself. (Body aches, anxiety, agitation, frustration). It’s ok to say no to working extra hours if it is going to stress you out!
· Try a few yoga stretches!
· Gift yourself with down time. If you are feeling stressed or anxious as you work towards meeting a deadline, take a short nature walk, do some deep belly breathing, engage in a short meditation or practice mindfulness for even a few minutes. All of these practices will help you to release tension, clear your mind and return to your task or project fully engaged and more creative.
I am sure many of you, as I do, have roles that go beyond clinical practice which give you a great sense of accomplishment. Busyness seems natural in the world we live in today. The key is to find that balance.
So today, be unstoppable, invincible, and powerful! But pay attention to what your body is telling you, so you can make the changes you need to make and take the time you need to rest, recoup, strengthen and be better for yourself and those around you.
Quote: Everyday brings a choice. To practice stress or to practice peace. Joan Borysenko
Thank you for reading and have a great week ahead. Please take a look below for what is coming up!