I started a more intentional dental care last week, which included using my Sonicare brush again (after some months off), and experimenting with oil swishing (“oil pulling”), in addition to the usual flossing and rinsing with salt water, and also being more intentional about the diet (for good oral health). I found this video and Joey Lott’s book helpful.
After a couple of days, I noticed my gums felt a bit sore, and this changed into stronger pain (tooth ache?) the last few days. I initially thought it was related to using the Sonicare again, or perhaps the oil swishing, and then wondered if it was a regular tooth ache (signalling I need to visit the dentist soon) that just happened to coincide with slightly changing how I take care of my gums and teeth.
In any case, it’s been quite painful and it gave me an opportunity to explore pain.
I reminded myself that pain is essential for our survival. It shows us that something is wrong, and needs to be taken care of. And it’s occasional intensity reminds us of how stubborn and dense we can be.
I spent some time with it. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. I love you. (This brought up some resistance and fear, which I also welcomed.)
I explored it using the Living Inquiries. Look at the word “pain”, is that word in pain? Look at the images of the pain, are those images in pain. Feel the sensations, are those sensations in pain? This helped me see that I cannot find pain, as it initially appeared. It’s made up for words, images and sensations, and each of these are fine.
And…. I have taken some pain killers (I figured out which one worked the best), got the name of a good (?) holistic dentist in Oslo (which is good to know in any case), figured out that sitting up slightly while sleeping reduced the pain (reduced the blood pressure in the mouth), and I plan to go to the dentist soon if the pain continues. This is a reminder that inquiry and “inner work” goes hand in hand with, and even supports, practical and good common-sense action.