There’s so much that I never get a chance to say to my patients. It’s not just about knowing where to start but deciding where to finish. In that way, writing this book – A Life Less Stressed, which covers such broad issues, has some similarities.
As a dentist, I have a unique opportunity to regularly observe how my patients’ oral and general health progresses over many years. I’ve always tried to provide health information to my patients, either through customised brochures, social media, or recommended health and wellness books, but wanted to convey a more holistic view.
So, in a sense, I’ve written this book for my patients, as well as all people who feel they are affected by stress. I wanted to share three important aspects to healthcare that have fascinated me, particularly since my own more recent health challenges, now more than ever.
The first aspect is that holistic view. I’m often asked, ‘What is a holistic dentist?’ and the answer is that I recognised I’m dealing with more than just a mouth. There’s a whole person living in a complex world affected by a broad range of challenges that I also need to consider. A similar question could be asked of us all: ‘Are we holistic citizens?’ Arguably, our most powerful tool to effect change are the decisions we make about our own health and the health of our planet, each and every day. The individual and the global are inseparable. We are all connected and so we are all affected by our individual and collective decisions. The time for thinking ‘holistically’ has never been more important.
The second aspect is stress. We are all affected by ‘stress’, but what do we actually mean by ‘stress’? How does it affect us in our modern world? We would all readily acknowledge emotional stress as the explanation. But the epidemic of preventable chronic degenerative diseases is caused by nutritional, environmental, and lifestyle issues, all of which I explore in my expanded definition of what stresses us. I’ve also elevated the issue of oral health as a potential stress. Obviously, I’m a dentist first, but this will be of interest to anyone with a mouth and who takes their health seriously — but has likely never fully connected the two. It’s important to take it seriously; your body already does.
The third aspect is how we got into this epidemic of avoidable diseases. Exploring why public health messages have let us down, and the influence of the food and pharmaceutical industries on all levels of healthcare, is a story that’s easy to miss, but then difficult to ignore.
Above all, I’ve written this book as a call to action. To empower individuals to take control, build resilience, for us as individuals but also for the planet, and for us all to be the best we can be.
Order your copy of A Life Less Stressed here.